Why It Matters & 8 Steps to Harness It

Search engine optimization is important in every industry, but medical offices can uniquely benefit from the impact of local SEO. It can build your reputation, increase online visibility, and secure more leads and appointments from potential patients. What do you need to know about SEO for dentists, and how can you get started with it today?

I’ll dive into all of the specifics you need for a dental SEO strategy that will have more patients in your chair over the long haul. 

Here is what you need to know about dental SEO services. Let’s dive in! 

SEO for Dentists: How to Build Your Reputation Online in 8 Steps

Are you ready to see where you can build an online reputation? These eight easy steps will have you up and running with search engine optimization on your dental practice’s website as soon as possible! 

1. Optimize Your Website: Technical SEO Factors

The first thing you can do to boost your rankings in the SERPs is to make sure your website runs as smoothly as possible. Technical SEO for dentists is just as important for your ranking, and many dental practices overlook these small details. What should you keep an eye out for if you want to boost your rankings on the SERPs? 

Two of the most important technical SEO factors are page load speed and mobile optimization. When it comes to your page load speed, faster is always better. 53 percent  of users will bounce if a site takes longer than three seconds to load. This is especially true for mobile users. 

For a dental website, SEO also means ensuring that your page is optimized for mobile. Smartphones are here to stay, so ensure your website visitors get a similar experience on mobile as they do on desktop. Many website builders have mobile optimization built into their lightweight themes. 

A web developer can help you choose the right theme and optimize your site. 

2. Perform Keyword Research on What People Are Searching For

You have two main options when it comes to SEO for dentists and keyword research. You can make use of local keywords to target patients in your area, or you can go after long-tail keywords, which could give you more eyes on the page in general.

Let’s look at local keywords first. 

These are the keywords that are more likely to convert to new patients calling and setting up their first appointment. Chances are that you have used this type of search yourself: “dentist near me” or “best dentists in (name of city).” 

This means you need to target keywords with your location, so the city name features prominently on your website copy.

Other website visitors are searching for more general information on dental practices. This allows you to showcase your expertise in the field using long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords typically consist of five or more words that are extremely specific.

For example, your patients might look for “Dentists that accept Blue Cross Blue Shield dental insurance” or “How much does a root canal cost in (city)?”

3. Content is King: How to Hook People and Provide Value 

Want to draw people in with your dental SEO? The best thing you can do is give your patients something they can sink their teeth into: Content. Your dental SEO company may recommend that you focus on a specific type of content, such as a blog. Wherever you decide to post, do so consistently. 

This gives prospective patients a chance to learn more about your expertise, educate themselves on dental care, and allows you to rank for keywords. 

You might also want to think about video marketing. 91 percent of businesses are now using video as a marketing tactic, so you don’t want to be left behind! 

Where can people find out more about your dental practice or dental services? It might take more than just excellent content to show up on the search engine results pages. A strong backlink strategy is key for building your domain authority (check your score for free on Moz). 

In turn, this proves to Google that your dental practice should rank higher for the keywords you want to rank for. 

Of course, you should make sure that the links you collect don’t come from spammy websites. There are lots of ways to get backlinks as part of your dental SEO marketing. You could create excellent resources and reach out to reputable sites for link building. Another avenue is to correct broken links with a link to your own site. 

Here is our detailed guide on how to get high-quality backlinks and the types of backlinks you can use to grow domain authority. 

5. Fill Out Metadata: On-Page SEO to Signal to Google

The behind-the-scenes information on your page also affects your search engine rankings. SEO for dentists requires you to fill out all of the metadata on your page so that search engines know how to index your dental website. There are several places you can use metadata for dental search engine optimization. 

First, you can ensure that your title tag is eye-catching to the search engines. This means that you need to incorporate your keyword into the title and keep it to 50 to 60 characters. From here, ensure that the same keyword is worked into your meta description and the first paragraph of your content. 

These are all aspects of search engine optimization that can be targeted with simple tools like Yoast SEO.

You also want to ensure that you build internal links throughout your website. SEO requires people to spend more time on your page, and the best way to do that is to keep them reading helpful content. Build up an excellent internal linking structure using tools like Linkwhisper

6. Claim Google My Business: Get Local Dental SEO

If you want to show up on local search results, Google Maps is often the place to be. Claim your Google business profile for free, making this one of the most cost-effective SEO strategies while also being the least time-consuming. 

Don’t forget to fill out the details like your hours, services, location, and photos of your practice. You can also choose categories for your dental services, usually two to three main ones. Like a blog, a Google My Business profile also allows you to post content here. Aim for regular updates a few times each month. 

7. Online Directories: Show People Where to Find You

For a dentist, SEO might mean focusing on local SEO, but you can also harness the power of a search engine other than Google. Dental websites can be listed in directories where people turn specifically to find new providers like you. 

While Google Maps might be the most popular, a dental practice’s website can also be found on other platforms like Yelp or even the health insurance provider. You might be found on a review website, a dental association page, a local business directory, and any other place where dentists are typically found. 

Once you start getting listed on online directories, always ensure that your contact information (name, phone number, and address) is up to date.

8. Reviews: Make It Easy for Clients to Recommend You

An incredible 91 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they do a personal recommendation. Whether they’re searching for dental implants or a routine dental check-up, your potential patients are searching for real-life experiences others have had with you. 

Getting more five-star reviews also impacts the search results. You shouldn’t overlook this important ranking factor on local dental SEO. Keep in mind that you can’t bribe people to leave you a positive review, but you can work in review requests to the workflow of your dental practices. 

For example, you might send a follow-up email that lists a review link after an appointment. You can have your receptionist ask for reviews when patients are checking out or advertise for reviews on posters hung around the office. 

Benefits of SEO for Dentists

With all of that dentist SEO in mind, does it matter that you show up for relevant keywords? The answer is: yes! Here are some of the key benefits of utilizing SEO services so that you can show up in the search results. 

Builds Trust and Credibility with Clients

Like most businesses, dentists must build the know, like, and trust factor with potential patients. If you show up on Google and people then find that you have relevant content, they might stick around for a while. The next time they need a local dentist, your name is likely to pop in their mind. 

This is especially true if you have lots of positive online reviews (good for online visibility and convincing new patients to give you a try). The goal here is to center the website experience around the patient, their concerns, and the solutions that your dental office provides. 

Boosts Visibility in the SERPs

The search engine results pages are one of the first places that people turn to when searching for dentists in their local area. A Google Business profile is key, but you should also consider where you appear for long-tail keywords. 

SEO for dentists can boost your ranking to those coveted top spots, ensuring that you get your fair share of the clicks. 

Not sure if ranking on the first page of search engine results is worth your time and effort? More than 28% of people click on that first result compared to 15% who click on the second. That means you’re missing out on clicks if you aren’t at the top!

More Conversions and Traffic

Because more people are clicking on your page in local searches, that also means your SEO efforts are likely to lead to more conversions and traffic. The odds are that when people are clicking on your site, you have a greater chance of setting appointments and generating phone calls. 

Does dental SEO work to book more patients? Try it out for yourself and see what your lead conversion rate does over time! 

Keeping Up with the Competition

Search engine marketing gives you a boost over other competitors in your area. If you can outrank them by mimicking their SEO strategy, you can secure the appointment slot for a brand-new patient. Keep your eye trained on your competitors’ SEO efforts to ensure you hit the right keyword research. 

You can also compete with other practices that might have a much larger marketing budget to spend on Google Ads and social media marketing. 

DIY SEO is Cost-Effective

If you decide to go it alone, SEO for dentists can also be extremely cost-effective. Some people use low-cost keyword research tools, but you can also take advantage of free tools and do a little more leg work to get to the heart of what your clients need and want. 

No matter your budget, search engine optimization is a worthwhile investment of time and dollars. 

How Much Should Dental SEO Services Cost?

The good news is that you can make good use of dental search engine optimization with just a handful of tools. If you work with an agency to build your SEO strategy, you could spend thousands to get the rankings you want. However, you can also utilize free tools like Google Analytics to monitor and track your efforts. 

When you get serious about SEO for dentists, you should consider investing in a comprehensive tool that does everything from competitor research to keyword research. Semrush is one of the best tools on the market and is extremely affordable. 

It starts at $129.95 per month and includes features like:

  • Competitor analysis
  • Keyword research
  • Website audit
  • Backlink analysis
  • Advertising tools.

It’s worth the investment and the savings over using a professional service. See our full Semrush review here. 

Final Thoughts On Building Your Dental SEO Strategy

Traditional marketing methods can be expensive and may not be as effective in the dental industry. You can start to boost your online visibility with SEO for dentists. With these eight steps to build your online reputation, you can start your SEO marketing with minimal investment! 

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