SEO for Dentists & Dental Clinics
Ever wonder what it means to “dentist SEO” or say “dental clinic SEO”?
SEO today is about optimizing your website for dental practice and making it searchable online using local SEO best practices.
“This strategy can help boost your website higher in search engine results and drive more traffic to it. It also helps you get more patients through your doors.”
Many dentists and owners of dental practices are confused about dental SEO. This topic can be frustrating for dentists who are trying to provide great patient care and not become marketing experts.
The truth is – Dentists cannot afford to ignore SEO in 2022. A dental clinic SEO strategy is essential if you want to grow your practice, and attract new patients. You will be able to understand the importance of this topic and make the necessary adjustments to get to the top.
This is exactly why we created the Dentist SEO simple guide. We want to make it easy for dentists all over the world and help them achieve success.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: What are dentist SEO and the importance of dental clinic SEO?
The process of getting your dental practice to rank higher in search engine results is called dental SEO. It’s not about paying for an advertisement.
An example: A potential patient may open Google or Bing or Yahoo or another search engine and type “dentist near me” or “implant dentist” or any other combination thereof. This is where an SEO strategy can help your practice rank at the top of search results.
An SEO dental marketing strategy is essential if you want to be found online.
SEO’s purpose is to improve your practice’s visibility and searchability in search results. But why is this important?
Let’s find out why –
A dentist’s SEO strategy is a powerful way to attract new patients. There’s more!
SEO is the foundation of modern online marketing strategies for dental practices. Without SEO, dentists won’t be able to effectively market their practice in 2022.
- SEO will help you build trust with your patients and establish credibility for your dental practice
The majority of Google users click on the top five suggested results. People believe that dentists in the top five positions are better. Google agrees!
It’s a vicious circle: the higher your rank in search results, the more potential patients will trust and click on your site. Google will continue pushing you to the top of the results if you have more clicks.
- Search engine optimization brings more traffic to your site
According to the latest research, 53% of all traffic to websites comes from organic search (non-paid). It may even be higher depending on your location and website. This is particularly important for two reasons:
- You have more chances to get someone to book a dentist appointment if you have more visitors to your website.
- Inbound marketing is an SEO tactic. Instead of reaching out directly to patients, dental SEO makes it easier for potential patients to find you when they are looking. This results in higher-quality leads, which are the patients you most want, and better conversion rates.
- The better the website user experience the better SEO it is
Good SEO strategies place a lot of emphasis on the website user experience. SEO best practices for dentists include:
- Page load speed is fast
- Mobile-friendly Design
- Pages: Headings and Subheadings
- Original, compelling content
- Site navigation is simple
These strategies help potential customers find the information they are looking for on your site (referred to as a good user experience), which in turn helps improve your SEO ranking.
- Competitors are also using SEO strategies
SEO might seem new to you but it isn’t new to any other practices in your area. The internet is competitive and crowded. You can either keep up with your competition or rise to the top to be the best choice for patients by creating an SEO strategy.
Let’s take, for example, a person with a missing tooth type “Portland tooth substitute” into Google. She’ll get lots of reviews, directories, and competitor websites. Your practice will be found among the top results, but you can also improve your SEO to stand out and win your business.
Chapter 2: Dentist SEO – Key components of Digital Marketing
These are the main components of digital marketing that dentists need to know about.
If you are looking for a shortcut where everything goes smooth and on autopilot mode, unfortunate to inform you this is not how digital marketing works. Let’s further discuss the components of digital marketing!
#1: Dental website
Your digital marketing presence starts and ends with your Website. Your website will not only be the foundation for your practice’s online presence but also provide an opportunity to convert potential customers into long-term, paying patients.
What makes a good website for dental care?
- The website should be Mobile Friendly: Patients are choosing to search online for new dentists through a mobile interface more and more often. Quality dental websites can be used on any device, including smartphones.
- Informative and engaging: It’s common to hear the phrase “content is king.” Your website’s content, which is the written word, will be the primary means by which you communicate your values and voice to potential patients. Your website content should be informative, original, and engaging. It must also be optimized for search engine optimization.
- Complete Representation – Visitors can get a real taste of being your patient through a quality website. How? You can display patient testimonials and dentist bios. But, most importantly, high-quality images or video.
- Educate yourself – Take a look at the Dental website that was created in 2022. Compare them with one made in 2016. Notice a difference? Web design technology and best practices are constantly changing. Patients will notice if your site is out of date.
- Updated – A website that you have paid for should be up-to-date. Patients will be discouraged if they see that your website has not been updated in two years. Your website will be easy to update by being flexible, whether it is built on WordPress or another reliable platform.
#2: Prioritize Search Engine Optimization
You’re probably familiar with the term SEO if you are looking at digital marketing for dentists. SEO is an important piece of digital marketing. Without it, even the most beautiful website in the world will not get many visitors.
Although it might seem complicated, it is very simple. SEO ensures that Google and other search engines can see your website. The ultimate goal? Your website and practice should be visible to potential patients searching online for a dentist in their area.
It’s like a smoke signal to a patient flying in a single-engine plane. This potential patient won’t see your website from 20,000 feet away without SEO.
How can you ensure your website and practice is search engine optimized? Although there are many strategies, most of them revolve around keyword research. This allows you to identify what terms are being searched for by patients in your area when they are looking for a dentist. These terms can be used to design your website and create content.
#3: Paid promotion
SEO can help you get in front of the ideal patients. Paid advertising will give you a boost to your website. This is especially important if your website is new or you are just starting to offer a new treatment.
We recommend advertising on Google using a PPC campaign. Paid advertising allows you to rise to the top of Google’s rankings and get your website seen by patients searching for dentists.
It does cost money. Google will only charge if someone clicks your ad. This is unlike traditional advertising. Once this happens, your website has the opportunity to show value and convince people to book an appointment.
#4: Managing your Online Reputation
Reputation management is an important part of digital marketing for dentists. We said at the beginning that new patients can’t be found by word of mouth. Patients today trust online reviews to tell others about their experience at your practice. Patients can feel confused if they don’t see enough reviews online.
Although online reviews can seem out of your control, you can and should take steps to build a positive online reputation. Online reputation management software is a good choice. It makes it easy for patients to leave positive reviews.
Chapter 3: What factors does Google consider while ranking websites?
A very crucial task for any website is to rank higher on Google or other search engines. For that one should know all the important factors to focus on for the Dental Clinic SEO program.
It’s difficult to get and keep your website on the first page of search engine results pages. Local search engine optimization (SEO) is required to achieve this. With algorithms constantly changing, and more dental practices being established and promoted online, it can be difficult to keep up.
Industry leaders analyze thousands of websites from small businesses each year to determine and weigh the factors that are most influential on local search rankings. Because local searches are more specific than regular searches, users are searching for services or products near them. Here are the factors that can influence your rankings.
On-page refers to keywords in your website’s content and metadata. Search engines use on-page signals to determine whether a user is searching for services in their area. Keywords are essential in the title tags and Meta descriptions of your website. These will be displayed on search engine results pages. Searchers can then decide if they wish to continue to your site.
Your title tags must include information about your services, cities, and business names. It should sound natural.
Also ensure that your practice name, complete address, and phone number are displayed throughout your website to let search engines know where you are located.
Backlinks are hyperlinks that link from your website to other websites. These are known as link signals. Backlinks are used by search engines to “reference” your website. This is similar to a reference that you would give to potential employers. Search engines will consider a backlink quality if it comes from websites relevant to yours. For example, they should be in the same industry or located in the same location.
These are the three types of links that you should follow for your website:
- Local Links from directories, such as directory listings from the local chamber of Commerce and links from your local college website or news station website
- Directory of Industries-specific directories, such as the ADA and your local state association
- Authority websites such as top magazines or blogs about dentistry
Google My Business
This refers to the Google Maps listing. It is the most important signal to rank in Google’s snackpack. Google uses information from your website as well as your Google Maps listing to triangulate the distance you are to the searcher. To improve your chances of being ranked in the top three positions, verify your Google Maps listing.
These directories are what Google uses to triangulate your address, phone number (NAP), and name to determine your location. Google typically looks at Yellowpages and CitySearch directories. You must ensure consistency in your NAP data by using the same name, address, and phone number for each directory. Google will not be confused if they compare your NAP data from each directory as well as your website and Google Maps listing.
It is important not to have duplicate listings in any online directories. Search engines won’t recognize duplicate listings and may confuse you if they don’t know if you have multiple locations or businesses. To edit your NAP information and report duplicate listings in a directory, you may need to go through verification.
This is the number of visitors who click on your website in organic search results. Searchers will choose to click on your website if they see the correct keyword in meta descriptions and title tags. Searchers are more likely to click your website if they can find their keyword in the title tag (blue text). Your click-thru rate is a measure of the popularity of the page to search engines. It also signals your chance of being ranked higher in the future.
Personalization is when a search engine tailors its results to the user’s search history, past behavior, and proximity to a business. This is a problem that local SEO cannot solve. You can consider paying-per-click (PPC) advertising. Paid ads on search engines get you in front of searchers who might not be able to find your practice in the organic results. PPC can be a great way for dentists in different markets to reach potential patients. PPC campaigns are quick and easy to drive traffic to your site, unlike SEO which can take weeks.
Although it’s still unclear whether reviews directly impact your rankings or influence engagement, they are important for your practice’s online visibility. Potential patients will be more inclined to contact you if there are positive reviews about your practice. Google allows searchers to call businesses directly from their results pages. Review collection can make a difference in whether searchers contact you immediately or visit a competitor.
Are likes, comments, and shares really good for rankings? It’s debatable. They do however add credibility to your brand. Google considers how often your business has been mentioned on the Internet. You should be active and present on social media networks. Also, include information about your services or location in your profiles.
Chapter 4: Best On-Page practices for Dental Clinic Website SEO
SEO has seen a lot of changes over the last 10 years. However, there is one constant that has remained consistent and important. SEO’s main purpose is to optimize your website to get the highest search engine ranking. That means showing up on the first-page results page in search engines. The majority of people don’t click on the 3rd, 4th, or 5th pages. Google offers five to ten compelling options for the first page.
Search engines are very specific. If you don’t appear on the first page of results, it might be best to not exist. Optimizing your web presence is the only way to get first-page billing. Even if your practice isn’t actively looking for new patients, it is important to have a high ranking. This is because patients who are currently in your practice often search for it online.
These sections will cover the most important On-Page practices that you should know to optimize your site.
Before you do any work, make sure to do some research. SEO for dental websites should not be done on the spot.
- Setting up a benchmark. You can track where you are at the moment by identifying key analytics like rankings, visitors to your site, conversions (visitors who complete a form), bounce rate, and more. Use free analytics tools such as Google Search Console or Google Analytics to gain a better understanding of your website’s performance, and make improvements when you implement SEO.
- Set goals. The best dental clinic SEO practices suggest that benchmark data is a way to see where you are doing well and where you need to improve. You can increase page visits, time on site, bounce rates, conversions, and reach. Get clear about your goals.
- Optimizing your page title and meta description. These are found in the code of each webpage and should be unique to each page. These pages are also displayed on search engine result pages, giving searchers a better idea of your website’s content. Optimize your page title and meta description by adding relevant keywords. Also, include the city and state of your practice in the copy. The page title should not exceed 60 characters, and the meta descriptions must not exceed 156.
- Optimize Structure Data –Structured data is what search engines use for more information about your site. It is added to a page’s HTML and makes it easier to search engines to find basic information about your practice, such as reviews, hours of operation, and services offered. The schema mark-up is used by Google to highlight the information on search engine result pages.
Chapter 5: Off-Page SEO Factors to take into consideration
Off-Page SEO Factors to take into consideration
We have covered all factors that can help or hinder your SEO. Search engine optimization is not done in isolation. Your competitors may be doing the same thing as you to improve their online visibility.
Prioritize the following 6 items to get an advantage over your competitors:
- Create high-quality backlinks. Register your business on online directories and social media profiles. Ask your professional societies and societies to list your website in their membership directory. You will see higher rankings if you have more authoritative and credible backlinks to it.
- Use consistent names, addresses, and telephone numbers (NAP data), in your online directories. Search engines use NAP information to discover who you are and what you do. You can use free tools like Moz’s Local Listing Scanner to find duplicate listings that might be appearing under an old name, address, or phone number. This will give you a consistency score. You will be able to see where you can add more information to your online directories and where your NAP data may be inconsistent. If you find duplicate listings, you can report them.
- Increase your website’s domain authority. As you follow steps 1 and 2, your domain authority (DA), will gradually grow over time. It all depends on how many websites link back to your site. Here are some ways to increase your website’s DA.
- Make sure technical SEO is in place. This will improve aspects such as site structure and ease of navigation. Depending on the website provider or your level of experience with website design, some of these items might be difficult to implement.
- Internal Linking – Linking on your website between different pages creates a network search engines and crawlers can use to find your website. It also helps to organize your content. If it makes sense, you could have a link on your services page that links to your pricing page.
- Get rid of bad backlinks. Search engines will scrutinize your website based on backlinks. It is therefore important to remove bad backlinks from websites. It can be time-consuming but it is worth the effort to remove bad backlinks from your website. This will help you avoid being penalized. Open Site Explorer and Search Console are free tools that can help you identify links that point back to your website. You can also find any links that do not make sense. A website linking to another country but not mentioning a topic relevant to your business is an unrelated link that should be disavowed. This tells Google that they have an unwanted backlink that they should ignore when evaluating your site.
- Firstly list the most important categories on Google My Business. The Google categories will determine which keywords your practice will appear in Google’s snack packs. Make sure you include the right categories on your page. List the most important ones first.
- Increasing Google reviews. Develop a strategy to get more reviews online from patients over time. After you have helped patients, encourage them to leave reviews online for your practice via email and social media. Respond to reviews with professionalism and sincerity!
- Increasing click-through rates. Google uses click-through rates to determine interest in specific pages. It is important to know how many searchers click on a listing on a search engine result page. Optimizing every page title and meta description on your website can make a difference in whether someone clicks on it.
- Add your verified Google Maps listing to your website. This is a small, but important step. Google can confirm your location by embedding a map on your website. This step must be completed after you have verified ownership of your Google Maps listing. Although dentist SEO is complex, these strategies will help you get started. Fill out the form to get the whitepaper on local search optimization and better rankings for your website.
- Claim Your Google My Business (GMB) listing as well as other online directories. When you implement dentist SEO campaigns, local search is essential to your online marketing strategy! To give Google proof of your location, your GMB listing should be claimed and verified at your dental practice. This is important because Google uses location and proximity to rank dentists. If someone searches for a dentist in your area, they will see you higher than someone further away. You should also claim your GMB profile to avoid having duplicate or conflicting information. After you have claimed GMB, continue the same process for all these top directories. Be consistent with your address, phone number, and practice name.
Chapter 6: Focus on user experience as well
Search Engine Optimization is a process that takes time. There are ways to immediately improve the search engine traffic results. You may be using the best SEO techniques to please Google, but you need to take a step back to consider how you can improve the user experience.
The majority of the information you are being told (and others) about optimizing your site for search engines focuses on making your site more attractive to search engine algorithms. Many tips focus on giving search engines what they want to increase their organic ranking.
There’s also another side to SEO, and this is especially important for dentists.
Search engines don’t make dental appointments – people do. While you should be focusing on the search engine’s needs, consider the needs of your potential patient. No matter how much organic traffic you get, it is unlikely that this will change overnight. However, you can make changes to search engines to increase the number of patients you have.
These are three ways you can make your website easier to use and get more from your existing organic traffic.
- Make a clear call to action on your website for prospective patients who visit your site. A special offer can be a great way to direct a call to action to new patients. You could say, “New patient special offer: Enter your email here to receive an appointment within 3 days.” Patients don’t want to wait for months or even years to see a doctor. Give them an incentive to make an appointment immediately.
- Make sure you display your contact information on all pages. This way, regardless of the page that someone is on, they can reach you via phone or visit your location.
- Make your meta-descriptions more personal and informative. A meta-description refers to the text in your website’s code that search engines use to generate search engine results. While it is more technical than other suggestions, it can make a huge difference. Your website control panel allows you to modify your meta-descriptions. Keep in mind keywords that potential patients might be searching for when you do this. Make sure that your website content is personal to you, your staff, and the practice environment. Remember that you only have 160 characters so keep it concise and to the point. You may have more space depending on which search engine you use. Use “I” phrases to introduce yourself. Many dental meta-descriptions are written using “we” phrases. This is less personal. Discuss what you do, where it is done, and why.
Search engines will notice if you improve the user experience and get more clicks or activity on your pages. This will help improve your search engine ranking. It’s user-experience-based SEO. User experience and search engine rule all work together towards the same goal: to make search engines a place where people find and use what they want.
Chapter 7: Don’t forget to concentrate on Local SEO to Attract Local Patients
It can be daunting to market your practice online. It can be difficult to keep up with the latest Internet marketing trends. However, there is one thing that is certain: targeting your local audience is crucial, regardless of whether you are marketing on social media or using search engine optimization. 67% of online searchers include a location in their queries. It’s time to target your local audience if you have not already.
These are some ways to incorporate location into your online marketing strategy.
- Use location in your content. It’s important that you personalize your content with your location so that it is easily found by the right audience. Google Analytics can help you determine the location of your website visitors. These locations can be incorporated into your content to increase reach.
- Concentrate on quality places – Too often doctors believe that the more cities they can find for a search query, the better. Some people even consider ranking their state. This way of thinking doesn’t always pay off. Prospective patients are more likely to search for “near me dentist” rather than “(State Name) dentistry”. Online searchers will be more likely to find you if your location is targeted.
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Not only will chambers link to member websites, but affiliation with a local organization will increase your website’s visibility.
- Encourage Foursquare or Facebook check-ins when patients visit your practice, each check-in reiterates your location to search engines and shares it with all your patients’ social networks. This will increase your visibility among local prospects.
- Use optimized Alt tags for your images. Alt tags allow search engines to “see” your images since they can’t determine the identity of the image by themselves. Right-click the image you want to add to your Web Engine site and choose “Image Properties”. Next, in the “Image Alt Text” section, write a descriptive sentence that includes the locations your practice serves. You’re done!
- Add your address and telephone number to every page. Search engines may not always scan all pages of your website to rank it on their search results pages. Search engines will see every page if you add your phone number and address.
Chapter 8: What to Avoid in your Dentist SEO
We’ve already covered the basics of SEO for dental professionals, how to increase your ranking in Google’s snack pack, and how to maximize visibility in local organic listings in search results. We will now focus on the factors that can negatively affect your rankings and what you could do about them.
These are things that could cause your website to lose its rankings. Your visibility will be affected by the number of ranking factors that you use, whether intentionally or accidentally. These are the top on-page (website), issues that could be affecting you.
- Page titles should not include the city or state. It should contain your city, state, and keywords (e.g. Dentist, Dentist in [City], State]. Search engine results pages show page titles. It is essentially a way to convince visitors to click your website instead of the other pages.
- You don’t need to include your city or common keywords in your meta descriptions. Searchers will use common keywords when searching for your dental services. For example, “Family dentistry services in [City]”. Meta descriptions are similar to page titles and appear on search results pages. They help searchers understand the page’s content and can influence their decision to click through.
- Your web pages don’t need H1 tags. The H1 tag creates a header for the copy on your page. It is usually bolded and enlarged to make it look like a title. Although the H1 tag’s copy and the enlarged copy may look identical visually, the tags at the back of the tag will identify the real H1 tag. Remember to include keywords that are frequently used in searches when creating H1 tags. Only one keyword should be per page.
- Images don’t need ALT tags. An ALT tag is a text alternative to an image. Make sure you include keywords wherever possible. An example of an ALT tag for a logo might be John Doe, DDS. Dental Practice Logo. Both “Dental Practice” and “DDS” can be used as keywords to describe the image.
- Your webpage is not optimized for Google My Business. Most dental practices have their Google My Business profile pointed to the homepage of their website. Make sure that your homepage contains your name, address, and phone number exactly as it appears on Google My Business. This information is used by Google to triangulate your address with your Google My Business profile to understand where you are located.
- Your website is not optimized for local search. You should also highlight your services and include references to the location of your firm (city or state). Your website will be optimized for local searches such as “Dentist in [City]”.
Negative off-page elements are events that happen outside your website, but can still affect your rankings.
- You have inconsistent/duplicate name, address, and phone number information in online directories and on your website. Your business is likely listed in numerous online directories. To avoid confusion with search engines, you want to make sure that your name, address, phone (NAP), and data are consistent across all directories. It is important to have consistent NAP data across all online directories. This information should also match the contact information on your website. You can verify consistency by using Moz’s Listing Scanner. Enter your practice name and zip code for a consistent score. You can then claim or optimize listings with incorrect or missing information.
- Virtual offices, post office boxes, and toll-free numbers can be listed in directories. You can list virtual offices, P.O. boxes, or toll-free numbers in directories. This information does not indicate where you are located in the same way as a physical address or area code. You should only list a toll-free number if you have one. Search engines cannot identify your practice if you only use a toll-free phone number.
- The wrong business category was selected. Many online directories, including Google, ask you to choose a category from a list. The majority of dentists will list their primary category as “Dentist”/ “Dental Clinic.” However, you can select additional categories but it is important to choose the most important.
- No backlinks exist. They are important to help you rank well in search results. Although it is time-consuming, it will pay off in the end. Reach out to the associations you belong to and ask if they have a directory that allows them to list your site.