For Clinicians The Practice Handbook

Your complete guide to dental SEO in 2022

The search for the right dentist often starts online. With 77% of prospective patients carrying out research in search engines like Google, it’s time to strengthen your digital presence.

This article focuses on dental SEO, explaining how to make simple changes to your website to improve its ranking in search engines. 

What is SEO?

SEO – search engine optimisation –  is the process of improving and maintaining your website so that it becomes more visible to people researching dentists online. It gives you the opportunity to appear higher in search engine listings so that you are able to reach more patients looking for dentists or dental treatments online.

The importance of SEO for dentists

Taking the time to plan and execute an effective dental SEO strategy can dramatically benefit your practice.

Top 3 benefits of SEO for dentists:

  1. When your website is fully optimised, user-friendly and responsive, this gives you a competitive advantage. Search engines are more likely to ‘recommend’ your website to those searching for dental services in your area.
  2. When your website does rank highly in search engine results, this can boost your credibility. Most people consider websites positioned on the first page as trustworthy.
  3. Improved rankings and visibility in Google search can then generate more traffic to your website and attract new patients to your practice.

Dental SEO FAQs

How much does it cost?

SEO is free. You can hire a marketing expert or an agency to help you out, but you can see results without a paid marketing approach.

Is SEO necessary for my dental practice?

When patients look for a dentist online, 78% click on the websites that rank in the top five positions. If you want to stay ahead of your competition, grow your practice and reach more new patients, a dental SEO strategy is a must.

How can my dental practice rank as #1 in search results?

It can be challenging to rank as #1, so focus on appearing on the first page instead, as over 75% of people never go to the second page. You can rank high in search results with the right dental SEO strategy and consistency.

Best practices for dental SEO

  1. Improve your website’s structure and navigation
  2. Create and organise your dental services pages
  3. Add original, keyword-optimised blog content
  4. Collect your patients’ reviews
  5. Improve your local SEO

Improve your website’s structure and navigation

The structure of your website is important for SEO. A good structure will enable Google to easily navigate your website and find your most important pages.

A good and clear website structure and navigation can also improve your user experience by enabling patients to quickly find the content that they are interested in. 

A confusing and incomplete navigation can make it harder for your website visitors to discover the content they are looking for, which can cause them to leave your site without taking any action. It can also make it harder for Google to find your content, which can result in your pages not appearing in search results.

4 easy steps to improve your website structure and navigation for dental SEO:

  1. Optimise your site structure and navigation with your patients in mind so that they can find information effortlessly. A confusing interface will frustrate your visitors as it will make it harder for them to navigate and locate the information that they need. 
  2. Use a shallow navigation structure to make your valuable content and pages reachable. Patients should be able to find your most important information in three or fewer clicks.
  3. Use three to five internal links per 1,000 words. Google explains that using too many internal links on the same page dilutes their value, making it harder for search engines to recognise your site’s structure. While you want to encourage your patients to explore your content and other pages, using too many internal links on a page means that they won’t be treated with the same importance.
  4. Use heading elements (e.g., H1, H2, H3, H4) to organise your content and improve its readability. Creating an easy-to-follow design with headers, subtitles and menus enables people to quickly scan your content and find what they’re looking for.

Create and organise your dental services pages

Create pages for each of your treatments. This will signal to search engines like Google the procedures that you provide and want to rank for. Search engines will then be able to include these pages in its listings, making your website more visible to people searching for these particular dental treatments and services.

Each of these pages should include content on the treatment. This can give you a better chance of ranking high in search engine results.

A great example is Dental Beauty practices. Within their Treatments category, they have pages  on routine teeth check-ups, root canal treatments, dental implants, Invisalign and more. Each of these pages is rich in dental-related keywords, which helps to strengthen their SEO and online presence. Additionally, Dental Beauty also includes a CTA (call to action) button within these pages to encourage website visitors who have come from Google to reach out to their team and book appointments.

Add original, keyword-optimised blog content

We explored the importance of blogging in our best healthcare marketing strategies post, so by now, you should know the power of supporting your website with unique and compelling blog content. 

It’s not only great for engaging your regular patients, but it’s also a fantastic way to attract new ones to your dental practice through Google. 

Your content should focus on your patients and the things they search for online. We recommend using Ubersuggest to find the dental-related keywords and questions that people type into search engines and using these themes to create your blogs.

Dental searches and questions to spark inspiration:

  1. Are sugar free drinks bad for your teeth?
  2. What is the best toothbrush for braces? 
  3. How to get wisdom teeth removed
  4. Do you use mouthwash before or after brushing?
  5. Why are my teeth sensitive to cold?
  6. How to floss with braces

Collect your patients’ reviews

Verified reviews from your patients can help you to really stand out in search results. 

People researching healthcare online are five times more likely to click on a profile with verified feedback than one without.

At Doctify, we can help you to collect and publish reviews online so that you can boost your presence in search engines. We can embed the reviews that you get into your Google Business Profile and include your overall star rating within search results. That way, people looking for dentists and dental treatments can quickly recognise your expertise, quality and trustworthiness, which in turn can encourage them to find out more about you and get in touch.

Find out how to get more patient reviews to boost your dental SEO.

Improve your local SEO

As a dentist, you want to increase your search engine visibility and build trust with local patients. If someone searches for a “dentist near me” or “emergency dentist”, you want your dental practice to appear.

Research shows that 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the website within 24 hours.

How to boost your local SEO strategy:

  1. Firstly, claim your Google My Business and create your free business listing. You’ll need to provide your dental practice name, address, exact location, business category and contact details. Once your listing goes live, you’ll be able to optimise it by uploading photos of your dental practice and providing your business hours.
  2. Add regular updates and content to your GMB profile to boost your visibility in local searches. For example, tell patients what’s new at your practice or share your latest blog posts with them. Google loves a consistent flow of updates!
  3. Collect patient reviews on trusted platforms and add them into your GMB profile to enhance your reputation. Verified and meaningful reviews help Google to recognise your dental practice authority and improve your visibility. At Doctify, we help dentists automate their patient feedback collection to boost their organic search presence in Google. 
  4. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Research shows that people predominantly use their phones to search for services near their location. Patients will also use their mobiles to find directions to your dental practice, so make sure your GMB is fully optimised to provide patients with all the information they need.
  5. Optimise your page titles and meta descriptions to include your location — for example, Dental Clinic in Uxbridge | Uxbridge Dentists.

For more information on Doctify, visit our Provider Centre to learn more about the ways in which we can support your dental SEO efforts and strengthen your online presence.

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