Hey guys, welcome to this week's Monday Morning Marketing episode! As another episode on focusing on SEO, we sit down with the expert, Josh Hampson, from hmpsn Studio, to uncover the secrets to improving your website's search ranking, and equally important, patient experience on your website. Did you know that a staggering 75% of people never venture past the first page of Google? Well, we're going to show how you can optimize your site's user experience before flooding it with traffic, and help push you to that front page of Google with SEO tactics! Timing is everything in the competitive SEO landscape – the longer you delay, the tougher it gets to rank. So we're going to list out some steps you can take TODAY to get headed in the right direction. Plus, Josh gets into some valuable tips like using patient-friendly language rather than complex jargon, and how to keep close tabs on your SEO progress. Before you go all in on a comprehensive marketing system, get the practices from this episode down to see maximum results!
Tune in to this episode to learn more on how to make your website a destination patients want to interact on!
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Michael: Hey, Joshua, talk to us about s e l. How can we utilize this, or what advice, suggestions, or methods can you give us that will actually help us attract new patients through SEO?
Josh: well first, thanks so much for having me back on Michael. for the listeners that didn't catch our previous Monday Morning Marketing episode, my name is Josh Hanson.
I'm the founder of SSON Studio, and we are a creative studio that helps dental practices build long-term brand equity and increase appointment bookings through branding, messaging, website design and development. so today I. what is SS e o? Why is it important for your dental practice? The steps to take before getting started with your s e O project, some S e O fundamentals and how to maximize your local visibility.
The importance of consistently creating relevant content in maybe if we have time, uh, how to track your progress of your ss e o campaigns. Awesome. All right. Man's step. So yeah, to get started, um, what is SS e o really in the simplest terms, it is the process of optimizing your practices website so that you can improve its visibility on search engines.
Nine times out of 10, we're referring to Google here. and the goal is to place number one or close to that number one spot on Google, in your local area so the patients can learn more about you, your practice, the services that you do at your practice, and then ultimately book an appointment with you.
a lot of people ask. why is ss e o important for my practice? once again, at its core, ss e o is about getting found. When searching for a new dentist online, um, 75% of people will never go past that first page of Google search results. So it's super important that you place at the top or near the top.
Otherwise, patients in your area may never even know that you exist. And, um, even in that, 10 to 20 spot. As I said, people may never go past that first page, so we wanna make sure that we're ranking as high as possible, for as many keywords as possible so that we can get found by, potential patients so they can book with us.
one interesting little stat is for one of our dental clients, search makes up more than half of their appointment bookings. So super, super important to have a solid, search profile. Mm-hmm. And a lot of folks think ss e o can seem a little bit scary to start, right? Mm-hmm. But really when you boil it down, Good Ss e o is good user experience.
And so we'll talk a little bit more about this, uh, in a few minutes. But, this includes things like quick page load speeds, answering common questions that your patients have with compelling and relevant content that speaks to them. And, finally, Making it easy for patients and Google robots to find the right information about your practice, what it is that you do, and, ultimately, once again, how to book with you.
And the big elephant in the room is other dental practices in your area are already implementing ss e o practices in their day-to-day marketing activities. So it's important that you do the same. the longer that you put off your s e o project, the harder it will be to compete. So extremely important that you, at the very minimum, are taking care of the fundamentals.
And then as your practice grows and you become more established, have more of that marketing budget to spend, important that you start to hit, you know, that second, third tier of, ss e o and making sure that you're. It can seem like a costly investment at first, but like I said, there's a reason people spend money on SS e o what I've found not true for everyone, but, generally your return on any S E O will be greater than you see with paid ads. So just a nice little stat there as well. Hmm. Real quick,
Michael: I have a quick question on the client.
What exactly are they doing or you're doing for them to,
Josh: you know what I mean? With SS e O. Yeah, so we're doing quite a few different things with them. Um, we'll chat about some of these fundamentals. It's, it's really been, for the most part, locking in the fundamentals first. but making sure that they're registered on all local business directories.
These are Google My Business, um, Yelp. Yellow pages, believe it or not. WebMD, Zocdoc, all of these places where folks are generally looking for, um, you know, where they're gonna make, find their dental home. and then kind of next step would be really keying in on keywords, making sure that we're, you know, in the dental world There are more clinical names and there are the names that people are actually searching for a specific service. And lining up those two is super important. So, um, you know, just to say, I think a lot of folks would call, you know, the full math reconstruction, veneers, that sort of thing. Uh, in the clinical realm, it is a full math reconstruction.
But what are your patients calling that when they search in Google? Mm-hmm. Typically they're calling it smile makeover. Maybe they're calling it, full set of veneers, that sort of thing. So important that we're aligning our. Practices names with what our, our patients are calling, those specific services.
Gotcha. Okay. Awesome. a lot of folks see SS e o is that golden city in the distance that it's gonna solve all of their problems and it can be. Mm-hmm. But there are a few items that you need to dial in before you invest large sums of money into creating, Tons and tons of content.
So I always recommend don't put the cart before the horse. Um, before you think about diving into a large scale ss e o project first, make sure that you've taken care of the basics. first step in that is making sure that you're providing a really good user experience for, patients and potential patients when they come to your, uh, to your website.
So does your website load quickly? one really actionable step here and probably the most overlooked step is simply compressing all of your images to reduce their file sizes before you put them on your website. this will. Maintain the resolution of your image. So it's still nice, crisp, beautiful image, but it reduces the file size.
So, when folks are browsing on your site, they're not having really long page load times. Uh, the longer you make people wait. The quicker it is that they may, uh, they may bounce. So, one free image compression software that I use is called Optum. Mozilla. Um, website is www.imagecompressor.com. Really easy to remember.
and like I said, that is the most overlooked, piece of, websites today is just reducing your, your media content file size as much as possible.
Michael: That's true because then we like, you know what I mean? If it takes forever, we just bounce, bounce back. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Josh: Interesting. Okay. Yeah, you've got like 300 milliseconds I think is the number.
before people potentially start bouncing. If your page takes a long time to load, they're out of there. Yeah,
Michael: that makes sense. I do that. So I get it. I get it. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Josh: Interesting. Okay. And then. does your website feel fresh and modern? I think we've all been to those dental websites that, look like they were built 10, 15, 20 years ago.
Mm-hmm. Um, so if you were a patient, would you stick around to learn more about your practice? and does it look like it was built and updated recently? I. Folks, my, your age, Michael, millennials, are really looking for that, you know, fresh and modern feel. And we are beginning to take out more and more of the market share as, we become more established.
Mm-hmm. So it's important that you're speaking to the folks that will ultimately be walking through your doors, um, hitting them not only with compelling content, but with compelling visuals as well. next step is your website, mobile friendly. this seems like a gimme, but it's not always the case. I know we've all been to websites that aren't really mobile optimized or they don't give the best mobile experience.
another one of our, our dental clients, I. Their site is trafficked by roughly 60% on mobile. So mm-hmm. More often than not for them, uh, users are browsing on their phones, maybe on a tablet. and so it's important that that same experience they would get on desktop is modified, for a mobile experience so that they can book directly from their phone.
You know, we're always kind of out on the go. need to be able to book directly from our phone. Maybe even on the couch. Yeah. No, that's
Michael: interesting. Yeah, mobile, I feel like I'm always on, like for me, I think it's 50 50, but like for a lot of other people it's more higher up there, you know what I mean?
Josh: Definitely. Mm-hmm. are you speaking to your patients, uh, or potential patients'? Pain points? And really big one. Do you have broken links or 4 0 4 pages? you know, I think we've all been to those sites, not necessarily just dental websites, but sites in general where you click thinking you're gonna go somewhere and it ends up popping up with a 4 0 4, oops, this page does not exist.
I mean, usually the first thing I do at that point, Go somewhere else, so, mm-hmm. Um, those are like super, super basic. But, um, what those are going to do is not only improve your patient experience, but validate to Google that you have taken care of the basics so that it can then, move your domain authority up, give you that opportunity to rank because it knows you have, taken care of the basics to, uh, provide a good user experience.
Michael: Okay, this is good. So these are the basic steps we need to take the foundations that you were talking about, right. With the client, um, that they need to implement and then just build upon that.
Josh: Yeah. So next step, we're still very much in the basics. Okay. Um, I always like to make sure that we're locking in that foundation before we move on to the next step.
And it's. Really very simple, but are you your patients able to find the information that they need? So we talked a little bit about this on, um, the Monday morning marketing episode, but talking about the very specific dental services that you offer. So calling out, exams and cleanings. Calling out, restorative services, whether that's fillings, crowns, those sorts of things.
Invisalign, if that is a service that you offer. and then I think another opportunity is depending on your practice, if you also do pediatric dentistry, say that, um, if you're a full service, full family, dental practice, Let folks know because then you know, you've not only got mom and dad through the door, but you also have their children because they know they can come one stop shop and have all of their dental needs taken care of.
this is where we start to get into some of our ss e o, is this allows you to rank for some of those keywords. So if I'm in Austin, Texas and I say, I need a, a dental exam or, um, teeth cleaning in Austin, Texas, you're going to then begin to rank for those keywords because you've included them on your site.
next step. Uh, let them know how to book an appointment or how to get in touch to do so. if they can't figure out how to book or they can't figure out how to get in touch, I can guarantee that your competition has made it easy for them to do so and they will schedule with them. Because it's, it's, it's easier.
And last but not least, once again, a throwback to our last episode is, just letting folks know what insurance types you accept. So this positions you as the expert that you're answering the questions that they have, so that you can minimize that friction as mu much as possible. really at the end of the day, you can drive all the traffic in the world to your website with ss e o but if your website doesn't function at a basic level, or it's clunky user experience is not good, that traffic is ultimately lost.
And that marketing budget that you spent, was all in Bain. So that's why I always recommend take care of the fundamentals up top, and then you can dial in everything else from there. Gotcha.
Michael: Okay. Quick question. I have, with all this, let's just say we're we're all listening. We're like, okay, I have these fundamentals on check.
I think I do, I let my agency know. And then they're like, yeah, you do, right? All these things. Where do we start dropping the ball? Where, where it's like, well, why am I still on page number seven or eight, or, you know what I mean, kind of thing.
Josh: I mean that is really gonna be very specific for each individual site, you know, you have to look at things like, where's my domain authority rating?
Where is my competition at, in my local market? So are we ranking for the same keywords? are we looking at totally different keywords? Do they have more or less content than I do? That sort of thing. But something that's become increasingly more important is something called backlinks. So it is when you think about hanging out with, people that are in the know or, that have a solid authority, whether it's in real life or on the internet, what we're trying to do is get. Our authority in line with them. So how you can do that is get, links from other websites that do have that authority, which we'll talk about a little bit more in a few minutes, but getting registered on, local business registries, Google My Business, Yelp, your Facebook profile.
So getting as much traction, as much inbound traffic. Back to your website as possible from other sources is key. And that's, um, becoming more and more important for the Google algorithm is, um, backlinks and domain authority.
Michael: Gotcha. All right, man. Sounds good. So, any final pieces of
Josh: advice for this? not on the basics.
Now we can dive into the fundamentals of s e o. What do you think? Alright. Yeah, let's dive into it. So we've taken care of the basics. So what does Google look for in order to rank your website and move you further up on the search rankings? We've talked a little bit about page load speed, mobile optimization, simple and easy navigation.
the next items on your list should be, Tracking and analytics. So first step, before you do anything else, register your site with Google Search Console. most agencies, most studios that you're working with will take care of this for you automatically. But if you're building your site yourself, definitely wanna make sure that you do this, on your own.
You can do this by going to search google.com and registering your site with Google Search Console. This. Essentially, let's Google know. This is a real site. You can, um, send your Google robots over here and comb our content. and most web builders make this super, super easy. So all it'll do is just spit out a code that you need to drop into your, website builder settings so that you can, Essentially activate that. we'll chat a little bit maybe about analytics and that sort of thing, but this will also be your hub for tracking your search performance down the road. Okay. next up, once again, tracking analytics. Make sure that you have set your site up with Google Analytics. This is firstname.lastname@example.org.
and this will allow you to track what your users are doing on your website, that you can then make informed decisions on how to improve it. Next step, we've kind of addressed this a little bit, but make sure you register your dental practice, with your Google Business page and complete all relevant information.
So make sure you've got a practice logo, you've added your address, you've added the hours that you're open, and then a few images. So. Do not use stock images here. Make sure you're using, um, shots of, you know, your gentle, like inside of your studio. potentially if you have any, some shots with patients, shots of your, uh, your doctors on staff, maybe your hygienist as well.
Make sure they're fun, exciting, engaging. this will really. Validate your website as well as your practice with Google so that you can then begin moving up those search rankings, set up your Facebook business page with all the, uh, the items that we spoke about, and then a really big one. And honestly, something that even I had overlooked until recently is making sure that you're registering with all of the local directories.
so Yelp. WebMD, Zocdoc, anywhere that folks might go to look for, you know, finding a dental home, you wanna make sure that you're registered there because it's all about. Getting your name out there as much as possible so that you can get that traffic back to your site. this can be done fairly easily through a tool called s e m, rush Simr.
they have a listing management tool. I think it's around $20 a month per individual location. you drop in all your information there, literally, it's just a form that you fill out and they'll push you out to. I believe it's like 65, 68 directories that will help build those backlinks that we were just talking about.
but then also put you on the directories that folks are typically poking around on for their dental services. All right, man. Sounds
Michael: good. So deeper that we need to dive into when it comes to that?
Josh: Nothing on that side. Okay. But now we get into the fun part of keyword optimization planning, that sort of thing.
So, you can use once again, tools like simr, ah refs, Google Keyword Planner. Uh, To define, relevant dental keywords in your market. and you can also examine the keywords that your competition is also placing for, so that you can then begin building these keywords into your content, so that you can of course compete with, uh, the folks who are ranking higher than you are.
compile this list and then begin planning your content and Adding those keywords in where you can. once again, I always recommend to do this on your core site before you really think about building out blog content because you wanna make sure that your core site, homepage, services page, contact about those are solid before you really start building out tons of content.
But it's extremely important that you have keyword planning built into your core site. And, Why do I kind of recommend getting the core piece of your site done? If you have a ton of blog content, but your key patients can't figure out, what they need to on your individual services or homepage, kind of goes back to, you can drive a ton of traffic, but, ultimately it will be lost, so.
Michael: Okay. So these. Are the things we need to start looking at and implementing when it comes to ss e o, right. Especially if you want to build that, that basic, the layout formula, and then from that point on kind of continue to build and build and build, with the agency or with you right.
Whoever, uh, we can utilize because that takes up a lot of time. I feel like if it was just one person alone trying to do all that, or the practice owner working on the teeth and then and doing it right. So. Awesome, man. Any final words or advice you'd like to give our
Josh: listeners? Note, just make sure that you are tracking and analyzing all of your, um, all of your work.
As we talked about search, console and analytics. Really, really valuable for, tracking all of your, work that you're doing. So make sure to, to benchmark your performance.
Michael: Awesome, Josh, I appreciate your time and if anyone has further questions, you can definitely find 'em in the Dental Marketer Society Facebook group, or where can they reach
Josh: out to you directly?
So our website is www dot psn studio. so just my last name with no vows and um, we have got an upcoming blog post about all things dental, ss e o. So keep your eyes peeled for that.
Michael: Awesome. Thank you Josh for being with me on this Monday morning marketing episode.
Josh: Thanks so much, Michael.