When it comes to taking care of our teeth, dentists have the right tools to help our mouths be healthy, clean, and get stronger over time. When you’re a great dentist you should be able to showcase your talent to customers amidst the competition in your area. But how can you do that? It starts with search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO has the right tools to help your practice succeed online and start to improve your ranking over time, which should lead to more exposure and customers. Let’s dive into this guide to learn more about SEO for dentists and how you can start ranking.
Do Dentist Need SEO?
Even with drills, brushes, and picks, SEO can actually be one of the most important tools dentists use! SEO helps dental clinics become more visible online and help potential customers find and become patients of a particular dental clinic. Dentistry is such a competitive area, it’s impossible to avoid some stiff competition, especially in more populated areas. For this reason alone, dentists need SEO. An optimized SEO strategy can help a dental practice increase organic traffic to their website and attract more patients over time.
Dentists can greatly benefit from SEO for multiple reasons. The first being that it helps build credibility with not only search engines, but also with your customers. There’s a reason why individuals typically click on the first few top suggested results in Google — they trust search engines’ suggestions and find these top results to be the best option. The point of SEO is to help generate organic traffic to a website over time. It’s simple, the more traffic directed to your dental website, the more opportunities you have to gain new customers. Another benefit is creating a better user experience overall. The more a website improves with SEO, the better the user experience because it means the website is easier to navigate, provides helpful information, and customers find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
What is Dental SEO?
The meaning of dental SEO, or SEO for Dentists, is the process of optimizing a dental clinic’s website and business profiles in order to rank higher on search engines like Google. Finding new clients is tricky, especially in a constantly changing online driven world. The goal of dental SEO is all about developing your presence online to get found by more potential patients looking for dental services.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an online marketing strategy used by businesses all over the world to help their website rank higher within the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). Unlike paid advertising, SEO is all about creating a user-friendly site with great content that search engines can rely on. Unlike other marketing strategies, SEO is a long-term strategy but can lead to significant long-term results. Now that you have a basic definition, let’s discuss why dentists need SEO!
How to Choose a Dental SEO Company
With so many SEO companies out there, you want to make sure you find the right one that knows how to service your type of business and industry. As a small business, you want to ensure the partnership between your company and another agency is built on trust and common goals. As you consider how to choose a dental SEO company, keep these ideas in mind:
1. Get to Know the Company
Before you hire an SEO company, perform some research! Perform a Google search and explore the company’s reputation online. Do they have quality reviews? How long have they been in business? Are they listed in other reputable business directories? Look at these different areas to find out more about the company and their experience. From looking at their website or business listings, you should get a feel for the quality and trustworthiness of the company.
2. Find Their Areas of Expertise
Dental website SEO is an incredibly important piece of the equation that adds up to success for your dental practice. Choosing a team of SEO experts is critical because of the many technical aspects that you may not understand. Remember, this is why you want to hire a company in the first place. Make sure to do your research to make sure they have the skills, experience, and capabilities to meet your needs and surpass your expectations!
3. Be Cautious of False Promises
Some SEO and digital marketing agencies will often promise results and first page rankings once you sign up for their services. Be wary of any company that promises these types of results. First page rankings do not depend on how much money is spent, it depends on numerous factors including how well the company follows best SEO practices, the frequency and quality of updates being made to websites, how well a website is providing value to visitors, and the impact following an algorithm update. It takes time to see results from SEO services, typically anywhere from 6 months to a year to see results and traction. Yes, it depends on the competitiveness of the target keyword and area but results do not come immediately. That is the case with any SEO campaign, but especially in dental industries where the competition is strong.
SEO Tips for Dentist
Some dental website SEO suggestions can be hard to understand and follow. Luckily we’ve got a few tips to help your dental SEO strategy be the best it can be:
1. Add Relevant Keywords onto the Website
With any dental website, it’s important to add effective, high-intent keywords within your website content. Adding keywords to your content and on your website helps connect with searcher’s intent and help search engines know what’s relevant and valuable from what you’re talking about.
For keywords to be successful, there are multiple elements that need to be known. For one, it’s important to match the right search intent. There are four types of search intents your dental office can focus on:
- Informational: This can be informative pieces of information about your dental clinic or pieces of content your customers could learn from your industry.
- Navigational: This focuses on certain areas of your website that customers directly want to go to. This is why it’s important to have a set structure for user experience to be successful.
- Transactional: This type of intent focuses on making a sale or a customer wanting to make a purchase from your dental services.
- Commercial: This type of information could be additional information customers want to see to help them make a purchase. For dentists, this could be more information about products, such as teeth whitening products, dental cleaning services, approach to filling cavities, etc.
Along with searcher’s intent, it’s important to have keywords fit and flow well throughout the content. Your keywords shouldn’t feel out of place. They should read well and the content should be written for humans instead of search engine crawlers. It’s important to have original, unique, and compelling content to have your keywords succeed on SERPs.
2. Optimize for Local Searches
More times than not, people will search for “dentists near me” to find dental office options around them. With local search becoming an increasingly popular search preference, it’s important for your dental practice to optimize for local searches. There are many aspects within local SEO that your dental office could touch on:
- Creating a Google Business Profile (GBP): For any business, big or small, it’s important to create a Google Business Profile. Having a GBP helps your dental office become more noticed in local searches and against other competitors in your area. It lists your basic business information and gives the option to direct them to your website for more detailed information. It’s also necessary to rank in the Local Map Pack on Google.
- Using Location-Specific Keywords: Sometimes it seems fitting to go after general keywords that make sense to target for your dental office. However, the more specific you’re able to get, the more you’re able to reach a target audience who is looking for you. One way you can be specific is by including location-based keywords that help narrow down your target audience to those looking for dental services in your area.
- Creating Designated Pages: For dental clinics, there can be a variety of different dental services and products that you may offer. Sometimes current customers, or even potential customers, may be interested in finding more information about one of your services or products, or locations. By creating designated pages for each of your products, services, and locations, your dental office is able to help customers find exactly what they are looking for in a central location. Along with this becoming successful, it’s important to have an organized sitemap for individuals to find their way through your website. 3. Start a Blog Besides having an FAQ page to answer your customers’ most frequent questions, you could also add a blog. This will help expand your customer’s knowledge—providing further value and information. Starting a blog helps provide a number of benefits for your dental practice including:
- Featuring valuable information that helps build credibility and expertise along with the experiences customers had with your dental office.
- Helps create new and fresh content on your website to keep it up-to-date and relevant.
- Captures high intent and search volume keywords to help drive more traffic back to your dental website and establishes you as a leader and knowledgeable in your field.
- Helps grab the attention of potential customers that might be interested in your dental practice.
- Blog articles help keep individuals on your website longer. Especially when you’re able to internally link to other pages and articles on your dental website.
The benefits go on and on, but overall, adding a blog to your website helps improve SEO for dental clinics not only with current and potential patients, but with search engines as well.
4. Encourage Positive Reviews and Social Signals
Having positive reviews helps promote the authenticity and credibility of your dental website. Without them, customers would have a harder time investing, choosing, and trusting your dental office.
When you’re looking at gaining more reviews, you should never incentivize or coerce people into leaving positive reviews. The best practice is to simply ask your patients to leave a review if they are interested and have your dental office provide an awesome enough experience to motivate them in leaving a positive review. If you forgot to mention it to them while they were at the clinic, you could follow up by sending a text message or email asking them about their appointment. From there, it’s their decision on whether or not they want to leave a review.
Be sure to ask for reviews on multiple platforms instead of one main listing. Having positive reviews on multiple directories and business listings can help provide more credibility to your customers and search engines. The more consistent your ratings are across different platforms, the more reliable your dental office becomes. Along the lines of leaving an online review, you can encourage your customers to leave comments, feedback, engagement on your social channels as well. While social media may not have a direct impact on SEO, Google looks beyond just Google reviews at all references to gauge a site’s reputation and how customers interact with your dental office.
5. Develop Authority Through Link Building
While you’re learning to build authority through SEO for dentists, it’s important to recognize other authoritative resources for your dental practice to benefit from. Link building is one of the best ways for your dental website SEO to improve over time. When you find valuable information from someone else’s website it’s always important to credit them, by adding a link, when you use their information. However, it’s also important to check on the website’s authority to see if it’s beneficial to create a link with.
If they’re considered a “spammy” link, it probably isn’t a credible source to link to. Having authoritative links from trusted sources adds and transfers value to your dental website if you can obtain a backlink from them. Backlinks from local sources can also be authoritative and relevant but may also be easier to obtain. Unlinked mentions are also effective, but overall learn to develop authority through link building to build your SEO dental website efforts.
6. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Responsiveness
More individuals tend to find their information off of their phones now rather than logging in and searching from a computer. For this reason alone, it’s important to optimize your dental website for mobile responsiveness. Factors such as fast site speed, optimized image sizes, etc. can all have an effect on a dental website’s SEO. Checking on these factors and making sure they aren’t affecting other elements of your website will help improve the success of your website and the way individuals interact with it.
Search engines follow mobile-first indexing. What this means is that search engines, such as Google, crawl and index dental websites (and all websites for that matter) from a mobile perspective first before checking the desktop view. While it’s important for both your mobile and desktop views to be user-friendly, it’s a bit more important for your website to be mobile responsive over desktop. It doesn’t bode well if the desktop experience is great, but the mobile experience is poor, regardless of which device generates the most traffic for your website. Be sure to check on having a fast response time, loading time, images not being too large, and other elements that might interfere with mobile responsiveness for your dental website to be successful.
7. Improve Site Speed Performance
Site speed refers to how long it takes your dental website to load when an individual clicks on your website or a site page. When you have a page that has a harder and slower time loading, the more customers tend to click away from your website and go straight to your competitors. Site speed can sometimes have an effect on conversion rates (the rate at which individuals complete a desired action) so the faster it takes for your website and its pages to load, the more traffic and customers you’ll gain over time.
How do you know what your website pages are like from a customer’s perspective? The best way to do so can be by opening an incognito window and finding your site and seeing how fast it loads. Use the following free tools below to get started!
Plugging your dental website’s URLs into these tools can help give you data and insight into how your website and its pages are performing. From there you can spot issues and ways to fix them in ways to help further improve your dental website’s SEO.
How much does Dental SEO Cost?
Dental SEO could cost anywhere from $500 – $2500 or more per month. Yes, building a strong presence online takes time and money. However, once you reach the first page of search engines like Google, maintaining rankings is easier and your company won’t face any additional costs for website leads and visibility. If you still question “how much does dental SEO cost?”, the cost of SEO can range depending on these three factors:
1. Quality of the SEO Company
Every SEO agency operates differently and will have different costs for services. One question to consider is “What can the agency offer or fulfill for my company?” Some companies have different limitations and areas of emphasis. SEO services could include anything from content creation, link building, to technical optimizations and each of these tasks have different costs. Further, the quality of these services and what the company can perform or create could change the price of dental SEO.
2. Current Website Content and Authority
How much has to be optimized for? Depending on current or previous positioning on search engines, this could also affect how much dental SEO will cost. For example, your company may already have optimized web pages and local business directories. If this is the case and you are just looking for a boost in rankings, the lower the cost. In contrast, your cost could be higher if you start an SEO strategy from scratch with a brand new website.
3. Competition and Keyword Difficulty
How competitive is the location that the dental office in question wants to increase rankings for? The location and area of your dental practice can affect how much SEO will cost. Typically, more populated areas will create more local competition which will likely increase the cost. Additionally, the difficulty of the keyword could affect the cost. For example, a keyword such as “Dental Implant Restoration” will have far less competition than simply “Dentist”. Most dentists offer local services but some practices may target national audiences. Generally, national dental SEO will cost more than local dental SEO due to the amount of competition based on the physical area.
Manta offers affordable local and national dental SEO services for practices all over the nation. Local SEO is an excellent option for dental offices looking to expand their online visibility based on proximity from their offices. National SEO enables companies to target a much broader audience—anyone located or searching within the United States.