By Pete Johnson, Get Practice Growth

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or the pursuit of increasing visibility of a website in search engine results, can lead more potential patients to your practice website.

We’ve created three easy and actionable steps to make sure your site’s SEO basics are in place.

Ensure your name, address, and phone (NAP) are accurate and consistent.

Your practice name, address, and phone (NAP) should be accurate and consistent across ALL online sources—including online directories you know about, and those you don’t.

It’s easy to brush this step off—many businesses do. But without NAP accuracy and consistency, Google gets confused about your contact information, which creates a negative impact on your Google rankings.

You can enter your website in this free online tool to receive a comprehensive directory listings report.

Don’t use stock or duplicate content.

Stock or duplicate content is extremely common in the dental industry. Your website might contain it without you realizing it. We’ve seen it numerous times—two practices in the same town using exactly the same content on their websites. This is one of the most damaging things that can be done to a site’s SEO.

Without unique and branded content, Google has no way to differentiate your site from your competitors’.

As I sit banging my keyboard, I understand why many shy away from the idea of sitting down and writing thousands of words for their websites. However, I highly recommend you take the time to write your own content, or find a marketing agency that can do it for you.

You can enter your website URL in this free tool to check for stock and duplicate content on your site.

You can also copy the text from your services-offered page, and paste it within parenthesis in Google (e.g. “website text”). If you see search results other than your own site, your content is likely stock or duplicate content.

Check for schema markup.

If your website uses schema markup—a standardized vocabulary understood by major search engines—it will rank higher in search engine results than websites that don’t.

Schema markup lets search engines know what kind of information is on a page. For example, if your site contains hours-of-operation information, if that content is tagged with the “openingHours” property, search engines would understand the information is about your hours of operation, instead of view it as random text.

Backend web development quality can greatly vary between marketing agencies. How can you tell if your agency did a good job on your site? It’s not easy to tell at a glance, but not many sites take advantage of this SEO booster. So if yours contains schema markup, it’s a good sign your site was well constructed.

Enter your website’s URL in this free tool to see if there are any errors or warnings for your website’s schema markup.

Get Practice Growth is a full service dental marketing agency that builds custom websites and produces videos for its clients, and offers exclusive package pricing to TDA members.