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Chris Pistorius talks about the importance of SEO for a dental practice. Chris provides some great tips for dental practices that want to rank highly on Google and other influential search engines.

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Creating a Local SEO Checklist

Do you have a dental practice with a great website but still struggle with bringing in local and organic traffic? Local businesses and national ones alike depend on good search engine rankings to thrive, and a sound checklist can help achieve that. To that end, our team recommends working with an expert to create and execute a local on-page SEO checklist for your website and business. 

When you optimize your website this way, you may notice more significant search engine traffic, higher sales, more leads, and even overall business growth. Keep reading to learn more about building an SEO strategy. 

What Is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, revolves around making your website as appealing as possible for both your patients and different search engines. The goal is to have your audience find your site easily through a Google or Bing search, a listing on Google My Business, and other locations on the web. 

It’s imperative for today’s business owners to learn about SEO and how to make the most of today’s SEO tools. The following are some of the most common on-page SEO basics you should know about as you work to optimize your website. 

Internal links are links to other pages on your own website. Not only do these links help the search crawlers recognize the validity of your site, but they help customers navigate between web pages as well.

Meta descriptions, or meta tags, are short descriptions that Google and other search engines show on results pages. These descriptions give your website visitors a brief look at the services you provide before they even visit your site. 

Search engine spiders or crawlers are small “robots” that engines use to evaluate and inspect different websites. The search engines index different pages with these spiders, using algorithms to help provide you with more accurate search outcomes. 

Exterior links are links on your website that connect to other sites. Link building with external links to high-quality sites can help boost your ranking factor, as well as increase customers’ trust in your site. 

The title tag is what your customers first see when they search for your site online. Title tags are short-and-sweet descriptions of your business that appear above the meta description. 

The Keyword Research Checklist for Search Engines

If you’ve ever dabbled in SEO before, you’re probably familiar with keywords already. However, SEO efforts neither start nor end with keywords and optimizing your website goes far beyond simply incorporating your target keyword a few times. If you want to improve your website’s SEO, you should add the following terms to your complete checklist.

Long-tail keywords are a different type of keyword that changes how people find your site. While they are a bit more challenging to learn and use, the payoff can be significant if you utilize them correctly. 

Keyword difficulty has to do with how hard it is to rank on a search with a given keyword. When customers search Google for a primary keyword with a very high monthly search volume, for example, your site may rank very low. However, it may be much easier to rank for a related keyword with a more manageable search volume. 

Target keywords and related keywords are the meat of your keyword strategy: they are what your prospective customers will search for as they look for your site. 

Consider using a keyword research tool to help identify the keywords that can help your website rank better, such as SurferSEO or Semrush.

What Should You Put on Your Complete SEO Checklist? 

Just as SEO can help bring more search traffic to your website, outdated SEO and inadequate on-page optimization can hurt your rankings as well. So, in addition to improving other aspects of your website, you should also check for other issues that may require fixing along the way. Of course, a reputable SEO agency can help you identify any problems with your site, but this on-page checklist can also help you get started. 

Duplicate content on your website can be a problem for multiple reasons. Not only will it rank worse in Google’s algorithms, but it can make it more difficult for your customers to navigate your website as well. 

Broken links can lower your direct ranking factor, and they can also frustrate customers who visit your site. Therefore, it’s critical to find broken links as quickly as possible and repair them to keep your site running smoothly. 

Site speed is a crucial part of the patient experience on your website. If your page speed is low, and a patient has to wait too long for it to load, the chances are that they will move on to another site. 

Category pages help structure information on your site and let patients navigate through pages more easily. For example, it’s easier for patients to find a specific blog post on your site by navigating to the “blog” category page first.

Technical SEO is a different type of SEO that deals with the deeper coding issues of your site – specifically, its infrastructure. Bad technical practices can result in crawl errors, a poorly structured data markup, or even a bad customer experience, so it’s essential to integrate a technical SEO checklist into your overall plan. 

An SEO plugin can be a handy tool for those who maintain a blog (such as WordPress users). Many of these tools will help you integrate SEO best practices and keywords into your posts as you write them. 

Using Your Toolkit: Google Search Console and Analytics, Bing Webmaster Tools, and More

Besides the terms we listed above, you can find many more executive-level tools out there that can give your practice a more significant edge. These tools can help you identify the exact steps you should take to help your site rank better, both for customers and for common search sites. 

Google Search Console is a great place to start improving your site’s search rankings. The tool works with your site’s infrastructure to help you identify different steps you can take, such as by submitting an XML sitemap.

Google’s Analytics feature is a suite of tools that helps you improve your site’s search rankings from a customer-centric perspective. Connect Google Analytics to your site using your Google Analytics account to make use of programs such as Google Tag Manager and Google Optimize.

Webmaster Tools is Bing’s version of a tool to help you rank better on Bing’s search results. To use it, create a Bing Webmaster Tools account and link it to your website. 

There are dozens of things for website owners to learn and hundreds of tools to utilize with the goal of bringing in new web traffic – so much, in fact, that it can feel incredibly overwhelming. If you need help, consider contacting our specialized SEO management team. We can help you build your business’s online presence in new and meaningful ways.