If you Google terms like “dental services” or “dentist near me” what do you see? If you notice that other dentists in the area show up but not your practice, this is probably not by chance. These dental practices are likely to have measures in place to win Google’s favor in search. To show up in results for high-value search terms (frequently used terms when seeking dental services), your website must communicate to Google that it is the most relevant. SEO (or search engine optimization) can be complex, so our digital marketing experts put together our best dental SEO tips to get you started.
Why Does it Matter if My Dental Practice is Not Found in Google Search?
Search volume (the number of times users “google” a particular phrase) of the term “dentist near me” has been on a sharp incline since 2012, and over 2 million Google users enter this specific phrase every month. This confirms what we already suspected – that more patients than ever are using Google to find dental care.
Mobile technology dependence has only become stronger in recent years, so for many patients looking for dental services, yours simply does not exist unless you show up in their local search results online. Your market territory may be very saturated depending on your geographic location, meaning there is steep competition for being seen in typical searches. Taking measures to be found in search is part of a cohesive dental marketing strategy.
64% of dental practices have SEO as part of their regular marketing.
50% of dental practices planned to increase their SEO budget while only 6% said they would cut this expense
(2020 survey results from postcardmania.com)
1. Have a User-Friendly Dental Practice Website that Google Favors
Google wants to send its users to quality pages that best serve the purpose of the query. Aside from providing the best patient care experience, having a user-friendly website positions your website to win Google’s favor.
Site user experience is below standards when it loads slowly, does not adapt to the mobile experience, lacks security protections, or other usability factors cause a visitor to go elsewhere. Empathy for your site visitors is one way to approach user-friendly web design, but you should also check out tools such as Google’s page experience report to gain insights into what pages still need to improve.
2. Be Prepared for Google’s Regular Inspections
You will never see them, but Google bots (also known as “web crawlers”) are constantly consuming the bits of data that make up websites. Technical issues on your page such as content formatting, link functionality, missing image text, slow page speed, and more will impede a successful “crawl”.
Think of your website as a home for sale and crawling as an ongoing appraisal. The automated bots gain access to your web property to check it out. An awkward “floorplan” and construction flaws result in a negative assessment by these digital appraisers (crawlers). Technical SEO analysts actively implement website architecture best practices so that a dental site makes a favorable impression on Google.
3. Help Google Learn What Your Site is About
Google wants to know for which users a given site will be valuable. To help Google understand this, you strengthen the relevance of your website through interlinking. Linking pages to other related pages on the website “connects the dots” to help Google better understand what your site is about.
Strong signals received by Google received about what services your dental practice provides positions your website to appear in the search results for your ideal dental client. Once a prospective patient visits your website, interlinking can also help with page engagement – the clickable words lead them around your site as they learn all about what your practice has to offer them.
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4. Know What Dental Patients Are Searching for Specifically
You cannot read the minds of dental patients, but what they are actively searching for leaves a digital trail. Keyword detectives find clues on Google with autocomplete and a list of other related search terms provided in results. There is also a plethora of keyword research planning tools out there.
Search intent pinpoints what your ideal patient is likely to be actively searching for. Say you run a pediatric dentistry. It would be more conducive to be found in a search for “kid friendly dentist” or “dentist for kids” than it would be for a broad term like “dentist near me.”
5. Publish Valuable Blog Content Regularly
Once you have the best keywords chosen from your rigorous research, you have what you need to get started on your content planning. Not only do you need the right keywords on your core web pages, but you also need new blogs published on a routine basis.
Remember, Google’s crawl bots are constantly visiting websites, including yours. When you publish blog content regularly, you send the right signals to Google. Consistent blogging tells Google that you continue to provide helpful content to users and keeps its memory fresh of what your page is about – this maintains your site relevance.
6. Dental SEO Means Local SEO.
When you are a practice offering local services, dental SEO tips geared toward local search are your best bet. Google can detect search intent better than ever before and tailors the user experience to the nature of the query. This means that it can tell between asking for factoids such as “how many baby teeth do you lose” versus “low cost tooth extraction.” The former will bring up informational content and, the latter will bring up local business listings.
When a user enters search terms that trigger local results, Google’s “local pack” will appear. These are the three businesses Google pushes to the forefront of search as it deems these to be the best options for the user.
The first step for being found in local search is to claim your free Google My Business listing and complete it fully. Local search visibility is also helped by gaining ratings and reviews for your practice. However, Google My Business is not the only online directory that matters. You should also be accurately listed in other directories that send consistent signals to Google’s algorithms.
Why Do I See Dental Search Results Labeled “Ad”?
In Google search results, those links marked as “Ad” are Google Ads. Those practices are running digital dental advertising campaigns through pay-per-click (or PPC). Every time a user clicks this ad, Google will be paid a certain amount.
SEO is what is called “organic search” meaning that a website appeared in search results naturally by meeting Google’s quality standards. PPC is “paid” search and is an effective way to fast track your dental practice’s online visibility, which is especially helpful when the local market is saturated.
iHealthSpot Does It All for Dental SEO
SEO tips for dentists serve as valuable advice for a dentistry wanting to be more competitive in the local area. Application of these reliable techniques can be easier said than done. With the help of digital marketing experts at iHealthSpot, dental practices significantly improve their online visibility and attract new clients.
Our all-in-one marketing packages encompass all the dental SEO tips provided here and more! Our dentistry clients get:
- An interactive dental website design optimized to attract new patients and satisfy Google’s quality standards. The structure and contents of the website are expertly configured for SEO health.
- Expert dental SEO keyword research and professional blog writing to attain and maintain SEO rankings.
- Help with local SEO with online directory maintenance plus online ratings and reviews management.
Your dental practice deserves to be seen in search results the same way your competitors are. Get started on a game plan today with a no-obligation consultation from iHealthSpot!