Dentistry is a very competitive industry. Every year, thousands of new practices open all over the country that patients are often overwhelmed with options every time they look for a dental clinic in their area online.
Any dentist who wants to stand out from the competition and drive a larger share of the market to their practice needs a competitive edge. And in this modern and digital world that we live in, that edge is SEO – particularly, mobile SEO.
Mobile internet usage has exploded in the last couple of years, and it only takes a quick glance from your office to the waiting room to realize that. People of all ages and demographics are hunched over their smartphones every chance they get.
Along with social media marketing for dentists, mobile SEO is a huge game changer to any dental marketing strategy.
What is Mobile SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the practice of optimizing a website and its contents to improve web-page rankings in search engine results pages or SERPs. Mobile SEO, therefore, is the use and application of mobile-specific SEO strategies to increase the flow of organic traffic to one’s website.
While users have access to several search engines, Google is the benchmark search engine when it comes to mobile SEO. Google is the most widely-used search engine today, with a worldwide mobile search engine market share of 95.29%.
Mobile search accounts for more than 51% of online searches nowadays. This means that most consumers are using their mobile devices to look for content, goods, and services online. That being said, it has become imperative for entrepreneurs – including dental practices – to embrace the trend and optimize their websites for a seamless mobile experience.
Difference Between Mobile SEO and Regular SEO
With more than half of the global Internet-using population accessing search engines on their smartphones instead of on laptops and desktop computers, it made a lot of sense for Google to switch to mobile-search indexing. What this means is that Google will index and rank websites according to how well they function on mobile.
Contrary to what many are led to believe, there is no separate ranking method for mobile and non-mobile devices. Mobile-first indexing applies to searches performed on both smartphones and desktop computers. The website with a better mobile experience is likely to receive a boost in visibility and potentially ranks higher in searches.
When Google calculates search rankings for websites, it considers basic ranking factors such as the title, content, headings, descriptions, and link. For mobile search, however, Google also takes into account a number of other criteria, such as:
Page layout. The website must render properly on mobile. Users should be able to view and scroll through pages with ease.
Accessibility. The images, texts, and buttons have to be large enough, so they’re easy to read and click.
Location. Google knows the exact location of users performing mobile searches, which is not always the case with desktop. Mobile results are often customized according to location. Here, local SEO plays a vital role.
Ads placement. Mobile devices do not display ads the same way as laptops and desktop computers. Ads on the website must follow Google’s ad placement guidelines.
How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Enhance Page Speed
Internet users these days are impatient, which means they’re likely not going to wait for your pages to load. According to Google, around 53% of visitors abandon websites that take more than three seconds of loading time. If your dental website takes a while to display the information they’re looking for, they will move on to the next competitor they find.
When improving your site’s page speed, Google’s mobile speed test is always a good place to start. It’s a comprehensive and efficient tool for checking any speed issues that your web pages might have. What more, the end report also includes a suggestion of possible fixes that you can use to address speed-related problems and, consequently, boost your mobile SEO.
Aside from compressing images and combining codes to reduce the number of page requests, another common fix to page speed issues is page caching. This involves storing the most recent version of the page, so the website can serve pages more quickly upon request.
Optimize for Local Searches
Like other businesses that operate on a local scale, dental practices, too, have to pay close attention to how they appear in local searches. This means focusing more on your local SEO.
Local SEO is a simple yet results-oriented way to rank your website in local searches. For your dental office to appear in local search results, you need to create listings on local search platforms, beginning with Google My Business.
The key to local SEO success is consistency. To strengthen you website’s location signals, the dental practice information that you publish across online directories must be coherent and accurate. The name, address, and phone numbers must be updated and the same on all search platforms, as even the slightest difference can have a negative impact on your local SEO.
Adopt a Responsive and Mobile-friendly Design
Mobile friendliness is one of the most significant factors affecting mobile SEO. If your website visitors have a hard time finding the right buttons or reading the content on the page, the frustration might just lead them to abandon the page. A mobile friendly website ensures a quality and seamless experience on mobile devices.
The key to a mobile-friendly website is adopting a responsive design. A responsive website uses the same pages for desktop and mobile, but then the page design elements adapts and resizes to fit the screen of whatever device the visitor is using for better viewing and browsing experience. This is also the more practical approach as you (or the digital marketing agency you’re working with) will only have to maintain the same set of pages for both desktop and mobile.
Optimize Content for Mobile Visitors
Content is a crucial element in digital marketing. When you finally get users to visit your site, it is the content that will make them stay. As one of Google’s top three search ranking factors, the quality of your contents and how you publish them can either make or break your success in mobile SEO.
The following tips can help you greatly improve your content strategy:
- Create appealing headlines that pique visitors’ interest
- Include LSI keywords in your content and know when and how to use them
- Perform mobile keyword research
- Generate keywords according to users’ search intent
- Add inbound links that will help improve your site’s authority and relevance in searches
- Build outbound links to authoritative sites
- Publish in-depth content that people will want to link to and share
Use Semantic Markups
For Google to display and rank your website on related searches, it must first understand the context of your web pages. This is where semantic markup comes in.
Semantic markups allow websites to give search engines more information about what a certain page or specific content is all about, and can increase chances of website information getting highlighted in search engine results pages. Without them, search engine spiders will only see a bunch of words without a defined context or purpose.
For a dental practice, a semantic markup that denotes its website/page/address could prove very useful. But there are other more specific schemas that you can use to boost both local SEO and mobile SEO.
Is Your Website Mobile-friendly?
Google has a test that you can use to check how mobile-friendly your website is. After entering your website’s URL into the search box, click TEST URL. When the test is done, you’ll have a report that shows whether a specific web page is mobile-friendly or not.
While you’re at it, you might also want to check if Google’s spiders can successfully crawl your site. Here’s how to do it:
Log in to Google Search Console
Go to Crawl » Crawl Errors
Click on Smartphone
This is important because if a search engine fails to crawl your website, it can’t find and index your content. Thus, your web pages won’t be able to appear in SERPs for related searches.
Mobile SEO for Dentists
You create a website for your existing and potential patients to use and learn more about your practice – and the majority of these people are going to view your website on their mobile devices.
Believe it or not, a website that is not mobile-friendly can do you more harm than good. Slow load times, navigational difficulties, a jumbled layout, and a poor overall mobile experience will only tarnish your credibility and drive visitors away.
As a dental professional, it’s often hard to manage a website and keep up with dental marketing trends when you have a practice to run and patients to treat.
But who says you have to do it all on your own?
There are plenty of reliable SEO agencies out there to help you provide your patients with the best possible mobile experience on your site.
Mobile SEO, when planned and employed properly, can amplify your dental practice’s online visibility and increase your bottom line.