Gone are the days when dentists would wait at their chambers and patients would come flowing in, just like that! Dental practice has become cut-throat and competitive today. To cut through the competition and reach more patients, you need great experience and excellent marketing skills.
However, marketing for dentists shouldn’t just be limited to newspaper ads, TV commercials, or getting their practice listed in Yellow Pages. More and more dentists are now considering a more effective and cost-efficient marketing channel – Search Engine Optimization.
SEO marketing for dentists has become the crux of their success today – an option you cannot ignore in today’s era of fast-paced digitization. Here is a comprehensive guide to dental SEO marketing, its importance, and its cost. Let’s dive in.
What is SEO Marketing for Dentists?
Long back, people switched from Yellow Pages to search engines to find dentists near them. And most interestingly, a significant percentage of these online searchers never go beyond the first page of search engine results. So, whether you have a longstanding dental practice or just starting off, it is crucial to have a website and optimize it for search engines like Google or Bing.
Search engine optimization is a proven practice of optimizing your dental website to help it rank high in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). The higher your website ranks, the better are your chances to improve the visibility of your dental practice, generate clicks, and attract more patient appointments.
Dentist Search Engine Optimization encompasses a broad range of processes – all designed to help boost your website’s search engine rankings and help you reach more patients. Typically, dentist SEO services include the following:
- Website audit
- Keyword research and development
- Content curation
- On-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Link building
- Analytics and Reporting
The below image will help you understand the key elements of SEO marketing for dentists:
Importance of SEO for Dental Practices
Did you know that more than 77% of people use the Internet to search for a dental clinic? With effective Search Engine Optimization, you can get your dental practice to be found on:
- The top search engine results for related queries
- Local dental practice listings
- Google Maps
- Social media
This can lead to increased brand awareness of your practice. Having your website ranked on the first page of search engines helps boost visibility as you reach out to more than 77% of online searchers. On the other hand, it builds trust among the searchers as websites that appear on the first page are considered high-authority and reliable.
Hence, you can expect more clicks and better conversions in the form of patient appointments, inquiries through phone calls, etc. SEO for dental practices is also an effective way to reach out to new patients who otherwise do not know about your practice.
Why Local SEO Matters for Dentists?
Today, 88% of search queries on Google include “Near me.” This means a large percentage of people are looking for products or services near their location. Since dental practice is highly localized, search engine optimization can help you reach potential patients near your service area through Local SEO. It is the process of making your dental practice (or website) appear in the top results for local search for dentist.
This is important because you are able to reach the right set of audiences at the right time. Hence, the chances of conversion are higher because people mostly visit dentists near their location. Therefore, optimizing your website and its content with location-based keywords can help you rank high for local search queries.
For instance, suppose you provide dental services in Austin, Texas. Optimizing your website and its content using keywords such as “near me” or “dentists in Austin,” etc. can help rank your dental practice for local searches. So, when someone from Austin searches “best dentists near me” or “dental clinics in Austin,” chances are you will appear in top SERPs.
So, with local SEO, your dental practice may appear in search results as below:
or as organic search engine result (see below):
How Do Search Engines Determine the Ranking of Your Dental Website?
For search engines like Google, the topmost priority is to provide the best possible results for search queries. Quality, relevance, and user-friendliness are the three primary factors that Google considers when ranking a dental website. The below image will help us understand the different metrics that Google uses to rank websites:
To provide an improve search-related experience to users, Google considers various on-page and off-page factors.
Onsite Ranking Factors
Google is continuously crawling your dental website to measure its performance against various ranking factors. These include:
- The quality and relevance of your website content
- Are you using the right keywords in the right places, such as the URL, header, meta title, meta description, image files, content body, etc?
- How fast the page loads
- Is your dental website mobile-friendly
- How easily Google bot can access, crawl, and index your site for related search queries
- The layout and user-friendliness of your site
- How well the users engage with your website and its content
- And much more
Offsite Ranking Factors
This includes all factors beyond your website, which may affect your search engine ranking – or SEO activities that you do outside your website to boost its rankings in SERPs.
- Number of links that link to your website
- The quality, authority, and popularity of the links
- What is your link-building technique
- Social media marketing efforts
- Guest posting, blogging, or article directory submissions
- And many more
For any layman (and dentist), managing all the aspects of SEO can be challenging and requires in-depth knowledge. Hiring a dentist SEO company like Softtrix can help take your dental SEO marketing practice to its peak of success through effective planning & proven practices.
YMYL and EAT – What Does it Mean For Your Dental Website?
SEO for dentists gets more complex due to stringent quality control measures under Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines by Google. When it comes to ranking health-related websites such as dentistry, Google stresses EAT – Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This is because these websites provide medical services and advice, which may affect someone’s life if anything goes wrong.
These health-related websites fall under the category of “your money or your life” (YMYL). Therefore, it is important that your website complies with EAT guidelines and provide 100% accurate information. Any sort of inaccuracy or ambiguity in your website, its services, or content may negatively impact your SEO ranking and the website can also be penalized.
SEO Marketing for Dentists – Valuable Tips For You
Discussed here are effective and proven white-hat SEO practices that can help improve your local search rankings and help you reach more patients.
#1: Build an SEO-Friendly Website
For effective dentist SEO marketing, it is crucial to building a website first if you do not have one yet. Needless to say, eye-catchy websites will garner all attention. However, the priority is to build an SEO-friendly website that is easier for search engines to discover and index.
Here are some key factors to keep in mind when developing an SEO-friendly dental website:
- The website design should be responsive, i.e., it should render the same look, feel, and user-friendliness across all devices and screen sizes
- Make sure the dental website loads fast
- Keep the website as simple as possible, with a streamlined structure. This can help in two ways. It allows search engines to easily crawl and index your site. A simple website structure also makes it easier for users to navigate the site, helping drive increased engagement
- Create a sitemap and make the site indexable
- Build trust by securing your website using HTTPS rather than HTTP
- Avoid media-heavy elements such as Silverlight, flash, iFrames, etc. that can make your website sloppy, slow-loading, and difficult for search engines to index
A professional dentist SEO agency like Softtrix can help design and build a website that is optimized for search engines.
#2: Set up and Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
With smartphone penetration skyrocketing, a significant percentage of patients find a nearby dentist or dental clinic using Google Maps. For this, it is important to set up your Google My Business profile and optimize it to make your dental practice rank in the top three listings in Google Maps.
However, to optimize your GMB listing, you need to first claim and verify it. After this, you have to fill out all important information about your dental practice, including services, hours of operation, areas you serve, accepted insurance, etc. The more details you provide in your GMB profile, the higher your chances of ranking in Google Maps’ top listings for related queries.
At the same time, you should consistently post to your GMB account using local keywords, such as “dentist near me.” This will help you rank higher for related search queries and get more new-patient calls. Here are some tips to help optimize your GMB profile:
- Provide your latest contact details
- Add a link to your appointment page
- Showcase the ratings and reviews of your dental practice
- Provide photos of your dental clinic, staff, and happy customers
#3: Do Keyword Research
One of the stepping stones to good dental SEO is comprehensive keyword research. To find keywords related to your dental practices, it is important to keep in mind what potential patients are actually searching for. At the same time, it should be related to the dental services you provide.
The idea of keyword research is, to begin with, high-potential phrases and then work from there to identify related keywords. You can use various free and paid keyword research tools that can help you find the most relevant keywords for your dental services. Make sure to use some local keywords such as “dentists near me” or “dentists in Austin” to rank high for local search queries.
Typically, there are three types of keyword matches you can use – broad match keywords, phrase match, and exact match. The following image will help you understand how to use the same to make the most of your keywords and drive higher rankings + more clicks.
In addition to exact match keywords, make sure you also optimize for phrase match and broad match keywords. This will help you reach a broader audience base, especially if you offer a comprehensive range of dental services. On the other hand, if you do not want to rank for any particular keyword or keywords, use them as negative keywords.
For instance, if you do not want your website to get ranked for the keyword “pediatric dentist near me,” then you can add it as a negative keyword. This will let search engines know that you do not want to get ranked in search results when someone searches for “pediatric dentist near me.” This way, you can avoid irrelevant audiences landing on your website.
#4: Create High-Quality, Valuable Content
The key to SEO success is curating unique, keyword-optimized, and compelling content that adds value to the readers. Here are some things you should keep in mind when creating content for your dental practice:
- The content should directly answer the questions your patients are asking or address their pain points
- It should be well-researched, thorough, and in-depth, covering all aspects of a topic. Typically, Google loves long-form content that takes a comprehensive approach to any topic and adds value to the readers
- Write evergreen content that is based on proven SEO fundamentals
- The content should be SEO-optimized, including relevant keywords in the right density, proper headings, meta descriptions, etc.
- It should be engaging and much include a Call-to-Action
#5: Get Quality Links
Digital marketing for dentistry also involves getting quality links from high-authority websites. When authority websites with high search engine rankings link to your website, it reflects your expertise in the domain. This is an important ranking factor for Google. Therefore, it is important to have a strong link-building strategy in place.
Here are some proven ways to get quality links to your website:
- Guest posting to a relevant and popular website in your niche
- Local citations
- Acquire links from dental associations
Frequently Asked Questions
SEO cost for dentist depends on several factors – the number of website pages to be optimized, keywords, content creation, on-site blogging, guest blogging, link building, digital marketing for dentists, etc. Typically, the cost of dental SEO starts from $400 per month and may vary based on the SEO package you choose.
Dentist Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your dental website in a way that helps boost its rankings and visibility in search engine results. Higher rankings mean greater visibility, increased clicks, and more patients to your dental clinic. The process takes into consideration various on-page and off-page factors to make your site more indexable, with higher rankings. SEO is also about making your dental practice add value to your patients.
Usually, SEO marketing for dentists will take at least 4-6 months to show results for your dental practice. Search engine optimization takes time and you have to be patient before you start seeing increased traffic, more phone calls, and appointments.
Calculating the ROI from your dental SEO efforts can be simple using the formula below:
Profit from the investment – Cost of investment / Cost of Investment
If you are considering hiring a dentist SEO agency, here are some factors to keep in mind:
- For how long the company has been in business?
- Do they have past experience handling SEO for a dental practice?
- Check their ratings and reviews online
- Look at some of their case studies, delivering results for dental businesses