The rapid growth of search engine optimization—SEO—and social media as well as the ever-growing importance of online engagement presents laboratory owners with an affordable and effective way to reach dentist-customers. SEO ensures that your target audience has the ability to quickly find your laboratory’s website through a search engine; it’s what gets your website found and helps build traffic to your site.
Most SEO efforts are tailored for Google because it’s considered the top search engine. Its complex algorithm is always changing in an effort to continuously improve search results. If you optimize your website for Google, your efforts will pay off for other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo, too.
Here are five tips for increasing your chances of being listed on the first page of search results for laboratories in your area:
1. Keywords are the most important element of SEO. Insert phrases commonly used by dentists in their searches—for example, dental lab, local dental lab, dental lab in (your) city and state, denture repair, CEREC lab, etc.—at strategic points including your domain name, content headers, the first and last paragraphs of your content, and captions for images or video.
2. User experience: Google tracks the length of time users stay on a site; the longer the visits, the higher the site’s ranking. Consequently, you want your website to be easy to use and engaging with the regular addition of blogs and original content.
3. Social media profiles play an essential role in boosting your SEO—and offer the added bonus of providing additional avenues for dentists to connect to your laboratory and learn about your services. When a dentist searches for a laboratory, Google displays multiple results including that lab’s website and third-party sites that have information concerning that lab. According to Google’s algorithm, these third-party sites carry more weight than the content on your own site because it’s supposedly from a neutral source. In other words, Google assumes these external websites corroborate the information you’ve provided on your website, giving you credibility and relevance.
4. Online client reviews: The advantage of client testimonials on social media is two-fold: another dentist’s recommendation is the number one way dentists find a new laboratory* and they function as third-party validation described above. At Salt Lake Dental Lab, we solicit reviews via email and whenever we receive a call from a doctor who is happy with a case, we ask him to give us a great review on Facebook, Yelp or Google+. Afterwards, we reciprocate by giving him great reviews on his social media profiles, which he appreciates.
I’ve also created a couple of videos with doctors’ testimonials about working with our lab and used them in Facebook ads that automatically post to hundreds of doctors per week. I use the video app on my iPhone to take the video then my company, RocketFire Marketing, puts it all together, adding logos, music and text titles; it costs between $50 to $200 to create the videos, depending on the length. Then RocketFire Marketing places ads on Facebook, Google and emails them out to our email list.
5. Uploading videos to a video channel, then embedding the link to your website, complements the written content on your website. They can also improve your SEO because Google’s algorithm gives websites with videos—or rich media content—a higher ranking. YouTube is my favorite because it’s so simple and easy to use. Videos that are educational, include dental tips, or that introduce your technicians are effective.
Jordon Comstock is the Marketing Manager for Salt Lake Dental Lab, Salt Lake City, UT (www.dentallabsl.com) and Owner of RocketFire Marketing which helps laboratories market and enhance their online presence (www.rocketfiremarketing.com).
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