SEO for Dental Practices
by JSB Collaborative
The Difference between SEO Specialists and SEO Sales Outfits
If any of you follow my website much, you know I don't post here very often.
If this is your first time on my site, you might be looking for help with SEO in the Dentistry niche.
Looking for SEO Help beyond what this article provides?
This Page exists because I am building it simply as a lead-gen funnel to rank for the keyword 'dental seo.'
I don't specialize in SEO for only Dentists, but I do specialize in SEO.
There's a big difference between an SEO outfit that "specializes" in a niche (like dental), rather than one that is actually good at SEO.
This is simply because specializing in an industry-niche gives them a sales edge.
I am one of the best SEOs on this side of New York State, and that is because I don't specialize in a niche: I get to see action across many different industries and gleam a huge amount of information on a daily basis as to why Google sorts the blue links the way it does.
So, if you're here because you're a dentist, and you're looking to rank your site, here's some info you can utilize without hiring anybody. This may prove very effective, for now--at least to get you on the map.
Where to start with Dental SEO in 2019:
Understanding Page Targeting is crucial in 2019 SEO. This, along with a good understanding of the next (3) bullets above (On-Page SEO & Tune SEO to Competition) is one of the main reasons recent algorithm updates have been dropping sites left and right that don't know their SEO (and the ones that "do").
Posting on your blog or doing On-Page SEO on every page of the website doesn't do anything but hurt your website.
Posting for the sake of "fresh content" (as if it's still 2014) doesn't do anything but create index bloat, eating up crawl budget and time that Googlebot can spend on your important content, the content that should be served in Search Results, the content that should be focused in targeting.
I'm getting real tired of dealing with this one...
The main problem that some of these things create, in addition to index bloat, is keyword cannibalization. Google ranks web-pages not web-sites. This means that posting to your blog, creating more pages for Google to decide how to serve, or doing On-Page SEO to the contact page for your main target keywords, posting so much industry-related content topical to your main keywords with highly relevant information--moreso than your main content that was supposed to be ranking for that keyword--These are all big mistakes.
The remedy to this is to simply have a better understanding of Page Targeting.
Focus content creation toward your main content pages. Stop making your blog more informative than main content.
This will naturally focus more relevancy (term frequency of keywords) topically on these pages.
Additionally, if you're big on doing On-Page SEO (even in its most basic form) be sure you have a clear understanding of where each page is being served. Don't optimize two different pages for the same keyword.
Just gonna make sure that was loud enough for everyone to hear:
Never Optimize two different pages for the same keyword
It's super important to tune your On-Page to competition, per keyword. However, outside of specific correlation to specific keyword, there is one constant we have found over the years from running correlation studies: What seems to be the #1 On-Page ranking factor is simply having a diversity of which.
As you'll read in that article I wrote on On-Page, we measure over 500+ different aspects about a web-page, per keyword, across the top 100 ranking pages. A good portion of that are 'SEO Factors,' theoretically, and these are what are important when we refer to factor diversity.
That's all probably a bit hard to understand, and I want to keep this article actionable. Here's where you should be diversifying keywords in On-Page:
Open Graph & Twitter Markup
Meta Keywords (Yep, they still help)
Heading Tags (H1-H6)
Anchor Text (Internal or External)
To name a few...
If you're decent at On-Page SEO, that's probably all relatively redundant for you. But I think I lesser understood concept is the implication of true Page Targeting in conjunction with good On-Page.
I'm gonna say it again: Never optimize two different pages for the same keyword.
For instance, each dental service you want to rank for gets the whole On-Page job on each dental service page. These are the topical main content pages.
You want to rank for 'dentist +location?' Topically, that's likely your home page. So, those keywords should be inundated inside these tags on the home page. Not on any other.
Pissed I said Meta Keywords still help? Yeah, I'll hear the argument that it's been deprecated. I don't think they work like they used to.
But, we have reason to believe Keyword density is a huge SEO factor. We measure Raw & Clean. In my book, the jury is still out whether which is more important. I've got a decent hunch that Raw Density (# of matches before stripping the head block, and other HTML tags) carries some serious weight.
If anything, meta keywords helps us in two places:
Bringing Keyword density up
Keeping your SEO & Page Targeting nice and organized
I work on a lot of projects, from site to site, it can get confusing (especially on the big ones) what each page was supposed to target. Soon, I'll be hiring help around the office and as we Collaborate between the team, this will be even more important.
This is why I brought up Meta Keywords to close out this section, think of this tag as your little reminder as to what each page should be targeting. Further, if you've followed the last two points in the article correctly, when filling out this tag, you'll never have two of the same (or topically similar) keyword in the meta keywords across two or more pages.
Tuning SEO to Competition
This one is going to be a little trick to help you along when you don't have the powerhouse correlation software that I do.
Take cues from competition's ranking pages for target keywords
Try to eyeball the On-Page tuning to these pages
Search the target keyword. It's amazing how much information you can gleam from this.
View-source:competitor-website.com/target-ranking-page in a chrome browser and start ctrl-F-ing the through the source code the On-Page tags we listed above.
Note how many keywords they have in H1 & H2 tags. Get an idea if they have filled out their alt text. See a lot of <li> tags? Is that a Keyword tuned nav menu, a formatted unordered list in the body content, or both?
How many keywords to they have in the Title? How many keywords are showing the SERP text?
One of the most important SEO concepts gleamed from a search result:
What are some related keywords that Google is bolding in the SERP?
In a certain way, Google bolds keywords in a search to show off how relevant its results are for the searched term. Looking a little deeper, this gleams what keywords it thinks are relevant: including related terms & synonyms.
Take note of what synonyms and related words are popping up in bold. This is a glimpse into Google AI's understanding of a topic. Sometimes, it's got a good handle on related & synonym terms to a topic or industry, sometimes not.
We tend to consider any of these bolded terms 'keywords,' and inundate our On-Page SEO with these words all the same. It's a nice way to make, say, a less spammy-looking Title or H1, being able reference keywords multiple times using synonyms.
So what's the Big Joke here?