Search engine optimization (SEO) is important in creating a successful business, and dental practices are no such exception. In general, dental SEO entails the process of optimizing the digital presence of your dental website and improving its rankings on major search engines, which allows your business to be found quicker and faster than ever. In today’s digital age, having a prominent digital presence and being at the top of Google’s search results listings has become a necessity for your brand’s success, especially with the increasing competitiveness of the dental industry.
And if that doesn’t scare you enough, did you know that over eight out of ten patients turn to Google to find a reliable dentist? Shocking, isn’t it? It’s about time you start picking up all the dental seo strategies before it’s too late. If you’re wondering where to begin, fret not! We’ve compiled the ultimate beginner’s guide to dental seo strategies –– read on more to find out.
Developing Your SEO Strategy
Choosing The Appropriate Keywords
Having the right keywords is the core to having a successful SEO strategy –– after all, it’s keywords people use to search for information online! Place yourself in your customers’ shoes, and identify what words they would use to search for a dentist. Some common words may include: dentist, orthodontist, dentist near [location], dentist in [location], etc. We recommend using a keyword research tool, which can provide you with a list of most-used keywords, the click-through rate of each word, their competition, and more.
Have The User’s Intent
It’s paramount that you take the user’s intent in mind when choosing your keywords. Everyone uses different keywords depending on what they’re searching for –– a user that searches for ‘how to whiten teeth’ may want some educational content, whilst another that searches ‘best teeth whitening dentist’ may be ready to purchase a dental service. In addition, we recommend using secondary keywords in your content as a way to accurately discern a user’s intent. This refers to keywords that are related to primary keywords and will aid in addressing any potential questions you think your audience is likely to have.
Make Use of Snippets
One way to appear in the relevant search results is to use featured snippets, as they often appear even before the organic search results. These snippets provide users a short preview of the page contents before clicking on them. Effective and rich snippets revolve around frequently asked questions and keywords and include dental services listings, as well as images and reviews.
Optimize Your Local SEO Strategy
Whilst it’s always good to aim for the stars, you might want to turn your focus on a more local audience for this one. As a dentist, it’s unlikely that people would want to travel long distances just for a dental checkup; most use social media within their localities and are content with patronizing local dental services. Local SEO’s never been this important, especially with the advent of the zero-click search that features an answered query at the top of the search results page –– even without needing to boost ratings. To start, we recommend first listing your practice up on Google My Business, and then weave in location-specific keywords on your website. Next, we encourage leveraging dental directories in your SEO strategy, as the relevance of a high-quality directory would help to significantly increase your rankings and online visibility.
Your Website Must Be Mobile-Friendly
It’s not enough to just optimize your website on a computer –– you’ll need to make it mobile-friendly as well. With the prediction that nearly 73% of all Internet users will use their mobile devices in 2025, search engines have intensified their efforts in becoming more mobile-friendly. For example, Google rolled out its mobile-first indexing in 2019, where it now prioritizes mobile-friendly websites instead of desktop versions. You’ll need to take this one on board if you want to create a successful brand!
Your Website Must Be Voice-Search Ready
One thing you may want to consider is to optimize your site for voice search, by using voice SEO. As voice search becomes increasingly popular across various platforms, it is important to keep up with these technological changes to remain relevant. Optimizing your site for voice SEO would require the use of longer, more colloquial-sounding keyword phrases, as opposed to abbreviations or slang. For example, instead of typing ‘dental service near me’, the person would prefer to say ‘dental service in Mississippi’.
Keep Users Engaged With Dental-Related Content
Here’s another interesting fact: did you know that long-form content has 77.2% more clicks than shorter content? These types of content often have more than 2,500 words and have been shown to garner the most organic traffic and social media shares. When creating long-form content, remember to keep it readable and clear-cut by placing your dental services as headers and sub-headers. This is to help increase your site visibility as people often search for dental services on Google.
Online videos are by far the most consumed form of content anywhere on the Internet. For the average person, watching an informational video is a lot more engaging and convenient as compared to reading blocks of text –– and understandably so. However, take note that not all videos will do! It’s crucial to only include optimized, high-quality, informational videos in your site; this means keeping them short and sweet, including keywords in your description, and using engaging storytelling elements.
Another great way to engage your users is to optimize your images –– it’s more relevant to SEO than you may think! Placed with the proper optimization and markings, high-quality can significantly help liven up your website’s contents. We recommend pairing photos together with alternative text (alt-text) to emphasize the essence of the image. Alternative text is also useful to users who might be visually impaired by providing them with an image description, in the case where there are problems with the image render. Just a simple alternative image tag will provide search engines with enough information to understand the image, and subsequently improve your SEO.
Maintain Your Online Reputation
Nearly 95% of all customers read online reviews before determining a business’ quality or deciding to purchase a product. As such, ratings and reviews are crucial in building an ideal reputation for your business –– it’s the last key in influencing the decisions of potential customers. However, how do you begin building your online reviews? We recommend incentivizing the process for existing customers by making the review system easily accessible (through email, appointment card, receipt), and offer them a discount for every review made.
Performance Analysis and Site Maintenance
SEO isn’t a one-time miracle. It requires months of dedication, consistency, and hard work to truly see long-term benefits. Regular measurement and analysis are key in gauging the success of a particular SEO strategy. There is a multitude of factors to consider when measuring a site’s performance: bounce rates, visibility, organic traffic, indexing redirects, loading times, the number of times search engine bots crawl through your website, and more.
Plus, as SEO continues to evolve and becomes increasingly complex, your SEO strategy must similarly adapt and stay on top of the SEO game. We strongly encourage you to take note of all the latest SEO changes and trends and don’t shy away from experimenting with different techniques and tools in your strategy. Watch more videos and read more newsletters –– learning is extremely important to stay relevant in the SEO game.
To conclude, dental SEO strategies are critical to enhancing your visibility and rankings. It is a long-term and continual process that requires hard work before being able to see the results, but it is worth it when you see the growth of your practice.