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How high is your digital IQ and do you have the bandwidth to improve it?

How high is your digital IQ and do you have the bandwidth to improve it? (Image: Shutterstock / GENETTICA)
Dental Tribune UK & Ireland

Dental Tribune UK & Ireland

Mon. 9 October 2023


Do you know how to optimise your website to ensure prospective patients can actually differentiate you from the plethora of offerings on the web? What about dynamically boosting your presence on social media? In short do you have the bandwidth to create an effective digital marketing strategy?

Dave Baldwin

If not, you could be missing out on hundreds of extra patients per year according to Dave Baldwin, a digital marketing consultant, who not only has a deep-rooted understanding of the dermatology and medical aesthetics sector, but also more than 10 years’ expertise to drive growth for by harnessing a plethora of digital strategies.

With extensive experience in working with a major corporate and its customers to develop a significant digital footprint, he understands how to help dental practices develop a digital strategy, build an online presence and grow their businesses. He has shared his knowledge on stage and is now offering independent consultancy services.

Says Dave: “It’s a fact that more people are looking for dental treatments and they’re better informed, more educated and have a much greater understanding of what they want now than at any other time. People are doing their research online, so creating a good, digital first impression is vital. In fact, a study of 14,457 aesthetic-conscious consumers worldwide found that 37% head straight to the internet to find a clinic, 37%¹ receive a recommendation a friend or family member – and then check out that recommendation online, and 33% are referred by their existing physician. Basically, two-thirds of prospective patients will have checked out you and your clinic online before they’ve even thought to lift the phone to schedule their first consultation.”

Because technology plays such a critical role in recruiting and converting prospective patients, Dave believes clinics should make it a priority to create a simple but effective digital strategy to help them grow and maintain a strong online reputation.  For many however the challenge is that whilst they are clinical experts, they may be digitally challenged.  So where to begin? A confident consultant will be able to undertake a free audit of a business’ current digital platforms as a start point from which an effective communications strategy can be developed.  This could include:

Optimise your website

Did you know that Google will actively ‘delist’ and rank your website negatively if it’s not optimised to be viewed and used on a mobile phone? And don’t forget the three-second rule – that’s the maximum amount of time your website should take to load on whichever device you’re using. “Longer than that and your potential client is likely to click away to another site. Another important consideration,” says Dave, “is placing important information about your practice and offer above the fold- that’s above the bottom of the screen as your site loads onto a mobile, laptop, desktop or tablet.”

Online Reviews

More important than ever, online reviews offer potential patients useful information during what Dave calls the Consideration stage, when they’re comparing their options; and he points to the growing influence of Google. He explains: “Google ultimately exists to provide the user with the best results based on what they’ve searched. Now it’s also ranking websites based on their review scores – the better the score, the more likely your website will rank positively in the search results.  For a small fee, sites such as Trustpilot now have a useful snippet of code which allows you to store your review score on your website and reap the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) benefits. This all underlines building an effective review strategy – from simply asking your happy patients to leave a review to incentivising your staff to ask them to do so, and of course, replying to every review. There is also scope to explore new software services which harness AI to effectively boost Google scores.

Track your progress

Dave also underlines that it’s important for business owners and their staff to keep a close eye on insights across websites and social media and tracking tools can help you to do this. “Investing in an Instagram tracking tool, for instance, will allow you to compare your engagement and performance vs your competition. They’re also great for tracking campaigns by grouping hashtags to see how many individual mentions you are getting and by whom. They also allow you to analyse the profiles and follower engagement of influencers you might be considering working with.” And he adds that tracking insights from the main business website is also important. Even more so since the introduction of the new Google Analytics platform GA4. Failing to upgrade to this new version can result in a loss of years’ worth of data.

Build your brand

Think carefully about what you post on your social media. Dave explains that video is much more likely to gain cut-through. He says that stats show, for instance, that Instagram Reels is the most engaging type of content, 82% of global internet traffic comes from video and social media videos generate 1,200% more shares compared with images and text combined.²

“Find trending audio…they’re the ones with a ‘trending’ arrow next to them, offer followers quick tips, advice and product information – that’s what they tend to search for. Use your knowledge to help educate your audience while showcasing your expertise. And don’t forget to show your face, people like seeing other people in videos, it helps the performance.

“Of course,” reminds Dave, “all this effort will be for nothing if you don’t ensure you have control over your intellectual property. That means knowing, and trusting, who has access to the passwords for the admin area on your website, and social media channels. Reputations take years to build, but just a few minutes to destroy, so don’t be complacent.”

Dave has created a digital marketing lecture series which can be presented at industry events.  He is also available for marketing consultancy.

For more information about how to build a successful digital strategy visit

  1. Allergan 360 Report, 2019


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