Search Engine Optimization
Three ways you can improve your ranking immediately
The term SEO will sound familiar if you have a website or have even thought of building an online presence. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex and essential component of online marketing as it determines where your website will land in a list of search results. Unfortunately, if your site is not found on the first page of a relevant Google search, then it might as well be unlisted because few if any will find it.
Every website needs SEO. However, not everyone is an SEO expert or has the time or desire to become one. As a dental laboratory owner, you likely focus on areas that have nothing to do with the minutiae that go into SEO. So how can you ensure prospective dentists find your website? The laundry list of tasks you can do to optimize your site is nearly limitless, but your first step is learning the difference between organic and paid SEO.
Organic SEO is a way to manipulate a search engine's algorithm to boost a website's search ranking. While this option does not require any payment to the search engine, unlike paid SEO, it does involve expertise and time to work correctly. SEO experts achieve an organically high search ranking through web development and copywriting tactics. SEO is tricky, as many algorithms, including Google's, change frequently and there is no handbook detailing what the search engine is looking for when ranking websites. Instead, SEO experts analyze search results to determine what aspects search engines prioritize. Typically, the better your site's accessibility and user experience, the higher your ranking.
SEO requires quite a bit of effort. The following are just several tasks required for good SEO: keyword research and implementation, link building, content creation, multimedia, optimizing page load time, and incorporating image alt tags. As is probably clear by now, organic SEO still requires a lot of time, human resources, and money, whether by paying your team or hiring an outside marketing agency. However, organic SEO is the bread and butter of a high-quality website and should be prioritized when there is available time, human resources, and money.
If you go to Google right now and type in "dental laboratory," you will see two or three search results at the top of the list. To the left of each of these results will be an ad label. That is paid SEO. Those companies are paying Google to ensure their listings are seen first. It is similar to other online advertisements you have seen. However, paid SEO is far more than an online billboard.
Google Ads, Google's paid SEO service, requires an understanding of relevant keywords to ensure the proper placement of your ad. For example, you don't want your dental laboratory ad showing up whenever someone searches the word crown. However, Google Ads makes it easy to highly customize your ad, even down to the zip codes where it appears. Your ad will also provide detailed metrics to see what is and is not working. In addition, Google uses a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning you do not pay anything until someone clicks on your ad. Paid SEO is a great way to promote your laboratory or get more specific and showcase a new product offering.
SEO is a major task to undertake. There is a reason giant corporations have employees whose sole jobs are to maintain their SEO. Other companies outsource this important task to marketing agencies. Focusing on organic SEO is a good place to start if you recognize a need for SEO in your website. By making small changes, such as adding testimonials or social media links to your website, you can take control of your site's SEO and get the notice you deserve.
3 Ways You Can Improve SEO Right Now
Don't feel overwhelmed by everything that is required for organic and paid SEO. Instead, here are three simple tasks you can perform right now to boost your SEO immediately.
Google My Business
Firstly, create a Google My Business. This is a quick task that only requires a Google account. On Google My Business, you can add all the relevant information about your dental laboratory that prospective clients might want to know, such as your phone number, business hours, and social platforms. You can also add images and important business updates for even more personalization.
If you already have a Google My Business, when was the last time you reviewed it? Is all the information still accurate? By updating your account, even if that means adding a couple of pictures, you are telling Google that your dental laboratory is a real and active business, which will help your SEO ranking.
Add Your Socials
One aspect Google considers when ranking sites is the presence of backlinks. Backlinks are links that take someone from one website to another. If a website has multiple backlinks, it will have higher organic SEO. Adding your social media accounts is an easy way to add backlinks to your website. This can be as simple as putting the logos in the footer that, when clicked, go directly to your dental laboratory's profile.
Ask for Reviews
The more people interact with your website and Google My Business account, the better. It only takes a simple email to your best and most loyal clients asking for an honest review on your Google My Business. Once you have received some great reviews, you can add these to your website. Google loves new content and will boost you in its rankings.
About the Author
Terry Fine is President of AMG Creative in Fort Collins, Colorado.