Local SEO for Dentists: Everything You Need to Know

Local SEO for Dentists

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an integral part of digital marketing, especially in the age of e-commerce. Small businesses, including local dental practices, can benefit from its sustainable, cost-effective, and efficient ways of targeting nearby customers.

If you’re new to SEO, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed. This guide will introduce you to dental SEO so your practice can be more visible in local search results.

Learning how to find local keywords can get you on the first page of your search engine results pages (SERP). In turn, this can optimize your on-page metrics and help you build a strong backlink profile, enhancing your dental clinic’s online visibility while attracting more clients. 

What Is SEO for Dentists?

Before we get into the details, let’s first learn what SEO for dentists is. Dentist SEO, or dental practice SEO, is simply the process of optimizing a dental practice’s online presence through search engine optimization. 

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The goal of dental SEO marketing is to help your practice get more exposure in unpaid search engine search results. Ideally, when a person searches for dental services in your area, your practice appears on top of search results pages as one of the primary suggestions. 

Why Is Dental SEO Important?

Dental SEO is an important part of your dental marketing strategy because a lot of people look for local listings and services through search engines like Google. According to Semrush’s Keyword Overview tool, for instance, there have been 823,000 Google searches using the keywords “dentist near me” in the US over the last 12 months.

Hence, it is absolutely crucial for your practice to boost your SEO efforts and promote your dental services. These days, social media promotion remains helpful for local businesses looking to improve their online presence, but SEO broadens your reach across your local area.

Your Guide to Dental SEO Marketing

listing on keywords, report, optimize etc

You don’t need to become a dental SEO expert to get started with SEO marketing. In fact, SEO for dentists isn’t that different from SEO for other businesses. Though the same basics apply, we’ll go through specific tips that can help you zero in on better keywords and best practices. 

Update Your Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows you to manage your business listing on Google. The simple act of providing complete and accurate information about your dental practice can help your listing rank higher in local search results when patients look for a dentist in your area. 

Updating your Google Business Profile also gives potential patients details they need such as your phone number, booking website, and clinic hours. Google offers detailed advice on how healthcare providers can effectively set up their Business Profiles.

Ask Patients to Leave Reviews

Customer ratings and reviews are an important ranking factor that can put you on top of local search results. While it would be unethical to coerce or incentivize patients to leave positive reviews, asking them to leave honest feedback on your Google Business Profile is always worth a shot. 

You can also try emailing them a review request after their appointment. Make sure it’s easy for them to find the link to your Google reviews page, so they don’t put it off or forget to upload your review altogether. You can also display posters in your clinics to remind and encourage your patients to leave feedback to help your practice grow. 

Additionally, your receptionist can also request reviews when saying goodbye to patients. You can hand out fliers to help them find the review page later, or even set up a tablet or computer that allows patients to submit their reviews in real-time.

Participate in Online Directories

keyboad with the directory key marked in red

List your dental practice in reputable online directories. This gives potential patients even more ways to find your practice when they search for local dental services. Directories like Yelp and ZocDoc, for instance, can help Google verify your information while improving your rankings in local search results. 

You can list your dental practice in the directories offered by local business directories, review or booking platforms, healthcare providers, and dental programs. 

Follow Google’s Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EEAT) Guidelines

Google ranks sites highly when they exhibit “Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness” (E-E-A-T). Topics like dentistry are especially important and are met with more scrutiny. 

A good way to exhibit EEAT is by displaying your clinic’s board certifications and accreditations. You can also publish profiles displaying your credentials and qualifications. Additionally, publish quality content like blogs and long-form articles that are well-researched and relevant while demonstrating your expertise in the field. Ensure that everything is professionally reviewed, properly cited, and not plagiarized. 

Master Your Keyword Research

Proper keyword research is integral in ensuring the efficacy of your dental SEO strategy. It entails finding relevant keywords, or queries that people type into search engines when they want to look for information or buy something. 

Local keyword research is the process of identifying specific keywords that people type when they’re looking for places, services, amenities, and products within their area. This can be very important for dental practices looking to expand their clientele. 

Pay Attention to On-Page SEO

a woman tracking seo

This refers to optimizing web pages so that they rank higher for relevant keywords. On-page SEO also spurs more visitors to action, such as clicking on a booking link or filling out a contact form. Here are some tips to optimize your on-page SEO:

  • Incorporate your primary keyword into your title tag, meta description, and other headings as much as possible.
  • Naturally use your top keywords in the body of your content or webpages.
  • Include internal links in the pages of your site.

Use Structured Data

Use a schema markup or structured data on your site to make it eligible for rich snippets, or enriched search results on Google. This can attract more clicks than standard search results. Use Google’s review schema on your page to confirm the following information about your dental practice:

  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Hours of operation
  • Insurance accepted
  • Medical specialization
  • Forms of payment accepted
  • Slogan
  • Awards
  • Languages spoken

You can also check out Schema.org for a full list of schema properties for dentists.

Build Backlinks 

Having high-quality backlinks from other sites can immensely help your SEO. Backlinks are links to your site from other domains, which Google treats like votes of confidence when ranking your site. 

To build backlinks, publish quality content that other sites may want to share or use as references in their sites. You can also find broken competitor backlinks and reach out to the side administrator so they replace these with links to your site instead. Keep in mind that Google has link spam guidelines to keep users from building harmful backlinks that may derail your SEO efforts. 

seo analytics

Dental SEO employs the same basic SEO principles but has a specific focus on local keyword research and link building. Using it correctly will help potential clients find your dental practice and encourage more visitors to your site, especially once you start ranking highly on SERPs.

Though it takes practice and conscious effort in the beginning, the benefits are definitely worth it!

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