keyword research! is your practice keeping up with it?

As an orthodontist and small business owner, the best way to get your website seen in search engine results is to approach the task with the proper attitude and to do diligent research. Keywords are an essential element of search engine optimization, or SEO.

Keywords are the phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your website via search engines, like Google. When your website has been properly optimized, it will use the same words and phrases prospective patients are so they are easily connected to your website.

If you are new to SEO, here are some keyword best practices that will help you optimize your website, increase the number of visitors to your website, and hopefully result in more new patients to your practice.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the process of identifying actual search terms that people enter into search engines. The most basic way to identify keywords is to think of the phrases or the questions potential patients ask when they are considering getting orthodontic treatment: “Who is the best orthodontist in (city, state)?” “How do I find an orthodontist?” “What age should I get braces?”

Brainstorm Five Relevant Topics to Orthodontists

You can also make a list of five relevant topics to the field of orthodontics and to your business. Some examples of these could be: Invisalign (if your practice offers this treatment), when is the best age to get your first orthodontist consultation, why retainers are an important part of your treatment, good oral hygiene, what foods you can and can’t eat with braces, etc.

Make a List of Words and Phrases

Once you’ve identified five topics, start making a list of the words or phrases that would be in an article about each of these topics. If the topic is Invisalign, the words and phrases might be: clear aligners, straight smile, beautiful smile, technology, advancements, invisible, severity of your orthodontic problem, metal braces, discreet, etc. The point of this exercise is to create a long list of phrases and words you think potential patients might use to search for content related to that particular topic.

Invest in a Traffic Analytics Tool

If you have the time and possibly money to invest, you can download a free (or paid) subscription to a traffic analytics tool like Google Analytics or HubSpot Sources tool. These tools will help you figure out where the current traffic to your website is coming from and what keywords people are using to find your website.

Research Related Terms in Google

If you’re having a hard time coming up with a comprehensive list of words and phrases for every topic, try typing one of the words or phrases you’ve already come up with into Google. There should be a box at the bottom of Google’s search results with related search terms. These keywords may spark ideas for additional topics or phrases.

Create an Informed Content Strategy

Coming up with a list of topics and their keyword phrases is just the first step. Once you have five or ten topics that are relevant to your practice, plus a comprehensive list of words and phrases related to these topics, it’s time to let this research inform your marketing efforts going forward. For each page of your website, you should have a different keyword focus. It might be a good idea to create a spreadsheet that will help you track what areas of your website are focused on what topics and keywords.

Effectively using keywords on your website and in your blog will not only attract leads to your practice, it will also bring them to the information they are searching for, making it a win-win situation for everyone.