By Joel Headley
There are 8,542 practicing orthodontists in the United States as of March 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. So, although you’re a talented orthodontist with so much to offer your patients, you have plenty of professional competition.
If you want your website to earn a top rank in search results, you need a sharp orthodontic SEO strategy. Here’s some advice to help you build one.
How to get your orthodontic website to rank highly in search results
1. Properly optimize your orthodontic website
More than three-quarters of consumers (69%) search online for local businesses at least once per month, according to BrightLocal. Furthermore, only 8% of people have never searched for a local business online.
If your orthodontic website isn’t properly optimized, your practice probably isn’t ranking highly in search results. When crafting an orthodontic SEO strategy, it’s important to realize results don’t happen overnight.
You took time building your orthodontic practice from the ground up, and the same idea applies to your SEO strategy. If you put in the time and energy, you’ll get your desired results.
2. Keep up with the Google algorithm
The best orthodontic websites perform so well because they’re constantly updated to keep pace with Google algorithm changes.
This is crucial, as Google reported 3,234 updates in 2018—nearly nine per day—according to Moz. Most of these changes are minor, but if your orthodontic website doesn’t keep up, rankings will take a hit.
This requires a great deal of effort on your part, but scoring a higher ranking than your competitors makes it worthwhile.
3. Conduct keyword research
When patients search online for an orthodontist, they use certain terms more than others. The best orthodontic websites contain these keywords, which boost their search rankings.
HubSpot emphasizes the importance of conducting keyword research and also ensuring your website content solves the patient’s intent. Accomplish this by typing the keyword into a search engine and browsing the list of results.
If your orthodontic SEO efforts are successful, you’ll rank higher than your competitors for keywords most important to your practice.
4. Design your orthodontic website for patients and search engines
Site architecture and URLs play a huge role in effective orthodontic SEO. Both patients and search engines want to browse a website that’s well-structured and informative with a clean design.
URLs should be kept clean and short. It’s best to follow a three-tier structure:
- Tier 1: www.orthodontistoffice.com
- Tier 2: /orthodontic-services
- Tier 3: /straighten-misaligned-teeth
Your final URL would be www.orthodontistoffice.com/orthodontic-services/straighten-misaligned-teeth
5. Boost on-site location signals
On-site and on-page location signals confirm your local presence and help you rank for geotagged key terms—ie, braces santa monica.
Some of the best practices for improving your on-site location signals include:
- Using schema.org markup on your contact information.
- Placing your phone number and address on every page of your website. This can be accomplished by inserting them in the header or footer.
- Embedding a Google map with your business marker into your contact page.
A robust orthodontic SEO strategy is crucial to the success of your practice. This ongoing effort requires a great deal of time and energy, but it’s an investment you won’t regret. OP
Joel Headley is director of local search and marketing at PatientPop, the market leader in healthcare practice growth. With a decade of experience at Google, Headley is an expert in optimizing websites for search and a deep understanding of how doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers are found and assessed online.