Understanding SEO and why it’s important for your dental practice’s website is essential in today’s competitive online world. But, not all SEO is as helpful as you would think it might be. Even if you are getting loads of traffic to your site, the only thing that really matters is if that traffic converts.
A lot of frustration around SEO and other types of content optimization occurs when websites and businesses feel like they’re doing everything right, but still not getting any real results. When this happens, you need to start looking deeper into your SEO strategy.
For dentists in particular, you need to uncover more than just great keywords – you need to uncover great buyer keywords.
The Phases of the Buyer Process
Although there are a lot of ways to understand the steps that take place to bring an individual to the end of their customer experience (the part where they’re actually buying or using your services), below is a great map of the basics.
- Awareness. Something in life has triggered an individual to realize that they have an issue. Maybe it’s pain, maybe it’s a need, maybe it’s just something they have decided they want. Regardless of the why and how, this phase is like the door opening to your business. During this stage, the individual will start their search, beginning to look at potential options in order to solve their problem.
- Research. Now that the individual is aware of the issue, they’re ready to walk through that open door, exploring options with more depth, collecting data, and growing their knowledge of the particular subject. Because they’re ready to learn, buyers search more generally at this point, welcoming information from a wide range of businesses and experts.
- Options. Armed with information, individuals now start to compare one option to another, doing their best to narrow down the field so that they can make an ultimate decision. During this stage they’ll want specific information, like hours of operation, services, cost, etc. from real businesses.
- Trust. Once individuals have honed in on their best options, and right before they make a purchase, they want to make sure they’ve reduced the risk, which means that they’ll want to make sure you’re a business or individual they can trust. From reading reviews to weighing reputations, maybe even wanting to talk to someone in person or on the phone, this phase is important for closing the deal.
- Purchase. After feeling confident that you are someone they can trust, the individual is ready to make the final decision and buy. This is where the majority of great buyer keywords come in to play and where all of the conversions take place.
Although some individuals will draw this process out, making it last several days (or weeks), many individuals actually move through all of these phases quite quickly. That’s why it’s so important to make sure everything your customer is needing can be instantly and easily found online.
Once they’re made aware of the problem, great SEO strategies and awesome websites can take someone from the research phase to the purchase in a matter of minutes – and without having the individual ever leave their website.
What Makes Buyer Keywords Essential
When you discover the power of buyer keywords, you tap into the power of the human mind. While it can feel great to have your practice’s website found, what’s more important is making sure it’s found at the right time. That’s where buyer keywords come in.
Unlike other types of keywords, which are used at different points of your customer’s journey, buyer keywords target your audience at the exact moment they’re ready to actually do something. In the case of dentists, this is when they’re ready to book an appointment or schedule a consultation.
Harnessing buyer keywords means that you’re targeting specific words or phrases that are used by people who are ready to take action, not just those that are wanting to learn or do research (although those can be helpful for developing a relationship, too). Buyer keywords are power words, they show a customer’s serious intent to do something.
For a restaurant, buyer keywords might include:
- Best Chinese food in (local area)
- Great restaurants with delivery in (local area)
- Coupons for pizza in (local area)
- Special Friday night discounts at Italian restaurants in (local area)
- Where to purchase to-go dessert in (local area)
Looking at these examples above, you’ll notice a few things. First of all, the keyword phrases aren’t short. When an individual is ready to make a purchase, they’re specific with what they want, which means they’ll typically use at least four words, sometimes as many as nine or ten.
You’ll also notice that location plays a major role in these keywords, especially if you are local, physical business (which almost every dental practice is). Because these searches are powered by someone who’s ready to take action, they want to make sure they’re finding businesses that are convenient and close by. Everyone knows that if they’re hungry for Chinese food, there’s no point in just searching “Best Chinese Restaurants” (unless you live in San Francisco or New York City).
Also known as “transactional keywords”, optimizing your website to rank for these long tail phrases means that your website won’t just be generating leads, but it will be getting more conversions than ever too.
How to Find Your Best Buyer Keywords
Knowing that you need to be more strategic with your SEO will help you realize where you’re going wrong with your current plan of action. While you likely have some great ideas of what your ideal customer would be searching for before booking a consultation or scheduling an appointment with your dental practice, to be sure, use the list of buyer-focused keywords below as a go-to guide.
- For adults
- For children
- For kids
- For sale
- Low cost
Although this is in no way an exhaustive list, it is a great way to get your wheels turning. And, of course, before you start advertising or paying money on ads to rank your website for these phrases, be sure to do your research and ask someone in the know if you’re on the right track (or if there are better options for your particular niche or area).