Dentists are a profession that until recently was largely undigitised, but recently they are catching up, realising the importance of promoting their dental practices online
. Many dentists are redesigning their websites to look good online and attract new patients through social media, but they often forget the large market they are not working with through search engines such as Google
. That's where dental search engine optimisation, or dental SEO
, comes in.
Within the marketing toolkit, SEO basically helps a dental clinic to make itself known to new patients. Users who are looking for a dentist near their home or workplace, or those who are looking for information about a problem with their teeth or a possible treatment. At that moment, the user performs a search on Google and... BAM! If we work well with SEO, our website will appear in the first results
In this post you will get an overview of SEO for dentists
and why you need it for your practice, and the first steps to implement the strategies. Whether you go for it yourself or rely on a good SEO agency
like ours, getting an overview is sure to help you.
In this post you will find:
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation
. Simply put, it is the process of helping your website rank higher in search results on sites like Google or Bing, among others. When your website ranks higher, it is more likely to generate clicks and attract visitors to your website. With SEO we optimise organic search results, not pay-per-click search results, which would be SEM and is done through Google Ads. Although these ads can be a good complement to SEO, you should not rely too much on them, as the price per click in the dental sector is very high and would make it difficult to sustain.
In order to be able to do SEO, first of all you will need a quality website, and that beyond aesthetic taste, is structured and coded to rank in search engines. So if you don't have a website yet or you have one that is not SEO friendly, you should start there. Learn more about what a dentist website
should look like.
And once you have this type of website, you will have to work for months on multiple aspects of the website's code, its linking, its loading speed, its contents, etcetera. SEO also includes a series of practices that are carried out outside of the website, called SEO Offpage, which include management in portals and other websites to improve our authority.
What is dental SEO?
SEO for dentists, or dental SEO, focuses on optimising a dental practice's website for search engines. While it shares many technical and strategic aspects that can be applied to any industry, there are a few specifics for dentists that require unique and specific actions.
SEO for dentists: Why is it important?
If you are a dentist, SEO may not currently be a priority in your strategy. However, you should be aware that without search engine optimisation, hardly anyone will be able to find your website
. Normally a dental practice's client base comes from personal recommendation, and that's fine, but you need to be visible to attract new patients and be able to renew and/or grow.
Studies show that the first five search results account for 78% of all clicks on Google
. That's almost nothing. If you can achieve those rankings for searches related to your clinic, that means more traffic to the website, more qualified visitors, more credibility and authority, and ultimately more patients for the clinic.
Moreover, we are not alone. It is important to keep in mind that your competitors are probably already investing in dental search engine optimisation
. In fact, very often some dentists are surprised when they search for their services on Google and see that a newer or smaller dental practice comes up first. Google doesn't know that our dental practice is better if we don't work on SEO!
Those competitors are already benefiting from the exposure SEO gives them and attracting local patients to their practices before those patients even know you exist. SEO may be the only opportunity to get in front of patients who turn to the Internet to search for dentists in your catchment area.
And if you search and see that your competitors are not yet investing in dental SEO for their practices, even better. This is a fantastic opportunity to put you ahead of them. And when they realise your benefits and want to be like you, it will be very difficult for them to surpass you because SEO, if done well, is usually stable.
Initial tips for dental SEO
Any marketing plan requires knowing where to reach your target audience and how to reach them. SEO is no exception. So start by analysing who your target audience is (gender, age, where they live, habits...) and which services you are most interested in promoting in your portfolio. And then follow practices like these:
1. Keyword research
Yes, prospective patients are looking for dentists, but they are also looking for specific services, from teeth whitening to invisible orthodontics. Long-tail searches
, which are made up of several words, have lower search volumes, but the traffic coming from these queries is often highly targeted and ready to convert into real customers. Make a list of the concepts you would like to rank for, and search Google to see the results. This will give you ideas for refining the list of keywords you need to work with. Think of combinations like:
- Dentist/dental practice + population/area
- Dental treatment X + population/area
Once you have the list of keywords, make sure they appear on the website. Preferably, every interesting service at a business level should have a specific page, and define in detail how we work with that service in our dental clinic. Also, when optimising your website, be sure to include keywords and phrases that describe all the services offered at the clinic.
2. Optimise for local search
When it comes to health and medicine, people look for local service providers. You're missing out on these prime potential customers if your SEO plan doesn't use local SEO tactics to target specific geographic areas. The easiest way to improve your results is to add the name of your city and nearby cities in your website content. This is intuitive, but technical implementation will also be necessary so that those keywords also appear in meta tags, URLs or image ALTs, among other things.
3. Take great care of your profile on Google Maps
In addition to the website, the profile on Google Maps and other mapping systems play a key role. You need to have a profile (created through Google Business Profile), which is fully optimised at the content level for local positioning.
4. Register in local directories
You have a physical business, so you have the possibility to register on websites that aggregate data about businesses in your municipality or area. Look for them and register with them. In the past, your business was registered in Yellow Pages, so this is the same but on the Internet.
5. Start a blog and work on it
We insist a lot in our articles that the first thing to address is a good structure and content about who we are and what we do. But once this has been resolved, having a blog is an excellent tool to capture information searches that can bring you patients. To give you an idea: with a service page we could work on the keyword
"dental implants barcelona
", but with a blog post we could work on "what do I do if my tooth falls out" or something similar. Writing about the problems or doubts that a potential patient may have can be a magnet for your website.
Think about these topics and start writing about them. There is no one on the Internet with more knowledge than you about what you do in your practice, and if you work at it you will gain authority in the eyes of Google.
6. Get links
The quantity and quality of links from other websites
to yours affects your site's ranking in search results for keywords and phrases related to your clinic. This means that you should look for links from sites that have authority, quality, geographic proximity and thematic relatedness.
To generate relevant links we need to create quality content and communicate with bloggers and thematic and local media to suggest that they share our content. This will not only increase your ranking in search results, but will also help position your practice as a leader in the dental field. In other words, it is also a form of branding. When it comes to SEO for dentists
, links are essential. They serve as a thumbs-up, a Google-friendly endorsement for the content you publish on your website. That's why search engines like Google use links as one of their main ranking factors.
Frequently asked questions about dental SEO
Do you have more questions about dental SEO? Check out our frequently asked questions!How long does dental search engine optimisation take?
Dental search engine optimisation usually takes at least six months to deliver results. It will depend on many aspects, especially the competition in your segment or location. Keep in mind that SEO is a long-term strategy as opposed to a short-term strategy such as pay-per-click (PPC).How much does SEO for dentists cost?
Dental is one of the most competitive sectors in SEO, and one of the most sought after. If you opt for a quality agency the fees will start at €500 per month and upwards.How is the ROI of dental SEO calculated?
As in any other marketing action, we can calculate the return on investment (ROI) of dental SEO with the following formula:
(Profit on investment - Cost of investment) / Cost of investment
To do this it is very important to monitor what search volumes we get from SEO, how many contacts or appointments are generated through these SEO visits, and that you put an economic value on these leads.
Put your dental practice's SEO in good hands
In this article we have explained in detail the benefits for your clinic of investing resources in SEO
. It is undoubtedly the most economical, secure and stable marketing channel. Once you have decided to climb positions, you must choose the best provider to achieve it. And for this we advise you to put it in professional hands. Even if you are a great expert in the dental world, it is preferable to leave SEO positioning to its specialists. Look for a good SEO agency
, and if possible one that is close to you, as it will know the vicissitudes that will affect your local SEO, and that has experience and success stories positioning dental clinics on Google. An agency like La Teva Web ;)