7 SEO Tactics for Dental Services
by Jack Choros
There are many SEO tactics that work well for dental services, but if you’re a dentist focused on what you do best, you probably don’t know what those tactics are. Let this blog post be your guide and act as your primer towards mastering local search engine optimization for your dental services. Employing just a few of these tips on your own will get you ahead of the game when it comes to ranking above other dentists in your area on Google and other search engines and ultimately getting more business than the competition. This is assuming of course that everybody in your local area working as a dentist is managing their own Internet marketing.
The reality is dental services are a competitive niche in any major city, so unless you’re located in a small rural area where you’re the only dentist for miles, hiring a digital marketing agency to do the work for you is probably the best bet.
Nevertheless, we are not afraid to give away some of our secret sauce. At the end of the day we want healthy smiles all around. Making sure that you rank first for dental services ensures that those healthy smiles come from your dental office and that the profits from happy patients go straight into your pocket.
Read below to get some of the best SEO tactics for dental services money can buy.
The Most Important SEO Tactic for Dental Services
Nearly every good digital marketing strategy, regardless of the niche or location you are in, starts with proper keyword research and planning. Keywords are any words that people often used to search for something on a search engine website. Google is by far and away the most popular search engine in the world. Other search engines like Bing only get a fraction of the traffic that Google gets. Even if you’re a dentist reading this and know nothing about digital marketing, you probably guessed that already.
Keyword planning takes time but it doesn’t have to cost any money. Google Keyword Planner is free to use. So as another tool called UberSuggest. Both tools can tell you how competitive your local dental keywords are. Google does it in words, UberSuggest will show you some graphics and other metrics. The latter tool really simplifies things.
When considering which keywords you would like your dental services to rank for, you have to consider the mentality of the person searching on Google. Odds are if they’re looking for a dentist, they don’t already have one. They are also probably feeling tingling in their teeth, or they haven’t done a checkup for a professional cleaning in a long time.
Services like dental cleanings or basic checkups don’t make dentists a lot of money necessarily. At least not comparative orthodontics or more invasive dental procedures. That said, people need a checkup or a cleaning every six months, so you want to bid on words related to those services and also bid on words related to the cities and townships that are directly around you. People don’t drive more than a few minutes to get to their dentist, so you have to keep that in mind when trying to execute other SEO tactics for dental services.
Optimizing Google My Business
Google My Business is an absolutely magical tool that lists your dental service’s name, address, phone number, website, map and customer reviews all in one place. It’s a free opportunity to list your information on the most powerful online directory in the world. Every dentist has to do this. Making sure that all of your contact information is listed properly isn’t just a requirement for new patients to be able to call you, it’s also something that Google considers one ranking your listing appropriately.
This means you not only have to have your information accurately listed and up to date on your Google My Business profile, you need to do the same thing on other directory websites like Yellow Pages, Yelp, Bing Places, Apple Maps etc… Believe it or not, even though Google doesn’t own these properties, it does keep track of how many accurately listed instances of your name, address and telephone number appear on other directory sites. All of these directory sites point back to your Google listing and give you more credit for having done a good job with your online marketing. In Google’s eyes giving you more credit means ranking you higher above the competition.
Customer reviews are also a major factor in ranking your website and improving SEO for your dental services. Get customers to rate your dentistry four or five stars and leave an amazing comment and you’re ahead of the game.
Optimizing Your Dental Website
Gaining third-party credibility for your website by accumulating customer reviews and listing your information properly on websites that aren’t yours is a big key to success when trying to rank a website in the dental services arena. Think about it logically. Any business owner whether dentist or not can brag about their own business and their own services on their own website. But when other people are bragging about you (a.k.a. other websites), that speaks to third-party, impartial approval.
Even with all that being said though, a proper, robust SEO strategy always includes optimizing your own website for content and conversions. At the end of the day no matter the business model, turning leads into sales as well as all about.
Here are some things to consider when optimizing the website for your dentistry.
Optimizing The Homepage
Optimizing the homepage of your website means tagging it properly. Every page of a website needs a meta description. The first few words of a meta-description appear at the top of a web browser. It describes what’s on the page to the user and tells Google the same thing. You might want to put your primary keyword in this description, because every piece of content created on your website will at least be linked to off of your homepage. The homepage is called the homepage for a reason. It’s because that’s where everybody starts their customer journey with you once they get away from an advertisement and onto your website.
Having Clearly Defined Service Pages
Some business owners and dentists make the mistake of listing all of their services on one page or within a single menu. The reality is each one of your dental services should have its own webpage. The more detail you can provide the better. That’s not just true for Google but again for the patient who might have very specific needs. They may just be coming in for a checkup or cleaning, or maybe they need extensive dental surgery to deal with a specific issue that really hurts them. Think about how nervous you would be if you had to go through dental surgery. Wouldn’t you want to know everything about it? Naturally a website won’t answer every question that a patient has, but it is a good starting point and it’s an opportunity for a dentist to show off their expertise.
Using the Right Formatting at the Right Time
We’ve already touched on this in the sections above, but Google really likes when website owners structure the basics of their content the proper way using proper labels. In on-page optimization, proper labels include:
- Page title tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Body copy
Page title tags and meta-descriptions to all users and Google what’s going relevant on your website. Using headings not only makes copy easier to read, but again it serves to show Google that you have a proper structure for the content you are creating. Remember that as much as Google is advanced behind the scenes in terms of the algorithms and tools used to filter out what is good content versus what is bad content, it’s really just an online directory. The key to succeeding and standing out in any kind of directory is to make sure that all of your information is accurate and that it’s easy to read.
Of course page titles, meta-descriptions and properly formatting headings doesn’t mean anything unless the body copy has substance. Don’t use keywords more than you need to. Get your point across and right copy as if you’re speaking to one person. Everybody likes that.
Naturally if dentistry is your specialty you may not want to handle all of this yourself, but it’s important to know about it even if you’re hiring an agency to handle your search engine optimization, content marketing, social media or any other aspect of your online marketing strategy.
Have a Blog and Update it Regularly
Content is king when it comes to search engine optimization. Ask any expert. What better place to refresh content than on a blog? The answer to that is there is no better place really. Structuring content properly on service pages are the homepage is something you won’t change very often. A blog however can be updated as much or as little as you want. It’s recommended to update it at least once a week. A good strategy for making a blog valuable is not only to give away great tips, but to make those tips evergreen. Evergreen content is content that never gets old.
This works really good for anybody trying to improve on SEO within dental services because the average dental patient doesn’t care about the latest news and dentistry. All they care about is managing their oral health as best as possible and ironically enough, finding ways to stay out of the dentist’s chair as much as possible.
While a savvy dentist working on their online marketing isn’t going to recommend not going to the dentist, becoming an authoritative source for oral hygiene in your area using a blog can be a very effective strategy if you’re committed to it.
Other SEO Tactics That Help Dental Services
Believe it or not, creating social media pages that are keyword rich and consistently offering content to prospects can help SEO indirectly. A Facebook page will rank for your keywords in your local area when people search for your dentist office. Sure it may not boost the search engine ranking of your website directly, but not having a Facebook page with some content and reviews on it would be a crying shame because it’s easier to do that than it is to build a website from scratch and put content all over it.
Another strategy that can help SEO is to use services like Qwoted or HARO to try and get featured as a dental expert in magazines and other publications. Both of these services connect journalists with experts. Qwoted is free while HARO comes with a monthly fee. Nevertheless, each service offers you the opportunity to access journalists working on various stories related to all kinds of niches, including health, which of course would include oral health.
But of all the things you can do to increase the likelihood of somebody finding your dental services when they do a Google search, hiring an expert is by far the best option. Most experienced digital marketing agencies have at least at some point in their existence served local businesses. Finding a digital marketing agency specifically catering to the dental industry is also a possibility. Agencies can not only provide help with search engine optimization, they should also be able to help with setting up a marketing funnel, managing pay per click advertising campaigns, taking care of social media posts and any number of other marketing activities that take time to deliver.
Armed with these SEO tactics, it’s time to get your dental services ranking first for the keywords that are most important to your future patients.
Jack is a blogger from Mississauga and a passionate expert on digital, marketing, cryptocurrency, SEO and the Toronto Raptors.
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