When COVID 19 hit America, several industries where forced to shut down to prevent the spread of the virus. This shutdown affected dental practices also. Almost all of the dental practices across the country became severely limited in how they could serve their patients and were instructed to postpone nonemergency and non-essential services. Dental practices that were open saw very few patients. Some practices began to question their SEO efforts and wanted to put it on hold as a means to minimize expenses. But it is important for dental practices to realize that putting a curb on SEO efforts can affect their current search engine ranking and it may be difficult to recover their position when they reopen. Here are the reasons why dental practices need to stick to their medical SEO strategies during the pandemic:
- Be ready for a focused sprint: In this present difficult situation, maintaining your current business and having an eye on future opportunities is important to survive. Having a strong SEO strategy is essential to stay competitive. When you reopen your dental practice you may not see much ROI from your SEO that you used to get prior COVID 19. However, modifying your SEO strategy will help you to recover from your losses. Halting your SEO strategies will give your competitors the opportunity to get ahead of you.
- Find a spot for first page: It’s a known fact that the first page of Google captures the majority of traffic. According to reports, 91.5% of web traffic goes to the first page (Search Engine Journal), 75.1% of traffic engagement goes to the top three spots (Backlinko), 75% of people never scroll past the first page (Forbes). So strive to get the top position in search engine page results to gain more traffic.
- People are searching the web at a higher rate: The COVID 19 virus is keeping everyone at home and their main source of information is the Internet. Getting informative content out there is crucial to catch people’s attention. Investing time and money to produce informative content is vital to improve awareness about your practice and rank higher. Even though people look for content related to the virus, you can still create content about your practice and services and the steps your practice is taking to combat the pandemic. Incorporate strategies such as tele- health, online consultation etc. You can also convert your old blogs into e-books and turn articles into online courses on graphics.
- Face the competition: Your competitors may or may not halt their SEO campaigns. If they have suspended their SEO efforts, then this is the right opportunity for you to improve your rankings. On the other hand, if you have stopped your SEO and they have not, your practice would be at a disadvantage when things get back to normal. So, make sure to make the most of the current situation.
- SEO is a continuous process: Unlike pay per click, SEO is not a temporary strategy. It is an ongoing course of action which requires constant improvements to respond to external and internal factors. SEO strategies should be updated according to changes in Google algorithms. SEO is a continuous process and the results will be visible only after some time. A well-executed SEO campaign will improve your ranking, and help you secure a top position in the search engine results page, and attract targeted traffic. If you pause your SEO efforts, it will take considerable time to get back on track. This will give your competitors the chance to get ahead when everything is back to normal.
Marketing Your Dental Practice After The Crisis
Accepting the new normal will likely broaden your dental practice’s marketing tactics. Here are some tips to market your practice when things are back to normal.
- Turn away from the trends: With the pandemic spreading across states, Facebook spiked slightly, peaking at 150% of the pre-COVID baseline at the end of March. Google spiked nearly 500% the same weekend. This shows that people were gathering more information from Google rather than any other social media platform. For time being, Google has disabled new reviews and question answers. This allowed Facebook to post more reviews and patient feedback. Make use of this opportunity to encourage your patients to leave reviews on Facebook to grab the attention of new patients.
- Analyze your ad spend: if you had suspended your search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising efforts for 90 days, your new-patient acquisition will be lower than pre- pandemic levels. Make sure to capitalize in third quarter and invest in digital marketing techniques to promote your dental practice and attract new patients.
- Stick to social media: Social media is strong channel that helps you to reach out to potential patients. Pay more attention to social media marketing to connect with your existing patients. Post valuable information consistently to keep your patients informed and post videos to educate them. Facilitate collaboration to create brand awareness.
Medical SEO helps dental practices reach more patients online. A well-optimized website, valuable content that answers your audience’s queries, and the right SEO strategies can drive more traffic to your website.