If you’ve ever looked at analytics numbers for a local business’s website, you’re aware that the numbers aren’t usually eye-popping. A few hundred visits or maybe a couple thousand could mean a great month in terms of traffic. “Good” lead numbers might mean a couple of dozen. But would you ever think that your local business could get over 40,000 visits per month? Oh, and what if I told you that was only from the organic search traffic? The graph below shows the impact of our process of SEO for dentists as you can see the site’s traffic growth since the beginning of 2020.
How is this possible?
First thing’s first, this didn’t happen overnight. It took us two years to reach this point and a lot of hard work. Initially, we started with the same basic playbook we also do when it comes to local SEO. We set up a solid foundation including reviewing and optimizing:
- The site structure and navigation
- Technical issues causing slower site speed
- Page titles and meta descriptions
- Page copy
- Local links and niche directory links for dental and healthcare providers
- Structured data
- Google Business Profile information
No magic tricks there, but doing a solid job with these elements put us in a good position for the next step – content marketing.
Content marketing for a local business? Are you serious?
You betcha. Sure, it might not seem like you could drive crazy traffic as a local business, but with the right process for identifying gaps and a dedication to creating high-quality content, you too can see growth like this. The keys here were to find areas of opportunity initially that were underserved in terms of content. This required using some keyword tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to find dental-related questions that had low keyword difficulties, assessing how embedded the top competitors were in those spaces and then making better, more informative content than everyone else in that space.
Initially, the wins were small but noticeable. Posts started generating dozens or maybe a hundred visits for our new content. While this didn’t send us skyrocketing, it created a foundation that showed Google we were the real deal and worth paying attention to when we created new content. Yes, our domain authority was fairly limited initially due to the fact that we were a local business with limited reason for non-local and non-niche sites to link to us, but when Google ranked our content people were engaging with it. Getting more visibility with high-quality content started to contribute to the snowball effect as this content started earning inbound links, even without the resources to do much outreach with this project. According to Google Search Console, our blog posts have generated links from 133 separate domains!
This allowed us to move on to bigger fish. How big of fish? Well, here are the 28-day numbers for individual keywords, not whole pages, that this site is ranking for presently.
Any “secret sauce”?
Honestly, there’s not a lot of secret sauce. However, FAQ structured data, or FAQ schema, can be hugely helpful on pages where you’re answering questions. The added visibility of an expanded listing like the one below can improve your chances of earning clicks in standard results, but also gives you a better chance to show up in Google answer boxes and People also ask results features. All of which will drive more traffic. You can learn more about how to implement this in our FAQ Schema blog post featured in the image below.
The only other thing I might categorize as secret sauce is to move on trending topics when you can. If you’re new to content marketing, you might be able to move in first as a dentist if some uber-famous person has something happen that requires a dental procedure for example. So, let’s say that a famous actor is in the news because filming is shut down due to them having to get an impacted wisdom tooth removed. Creating a post that uses the actor’s name and then goes into what the procedure entails, how long the recovery process is, etc. etc. can be a great way to hijack some traffic and earn some quick links as you can likely get some visibility for searches like the actor’s name combined with impacted wisdom teeth and similar searches.
Traffic’s great and all, but what about getting new patients?
Great question! One thing to note about this is that generating traffic for blog posts isn’t going to be a smart bomb. The vast majority of the 40,000+ visitors hitting this site aren’t even remotely close to the dentist’s locations. So, those visitors aren’t going to help the business directly. However, as we like to say at Netvantage, “a rising tide lifts all ships.” And that’s the case here. While leads and local traffic hasn’t scaled as exponentially as the total traffic has, they have grown…a lot. Below you can see our year-to-year growth in lead forms and phone calls for the last 30 days.
Ready for some dental SEO?
The proof is in the pudding, people. You can do it, it just takes time, an inclination to learn, and effort. If you don’t have all three of those, you can always contact us and we can help you improve the SEO efforts of your dental practice or small business.