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DIY Expert Dental SEO Part I
Title Tags, Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Optimizing Title Tags, Page Titles and Meta Descriptions can give your site a nice boost in rankings and traffic. It's easy, but tedious and time consuming. Your webmaster or developer should be able to provide you with a user friendly portal to do edits. Consider assigning this task to a trusted employee or a sharp high school or college student.
Title tags let Google know what a web site page is about. For a local business Google also wants to know where you are located. Title tags are displayed in searches and at the top of your browser window. Here's Cambridge Dental Consultants title tag both in search results and the browser window:
a. Rotate the following five keywords in all Title Tags:
Dentist Near Me
If there's another broad keyword you want to use, go for it.
b. Include your location and what the specific page is about. Examples:
Dentist | Services | Largo FL
Dentist Near Me | Reviews | Largo FL
Best Dentist | Meet Our Staff | Largo FL
Family Dentist | Dental Implants | Largo FL
Family Dentistry | Contact Us | Largo FL
c. The title tag for the Home Page can be even simpler such as:
Dentist | Largo FL
Dentist Near Me | Largo FL
Best Dentist | Largo FL
Family Dentist| Largo FL
Family Dentistry | Largo FL
The Page Title is the "headline" for a page on your site. Title Pages are a key ranking signal. Keep them simple and make sure the Title Page is the only item on the page formatted or tagged as "H1" which tells Google that's the page's "headline". Your portal will have an easy way to format your Title Page as "H1". It's no harder than changing the size of a font. You can see how easy it is to format the title as "H1" from this screen shot of my editing an article on my website. As mentioned, most sites have a similar, user friendly portal to perform these edits.
Here's what it looks like "live":
The Title Page can be basically the same as the Title Tag except use a different keyword. Example:
Dentist | Contact Us | Largo FL
Family Dentistry | Contact Us | Largo FL
For your Home Page Title I like "Family Dentist" as it covers two keywords: "Dentist" and "Family Dentist".
"Family Dentist Near Me" gives you three keywords for your Home Page Title but, is a bit long when you add location:
"Family Dentist Near Me | Largo, FL
The problem with a long Page Title is on mobile it can get chopped off. No harm in trying, but check your site on mobile to ensure the Title fits on a mobile screen. If it's too long, it's easy to shorten.
Meta Descriptions do not directly effect search engine ranking however a well written Meta Description can increase Click Through Rate (CTR) as Meta descriptions show with the search result. CTR does effect SEO so indirectly Meta Descriptions effect SEO.
Meta Descriptions should be 50–160 characters long. The Meta Description tag serves the function of advertising copy. It draws readers to a website and thus is a very visible and important part of search marketing. Crafting a readable, compelling description using important keywords can improve the click-through rate for a given webpage.
To maximize click-through rates on search engine result pages, it's important to note that Google and other search engines bold keywords in the description when they match search queries. This bold text can draw the eyes of searchers, so you should match your descriptions to search terms as closely as possible.
Always include your location.
Meta Descriptions should be written by someone with some marketing chops. Ideally the Meta Description reads like a well written Google Ad Word. More from Google here: Write successful text ads
New: Dental SEO: Expert Guide Part I
What Does A Dental Consultant Do? Charge?
Many dentists will tell you dental consulting works. If dental practice management firms had no worth or benefit they could not stand up to harsh economic realities for long. What a veteran dental consultant brings to the table are systems and protocols successfully implemented in other practices that have been improved and tweaked over many years. Top dental consultants talk and network with each other. They pay attention to what works and what doesn't work across all dental practices.
Marketing & New Patients
Practice management consultants generally have little marketing training or background.
Note: Cambridge'a consultants are Certified SEO and Ad Words Specialists
Dental Office Systems
Key systems dental consultants implement:
- New Patient Phone Call
- Insurance Processing
- New Patient Experience and Patient Education
- Financial Arrangements
- Unscheduled Treatment Followup
- Stat Monitoring
- Daily and Weekly Checklists
- General Policy Manual
You will not get much ROI from your dental consulting if your staff do not have your back. You do not beed a team of cheer leaders jumping up and down with enthusiasm, but you do need staff who are smart and take some pride and ownership in what they do. If there is more than the usual drama in your practice that needs to be sorted out before you will get any real results.
What gets monitored gets done.
The "big" obvious numbers are important to monitor, but when you look at them they are typically already "in the books". You want your team to concentrate and be accountable daily on the "small" stats that bring about the "big" stats. How many practice owners know how many calls were made to unscheduled patients each day or overdue re-care or inactive patients? Many dentists vastly underestimate how much daily "outflow" is needed to keep a schedule full. How may dentists know what % of slots were open in their hygiene schedule each day? How many know how many NP calls there were yesterday, who scheduled and if they end up showing up? More importantly how many staff know considering it's their job to do?
The only way to monitor what gets done is with daily stats especially for your weak areas. For example, one employee should be specifically responsible for calls to patients who are unscheduled, overdue re-care or need reactivation. Other staff can and should help in coordination with the accountable employee, but that employee accountable reports daily on a spreadsheet like this: 1. # of calls or personal texts sent 2. # of contact
3. # of appointments with name and date 4. # of arrivals
It is the employee who is either making themselves valuable to you or not. If they are doing so, dismissing them will never enter your mind. On the other hand, if they are not making themselves valuable, you will be doing them and yourself a favor by giving them the opportunity to find a practice or other employment that is a better fit for them.
What most practice owners are missing is not how to book an appointment but how to be effective leaders. The best systems in the world are useless if the staff do not comply. Good leaders know how to get staff to willingly follow through and comply. Agreement among all team members is key. Your written office policies should contain those agreements and should answer most questions staff come up with. Doing so will save you much time and simplify the management of your practice. Staff non compliance is a sure sign of poor leadership. The primary reason practices underperform is staff non compliance. Key traits of leaders. All it takes is discipline:
- Always keep a cool head especially when "under fire"
- Realize that all mistakes are an opportunity for you and your staff to learn.
- Set a good example.
- Always be learning.
- Take care of yourself.
- Fight the impulse to address multiple issue at the same time. Frantic activity creates spotty results.
$35.000.00 is the average fee for a one year program with dental practice management companies you are likely familiar with. For those companies that require you and your staff to travel to their facility or seminar you also need to add in the cost of travel, staff pay and lost production from time away from your practice.
Questions You Should Ask
- Do you and/or your staff have to travel or does the consultant come to you?
- Is the program mostly one on one consulting versus seminars or courses with multiple clients in attendance? There are advantages to both.
- If the dental consulting is one on one who will actually deliver the consulting? I recommend knowing who your specific dental consultant will be prior to signing on the dotted line.
- Is program based on a specific dental practice management system? You want to avoid cookie-cutter programs. Ensure the program will be tailor-made to fit your practice's specific needs.
- The cost (including travel expenses and downtime) is certainly not the only factor, everything else being equal, it is still a major factor to consider. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little.
If you do a little homework it should be fairly easy to pick a reputable consultant that is a good fit for you and your practice.