Dental SEO: SEO basics for dentists to get more customers online

Dentistry has become more and more competitive, and the need for marketing online has never been more essential. Websites have been redesigned, to more responsive designs to increase usability and speed. Dentists have also begun turning to content marketing strategies to reduce Google ad costs and to drive more website traffic to their sites.

No matter what changes are made for marketing purposes, if search engine optimization (SEO) hasn’t been done, they will all go unnoticed. Therefore, if you are a dental practice looking to increase traffic and reach more patients, it is time to use SEO marketing a dental practitioner.

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Yellow page ads are dead. Long live Dental SEO

Before Google and online directories, people would comb through the yellow pages to find a dentist. Now, people turn to the internet and search engines to find a ‘Dentist near me’ or ‘Dentist in [X City]. However, unlike before, when people would look through multiple pages in the yellow pages, users rarely go past the first search engine results page (SERPs). 

Head to Google, and type in ‘Dentist near me’ or ‘Dentist in [Your City]. Did you see your practice on the first page? No, what about the second?

If you answered no to both of these questions, your dentist practice is missing out on significant potential new customers and business.

So how exactly does a Dentist drive new customers to its website? In this article we discuss exactly how Dentists can utilize the best SEO techniques to drive more traffic and improve their online presence.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines through various targeted processes. When search engines determine that the website has quality content and it meets the user’s intent, they will rank you higher on SERPs. A better ranking ultimately means increased visibility and a better chance of generating clicks.

SEO will help Dentists increase their click through rate. However, that is only one component of the process, and you will need a high quality site to retain the customers, or your site could experience a high bounce rate. Of course, these two components are further along the sales funnel. The first thing is to make sure that there is significant organic traffic being driven to your site through SEO processes. 

Boosting a Dentist practice’s ranking takes a lot of time and effort. Or, if optimizing your website yourself is out of the question, you can work with a SEO agency to optimize your website.

That being said, many of the components to increase the overall SEO of your dental practice’s website are relatively easy if you have the time. Some of the more simple on-page SEO elements include: updating content, optimizing titles and meta descriptions, as well as ensuring that your overall content layout is logical and optimized for targeted keywords. 

On the other hand, off-page SEO elements tend to be more complicated and may require assistance from a dental SEO agency. Some of these components may include: ensuring responsive web designs are used, a strong backlink profile is in place, as well as ensuring that Google can read through and index all pages, without running into 404s or other HTTP status codes as well as noindex pages.

What is dental SEO?

Dental SEO are the processes used to make a dental practice appear higher in search engine results. Using SEO techniques to increase visibility of the dental practice by appearing on the search engine result page (SERP) without paying for an ad.

SEO for dentists, or dental SEO, are the processes undertaken to optimize a delta practice’s website to rank better and drive more organic traffic to the website from search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

There are many different elements that dentists can implement to show search engines that their website should be ranking better. Every practice and location is different so it is essential that a specific and well thought out dental SEO strategy should be put in place. This article discusses four tips to begin the SEO process. However, it is crucial that you don’t take these tips as a cookie cutter approach.  Use them as a guide, and develop your own strategy to get maximum results,

Either your in-house team, or the dental SEO agency you are working with should conduct research into understanding the location as well as the competitors there to figure out which keywords and niches should be targeted. Luckily, even though dentistry may be a competitive industry in certain areas, the majority of them are not optimizing their websites correctly. Therefore, if a dental practice takes the time to research the competition and understand the issues within their own website, they will be able to see massive return on investments (ROI).

SEO for dentists: Why does it matter?

As a dental practice search engine optimization and content marketing may not rank too high on the to do list – or might not rank at all! However, without investing in SEO, Dentists will be losing out on significant leads and money, as no one will be able to find your site on Google.

SEO agencies love conducting studies to show how imperative it is to rank well in order to receive website visits. One of the most eye-opening studies show that the top five search results account for 68% of all clicks.

70% of people searching for a dentist online, will click on one of the top 5 results. Moreover, over 90% of searchers wont go past the first page of Google results. 

Do you currently know where your Dental website is ranking?

If your dental practice is not in the top five, you’re missing out on 70% of traffic looking for your services. What would an increase in 70% traffic mean for your practice?

Therefore, if you can achieve a ranking in the top five of Google search results, your site should be seeing high traffic, more qualified leads, greater credibility and authority, and more patients for your dental practice. 

However, if you’re not, it may be time to invest time into optimizing your site, or time to work with a SEO company in your area.

If you do a quick Google search for ‘Dentists near me’, you will be able to quickly see who your main competitors are, and which ones are more than likely investing in dental SEO.

These top three, top five competitors are receiving the majority of traffic for your service, before potential local customers even know you exist.

Is your dental practice looking for new leads? Are you looking to generate high-quality motivated traffic to your website? It may be a good time to invest in SEO for your dental practice. Clear Door SEO a SEO agency in Portland, Oregon focuses on working with Dentists that are looking to increase their visibility and traffic through SEO. We have come up with four reasons why dental website SEO is essential for your internet marketing needs.

1. SEO for your dental practice will build trust and credibility with patients

People assume that dentists who appear in first positions are better, therefore the bulk of individuals click on one of the top five suggested results in Google. So does Google!

It’s a vicious cycle as the higher you rank on Google the more likely potential patients will trust you and click on your website – which is a signal to search engines that your content is good and thus help you rank higher on Google even more.

Google views you as a reliable and trustworthy source as more individuals click, and it will continue to push you to the top results.

Therefore, to continue to improve your rankings, it is important to come up with a good dental SEO strategy that will help your build trust with Google as well as within your audience.

2. Search engine optimization drives more traffic to your website

According to a recent study, organic (non-paid) search accounts for 53% of all traffic to all websites. It might be much more for your particular area and website. For two distinct reasons, this is especially significant:

  • The more people who visit your website, the greater your chances of persuading someone to schedule a dental appointment.
  • Dental SEO is an inbound marketing technique. This dental marketing strategy makes it simple for prospective patients to locate you when they want you, rather than your practice having to reach out to potential customers with ‘cold calls’ who in the end, may or may not even want to hear from you. As a consequence, you get better conversion rates and higher-quality leads (the patients you want most).

3. The best SEO translates into a better website user experience

Website user experience is very important when it comes to SEO. Dentists, for example, might follow SEO best practices including:

  • Fast page load time
  • Mobile-friendly design
  • Headings and subheadings on pages
  • Compelling, original content
  • Easy site navigation

These techniques help your website provide a good user experience and perform better in organic search engine rankings. This is because you are helping prospective patients be able to find what they need quickly and easily on your website

4. Other dental practices are using SEO

The internet is a bustling, competitive environment, and SEO is something that other firms in your city are already familiar with. You can keep up with your rivals or, better still, rise to the top and stand out as the finest option for patients with an SEO plan of your own.

For example, if a user types “Portland dentist directory” into Google, she’ll get a slew of reviews, dentist directories, and competitor sites. Not only will increased SEO help your practice appear in these rankings, it will also help you stand out and acquire clients as a patient.

Now that we have a good idea why SEO for dental agencies matter, let’s look at the strategies to help your practice succeed online.

Strategies for Dental SEO

Any dental marketing plan requires knowing where to reach your target audience and how to reach them. SEO is no exception. When you address the needs of dental patients, you get their attention. This attention raises your rankings, which garners even more attention, and the cycle continues.

Here are some things your practice can do to begin the process of developing a good dental search engine optimization strategy.

We have all used Google before to search for information, a service or a product. And, we all know how we form our queries to find exactly what we are looking for. Therefore, when developing content for a Dental website, why would we not use this to our advantage?

Everyday people are looking for dentists and specific dental services in their area. However, if the website does not match the search intent of the consumer, it will never get displayed to them by Google. People are looking for specific services such as: teeth whitening and bridges to annual exams for kids and emergency dental care. Are you including these terms in your website? If not, you are missing out on potential traffic.

Strings of three or more keywords are considered to be long-tail keywords. They are usually more defined and specific, and usually mean the searcher is further along the sales funnel because they know exactly what they are looking for. You can use these types of keyword strings in your content instead of just ‘Dentist’. Every dentist, and directory (all over the country) is using that term and over optimizing for it. If you don’t have a well established brand, with a high domain authority, it will be difficult to rank for keywords like this.

For example, let’s look at a couple of different keywords and check their search volume to put this into context.

  • Dentist in Portland Oregon – Search Volume 1,000
  • Dentist – Search Volume 1,220,000
  • Teeth Whitening – Search Volume 246,000
  • Teeth Whitening in Portland Oregon – Search Volume 70

As you can see, the search volume of these terms drastically changed. The longer the keyword, and more specific, the less search volume there is going to be. Moreover, as mentioned above, the more you can consider the searcher to be a high-quality lead.

When conducting keyword research, look for these long-tail keywords to give your Dental practice a boost in SEO. These keywords usually have lower search volume but have less competition to rank for. Even though they have lower search volume, just remember, if you can convert at least one searcher to utilize your dental services, your whole SEO investment will be more than likely paid for. 

Good return on investment? I think so!

Finally, don’t over optimize for the keyword. You will want to make sure it is natural to the reader. If you stuff keywords, it will come off as spammy and more than likely turn the customer away. Always remember to meet the searcher’s intent, with high quality and informative content. It won’t matter if you can drive traffic to your page if you scare them away immediately.

Therefore, use your keywords to optimize other parts of your content like:

  • Meta Descriptions
  • Title Tags
  • Alt Attributes
  • H1 and Heading Tags

2. Local SEO Components

Targeting local areas and potential customers should be a huge priority for your practice. As shown above, 1,000 people were looking for Dentists in Portland, Oregon. When it comes to service based industries, people are more likely to use them if they are in close proximity. Therefore, it is imperative to target local consumers and ensure that you are using local SEO if you are a dentist. 

Local dental SEO is essential for attracting potential clients from your area. One of the best digital marketing tips for your dental office is to start a Google Business Profile ( Google My Business). A Google Business Profile helps dentists in the dental industry show up on local search. Whereas, a local SEO campaign will help your practice show up in the map pack and suggested businesses at the top of the search engine result page in Google’s snack pack.

In order to do this you should use geographical indicators such as town, city and/or state name. By including these indicators, it will help Google understand that you are a dentist in [city X]. These indicators are commonly referred to as NAP (name, address and phone number), which help build credibility with Google and your potential clients. Moreover, they should have a positive influence on your search engine ranking for local searches and ultimately on your dental SEO marketing efforts.

Once again these types of indicators should be used throughout the content as well as the other relevant areas such as Meta Descriptions, Title Tags, Alt Attributes and H1 and Heading Tags.

When it comes to health and medicine, people look for local service providers. You’re missing these prime prospects if your SEO plan doesn’t use local SEO tactics to target specific geographic areas. The easiest way to improve your results is by adding the name of your town and nearby towns to your website copy.

Other important steps you can take are to register your business on Google Maps as well as Google my Business. By taking these extra steps, you can make sure that your business is discoverable in more ways than just search engine search results. These aspects will also allow for the addition of information such as when you are open, a phone number, email address and other important contact information.

Also, when it comes to your map location and Google my Business profile, make sure to have your customers leave a review. Reviews and feedback are also considered crucial information for search engines while they decide how to rank your dental practice. More stars and more comments shows Google that you are considered a ‘good’ and ‘trustworthy’ business.

Final tip would be to register in local, high-quality directories. These can provide more visibility to your business. Especially if you can get on lists like ‘top 10 dentists’. However, it is essential that your practice doesn’t register for any and every directory out there. They are not all considered equal, and can actually be a negative for your dentist SEO score.

3. Start blogging

Whether you’re working on the services page or blog posts, your goal of dental SEO is to attract more patients through organic and increased search engine visibility. You can also attract visitors by providing them knowledge and expertise on various aspects of dentistry. If you’re an established dental practitioner then you should focus on SEO content marketing as it helps to build additional credibility which ultimately helps to generate more revenue. 

Therefore, blogging is one of the easiest ways to do that. You can write about dental care tips, guides to taking care of your teeth etc and attract potential customers and interested readers. As blog posts help to grow traffic, your search rankings will also automatically increase and establish you as an authoritative source and the first choice for those looking for dental care in your area.

Writing content for SEO can help increase website traffic, and generate new organic leads. However it needs to be done in the right way. As mentioned above, content needs to be written in a strategic way while incorporating content writing for SEO best practices. Remember, while writing new content, you should be writing it from the perspective of the reader. It shouldn’t be developed to fulfill your businesses needs. It should be able to meet the readers search query intent and provide them with informative information.

Earning links isn’t hard as it sounds and can be easily achievable. The quality and number of links to your website impacts your search engine rankings for keywords and phrases related to your business. Therefore, if you want to maintain your rankings, then you need to earn quality links. 

You can create quality content, reach out to industry leaders and bloggers to ask if they would like to share their content. This will help to boost your rankings and also help to position you as leader in the dental field. Links are very important! They work as an endorsement for the content you publish and work as thumbs up! Hence, search engines like Google use links as one of their biggest ranking factors!

While building backlinks, don’t only focus on backlinks to your site – although they are extremely important. You should also make sure you have a robust of internal links that allows for your users to easily navigate your website. Additionally, these internal links will make it easier for search engine crawlers to see your entire website and index your pages. Of course, you can build links in two different ways White Hat and Black Hat. Clear Door SEO can not stress this enough – always engage in White Hat practices!

Dental SEO FAQs 

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding dental SEO services.

How does dental SEO work?

Just like for any other websites, SEO for dental involves optimization of your website for search engines and visitors, which will increase the site’s visibility and organic search results. SEO optimization consists of on-page SEO, off-page SEO and content update, for instance, update title tags and meta description, improving page speed and attracting more backlinks

How long does dental search engine optimization take?

It takes at least six months for dental SEO to deliver results. SEO is not a fast process but rather a slow yet consistent process. In some cases, you will see SEO practices starting to take immediate results, for example, increased traffic and appointments. If you want organic traffic and organic results the normal timeframe is between six months to a year, which is a long-term strategy. But if you’re looking for quicker results you can also opt for a short-term strategy like pay-per-click (PPC).

How much does SEO for dentists cost?

Price for dental SEO depends on several factors, but the average cost for dental SEO is $1000 to $3500 per month. Whereas, $1000 includes a complete SEO package including on-page SEO, off-page SEO and technical SEO. On the other side of things, $3500 would include an entire SEO services package, content updates and website redesign/updates.

How do you calculate the ROI for dental SEO?

You can use the following formula: 

(Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment

“Gain from Investment” can include your search rankings and organic website traffic and conversions like a contact form completion or phone call. 

With free website analytics tools like Google Analytics, or Google Search Console, you can set up and track how your website is performing in regards to returns, conversions and overall SEO.

Key takeaways: Reach more patients with dental SEO services

Now that you understand the importance of SEO for dentists, you probably have questions about how to start. Don’t let all the dos and don’ts of SEO overwhelm you — Clear Door SEO is a SEO company in Portland Oregon specializing in SEO for dentists.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We also have a dental case study that will show how we were able to increase organic traffic by 116%!

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