Ultimate Dental Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide: SEO for Dentists
The trends have changed and now people search online before they book a dentist appointment for their teeth. As per a recent study by Virginia Commonwealth University, 76% of orthodontists use internet marketing to promote their business and 72% of the potential customers use the internet to find the best dental clinic.
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Between 2010 and 2017 dental clinic related searches have grown by 234 percent. Dentists cannot miss this opportunity to present their business to a wide online audience, SEO is vital for every dental professional to succeed.
When it comes to acquiring traffic for terms related to dentists, SEO services start with focusing on local keywords on the dental business website.
What is SEO for Dentists?
SEO for dentists, also known as Dental SEO, is the process of optimizing the dental clinic website in order for it to rank higher in the search results, and drive local organic traffic. The entire SEO strategy is divided into on-page SEO, and, off-page SEO. Search engine bots like Googlebot, Bingbot, Yahoo bot, scan the dentist’s website and look for strong ranking signals and SEO for dentists helps in passing strong signals to these search engine bots.
SEO for Dentists: 7 Dental SEO Tips to Grow Your Business
SEO Professional & Egochi Founder Jobin John’s advice? ➡️ Brand yourself and study your local market — build niche authority & then expand.
Read on to find out how you can optimize your dental website to grow traffic (and customers). Here’s how to implement SEO for your dental website:
1. Optimize your website
Technical SEO for dentists is the first step of your marketing process, we ensure that the website is optimized and stands strong when it comes to the on-page SEO. Let me simplify how does search engine optimization for Dentists work? There are more than 200 ranking elements currently being used by Google in order to rank a website, these factors are divided into 2 parts, on-page SEO & off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is also known as technical SEO and involves the process of optimizing the website in order to tell search engines what the website or a particular page on the website is all about. It is only when the on-page SEO of a website is completed that we can move on to the off-page SEO strategies.
We recently did a dental SEO Audit for a local dentist and recorded it on YouTube, you can watch the complete website analysis below.
Once, we have the initial roadmap in place, we can start by fixing the website and then move on to the building links for the website.
Some common elements may lead to a complete redesign of the website or even to add fresh content on every page. During the Dental SEO process, I have noticed a lot of websites missing Meta descriptions & even the h1, h2 tags.
What is a Dental SEO Audit?
A dental SEO audit is the first step to creating an actionable strategic roadmap that will have analytical performance indicators, core website technical data, and, highlight weak ranking signals. The purpose of the dental SEO audit is to identify as many onsite, and, off-site flaws affecting organic search performance for the dental clinic website and overcome them to drive organic website traffic, build strong ranking signals, and, grow conversions.
Watch the video,
Now that you saw the video,
You would see that we noted the major on-page SEO factors and also glanced at the off-page SEO elements. An audit is really important before we can even start the internet marketing process as it gives us a roadmap towards getting the dental website ranked higher and without it would like firing in dark hoping to hit the mark.
Dental SEO helps us answer questions like:
What is the bounce rate for the website? How many visitors do you get on a daily basis? What is the major traffic source for these visitors? Do you have quality content on all web pages? Which is the most visited webpage?
My team plans the structure of the dental website as per the website silo structuring process in which we organize web pages as per its relevance and category, below is an image demonstrating the same.
Importance? A silo structure ensures that all pages are interconnected with each other as per their specific category or topic. This really helps in boosting the SEO for Local SEO for Dentists.
I personally created a silo structure for multiple websites and every time I did it I saw positive growth in the SERP’s.
When you launch your website, focus on the main city you do business in first. From there, build out a silo structure and target other areas.
Optimize your website for search terms such as:
[City] Dentist [City] Dental Clinic [City] Emergency Dentist [City] Pediatric Dentist [City] Dental check up [City] family dentistry
You can add these words to your website. For example, a site focusing on just Los Angeles dentist might be laid out like this:
Los Angeles Root Canal Treatment Dental Clinic in Los Angeles Los Angeles Local Dentist Testimonials Best Los Angeles Dentist
The target here is to make your website a helpful resource for patients.
The dental SEO process also starts off by creating a perfect site structure using this parameter. and also, ensuring the prime on-page SEO factors are in place these factors include things like:
Meta Description h1-h6 tags Page Title Schema Markup Alt Text on images Content Duplicasy Length of the content Indexing
These are a few to name, we also look into local Dentists SEO elements such as:
Citations Directory Listings Google My Business optimization Reviews Social Signals
Once we have all these factors in place we can begin with off-page SEO for Dental clinic.
2. Register on Directories
As a local dental clinic, you have to register yourself on Google My Business in order for patients to find you on the Google maps when they search for keywords like “Dentists near me” however as the competition is tough thus you also need to register your business on directories and build SEO citations, as this would grow your chance to appear in the top 3 results of the Google maps. Here is an example of how it looks.
The most important factor of local ranking also involves optimizing the “Google My Business page”. This involves adding the right pictures, keywords, and content to the listings.
and then comes the directory submissions to all local & national directories followed by a growing social media reputation.
Ranking in local map listings has proven to be highly profitable for every local dental business. As more customers tend to call or visit dentists that appear in the local map pack.
In order to rank on the local map pack, register on aggregator sites like
- Neustar Localeze
A study shows that site traffic via local search spiked by 40% after building local citations. There is a lot of potential traffic if you register in the right dental directories.
Along with that, move to create more local citations on many more sites. There is no specific number to judge on how many citations does it take to rank in the 3 map pack, however, I recommend to use Whitespark citation finder in order to know how many citations did the competitors create for themselves and then create double to that list.
Some of the common citation & directory sites are:
- Apple Maps
3. Collect Online Reviews
Start grabbing reviews for your local listing as reviews are also a local map ranking factor.
Reviews play an important role in the SEO for dentists process, as many 5 star reviews the business gets, the more are the chances of getting chosen by potential customers.
Good business reviews show potential customers that the dental clinic is professional and exceptional reliable and bad reviews can make customers turn away.
Checking for reviews is something that every internet user does proactively, recently I wanted to buy a smartphone and had my mind set on the iPhone X then I read some reviews on Amazon and blog sites where I was convinced that Google Pixel 2 was better than iPhone X, guess what Google Pixel 2 is my new phone.
My cousin is a Millenial, yeah that guy who uses technology all the time, so when he had some pain in his lower left 3rd Molar also known as the wisdom tooth he actually searched for local dentists on his smartphone and then texted me the address of the one that he thought was the best one.
He did that by reading reviews and the website of the dental clinic, which means people do notice when someone talks about you.
Here are the benefits of collecting reviews:
Creates trust in the eyes of the potential customers. Good reviews are considered to be a ranking factor which makes the site rank better int he local map pack. Helps in knowing your strengths and weaknesses from the customers point of view. By replying back to your reviews on Google My Business you showcase that you are active and take business reviews seriously. Higher number of reviews can help you beat your toughest competition.
The best way to get a review is to record it yourself and upload it to your website and to YouTube.
How to Handle Negative Dental Client Reviews?
If you have clients who are unsatisfied with your dental services and have left a negative review for your dental practice, it is best advised not to ignore them and reply back with a professional note. Start by, showing that you care about them and their feedback matters, then offer a free session, or consultation, lastly, tell them that we will ensure their feedback has been taken seriously and that the dental practice will definitely consider working on it.
You may have a lot of happy dental patient as well, so get a review. Video reviews work perfectly as they save time and build value for your clinic. Your patients are ecstatic right after getting their teeth checked. That’s a great time to ask for a review.
4. Make Your Website Mobile Ready
The latest statistics show that dental patients search for the right dental clinic from their mobile device. “National Institutes of Health” study indicated that:
79 percent of dental patients search using a mobile device during the process of finding a dentist. 426 percent growth of dentist related searches on tablets year over year. Dental clinic review searches have risen by 248 percent on mobile phones.
The study found that dental patients use a mobile-friendly dental clinic website while at work, in the bathroom, while eating at restaurants, before going to bed and while standing in a queue. Patients visit dental websites to:
Read general teeth care information Get directions to visit the clinic Compare dental care prices Read online reviews Compare quality Search for reliability Call for appointments Check for all services Email the clinic
Keeping these statistics in mind, it’s logical to make your website mobile-friendly it is an important factor in SEO for dentists. I suggest using a responsive parallax website design, which is Google’s preferred mobile configuration (read more about mobile-friendly website design).
SEO for Dentist: Moving ahead of your website
In addition to optimizing your business website for leads & traffic, there are steps you can take to attract prospective clients, such as building quality links for your dental business website, writing blog articles and using social media effectively.
5. Write Blog Articles
As a dentist, you would know a lot about teeth and how to care for it, as compared to the local mass, therefore share that knowledge with the world using a blog section on your website. This is one of the ways to grow your website traffic, you can write about interesting facts about being a dentist or answer questions with blog titles starting with “How to”, this will keep your audience engaged to your website and build your professional authority.
When writing content you need to ensure to keep the SEO elements in tacts, such as:
Meta Tags Meta Description Schema Markup Interlinking Alt Text for Photos Content-Length
Talking about content length, I always recommend writing bigger articles, at least 700 words but if you can write more then please don’t hesitate. If you write 30 articles about the subject of dental healthcare with an average word count of 2000 words, you will gain a lot of organic traffic as soon as Google indexes those pages.
One thing never to do with your blog post is to copy the content or add duplicate content to it, as this will be harmful to your website as well as rankings, not to mention the risk of getting permanently penalized by Google.
Once you have written your content and published it, you can visit the Google search console formerly known as Google Webmasters and register yourself on it. Once you have registered yourself on it, click on Add Property and enter your website, then verify it which takes less than a minute. Once done, on the left-hand side of the search console click on Crawl >> Fetch As Google and then enter the URL of the blog post you published and click Fetch & Render and then Click Request Indexing this will get Google to index your article much faster.
6. Start Link Building
Search engines are very choosy when it comes to backlinks, they only appreciate links earned naturally and of high-quality plus they have to be relevant.
There are multiple ways to build links for your website however we did a study yourself and contacted the top link building experts from around the world and created the most relevant link build strategies for you.
During search engine optimization for Dentists, we focus on exactly this, building high-value links such as .edu and .gov links along with press release links.
Why are .edu & .gov links important for dental SEO?
Educational & Government links for Dentists are more valuable than gold in SEO. As these are the most cherished links and highly loved by search engines due to the amount of trust it generates for the website but that’s not enough we also have to generate local links from bloggers such as health blogs and other sites related to teeth or health-related websites.
When you build quality links to your site:
Your site's authority grows. It boost your rankings in search results. Helps you connect with industry leaders. You can create a sales funnel using your backlink profile. Allows you to add value to your content and pages. Better exposure and branding benefits.
A combination of backlinks from these relevant websites does the magic and in no time we would see a major boost in rankings.
Link building for Dentists is vital as explained above however it also drives a ton of traffic to your website when done right. This organic traffic has a lot of potentials and has a higher conversion ratio.
This means more customers, better rankings, and a strong online reputation.
7. Be Active on Social Media
Search engines like Google admire strong social signals therefore, you cannot ignore them, create business pages on social media sites like Facebook & Google Plus. You can even create more business accounts on social sites like Twitter, Instagram, etc, however, we have seen that FB & Google+ give us higher returns for dentists as compared to any other social platform.
Search engines monitor social signals closely and for that reason, we cannot ignore this factor. You can check your social signal strength using a free tool available online by SmallSeoToolz.
This would show you how many times your website or webpage has been shared on various social media platforms.
The most important thing about social media is to ensure you do not abandon the account once created as this would be negative for the business, therefore we recommend creating accounts on platforms that can provide high returns and then ensuring you regularly post on them.
Add hashtags when you post on your social media account, some popular hashtags for dentists would be:
#teeth #dentists #oralhygiene #ortho #dental #implantdentistry #OH2020 #TalkingTeeth
The right way to make your social media engagement grow would be to post interesting and informative posts, especially videos (people love videos) and your patients would really appreciate the gesture.
How can social media marketing help dentists?
Social Media Marketing for Dentists involves a process of making regular posts and then submitting them to various groups and channels to be admired and appreciated by other potential customers/patients.
You can read more about using social media to build traffic.
If you’re a dentist or represent a dental hospital and are interested in learning more about SEO for dentists, we’ve love to talk to you and discuss your goals for Internet Marketing in the global market. We’ve been a global leader in search engine optimization (SEO) since 2009 and have worked with thousands of companies to maximize their customer acquisition online.
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