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What is SEO for dentists?

Ever wonder what it means when someone says, “that’s great local SEO for Dentists”?

Here’s the simple translation, “That strategy can help push your website higher in search engine results pages, drive more traffic to your website, and get more new patients through your door.”

Dental SEO needs to be clarified for many dentists and dental practice owners. It can seem like an incredibly frustrating topic for dentists who want to focus on providing excellent patient care rather than becoming marketing experts.

Here’s the reality: in 2022, dentists can no longer afford to ignore local SEO. A dental SEO strategy is a must if you want to grow your practice and keep new patients flowing in. Having some experience and knowledge on this topic will ensure you understand the importance and be better equipped to do what it takes to rise in the rankings.

That’s why we’ve written this dental SEO guide straightforwardly: we want to bring clarity and drive success for dentists everywhere.

SEO For Dentist

What is dental search engine optimization (SEO)?

Dental SEO is making your dental practice appear higher in search engine results, i.e., getting to the top of a search engine results page (SERP) without paying for an ad.

For example, when a potential patient opens Google (or Bing, Yahoo, or another search engine) and types in “dentist near me,” “implant dentist,” or any other combination of dental search terms, an SEO strategies is what helps your practice appear in the top results.

If you want patients to find you online, you need a dental SEO marketing strategy.

The importance of SEO for dentists

We’ve already talked about the goal of SEO: to increase your practice’s searchability and visibility in search results, but why is it so important? Why is SEO important for dentists?

When searching for a new dentist on the Internet, 70% of people click on one of the first five suggestions on a dental search engine results page. More than 90% of people don’t make it past the first page.

The most compelling argument for an SEO strategy for dentists is that it effectively attracts new patients to your practice. But there’s a lot more to decipher.

Think of SEO as the backbone of a modern online marketing strategy for dental practices. In 2022, dentists can only effectively market their practice with SEO.

1. SEO for your dental practice will build trust and credibility among patients.

There is a reason most people click on one of the first five suggested results on Google: people believe that dentists who appear in the top positions are better. Google thinks so too.

It’s a virtuous circle: the higher you appear in searches, the more likely potential patients will trust you and click through to your website. The more people click, the more Google counts you as a reliable and credible source and will continue to push you to the top results.

2. Search engine optimization drives more traffic to your website.

The latest studies show that 53% of all website traffic comes from organic (unpaid) searches. For your specific location and website, it may be even more. This is especially important for two reasons:

The more traffic your website gets, the better your chance of convincing someone to book a dental appointment.
SEO is an inbound marketing tactic – instead of reaching out to patients whether they want to hear from you, dental SEO makes it easy for potential patients to find you when they need you. The result is higher quality leads (the patients you want most) and better conversion rates.

3. Better SEO translates into a better website user experience.

Sound SEO strategies put a lot of emphasis on the website user experience. For example, SEO best practices for dentists include such things as

  • Fast page load time
  • A mobile-friendly design.
  • Titles and subtitles on pages
  • Compelling and original content
  • Easy website navigation

These strategies make it easier for potential patients to find what they need on your website (called a good user experience) and, in turn, improve your SEO ranking.

4. Other dental practices use SEO

SEO may be new to you, but we guarantee it’s not unique to other practices in your town.
The Internet is a crowded and competitive place. With an SEO strategy of your own, you can keep up with your competitors or, even better, rise to the top and stand out as the best choice for patients.

For example, let’s say a person with a missing tooth types “tooth replacement in Portland” into Google: you’ll see lots of reviews, dentist directories, and competitor websites. Improving your SEO will ensure that your practice appears among these results and help you stand out and win over your patient.

Dentist SEO: How much does it cost?

Three words: free dental advertising.

You may pay an in-house marketing expert or partner with a dental SEO company; otherwise, SEO is not a paid strategy. You can see results without a paid marketing approach.

What is the return on investment in SEO for dentists?

To determine the ROI of an SEO strategy, you need to consider how much a new patient is worth to your practice.
Here are the numbers to consider

  1. The number of patients your SEO strategy generates over a given period.
  2. Average patient value
  3. The average duration of patients
  4. Cost of executing your strategy (either through an in-house employee or a dental SEO agency).

Here’s an example

Let’s say you’ve calculated that the average value of your patients is $653 per year, with an average lifespan of 10 years.

With that formula, $653 x 10 years = $6,500. Therefore, each new patient that comes through their practice will generate about $6,500 in lifetime revenue.

With a search engine optimization strategy in place, let’s assume that your website delivers a conservative estimate of 5 new patients per month. Using the formula above, those five patients equate to about $32,500 in lifetime value. Over a year, with five new monthly patients, you will have added approximately $390,000 in future revenue from search engine optimization alone.

Consider this figure in comparison to the time and money you spend per year on your SEO strategy, and you will have a clear picture of the ROI of your search engine optimization strategy.

How can a dentist rank at the top of search engine results?

It is never guaranteed that a dentist will appear at the top of a search, but it is possible (after all, someone has to appear at the top). Nevertheless, focus on appearing on the first page. Moving up even one or two spots can make a big difference.

To understand how you can appear higher in search results, you need to understand how SEO for dentists works.

How do search engines work?

When you search for something on Google or another search engine, it looks like a question.

For example, if you type in “professional teeth whitening,” Google might think you’re asking, “where can I find a good cosmetic dentist near me?” or “who is the best dentist for teeth whitening in my area?” The search engine will offer you the results it deems most relevant and essential to answer that question.

That’s what SEO is all about. Optimizing your online presence to ensure that Google believes you are a trusted source and can give the searcher the answer they are looking for.

How do search engines decide how dental websites rank?

Search engines want to provide the best possible results for each search. To do this, they take into account on-site and off-site ranking factors.

On-site ranking factors for dentists.

On-site ranking factors refer to all the information that Google examines on your website. That’s right, Google and other search engines are constantly “crawling” each site, gathering information to get an idea of who you are, what you offer, the questions you answer, whether or not you are trustworthy and much more.

On-site SEO ranking factors for dentists include:

  • What’s on your website pages?
  • Presence of keywords in the text and places such as headings, URLs, meta titles and descriptions, and photo file names
  • Length and quality of the text
  • The age of your website (the older, the better)
  • The ease with which search engine bots can access, understand and index your content
  • The speed with which your page loads (as close to one second as possible)
  • Whether your site is mobile-friendly or not
  • How much time do people spend on your site
  • The design of your website
  • The reliability of your website as a whole

And these are just a few of them.

Off-site ranking factors for dentists.

Off-site SEO refers to what others think of your site. Yes, it’s true: the activities you and others perform off-site can increase your rankings.

The most significant off-site SEO ranking factor for dentists is the number of sites/places that link to or talk about your website.

Ranking factors specific to off-site link building include:

  • How the link was earned (naturally, manually, or created by yourself).
  • The popularity of the linking site
  • The relationship between the topic of the linked site and the linked site/page
  • The date of appearance of the link
  • The reliability and authority of the linking site
  • The number of links
  • And more

How all this can be combined

Returning to our original question, how do search engines decide where to rank dental practice’s websites?

When a potential patient searches for “Invisalign dentist,” a search engine will take into account all of the onsite and offsite SEO factors discussed to help determine the following:

  • What results show
  • What type of results to show (reviews, dental directories, web pages, blog posts, etc.)
  • The order of the results

In addition, the search engine results will vary based on

  • The keywords someone uses in their search
  • The location from which the person searches
  • The person’s search history
SEO For Dentists

How to optimize a dental website for SEO

Your entire SEO strategies stems from your website, so you need to start there. Here are some actions to focus on when creating a website.

Build your site on WordPress.

Best dental websites are built with WordPress. WordPress sites are flexible and scalable and look and perform just as perfectly on mobile as on a desktop. From there, make sure that search engines can find your site and read it. That means no flash, Silverlight, iFrames, or other outdated, media-heavy tactics.

Other essential SEO details on the back end of your website include:

  • URLs
  • Meta titles and descriptions
  • Image alt text
  • Image and video file sizes
  • Page load times
  • No broken links

Make sure you address all these things for every page on your website.

Design a beautiful dental website

The design of your website will make all the difference in whether or not potential patients have a good experience on your website. And as we talked about earlier, user experience is an important ranking factor for SEO.

Focus on creating a dental web design that makes a tremendous and fast first impression. The only way to do that is through a modern, custom site designed by a professional who 1) understands the dental industry and 2) has a background in search engine optimization.

A few web design tactics this professional will take include:

  • Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
  • Ensuring fast page load time
  • Make sure your site uses ADA & HIPAA compliant practices
  • Making the site simple to understand and navigate

Develop compelling, keyword-optimized content

Great design must be supported by unique, compelling, and keyword-optimized content.

  • Original — Copy-and-paste content will be penalized. Always write in your own words using your unique voice and tone.
  • Compelling — Your site’s copy should focus on your patients (not you), answer common questions, address their problems, and outline how to solve those problems. Use the StoryBrand approach as a great starting point.
  • Keyword-optimized — Most essential for SEO is ensuring your content is keyword-optimized. That involves conducting keyword research for every page on your website and guaranteeing those keywords are included in headings, meta info, and copy.

Create a brand that reflects the core values of your business.

An appealing brand communicates to your patients what makes your practice unique. It also displays patients’ experience in your practice and the services they will find there.

What is branding? For starters, it’s your practice logo, the colors you use on your website and marketing materials, and the typography you use on the web and in your physical office. It’s also the personality you present to the world in everything you do.

Good branding will keep patients engaged, helping your SEO efforts and building trust with potential new patients who visit your site.

Dental SEO keywords

Are you a dentist looking to bolster your online presence? Seek out low-competition keywords such as “orthodontist,” “pediatric dentistry,” and “family dentistry,” or narrow in on specific services like dental bridges, crowns, implants and even kid’s care. Whether it be for a private practice or larger clinic setting – the possibilities are endless when it comes to increasing traffic with powerful SEO words.

How to choose a dental SEO company

Choosing an SEO provider can be difficult and intimidating, but there are a few key tips you should keep in mind. Firstly, make sure to ask for specific case studies showing successes they’ve had with past projects.

Secondly, think beyond just SEO:
what else could the company offer that might benefit your business? Thirdly, if feasible take some time out of your schedule to sit down with them face-to-face – it’ll help establish trust faster than any phone call or email exchange ever will! Steer clear of low-cost agencies as well; while prices may seem attractive initially understand the risks associated before diving in headfirst without research. Finally do not accept guarantees from anyone offering their services – instead familiarize yourself thoroughly on pricing models and set up a budget beforehand so expectations don’t exceed reality further down the line.

How much do you pay for dental SEO?

Are you ready to make an investment in your dental practice’s long-term success? Investing in SEO can be a rewarding move, with the potential for thousands of new patients and major returns. Consider setting aside at least $2000 upfront, followed by regular payments ranging from $1000-$2000 or more – though it could take up to 6 months before results are seen.

How to increase SEO for a dental clinic

Grow your dental practice to new heights by utilizing the power of Dental SEO! Leverage popular tools like WordPress for website design, create original content with proper optimization techniques in mind, list yourself on Google Maps and make sure all internal links are properly set up. Additionally optimizing titles & meta descriptions can give you a boost towards ranking higher locally – don’t forget those crucial steps when looking to maximize growth potential online.

is dental SEO worth the money?

Put your business on the map – SEO is an important and cost-effective way to promote organic visibility, drive leads from online searches, and get ahead in 2022. With 93% of all experiences starting with a search engine query, savvy businesses who take advantage of this effective marketing strategy are seeing measurable increases in their ROI.

why SEO is important to dental practice

SEO is your essential key for unlocking trust and credibility with potential patients. Investing time into SEO helps to make sure that when people are searching, they will find you first – increasing the likelihood of them choosing your practice over someone else’s. As clicks increase from higher rankings in searches, this organic cycle builds a stronger bond between Google and your business so it can reach even greater heights.