A Step-by-Step Guide for 202217 min read
Dentists offer crucial services that most people need.
As the famous quote goes, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”
Right now, 1,000s of potential patients and customers are searching for “dentists near me” or “best dentist in Toronto,” and other related keywords.
The question is, does Google rank your dental practice as a trusted resource for these people? If not, you’re missing out on hundreds of new leads and patients.
But don’t take my word for it. A lot of dentists (including new practices) are embracing SEO and the results are off the chart.
The Morrisville Dentist, a new practice that opened in 2018 grew so quickly with SEO. Within the first few months, the website recorded a 392% increase in organic traffic with a 300% increase in new patients acquisition.
This practice was ranking for 20+ local dental keywords with commercial intent within 4 months. Here are the top 5 keywords:
Dental SEO doesn’t have to be confusing or boring.
In fact, it can be the most rewarding marketing experience — especially if you’ve made up your mind to provide great patient care.
What is SEO for Dentists?
Dental SEO is the step you take to position your dental practice website to appear or rank higher in search engine results (especially Google).
With the right SEO or Search Engine Optimization practices, your dental practice website and its pages can rank at the top spot on the search engine results page (SERP) without paying for an ad.
As an example, when a potential patient types “implant dentist near me” or “best dentist in Chicago,” your dental website will be presented by Google, Bing, or Yahoo! as the most trusted source of information or practice in that area.
Why Is SEO Important for Dentists?
Most dentists are struggling to increase visibility online because they don’t know how to implement SEO. How sad?
Your practice can get found online when potential patients and clients search on Google. We’ll show you exactly how to do it.
So why is this crucial, and why should you embrace SEO for dentists?
1). Establish trust and credibility with patients
SEO is an essential part of a dental practice’s marketing strategy.
It will help you gain trust with prospective patients and grow your practice.
Make sure you create engaging content about dental care on your blog consistently. By doing so, you can allay fears that may have prevented potential patients from seeking out your practice. If you want to increase the number of people finding your dental website and calling/visiting your practice, you need to focus on building trust and credibility with your dental patients.
One of the most overlooked ways to increase trust and credibility is through patient reviews.
Make sure that you have a strategy for asking for reviews and feature them on your website.
Another overlooked SEO tactic is to ask for reviews from your existing patients and post them on your website.
2). Drive more targeted traffic to your website
With more than 5.6 billion searches performed on Google per day, search engine optimization is essential for positioning your practice to be found online.
Can you visualize how many potential patients you can attract to your website if Google pushes it to the top of the result page?
Whether it’s a new patient search or a routine cleaning, dental patients will likely click on the first 3 results in a search. Not only do people believe that the dentist in the top spot is better, but Google also does!
Higher rankings translate to more clicks and more trust from potential patients.
Investing in SEO for your dental website is a great way to attract more patients and increase your practice’s online presence.
While you can use social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and email marketing to promote your dental practice, SEO is one of the most effective methods for driving more targeted traffic to your website.
With SEO, your website will show up higher on organic search results for keywords that your audience is searching for — such as:
- Implant dentist near me
- Best dentist in Toronto
- Best kid dentist
When you rank for any of these keywords, then it becomes a lot easier to attract leads and potential patients to your practice.
SEO for dental practices is essential in today’s Internet landscape, as most people turn to search engines to find dental services and providers.
Proper keyword research and systematic SEO practices are essential for a successful SEO campaign.
This will help you understand your website’s performance and monitor your SEO campaign progress.
Your website should be mobile responsive and easy to use for patients who want to get dental care on the go.
3). Create a memorable user experience on your site
SEO can help your practice reach a wider audience with diverse demographics. This strategy can help you convert prospects into paying customers.
Providing an outstanding customer experience leads to repeat business and a steady income.
Moreover, it reveals insights into customer preferences. Increasing your visibility through SEO can help you increase your website’s organic ranking.
This way, potential patients will find your practice and book an appointment online.
You can set up a standalone page where patients can book appointment with you via SimplyBook.me
Moreover, by creating informative content for your website, you can increase your website’s user experience and attract more new patients. In addition to getting the attention of potential patients, informative content will also establish your practice as being trustworthy.
4). Increase your revenue as a dentist
SEO for a dental practice can also reduce the cost of conventional advertising, as you won’t have to pay for ads.
Moreover, people who find your practice organically are more likely to trust your services.
The result will be higher patient revenue. If you use SEO to promote your dental practice, you can expect to see a marked increase in your revenue.
Whether you rank for 5, 10, or 100 new keywords, what matters is how much conversion you’re able to get. Kids Klub Dentistry ranked for 60% of its target keywords including:
- Toronto pediatric dentist
- kids dentist toronto
- pediatric dentist near me
- pediatric dentistry
By ranking for these keywords, this kids-centric dentistry has continued to grow its revenue since 2018. The best part: 39 satisfied patients wrote honest reviews to share their experiences.
Using SEO to promote your dental practice is a great way to increase visibility and authority.
Search engine optimization can help you attract more patients who are searching online for a dentist near them.
Do Dentists Need SEO?
Yes, dentists need SEO!
Google is a major search engine and ranks websites by their relevance to keywords.
Keep in mind that a first or third page organic ranking depends on many factors, including
- The quality of your service
- Word-of-mouth recommendations
- The content on your website
- Internal links
SEO for dentists helps you attract new patients and increase your online presence.
As a Dentist, you need a website that ranks high on Google for keywords related to dental services.
Keyword research is an important part of any digital marketing campaign.
Think like a potential patient. Think about how they would search for your practice on Google. For example, they would type in their zip code to find a dentist near them.
A well-implemented SEO campaign will increase your website’s ranking in the search engine results, establish your credibility, and gain the trust of prospective patients.
How to Optimize a Dental Website for SEO
Your website drives your SEO strategy. Without a website, your dental practice will likely struggle to attract patients.
So here are the quick tips on how to optimize your dental website for SEO:
1). Build your website on WordPress
WordPress powers 43% of the entire web. Most successful websites that you visit often are built using WordPress.
As the centerpiece of your marketing efforts, a dental website is important.
Potential clients will first see your website to learn more about your services, and it should include all your contact information.
Your website should also clearly indicate how to pay, ensuring that visitors know how to pay before they arrive.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider WordPress as a content management system (CMS) for your dental website.
i). WordPress is easy to set up and use: If you’re not a website developer (most dentists are not), then you need to start with WordPress CMS (content management system) because it’s easy to set up and navigate.
Generally, you’ll get a fast-loading website if you stick with WordPress.
Keep in mind that website visitors are impatient and won’t stick around long if they can’t find what they’re looking for.
The best way to attract new patients is to make your website easy to navigate. Make sure to emphasize your dental expertise while humanizing your practice.
Most prospective patients will make a decision based on how well you make them feel.
ii). Use a professional dental WordPress theme: An eye-catching theme will make your dental website more attractive to visitors and potential patients alike.
The WordPress ecosystem has both free and premium WordPress themes you can choose from.
With a good theme, you can easily track the performance of your dental site. Google Analytics is a fantastic tool for tracking and improving your website.
You can see which pages are attracting the most traffic and which ones aren’t.
With these metrics, you can make adjustments to your website design as necessary.
If you have questions, feel free to contact our team! We’re here to help you achieve success with your dental practice!
iii). Easy to maintain: A WordPress site is easier to maintain than a Joomla, Squarespace, or Wix site. It’s easy to add, format, and publish new posts.
With WordPress, you don’t need to write a single code snippet. Besides, WordPress sites are loved by Google and other search engines.
That means you can get more traffic from organic search results more quickly.
2). Create a mobile responsive website
Creating a mobile-friendly dental website is essential for maximizing online visibility. In today’s digital age, it’s important to create a mobile responsive dental website.
The growing number of people using their phones to browse the Internet proves the importance of this feature.
As an example, Lifetime Dental uses a mobile-responsive theme that displays well on both mobile and desktop PCs.
Over 60% of the web is used on mobile devices, and that number is growing by the day. Take a look at the percentage of mobile traffic between 2011 and 2021:
If your website is not mobile-friendly, you will lose potential dental patients and income. Additionally, Google favors websites that are mobile-friendly.
Patients can easily communicate with you via their mobile devices.
A contact form on your website can help new patients get in touch with your dental practice.
3). Optimize your website for speed
The speed of your website is a crucial factor when it comes to the online patient experience.
People today have very short attention spans and if a website takes too long to load (longer than 3 seconds), 1 in 4 visitors would abandon a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load.
This can affect your ranking on the first page of Google.
While many dental practices believe that the appearance of their websites is enough to attract new patients, a well-designed, highly-functional website that loads fast is even more vital for attracting patients.
To improve your site speed, here are some tips:
Use fewer plugins to power your site (most premium themes have built-in themes already, so there’s no need to install third-party plugins).
- Compress your images and resize them accordingly
- Minify your CSS as much as possible
- Use a CDN with multiple data centers to boost your speed
4). Pick localized target keywords
Localized keywords are the most overlooked aspect of SEO, but it is important to focus on localized keyword optimization for the best results.
Localized keywords have the highest potential to improve your ranking in search results.
Google Reports show that 43% of searches have local intent, and 76% of searchers who search nearby go to a related business within 24 hours.
Using keywords wisely is crucial for your SEO campaign. Good keywords should make your website easy to find in search engines.
For instance, if your dental website has an “SEO-friendly” title, then you are likely to rank high for relevant search terms.
SEO is a continuous process to make your dental practice more visible to potential patients.
It’s essential to use specific keywords in content that is relevant to your practice.
These keywords could be:
Best teeth cleaning services in Houston
5). Create keyword-rich engaging content to help patients
The key to creating keyword-rich and patient-friendly content is to follow the latest news trends and release relevant content at the right time.
While patients may not be actively searching for the information you are offering, they may be search for a condition like an implant. So create content that answers their question.
For instance, For this highly-focused keyword “How do I choose a dentist for my implant treatment?” here’s a detailed answer to the question from Click4teeth:
Patients want to be able to engage with your content, so make it interesting and relevant to them.
To create the most engaging content ever, understand your ideal patient and their search intent. This will help you create content that will resonate with them and move them along the sales funnel.
For example, if your ideal patient has “Cavity,” consider creating a blog that outlines the strategy for treating it. Write content in a readable style.
If you can provide helpful content, Google will rank your page higher.
Sabka Dentist ranks at number #7 for the keyword “how does cavity form on a teeth?”
Remember that many patients do not have a background in health and advanced dental terms.
Hence, using dental jargon and language (mostly reserved for dentists) will sound like Greek (if they’re not from Greece) to them.
The goal is to break down complex topics in a way that even a complete beginner in dental services will understand.
Create actionable content that patients can put to work for results. This will create a strong relationship between you and your audience.
Above all, add a compelling call-to-action (or CTA) to your content to encourage potential patients to take the next step.
6). Optimize your dental website for conversions
If you want to convert visitors into patients, you need to create an experience that appeals to your target audience.
You should create a value proposition for your visitors and prove your expertise by showcasing customer testimonials on the homepage.
Island Coast Dentistry has a unique value proposition. It reads “Experience Personalized Dentistry.”
To increase conversions, place the call-to-action at the top of the page.
Most users won’t scroll past the first fold, so you want to ensure that all visitors see and click on your CTA button.
Consider using different CTAs to attract different kinds of visitors.
You can have a call to action to schedule an appointment online, a contact form, or a special offer to attract new patients. Here’s a good example from A Dental Care:
The goal is to get visitors to take action, become leads, and eventually pay for your services.
A few tips to keep in mind:
- Make your dental website feel like a digital extension of your practice.
- Include content that reflects your office’s atmosphere. You can also incorporate organic content, like videos or personalized photos.
- Try using a call to action in your Meta description to increase your site’s credibility with search engines.
A good first impression goes a long way. In addition to SEO and conversion rate optimization, your dental website should be easy to navigate and attractive to visitors.
The home page is a crucial page. It should have the correct link structure, with relevant pages linking to it.
Also, make sure the layout is consistent, and try to repeat the same elements throughout your website.
You should ensure your website is cross-browser and platform compatible.
This way, your website will look the same across all browsers and devices. If it isn’t, it’s time for you to revamp your dental website.
Dental SEO: How Much Does It Cost?
How to Optimize Your Practice for Off-Page Ranking Factors
Your dental website may look amazing to you, but Google doesn’t know that for sure.
The best way to prove to Google that your dental practice can be trusted is by engaging in off-page SEO — getting out of your comfort zone to spread the word about your practice.
Here are the effective ways to optimize your practice website to rank higher on Google:
1). Add your practice to Google Maps fast
To rank your dental practice in Google Maps, you need to claim your profile on the Google My Business platform.
All you need is your Gmail account. Select a category to get started. Next, you’ll be asked for your business name, address, and phone number or NAP.
Enter the address of your practice so that people can find your business in Google Maps and in Google Search.
Your practice GMB profile should look similar to this once you’ve supplied all the information — with the exception of reviews (which will come later).
Having a physical location can be particularly helpful because your practice will be visible on Google Maps and make it easier for patients to visit you.
Another benefit to adding your dental practice to Google My Business is the fact that your practice can be viewed by patients looking for dental services within the search results — without having to click through to a website.
Patients searching for dentists on Google will often see the map pack alongside their results, and dental practices can add information to their listings to make their practice stand out from the crowd.
The information that you include in your listing will help prospective patients make an informed decision about whether or not they want to visit your practice.
High-quality photos and videos are also important to your Google My Business (GMB) listing.
Photos help prospective patients familiarize themselves with your practice, and are a great way to attract new patients.
Most GMB listings contain a cover and logo but don’t forget to include pictures of your staff.
A team photo will give your GMB listing an even more personalized touch.
Additionally, exterior photos reinforce the importance of your practice’s location for both prospective patients and the Google search engine.
2). List your practice on local citation sites and directories
Local citations are important to Google. Every business or practice with a physical location is expected to get some local citations from directories and local websites.
On sites like Yelp, you can submit important information about your practice — such as the name, location, phone numbers, and the website link.
Google will pull all of this vital information and validate it with those on your Google My Business page. So make sure you use the same address and location across the web.
Listing your dental practice on local citation directories is an excellent way to reach more potential patients. Some of the popular directories include:
There are several benefits of doing so. You will receive more qualified traffic, which can improve your overall reputation.
Being listed on multiple directories can improve your search engine ranking, and it can help you get new patients.
Listing in quality online directories is an essential part of local SEO. Dentists should list their practices in as many quality directories as possible.
Many directories have links to authoritative websites, which will help your rankings. Check all listings to ensure they are accurate and consistent with your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number).
3). Build backlinks from relevant websites
Building backlinks from relevant websites to your dental site can help improve your organic search engine results.
Ahrefs conducted an extensive study and found that new backlinks correlates with ranking positions.
This study clearly shows that the more backlinks a site acquires, the higher its ranking on Google.
But not all links are created equal.
Backlinks from trusted and relevant websites carry more weight than those from generic or new sites.
For example, a link from Healthline.com to your dental website will dramatically improve your ranking. But a link from a new website will likely not move a pin.
Focus on getting links from relevant websites, which attract the right kind of traffic.
When hiring a dental SEO company, it’s important to ask specific questions about the backlinks they provide and when they will begin to show results.
Dental directories are great places to get links. These can be do-follow links that pass link juice or no-follow links that don’t do much.
But they’re a signal to Google that you’re an expert in the dental field.
These directories generally have high traffic and rankings, so using them to your advantage is important.
Also, look for medical directories and medical blogs.
These are all targets for link building. You could write guest posts for a health blog such as Verywellfit.com and share insightful information on how dentists onboard new patients (this sounds interesting).
4). Showcase patient reviews
Reviews from patients and customers carry a lot of weight. Google uses reviews to judge how satisfied or dissatisfied the patient is.
According to Search Engine Land, “72% of consumers trust online reviews the same way they trust personal recommendations from real people.”
If you own dental practice, you may be wondering how to get reviews for your website. If so, you’re not alone.
Millions of potential patients use Google to search for dentists, and you can make sure that the reviews you receive on your website are genuine.
The best way to attract these reviews is to deliver excellent dental services and encourage your patients to share their experiences. Excellence is one of the reasons people leave reviews.
Then you can have these reviews prominently displayed on your homepage. The more reviews you have, the higher the chances of new patients choosing your practice.
Asking your patients to leave a review is not difficult. Here are some tips you can implement today:
- Simply follow up with a postcard after their appointment.
- Text messages are more personal and have a much higher open rate than emails. Include a link to your website in the text message and request a review.
- This is a great way to generate reviews and build trust with patients. You can use any combination of these techniques to encourage patients to write a review.
- Facebook is another popular way to get reviews for your website. Facebook allows people to leave reviews about businesses.
These reviews can be valuable for converting prospects to patients, as they’re a great way to promote your practice and increase your ranking in search engines.
A patient may have found your practice through Facebook or Google, so why not ask them to share that with you.
This insight can help you decide what marketing channel to double down on or ignore.
Is SEO Working For You? How Can a Dentist Know This?
If you’re not measuring your SEO efforts, how do you make better decisions in the future?
With SEO, there’s no guesswork or assumptions — as you can actually ascertain if your efforts are producing results.
This is an essential part of an effective dental practice SEO strategy.
Keep these important data points and factors in mind when ascertaining the effectiveness of your SEO strategy:
- Keywords ranking: You can check which of your target keywords are showing up in the search results. You can do this manually by typing the keyword into the search bar or by using a tool such as Ahrefs or SEMrush to automate it.
If you started your SEO campaign by targeting 10 keywords, how many can you find on the first page of Google? How many are on the second page?
- Website traffic: Are you generating traffic from those keywords, as well as related keywords? Log into your Google Analytics account to find out the sources of your traffic, top pages, and more.
- Conversions: What do you want to achieve with your dental website? The obvious goals are calls, online bookings, form submissions, online bookings, chatbot conversations, and driving directions.
- Reviews: Keep an eye on how many reviews you’re getting each and every day. And be sure to respond to your patient reviews with helpful answers and clarifications.
We hope you have benefitted from this ultimate guide to dental SEO, and why it’s important for your dental practice.
This might sound all good, we get it. Optimizing your online presence takes time, and you need a solid SEO strategy that will drive results.
You also need to be guided by someone who knows what they’re doing. Dental SEO might be tricky — so you might not want to mess around with it.
Get in touch with us today. We can help you set up your website properly, develop a winning SEO strategy, and help you dominate your city for dental related keywords.