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SEO for Orthodontists – Best Practices 2021

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Do you want to know how to get your orthodontic practice found on search engines? Ever wonder why some websites rank higher on the search engine results page over others? SEO is the answer.

Doing SEO for orthodontists will help your website become more visible on search engines like Google or Bing. More visibility means more consultations and a larger patient list. Implementing and following SEO methods will allow your orthodontic practice to grow. To begin, you can start by booking a free strategy session to discuss with our experts, or keep reading for more information on implementing SEO on your own.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This means making your website the best it can be for engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. To make it optimized for Google, you use strategies and research to make your website rank high on the SERP (search engine results page).

Strategies and research include:

  • Keywords
  • Website and URL Structure
  • Image optimization and links
  • Social media presence

Working on these methods will allow Google to recognize your site and rank it accordingly.

Benefits of SEO for Orthodontists

SEO allows for your practice’s website to gain organic traffic and search results. Organic, in terms of SEO, means on its own without any paid or ad help. Using SEO methods will bring in passive organic results for you, and can lessen the work and ad spends you do to bring in new patients.

It also is an almost free way for you to bring in patients. The only thing you are spending on doing SEO for your orthodontic practice is time.

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There are many aspects to SEO, but the easiest way to break them down is to put them into on-page and off-page categories.

On-page SEO for your Orthodontic Website

On-page SEO means using methods on your website to rank on the first page of Google.

On-page SEO checklist:

  • Loading time
  • URL structure
  • Image Alt-tags
  • Meta description
  • Internal and outbound links

These 5 basic aspects of on-page SEO can help your website perform better in search engines.

Loading Time

Your website and pages all need to load fast. If it takes too long to load, people will click out of it and not consider looking at what you have to offer. Use websites like Pingdom and GTmetrix to check your website’s and page’s loading time.

Make sure to check your image files and compress them if they are too large. Having large files on your pages can slow down the page speed. You should also double-check the code and make sure that there isn’t anything unnecessary in there.

URL Structure

When it comes to URL structure, this simply means having concise and straight to the point URLs. When creating pages on your website, you should not have super long URLs.

The key to structuring a great URL is to:

  • Cut out unnecessary words, ex: the
  • Get rid of punctuation
  • Keep them concise
  • Use keywords

Ex:

  1. orthdontist.com/dental-appliances/invisalign/invisalign-for-adults
  2. orthodontist.com/invisalign/invisalign-for-adults
  3. orthodontist.com/invisalign-for-adults

In these examples, the important information and page you want viewers to get to is information about Invisalign for adults. As you can see, option 3 is the best for a structured URL. The first one is too long and doesn’t show the actual keyword until the very end.

The second option is better, but this indicated that Invisalign for adults is a subsection of an Invisalign page. If you are trying to rank for this keyword, it is better for it to have its own page.

When structuring your URLs, keep your keyword as close to the root as possible. 

URL Structure

Image Alt-tags

Adding alt-tags / alt attributes / alt descriptions, allows your website to be more accessible to the visually impaired. These give images on your website context and meaning.

Alt-tags also are great for SEO. The context you give your images allows them to be read better by Google’s site crawlers to index your website.

Image Alt-text Example

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Meta Description

A meta description is a text shown below the link in the search engine result.

Meta Description YoYoFuMedia Example

Since this will show up anytime someone searches for your site or a page on your site, you need to make this eye-catching. It is another opportunity to grab viewers’ attention. Each page and post on your site needs a meta description. Make sure to include keywords that are relevant to the page on your site.

Ex:

  • Homepage
    • Your keyword should not be “homepage!” In the YoYoFuMedia homepage example, keywords like Google Ads and SEO are used.
    • For your homepage use keywords like “orthodontist + location,” or “Invisalign services.”
  • Services page
    • The keywords for a service page on your website should be the name of the service.
    • Ex: “Invisalign for adults,” and “Dental Braces.”

Include your targeted keywords and highlight aspects of what your site’s page is about. You can include a testimonial of your services in the meta description to showcase the benefits of your work. Or you can talk about your expertise in the orthodontist industry.

Internal and Outbound Links

Linking to websites and pages, in general, adds value to them. Think of links as a vote of confidence, and by including the one you are letting search engines know that the link is reputable.

Internal links are links to your other pages and content on your website. These can help provide more context to your readers and add some value to other pages. Internal links can help rank the pages you link to rank higher in the SERP. It is important to recognize that you should only link your pages when necessary. Don’t add irrelevant internal links to pages that have nothing to do with what you are linking to.

For example, a blog post on your orthodontic website about dental braces can include a link to schedule a consultation.

Internal Link Orthodontist Example

Massih Orthodontics did this on their site, which is a perfect example of internal linking.

Outbound links are links out to other websites. This connects your site and other ones, which lets Google know you are associated with them. You should link to well-known and trusted sites in the orthodontic industry.

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Off-page SEO for an Orthodontist

There are a lot of factors that go into off-page SEO for orthodontists:

  • Quality backlinks
  • Google My Business
  • Citations
  • Social Media

All these are methods that can help your website rank higher by doing work outside of your website.

Quality Backlinks

As mentioned earlier, a link is a vote of confidence and trust. A backlink is a link back to your site from another website. Just like how important it is to include internal and outbound links on your website, you need other websites to link to yours.

Since this is an SEO for orthodontists guide, it would make the most sense to obtain backlinks from others in your industry. If there are any practicing dentists at your orthodontics office who have their own website, they can link to you. Even suppliers of dental appliances can link to your website.

You can check where you are obtaining backlinks from on the Ahrefs free backlink checker.

Google My Business

To make your website more visible on Google, you need to set up Google My Business. This allows you to determine how you want your business to show up on Google maps and on the search engine. You can add in photos, hours of operation, phone number, location, etc.

Setting up a Google My Business account can help you drive more traffic to your site by making it available in maps. It is the number one factor in a local pack.

Google My Business - Local Pack

A local pack is the top 3 search results in a local search. For example, a search on “orthodontists near me.” When setting up your Google My Business account, you must fill out all contact information.

Google My Business Example

You should also respond to any questions or reviews about your orthodontics practice. Reviews are very important for your SEO, and you should ask patients to leave them for you. Google likes to see that patients trust you through having decent reviews, so it is very important to obtain them.

It is also key to respond to every review. No matter if they are good or bad. By responding to each one, you show that you value the patient experience, and that feedback is appreciated.

Citations

Citations are online directories where your business can be linked to and mentioned. An example of this would be the Yellow Pages, Yelp, or even LinkedIn. This is another great way to obtain backlinks and make your orthodontics practice more reputable online.

Another method besides searching for directories to input your business information on is to use Ahrefs backlinks checker. You can use it for citation research by searching for your competitors’ domains on there and seeing what citations they are part of. Wherever they are, you need to be as well.

Another great place to make sure your website is visible is on Apple Maps. You must have an Apple ID to do this and can sign in to claim your business. Upload all contact information and photos to the site just like you did with Google My Business.

Social Media

In these times, all businesses must have social media accounts. It serves as social proof that you are reputable and can be trusted. People like to see what services they will be paying for. It will be highly beneficial for you if you offer that social proof by posting photos and videos of Invisalign, dental braces, and other services.

Determine which social media sites are best for you and what you feel comfortable with. If you want to attract older patients, then make a Facebook page. Looking for younger patients and don’t mind making video content? Try TikTok. Know that you can repurpose your content across all platforms.

SEO for Orthodontists - Instagram

In this example, an orthodontics practice used a TikTok video as advertising on Instagram. You don’t need to create something completely new for each social media site. Just adapt it.

Track your SEO Progress

Once you have everything set up and continuously use SEO practices, you can track how you are showing up in the SERP. Use Google Search Console to check out what positions you are showing up in on the search engine, how many impressions you are getting, and clicks.

This allows you to know where your search traffic is coming from and what kind of content is working for you.

Start your SEO for Orthodontists practice today!

You need to start implementing these methods ASAP to begin to show up on the first page of Google.

Don’t have time to start? Don’t worry,

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