SEO for Dentists: How to Reach More Patients with Local SEO

SEO for Dentists: How to Reach More Patients with Local SEO

Marketing your dental clinic is essential if you want your practice to thrive. More than bringing in new patients and strengthening your relationship with existing ones, your objective in promoting your clinic should be to educate consumers about why regular trips to the dentist are essential.

Why?

Because a lot of people are not so keen to visit the dentist. Besides having some level of dental anxiety, the cost is also a factor in why they avoid dental visits or at least delay it until there’s already significant tooth decay or severe toothache.

A variety of strategies can help market your dental clinic and at the frontline of these methods is search engine optimization. In this article, we are covering topics on how to reach more patients with SEO plus some practical tips to promote your dental practice.

In this Guide:

SEO For Dentists: Why Does It Matter? 

In the past, people would search for dentists in the Yellow Pages. But, today, it has become an instinct to go online to look for products and services instead. They usually don’t look past the first page of results, so if you don’t rank high on Google, you could be missing out on the opportunity to be discovered online. 

SEO for dentists works the same way as you would optimize any business for search. It encompasses a series of practices to make your dental clinic visible and rank higher in the search results where you stand a better chance of generating clicks, attracting visitors, and eventually getting new patients and keeping them. 

If you want to be discoverable online by patients, you should work with an SEO company that has experience in optimizing a dental clinic website and updates itself with the latest techniques to keep up with the constantly evolving algorithms. Optimizing your website for search may not be as high on your list of priorities as it should be. But, then again, without SEO, how will anyone be able to find you? 

The Benefits of SEO for Dentists 

Most of the benefits you get from SEO are the result of ranking high in SERPs (search engine results pages). Statistics show that the top five search results get 68% of all clicks and that means more traffic, more qualified leads, and ultimately more patients for your practice. 

• SEO for dentists builds trust and credibility with patients 

There’s a reason why most people click on the top results and would not usually get past the first page of SERPs — they believe that pages that rank the highest are better and have greater credibility and authority. 

• It generates traffic and leads 

An increase in rankings not only positions you as trustworthy but also boosts your ability to generate traffic and high-quality leads. It’s a continuous cycle — the higher you rank in searches, the more likely users will click on your site.  The more clicks, the more Google will see you as a reliable source and will continue to push you to the top results. 

• It helps you stay competitive 

It may be new to you but your competitors are probably already investing in dental SEO. It means they could already be benefiting from exposure to SERPs, attracting patients that may not even know you exist. With an SEO strategy in place, you can keep up with, or even better, outwit your competitors. 

Dental SEO Starts With Great Content 

More than 1 out of 4 people today shop online. Having a website for your practice can benefit you by being where your prospects are searching. But it should benefit them more by making it easier for them to know more about your practice and make more informed decisions about their dental health. 

Your entire dental SEO strategy starts by optimizing your website for search and with the user experience in mind. It should provide visitors with all the information they need about your business, the products you offer, the procedures you perform, and how they can book an appointment. 

On-Page SEO Best Practices 

Your dental clinic’s website should be as much about adding value to your visitors as it is generating revenue — and optimizing your site allows you to do both and everything in between. On-page SEO refers to all the measures you take directly within your website to increase its position in SERPs. These include creating high-quality and engaging content that answers common dental-related questions and outlines solutions to problems relevant to your practice. 

Below are some of the fundamentals in optimizing your website for search. 

Keyword Optimization 

At the core of any on-page SEO strategy is optimizing your site for keywords relevant to your practice. Don’t just target words like dentist or dental services in [your area]. Use phrases like dental veneers, porcelain crowns, tooth extraction, and other keywords and phrases that users enter in the search bar when conducting research. Make sure to integrate these keywords naturally into your title tags, headings, meta data, page copy, and blog articles. 

Stuffing your website with keywords no longer works. Your website should include high-quality content that would show what services you offer and answer dental-related questions to position yourself as an industry thought leader. 

We could go on and on about how to do keyword research, but to get you started, below are some of the ways and where can select your initial keywords. 

  • Keyword planning tools (e.g. Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, or Ahrefs) 
  • Competitor keywords 
  • Google auto-complete 
  • Related searches in Google SERPs 

Internal Links 

Internal links refer to any link on your site that redirects to another page within your website. You can see them in your main navigation, site menu, and content. For example, when you mention dental veneers on your home page, you can link internally to direct visitors to your dedicated dental veneers page.

Internal linking improves engagement by encouraging them to spend more time on your website and visit multiple pages. It also makes it easier for search engines to crawl your pages. 

Outbound Links 

Outbound links are exactly what they are — links to other websites. When you hyperlink to other websites, you increase the credibility of your site. It also provides your visitors with references, which then improves your site’s authority and influences your site’s ranking. 

When building outbound links, consider the relevancy and authority of the site you are linking to. Use anchor texts that are relevant to the page to which you are redirecting your visitors. 

Other On-Page Ranking Factors 

As Google constantly updates its algorithms to reflect its focus on improving user experience, it looks into other on-site ranking factors that would ensure a good user experience on your website. 

  • Security and Accessibility 
  • Page Speed 
  • Mobile-Friendliness 
  • Optimized Content
  • Domain Age, URL, and Authority 
  • Time on Page and Bounce Rate 
  • Links 
  • User Experience 
  • Technical SEO 

It goes to show that to enjoy the benefits of dental SEO, you should focus on creating a website that is as functional as it is aesthetically appealing. It should be fast-loading,  easy to navigate, and optimized for mobile. But, most importantly, it should satisfy user intent and has a clear goal. 

As you optimize your site, ask yourself what visitors would want from it. Your content has to provide a solution to their problems, make them stay on the site, and decide that your dental clinic is the right one for them.

Having keyword-optimized content can lead users to your site from search engines like Google. As your traffic grows, your search rankings will also increase. When this happens, Google will see you as an authoritative source in your field, and to your prospects, the top choice for a dentist in your area. 

Local SEO for Dentists 

SEO, for all essential dental terms, can help your business rank in SERPs. But, targeting local keywords is what will drive foot traffic to your clinic. People look for local health service providers, and with a local SEO strategy in place, you can increase your site’s visibility in local search results. 

Optimize for local searches by using geo-targeted keywords in your content — blog articles, page titles, URLs, and metadata. These are the keywords that focus on location and when users search for these terms, the results are narrowed down to local businesses and products/services within that area. 

You can rank for terms like dentist in [your area] or dental implants in [your area] and be visible to users who are Googling for these exact terms. You can also have the advantage in voice search, specifically near me searches. 

Google Business Profile 

According to a 2019 study, the average business is found in 1,009 searches per month, with 84% of them appearing in discovery searches. 

When you are searching for products/services on Google, it’s most often that the top results are business listings that are near your location. And with over 90% of users not looking past the first page of search results, it’s important that you rank in local searches where you practice. 

Claiming your Google Business Profile is an essential step in your local search efforts. Make sure to optimize it with up-to-date and accurate information such as business name, address, contact number, business hours, and payment methods. For a better ranking, you would also want to include photos in your listing. Photos make your listing 2x more likely to be considered reputable and get 35% more clicks. You can also regularly post updates to connect with your audience as well as promote news, services, and offers. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to claim your business profile on Google. 

Reviews 

In addition to keeping your GBP profile updated, you would also want to encourage your patients to leave a review after an appointment. Most clients are more inclined to review a business after a positive experience with them, and it’s no different with a dental practice. 

Real-patient reviews give prospective patients a sense of how a dental clinic treats its patients. As such, make sure to respond to reviews as well. It creates a dialogue and a positive image that you value customer feedback. SEO-wise, Google reviews help foster brand trust, which can then boost online exposure, increase click-through rates on your website, and improve your chances of converting visitors into patients. 

Citations/Business Directories 

A business citation is any mention of your dental practice on the web. As part of a comprehensive digital marketing effort, you should list your dental clinic accurately in relevant directories that appear in local searches. These citations don’t necessarily have to link to your website, but they should include your business name, address, and contact information. 

When done correctly, Google recognizes your practice as trustworthy, and each listing has the same weight as a backlink to your practice. 

Reach More Patients with Dental SEO Services 

There are a lot more ways to boost your site’s search engine rankings. But, the strategies outlined above can serve as your foundation to set you up for future SEO success. 

What matters most is to keep updating and measuring the success of your dental SEO efforts to keep up with the ever-changing consumer behavior and the latest digital marketing trends. We’ve helped many clients in the health industry improve their online visibility through a variety of SEO techniques. We know how to drive traffic to your website and then to your practice. 

Need a little help creating a comprehensive dental SEO strategy? We’ve got the experience and enthusiasm to help you. Get in touch with us today.