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html code on a computer monitor begin evaluated for SEO analysisDon’t get bogged down in code – here’s what the symbols within are saying about your SEO

How strong is your website? There are so many ways to go about answering that question, so the process can feel understandably weighty. What is “strength” when it comes to a website, anyway? And where do you get started with the evaluation process? The answers to your website’s strength might seem hidden away, but there are free tools and expert tips that you can try on your own before deciding on next steps.

We’ve compiled some of the most valuable below to help you along the way. These will determine how effectively your website appeals to both search engines and users, the two audiences that determine your online success. Once you’re paying attention to both fronts, your site is firing on all cylinders. But in order to get there, you’ll need to perform a thorough analysis first.

 Evaluate Your Practice Website With These Helpful Tools

  • Pull up your page source – The page source, accessible in most browers by right-clicking anywhere on a web page and clicking “View Page Source” from the menu that pops up, has a lot to say. Don’t get overwhelmed by the code that comes up – instead, use “Control+F” or “Command+F” to look for a few phrases. You should check on your h1, h2, meta title, and meta description. Each web page should have a single h1 and a single h2 – both are big signals to search engines on the content of the page. If you have multiple h1s or h2s, that message could become muddled. Your meta title and meta description tell search engines how to display listings that link to that page, and the title plays a particularly important role in classifying your site’s content. All of these entities should be well-written and contain phrases that properly identify your business.
  • Search for your own practice – Perform a Google search for your practice. What results come up? How is your site listed, in terms of both its title and description? It’s also wise to take a look at how your search listings are structured. The metadata on your practice’s website pages communicates with search engines and tells them how to portray the business and the specific page. A properly optimized site will inform users and appeal to their interests with each section of the listing:

list detailing parts of a search engine listing

  • Check online directories – Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, and Bing Maps are the heavy hitters. And Google accounts for anywhere from 67%-90% of search traffic, so that should always be your top priority. Try pulling up your business on local listings directories like these, and you can see how it looks and what needs to be fixed. The location of your practice plays a big role in convincing new patients to convert, so these map listings are crucial.
  • Take an objective look at your content – Most prospective patients are going to read your website (or at least 1 page of your website) before calling or clicking to contact you. If your site has copied text (if you’re not sure, you can check its originality with a free plagiarism tool), it’s not going to rank as well, and users aren’t going to get a feel for what makes your practice unique. Make sure your content reflects your practice’s mission statement! Photos and videos are also extremely important to have on each page – these improve page quality in search engines’ eyes and also provide visitors with strong visuals.
  • Perform a mobile-friendly test – Analyze your URL to see whether your website is responsive. This will not only win over users but now leads to serious rankings consequences for those who do not comply.
  • Steal your competitors’ secrets – Their online secrets, that is! Tools like SEMrush will allow you to check on what other dentists in your area are doing on their websites, and where they’re building links. You can also check on their rankings vs. your own for key local phrases.
  • Check page speed – Another free tool for site managers, Google’s Pagespeed Insights will tell you what you might be doing wrong and whether your site is running too slowly. Site speed is imperative for a positive user experience and high rankings alike.
  • Check for broken links – We recommend setting up a Search Console account with Google to do so, but this is only possible if you have access to your website files. You can easily check for 404s, 403s, and other link issues under Crawl → Crawl Errors. If you don’t have access, use a free tool to crawl your site and find any problems that need fixing.
  • Consider your online reputation – Which review sites show up, and where they are in the  rankings? How positive are your online reviews? Making sure these profiles are strong is essential in building a presence that will have prospective patients feeling comfortable and trusting in your services.

Need help performing your analysis, or implementing any improvements? We’re here – just request a free website evaluation for a detailed rundown of where to get started.

Facebook thumbs up showing a business page likeFacebook is an incredible marketing tool – in the right hands. But when you’re just getting started with Facebook for business, it’s tough to know anything that’s going on, and the interface doesn’t exactly make the learning process simple. When you add in Facebook’s lack of one-on-one support (and the endless number of confusing forum questions), taking the first steps toward promoting, advertising, and managing your business feels completely overwhelming.

But you’re not alone. Our team has worked through common Facebook obstacles and figured out the simplest ways to get the green light on your business’ page. Read through our guide to setting up your Facebook page and personal access below, and get in touch if you need help with Facebook ads, organic posting, business optimization, or anything else in the Facebook landscape.

 How to Manage Your Facebook Business Page

Getting started with Facebook is different depending on the current status of your business’ page. Check for existing page listings by searching for your business name in the search bar (click “Pages” to narrow down search results).

  • If you have existing, unclaimed listings – It’s possible for Facebook pages that represent your business to exist even if nobody from your practice created it. This is because when visitors use the “Check In” feature, a location listing is created if one doesn’t already exist. You want to round up and take control of these unmanaged listings to use them to your best advantage. Follow the instructions after clicking “Claim this Page” to take control. If you have multiple accounts, merge the pages via requests to Facebook.
  • If you do not have any business listings – This is actually the simplest possible situation – you get to start from scratch and don’t have to deal with claiming floating listings. Just log into your personal account and click this link: Create a Business Page.
  • If you have an old personal account that was acting as your page – Before Business Pages become more popular (or even existed), plenty of businesses used personal profiles as pages. If one of these is still lingering, you can convert it to a page to gain all the business benefits.

 How to Access Your Facebook Page – Linking Your Personal Profile

This confusing twist has perplexed newcomers trying to claim a page. The catch is that business pages aren’t actually Facebook accounts, whereas personal profiles are. Pages exist independent of any account – and continue to do so until someone links their personal page. So there’s no new login associated with your page. You’ll need to link it to your personal Facebook account to gain access.

If someone from your practice already has access to the business page, have them add you as a manager so that you’ll be able to act as the page and manage incoming messages and posts. This means navigating to the page, then clicking Settings -> Page Roles. On that page, they’ll be able to add the email address that you use to log into your personal Facebook, and you’ll be invited to manage the page. If you’re the one adding a new user, choose between these roles to grant them the appropriate level of access:

  • Admin – Can control every aspect of the page and also assign page roles. Best for whoever is managing your Facebook presence.
  • Editor – Has similar capabilities to an Admin, but can’t assign page roles. Best for whoever will be responding to messages and posting as the page.
  • Moderator – Can respond to comments and messages and create ads. Best for the majority of your staff / your front desk.
  • Advertiser – Can create ads and handle the page’s advertising. Best for ad-specific consultants or agencies.
  • Analyst – Can view page insights. Best for a consultant who will not be posting as the page but will be diagnosing potential issues/existing strengths.

Confident Facebook Posting – Whether Business-Related or Personal

The most important question of all: if your business page is linked to your personal profile, how can you be sure that photo of your dog in an adorable bow tie ends up posted to your friends, not your patients and coworkers? It’s as easy as making sure that you’re posting as a page instead of acting as your profile. Whenever you post something new, look in the upper right-hand corner of the post box. There, you can choose between “Post as (Your Personal Profile)” vs. “Post as (Your Business Page).” Just pick the business page logo and there won’t be any embarrassing mishaps.

image of Facebook post box with area showing posting identity circled in red

Remember: unless you’re on the business page when posting, the default poster will be your personal profile.

 Your Facebook for Business Questions

This is only the first step toward Facebook domination for your practice. If you’re looking to learn more about the minutiae behind social media marketing, just get in touch!

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dental website leadsFeel like your leads are floating on the web and not leading to actual results? Help your front desk pin them down

When your website is performing and you’re pulling in leads, that’s exactly what you’ve been wanting to see from digital marketing. But how can you make sure that those leads lead to real patients coming into the office? It can be confusing to organize those details, especially if you’re operating off email alerts. We all know how quickly something can get buried in an inbox, especially if your leads email address is the same as your main office’s address.

Fortunately, things can be a whole lot simpler. By integrating an automation platform with your WordPress forms, you’ll see your leads neatly filling out a Google spreadsheet. Your front desk will be able to manage those leads directly within that spreadsheet, and adding columns to track whether the lead has been contacted, by whom, and the outcome of the conversation will keep everyone on the same page.

Setting it up is simple – all you need is a free Zapier account, a Gmail address, and access to your WordPress back end. We break down the steps below, but if you’re looking for additional guidance, just get in touch.

Tracking Contact Forms Submissions with Zapier

We started researching forms reporting automation for a client using AdWords and Facebook PPC, and pulling in great results. While we loved seeing all the leads flood in, the office’s front desk got a little panicked. How could they make sure that each lead was called or emailed, when all the forms notifications were in separate emails?

The system we put together took the stress off their shoulders. Now, Zapier automatically pulls new forms submissions from Gravity Forms within WordPress, taking leads reporting off the front desk’s list of responsibilities. Here’s how you can set it up for your WordPress site.

1. Check Your Forms Plugin

If you’re on WordPress, chances are that your forms are built with Contact Form 7 or Gravity Forms, two of the most popular form plugins. These both offer Zapier integrations, which can be turned in on your form settings.

2. Create a Free Zapier Account

Create your Zapier account with their quick sign up process. If you have 5 forms or fewer, you don’t have to purchase a premium plan – you can build 5 zaps (one needed for each form) for free.

3. Create a Google Sheeet

  1. Log into Google Drive and click “New,” then “Google Sheets.”
  2. Give the spreadsheet an applicable name so that you’ll recognize it in the Zapier dashboard – “Leads Tracking” will work.
  3. Create columns that can be paired with your form’s fields – typically, Name, Email, Phone, and Comments.

4. Set up Your Zapier Integration

  1. Click on the form you’ll be automating in Gravity Forms.
  2. Go to Settings > Zapier.
  3. Create a Zapier Feed.
  4. Open a new window to visit your Zapier dashboard – leave this one open for now.

5. Build the Zap in Your Zapier Dashboard

  1. Click “Make a Zap!” to begin the process; you’ll be guided through each step.
  2. When you arrive at the screen that gives you a webhook URL, copy and paste that into the waiting field on your WordPress site.
  3. Link your Google Sheets account back on the Zapier site by authenticating your account.
  4. Set up the columns of the spreadsheet by pairing them with form fields.
  5. You can skip the Test section and do it yourself in the step we detail below – this often malfunctions in the Zapier back end if there’s not a recent form submission.

6. Test the Form with a New Submission

Once your zap is ready, submit a test form to watch the new spreadsheet row populate and make sure everything’s working properly.

7. Save Time!

Watch the organization take hold! You’ll spend less time asking your staff whether a lead has been followed up with, and more time seeing new patients visit your office.

Run into any bumps along the way? Just get in touch for help.

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dental keyword researchEvery dentist (and dental marketer) is hoping to get leads through their website. But how can you be sure that the lead in question was worth the effort? By fine-tuning your marketing efforts, you can be sure to draw in the kind of patients that fit your practice – and see them scheduling and following through, as opposed to flaking on a consult or exam.

The trick is to get inside your patients’ heads, and then make sure your website reflects exactly what they’re looking for. Help them along the funnel with intuitive user experience design, and they’re sure to connect with your staff and become a part of your practice’s community. Read on for some clues to drawing them in, and get in touch if you’d like some help integrating these tactics with your website.

 How to Engage the Right Dental Leads

  • Optimize for long-tail keywords – Everyone wants to be in the number one search position for “dentist” in their area, and that’s something SEOs are always working toward. But while those basic terms may seem desirable, the leads that find you using those searches are less likely to convert. This is because they’re not completely sure of what they want, yet. By optimizing pages for terms like “sedation dentist,” “kid-friendly dentist,” “dentist with emergency hours,” and other more specialized search queries, you catch truly thoughtful leads who are invested in their search (and completely ready to find a new provider).
  • Create specific content – Make sure your patients are interested by the content available on your website. While general pages summarizing cosmetic and restorative treatments are necessary for site structure and navigability, build more specific pages (“Whitening for Sensitive Teeth,” “Rebuilding Short Front Teeth,” “Symptoms of a Root Canal,” etc.) that will answer the questions visitors already have in mind, and show your expertise along the way.
  • Be as informative as possible – Give site visitors as much information about your practice as you possibly can. This includes regular hours, instructions for contact in case of an emergency, a full list of treatments and technologies available, detailed bios for providers and other staff members, photos of the facilities, and more. Make it easy for them to get to know you before they even visit the office.
  • Allow for online scheduling – In addition to basic contact forms and clickable phone numbers on your website, it’s never a bad idea to try an online scheduling system that allows patients to view and select available time slots all on their own.
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search engine rankings for dentistsWe all want to show up on the first page of search engine results (not to mention the vaunted top spot). But, as with so many Google-related endeavors, that’s unfortunately easier said than done. No matter how much stellar content you put up on your site, how many PPC ads you purchase, and how modern your UX and site design are, you aren’t seeing a rise in the rankings. This is probably the most universal problem small businesses encounter in their web marketing, and it’s because we all have the same goal: that golden first place listing.

Google wants to show searchers the results that are the best for their needs. What does this mean exactly? It ranges from whatever is closest geographically to whatever precisely matches their search inquiries to what’s getting the most traffic at the time. Search engines don’t give away their secrets, but with concerted effort, we can discover them, piece by piece. Of course, as soon as we get a good handle on what’s working, an algorithm change throws everything up in the air again – but that’s a story for another time. For now, let’s talk about what Google is currently respecting, and how you can help your dental website follow suit.

 Solid Bets for Solid Rankings – This Year and Next

  • Physical location – Probably the most frustrating component of current ranking factors, the searcher’s physical location now plays a significant role. This reduces the possibility of ranking in nearby cities and makes it tougher to get a leg up on the competition. But it’s a wise choice to view the physical location as an equalizer – after all, unless you have locations across your business area, nobody can trick Google into thinking they’re everywhere at once. Make sure that your Google My Business listing is accurate, with the location pinpointed perfectly, and that your hours and day-to-day information are up to date. This is where Google draws its geographical info from, and it’s paramount that it be correct. If you have duplicate Google+ pages, this can also be a kiss of death, confusing Google bots so that they end up disregarding you entirely – let us know and we’ll help you trim them down to the real listing that represents your office.
  • Popularity – It’s high school all over again. Your site needs to be popular, i.e. receiving regular traffic and creating positive experiences for users. This can lead to a tricky starting place for new offices or sites, as they need to break out of the early traffic lull to see improvements. Make sure that your site is user-oriented, with useful and practice-specific information that gives searchers the answers they’re looking for. Valuable links are also helpful, although link building is getting harder and harder to do the right way – who knows how Google will view it in the future?
  • Onsite content – Google has been making strides since the early days of search engine optimization to value quality over quantity. This applies to the links leading to your website, the website’s pages, and the media within. Gone are the days when you could build 20 links a day and publish 100-word posts heavy with keywords. Instead, you want to craft content that leaves users satisfied and builds your practice’s reputation and message. Regular blogging is a must, and it’s never a bad idea to revisit your main services pages for tweaks.
  • Reputation – With our clients, we’re a broken record: you need Google reviews. While sites like Healthgrades, Facebook, or Yelp can also build a beneficial view of your office for interested patients, only Google reviews are going to have a direct impact on your rankings. Services like our Reputation Management package will help you garner reviews from happy patients, and hear out those who are voicing negative experiences without them posting those thoughts across the web. We’ve seen excellent practices get dinged by an angry patient on a mission before, and review management helps keep those thoughts from being widely available to others considering your office.
  • Consistency of information – Directories and local listings are your friends. Your business needs to be consistent across the board so that search engines know exactly what to report back to searchers.
  • Meta tags – The meta title and description on your site’s pages do still matter, although Google ignores them in the SERPs (search engine results pages) as it sees fit. Make sure they’re written for humans, not robots, and that they both accurately describe the content within and provide an incentive to click.

Looking for a boost in your online presence? We offer customizable monthly SEO plans to boost visibility, generate leads, and revitalize your website. Just get in touch to learn more.

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