Dentist SEO: How to Get More Patients?
As a dentist, your days are completely busy, diagnosing patients, conducting surgeries, providing follow-up care, designing & creating dental models, writing research papers and perhaps even inventing a new dental care technique.
In all this work, you may not have time to think of the business aspect of your dental practice.
But here’s the thing. Just being a good dentist isn’t enough in these days of very high competition.
You need to get the word out about your dental practice and share your expertise and knowledge online, to attract a steady stream of customers.
This is where SEO for dentists really helps. In this in-depth guide, we explore what dental SEO is.
We also take a look at different facets of SEO you need to know about.
Finally, we understand how dental SEO services can add humongous value to your dental practice.
Marketing can help dentists build a flourishing practice
Marketing is an immensely powerful tool that can supercharge your dental care practice.
When you start a new medical practice, building a website for it and promoting it on social media or through digital advertisements or blog posts, can be a great way to inform people of your existence.
With smart digital marketing, you’ll be able to reach thousands of customers – some of who may be local to the neighbourhood you’re located in, while others aren’t.
You’ll also be able to engage them with your brand, increasing the interest they have to know more about you.
This interest is what will draw the people towards your dental practice, to try your service and experience what you have to offer.
Dental SEO is one of the primary components of dental marketing.
With dental SEO marketing, you will be able to navigate the highly competitive search engine landscape and improve your website ranking online.
What are search engines and what role do they play in dentist marketing?
Before we understand what dental marketing SEO is, let’s understand what search engines are- for without search engines, you cannot run dental SEO campaigns.
A search engine is a software program that is designed to carry out searches online. Examples of search engines include Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.
Once you enter something you want to search for, these programs sift through the World Wide Web to find the most pertinent information.
Search engines play a very important role in the marketing of dental services.
Sites like Yahoo, Google and Bing can be used to place your websites and brand in a very visible space, where the highest number of prospective patients can find you.
In order to do this, you’ll need to use dental SEO marketing.
What is SEO and how does it work?
The full form of SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It is a set of elements that are used to optimize web content and sites for the search engine.
When we refer to “optimization”, we are talking about getting your dental practice site ready for the highest degree of visibility and reach online.
On search engines, each website is ranked for visibility in terms of how well optimized it is.
A dental practice site that has robust dental marketing SEO will rank higher than websites that don’t have good SEO implementation.
SEO for dentists helps improve the ranking of your site amidst other competitor dental care sites, allowing you to reach your prospective patients faster.
Do dentists need SEO?
Yes, they do. Yes, you do.
The entire world is online these days. When a person experiences toothache or inflammation in the gums, they pull out their phone, look up their symptoms and read what might be wrong.
What do they do next?
They open another tab in the search engine and search for the dentist closest to them. No one pulls out the classifieds these days or consults their friends and family for a recommendation.
Most people are self-sufficient and are online long enough to receive advertisements and content about dental care clinics.
What SEO does for your dental practice, is that it positions your website on the World Wide Web, at a rank that is high enough for your target patients to find your site.
We call this a “rank” because your site is essentially pitted against other competitors in a fight for online space, visibility and reach.
This ranking is of the utmost importance since it can have a huge impact on how successful your dental practice might end up being.
So, yes. Dentists do need dental SEO to succeed. More importantly, they need to obtain these dental SEO services from experts who know what they’re doing.
What is the ranking of dentists’ websites without SEO?
Let’s say you choose not to get dental SEO services for your dental clinic site. What then? What might happen to your site ranking?
To understand how the absence of dental marketing SEO affects you, we need to go a bit deeper and explore how rankings work on search engines.
Search engines use an algorithm to decide the ranking of any site. This algorithm calculates a site’s rank based on these factors –
- Reputation of the website.
- Number of visitors to the site.
- Bounce rate and duration of stay.
- Relevance of the site to the search query.
- Purpose of the page being pulled up.
- Quality of content on the site/page.
- Site/page’s E-A-T – Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Now, the only way a site will get more visitors is when it can be found by people searching for the services it offers.
The sole reason why people will stay on for longer is if you have content that exudes expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). When these two factors come together, your dental site automatically develops a good reputation
But a site will become visible on the search engine only when the engine is able to identify that the site is related to the search query.
Usage of keywords is instrumental in helping search engines find and pull up a site in response to a search. People will recognize your E-A-T only when you have excellent quality content.
Keywords and content are two of the elements in SEO, amongst many others, that assist search engines in finding and displaying the website.
When your dental practice site does not have any SEO optimization, it won’t contain keywords or any other dental SEO element that will help it stand out against other sites in front of the search engine.
So, your site ends up becoming obscured by thousands of other competitor dental clinic sites. When this happens, you will be hard-pressed to find patients for your dental clinic.
This will make it incredibly hard for your website to come even within the top 10 pages.
And often, prospects never even check beyond page 3 of the search engine, making your dental care site practically invisible to prospective patients.
Before you know it, without dental SEO marketing, you’ll have lost a very large customer base to competitors who operate in the same area as you do.
Even if you are an excellent dentist, patients won’t be aware of your expertise because they can’t find your site online.
Even if they do find your site, incorrect SEO implementation may not compel them enough to contact you to find out about your services. You’ll risk losing a lot of money and loyal patronage because of that.
How do dental SEO services affect website ranking?
In contrast, dental care websites that make use of dental SEO marketing, will –
- Be easily visible within the first few pages of the search engine.
- Have compelling content that makes people want to stay on the site and explore.
- Make the site easier to use and accessible to all types of site visitors.
- Enable social sharing so that visitors can share your site with those who may become your patient.
- Provide a comfortable and enjoyable browsing experience where prospective patients can learn about dental health, find out about your services and easily contact you.
In this way, your website becomes a magnet for more visitors, who stay longer, read more and even share your content with others.
This meets the search engine algorithm rankings requirements and your site rank will automatically increase along with it.
Types of SEO for dentists that your website should include
So, now that you know why dental SEO is so integral to helping you get more patients and build your brand reputation, let’s take a look at the different types of SEO for dentists that your site needs to use –
- On-page SEO
On-page SEO refers to the type of SEO that reflects on the web page. It is the SEO that is seen by the end user – in this case, your patient who needs dental care treatment. It is this type of dental SEO that has an immediate and observable impact on patient decisions.
Your on-page dental marketing SEO will include –
- Engaging and data-rich content
- Relevant keywords and key phrases
- Meta titles and meta descriptions
- Alt tags
- Canonical tags
- Internal links
- Website URL
- Image/video optimization
- …and more.
- Technical SEO
Technical SEO is considered by some marketers to be a subsect of on-page SEO.
This refers to the technical aspects of site construction that lend to impressive site functionality and usability.
These are the dental SEO elements which make your dental practice business website more user-friendly.
Technical SEO elements typically include –
- Speed of site/page load
- Website structure
- Sitemap for navigation
- Site/page crawling and indexing
- Data structure
- HTML tags
- Site security
- …and more.
- Off-page SEO
While on-page and technical SEO work within the confines of your dental business site, Off-page SEO works outside the site.
Off-page SEO refers to any SEO element that helps you optimize your dental practice site, by operating in an external environment.
Typical off-page SEO components include –
- Your social media accounts – which supplement your primary site.
- Guest posts by influencers or affiliate marketers who link back to your site on their websites.
- Any other link-backs where your site link is pasted on someone else’s platform.
- RSS feed which includes your content and your own podcasts on platforms like Anchor or Spotify.
- Your business listing in a dental association directory in your neighbourhood/city/state/country.
- Testimonials by patients on Google Reviews.
- Press release or news article about your company.
- ….and more.
Together, all these types of dental SEO help –
- Attract your prospective patients.
- Stimulate active engagement.
- Inspire contact with your clinic.
- Get qualified leads.
- Convert leads into patients.
- Bring in testimonials from existing/old patients.
- Build credibility, trust and reputation of your dental clinic brand.
Dental marketing SEO in action – Examples
Now that we know what SEO for dentists is, let’s consider a few examples. Here is how dental SEO works –
A dental clinic called “Bright Smiles” is based in South Kensington, London and the dentist specialises as a paediatric dentist.
They want to promote their website to parents/guardians and older kids who take decisions regarding dental care treatments.
They also offer services to schools, by partnering with them as their on-site dentist.
Dental SEO in this case would look like this –
- Keywords – Keywords like “South Kensington dentists”, “paediatric dentist London”, “South Kensington dental care provider for kids”, “school dental services in London South Kensington”, “best London paediatric dentist” etc. will be included in the content. That way, anyone who searches for a dental clinic using these terms will be able to find this website.
- Website URL – The URL will be made readable and easy to understand so that everyone knows what to expect after seeing it. For example, this URL might be – “https://brightsmiledentistry.com”, “https://brightsmilekidsdentist.com” or “https://southkensingtondentists.com”.
- Content – Here, the dental SEO services provider you hire will create both on-page and off-page SEO-optimized content that educates, entertains and empowers the reader. The content will be aimed primarily at parents, guardians and schools. But there will also be a good chunk of content aimed at the patients themselves – kids – to make them feel at ease. A combination of blogs, videos, memes, infographics, presentation slides etc. will be made to be accessible to all types of patients.
- Link building – The dental website will partner with paediatricians who have a good reputation, to collaborate on guest posting and link exchange. Seeing the dentist’s site linked on a renowned paediatrician’s site will make parents/guardians more likely to reach out to the dentist.
- Page & content optimization – All pages will be optimized with meta titles & descriptions. The required tags will be created for each page, image and video. The content format and content structure will be made more readable and disability-friendly.
- Site optimization – An XML sitemap will be added to aid in easy navigation. The site will be made device-compatible to make it mobile-friendly. The site/page load speed will be reduced by removing elements that increase lag.
These are a few of the innumerable ways in which our hypothetical Bright Smiles paediatric dentistry clinic will get SEO optimized.
In the same way, even your dental SEO services provider will optimize your dental clinic site with SEO for dentists, for it to become –
- More accessible across different platforms.
- Easily navigable.
- Safe to book appointments on.
- Helpful in accessing treatments physically in your clinic.
Top dental SEO marketing strategies that you can adopt
So, what are some of the dental marketing SEO strategies that dental care businesses can benefit from? Well, you can use these simple, but highly effective dental SEO techniques to increase your ranking and reach –
- Uploading more reviews by old/existing patients
Having more reviews and testimonies from patients will be a testament to your Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
- Creating and publishing quality content consistently
Social media listening can be employed to track current dental care trends and topics that people want to learn about. Evergreen topics such as teeth whitening, crowns, baby teething etc. can be used for numerous content pieces. Content will be created and published across social media channels for on-page and off-page SEO synergy.
- Claiming and verifying Google My Business listings
Google My Business listings, when claimed, can help patients seeking dental care treatments, know for certain, that this is your business. Additionally, you’ll be able to list your areas of practice as categories on GMB, which can double as keywords.
- Sharing correct business contact information across platforms
Having the same, consistent business name, postal code, phone number and email address across your website, social media channels and Google My Business listing, will ensure that your dental clinic site pulls up whenever someone searches for dentists using location or postal code. The presence of multiple entries with the same information will enable the search engine to establish the authenticity of your brand.
- Geotagging your dental clinic to your location
Localized SEO is SEO that is tagged to your specific location. By optimizing for location, you are able to use dental SEO to attract patients who live nearby your practice. One aspect of geotagging is using the location name as a keyword. Another is to embed a Google map of your clinic location into your site and optimising it for navigation.
Dental practice websites that have been found having their contact details, location and map optimized, often get a higher rank, because their presence has been verified.
- Backlinks will be specific to locations of your various branch
Backlink building, as we’ve already discussed, is super important. But it’s also important to location-optimize the backlink. That way, if your dental clinic has more branches than one, each individual branch will get visibility and reach.
These are just a handful of dental SEO strategies that you can implement yourself. Experienced dental SEO services providers will be adept at other on-page, off-page and technical SEO techniques. Hiring these experts can help you get your SEO en-point.
Does SEO for dentists remain unchanged always or should it be updated?
Remember how we mentioned that search engines use an algorithm to decide your site’s ranking? Well, Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. change these algorithms regularly to allow businesses the opportunity to increase their ranking.
As the way the algorithm calculates the rank changes, so too should your SEO implementation.
You’ll need to keep a close watch on your SEO performance and decide when it’s time to change your SEO elements.
This could include changing what keywords you use or what content formats to create or which websites to do link building with etc.
By keeping on top of current SEO trends, your dental clinic site will be able to retain and even increase the ranking you currently have.
How can dentists monitor their SEO success?
If you are running your SEO campaigns yourself, you can use tools like Google Analytics to monitor and measure your website performance.
Other tools include Google AdWords Keyword Planner, WebSite Auditor, Ahrefs Site Explorer, PageRank Status, TagAssistant etc.
Each of these tools helps you audit your site and take the necessary steps to improve your dental SEO marketing.
Regular site auditing will also help you understand how much your SEO techniques have helped and how far you need to go, to reach a rank that affords you the highest degree of visibility, reach and engagement with target patients and their families.
How much money should a dental practice invest in dental SEO marketing?
Research shows that on average, dental care centres set aside around 5%-6% of their collections for dental marketing SEO campaigns.
But of course, every dental clinic is different and you may need to spend lesser or more than what we’ve stated here, for your campaigns.
Ideally, you should be able to match your closest competitors, if not increase your dental SEO budget.
What is the ROI that dentists will generate after investing in dental SEO?
When it comes to ROI, every dental practice is different.
But, we do have a formula to share if you want to calculate an approximate ROI for your dental marketing SEO investment.
This is one of the few different ROI approximation formulae that digital marketers and SEO experts use.
- Count the number of patients you’ve generated through the SEO campaigns you’ve run.
- Calculate the average value of your patient base.
- Measure the average lifespan of your patients.
- Calculate the total expenses of your dental SEO marketing strategy.
Your ROI would be =
Number of patients * Average patient value * Average patient lifespan (minus) Total dental SEO expenses
Get dental SEO services from The Converted Click
SEO for dentists can be incredibly powerful and helpful in setting up your dental clinic. With dental SEO marketing campaigns, you can attract your dream patients and develop loyal patronage.
At The Converted Click, we are a reputed dental SEO services provider with extensive experience supporting dental practices with their dental SEO implementation.
We can work with you to create a robust campaign that helps you increase your online ranking, generate high profits and become super successful.
Contact us for more information.