Implementing SEO tactics
for dental services is crucial to the long-term success of any dentist. It’s
the Internet marketing gift that keeps on giving. Work really hard to rank your
dental services for common keywords your future dental patients are looking for
and combine that with the names of local cities in your area (including the one
in which your office is located), and get traffic you don’t have to pay for.
This can last for months or even years on end without you having to do any
extra work or continue paying a digital marketing agency for the long run.
It’s for those reasons
that you owe it to yourself to invest in these top ninja as SEO tactics that
work for dental services. Now don’t be fooled, a solid search
engine optimization strategy requires consistent effort and implementation,
and it will be harder to rank for keywords in a major city where there are lots
of other dentists working on their search engine optimization game.
In the short term it
probably is best to hire a digital marketing agency to do all this for you. The
reality is that the world of business (and yes, working as a dentist is still
about improving the bottom line at the end of the day), self-employed
individuals are supposed to spend 70% of their time on marketing and only 30%
of their time fulfilling work.
Odds are the dental
college you went to didn’t teach you that and they didn’t teach you search
engine optimization or other internet marketing tactics like content marketing,
per click advertising, graphic design, social media or reputation
Consider this blog
post your primer for all of that. Welcome to the exciting world of search
engine optimization for dental services. Even if you only implement a few of
these tricks on your own, the ninja tactics you’re about to learn will help
your business grow tremendously.
The Number One Principle in SEO for
Any robust as SEO
strategy starts with the basics. The number one principle that a good search
engine optimization strategist needs to master is the idea of keyword planning.
Keywords are the words that your future patients type into Google and other
search engines to try to get information. Many keywords are just about doing
research. For example somebody struggling with pain in their tooth that wants
to avoid going to the dentist might look up phrases like ‘dental gel’ or ‘how
to numb a toothache’. While those keyword phrases signal that the prospect is
looking for dental care, they’re actually not looking for a dentist. They just
want to do their own research and fix their own problem. That doesn’t help
bring more people through the doors of your dental office.
That’s why there’s
another kind of keyword that you need to be focused on. Buyer keywords. Buyer
keywords are just what they sound like. They indicate a high level of intent to
make a purchase or actually take action. Somebody looking for Invisalign braces
can’t get them without working with a dentist. As most dentists know, cosmetic
dentistry is also lucrative and puts money in your pocket. So ranking for a
keyword like Invisalign, assuming that you offer that product or a similar
version, is definitely worth it.
Google Keyword Planner
So the question then
becomes, how do you find more of these keywords? You do what everyone else is
doing. You Google them. Not in the traditional sense, but rather you use Google’s keyword
planning tool. Google’s keyword planner shows you how much it costs to bid
on certain keywords. It also shows you related keywords. It also tells you
whether the competition for those keywords is low, medium, or high. Sometimes a
keyword can be searched much less frequently than others, yet be highly
competitive. The whole point of bidding on keywords in investing in pay per
click advertising is to be seen not just by as many people as possible, but by
as many highly intent buyers as possible.
dentists everybody needs oral health care, so as long as you bid on the right
keywords, you’ll get business. It doesn’t take much to convince people why they
need to keep their teeth clean and their mouth healthy.
Another Keyword Tool: UberSuggest
Another keyword tool
worth exploring is UberSuggest. UberSuggest is also free, but it gives users a
more visual representation of how difficult it might be to rank for certain
keywords or get ads for those keywords displayed in front of eyeballs. The tool
is owned by famous digital marketer Neil Patel. He knows what he’s talking
about in his tool is great.
Why Dentists Need Google My Business
Any instance of a
company’s name, address, telephone number and website listed properly on
well-known websites is invaluable to increasing the Google ranking of any dentistry.
Listing this information is what collectively known as a local citation. Google
gives businesses credit for listing this information not just on its own
platform, but on other directories large and small. These directories can be
big brand names like Bing, a search
engine competitor, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Apple Maps or other big citation/review
sites. What better place to list that information than Google’s own platform, Google
All of the above
websites allows you to list your citation and collect customer reviews. That
second part is important to. It falls under an umbrella term and Internet
marketing called reputation management. The customer review is a chance not
only to show off that your dentistry is getting testimonials from very happy
customers. It’s also an opportunity for you to please customers that may not be
happy with your services. Being proactive in reaching out to customers for
reviews is an opportunity for you to get their honest feedback and be proactive
and satisfying their needs.
Google My Business and
its competing citation sites offer you the chance to show off a map to your
office, post photos and videos of what you’re doing, create blog posts that don’t
live on your own website and ultimately rank higher for clicks when people
experiencing dental issues really need help. They will be the ones looking at
your Google My Business profile.
Don’t Forget Other Local Directories
Most digital marketing
companies will preach to the importance of being listed in the above
directories. There the big brand names and they get the most traffic so it
makes sense. That being said there’s also a lot of value in pursuing smaller
directories that relate specifically to dentistry. Having links from these
directories pointing back to your website is invaluable, even if most people
have never heard of the directories.
The bottom line is it
easy for a website to brag about its own services, but what other people are
bragging about it, Google and other search engines take notice. As a dentist
working on their marketing strategy, that’s what you need. You need to get
other people (and by people we mean websites) talking about you.
Here’s a quick list of
dentist related directories. It’s not a complete list but it’s a good start:
NOTE: most directory
sites will list your information for free, but some charge money. Let an
experienced digital marketing firm advise you as to whether you should be
paying for certain directory listings or not. In general though if you have a
budget for it, do it.
The Website for your Dental Services
Even though we just
finished saying that dentists need third-party credibility in order to rank on
Google and other search engines, properly designing and optimizing
the website for your dental services is still very important. Aside from
paying for advertising or putting content up on social media
platforms, the website is really the first instance of brand awareness your
patient sees the you actually have 100% control over. Talk about your services.
Speak to your ideal patient. Offer promotions. Post pictures of your staff that
make everybody look human and show your prospect that you really care about
their dental and oral hygiene.
From a technical
standpoint there are a bunch of things you can do to make your website the best
it can possibly be.
Optimize Your Landing Page or
You probably haven’t
heard of the term landing page too much throughout your dental career. Don’t
worry, it really just means any page your prospect lands on when they arrive to
your website. If you’re focused on building an email list of potential
prospects and customers, you’ll want to collect your prospect’s email address
right away. This gives you the opportunity to communicate with them on a
regular basis even if they haven’t walked into your office yet. If you’re not
going to do that, you still need a good-looking homepage. Aesthetically a good
web designer or web development service can take care of that for you, but you
also need help with the technical side of things.
Google and other
search engines like when you’re website’s pages have proper page titles and
meta-descriptions. The meta-description is the snippet of content that
describes a Google search link when a user is searching for it. Without it,
Google doesn’t know how to describe your content and won’t give you the credit
you deserve when it comes to ranking.
Building Detailed Service Pages
Odds are most new
patients coming to your dentistry for an initial appointment to come in for a
checkup or a cleaning. Those services aren’t worth the most money in the
dentistry world, but they are invaluable services for exposing people to your
brand of service and your knowledge as a dentist. The service pages of your
dental website are what Internet marketers call “money pages”. Fulfilling
services for patients is how you put money in your pocket after all. A digital
marketing agency working with you on your website needs to make sure the
content is properly written. This means employing all the strategies that make
up good copywriting. Explaining features, advantages, and benefits. Using a
clear call to action. Offering promotions that get the patient excited about
coming in or at least get them motivated.
You also need to get
other websites talking about your services and linking back to your service
pages. This is called backlinking. The same driving force that makes local
citations valuable is what will move your dental website up the ranks. One way
to make sure that other websites are talking about yours is to regularly update
a blog that gives away free valuable content to prospects on a regular basis
Why You Should Blog Consistently
shows search engines that you’re committed to your brand and consistently
offering prospects and patients value. It gives third party websites a reason
to link back to you which over the long run helps increase your Google ranking.
It also allows you to establish yourself as an authority in the realm of dental
services. It instills confidence in your patients before they even show up for
their first appointment. And it turns a first-time patient into a lifelong
friend that comes to you whatever they have needs surrounding their oral health.
A good dentist looking
lots of appointments and making lots of money can just pay someone to handle
blogging and newsletter writing for them, but if there is any aspect of your
marketing that you want to control yourself or at least have a voice in, it
would be the blog. That’s the thing about blogs. You don’t have to be a master
writer or storyteller to make an impact on your patients. They don’t even have
to be sitting in your dentist chairs.
Blogging is a great
way to show off your personality, inform prospects and show them how much you
know about dentistry and how much you love it as a passion. Blogging and all of
the other things you can do with content are collectively referred to as
content marketing, but it’s also important for your SEO.
Other Strategies for Ranking Dental
The reality is search
engine optimization is just one part of a broader strategy for ranking your
website and making it stick in the minds of future patients. In the long run, a
dentist that really cares about the marketing of their brand needs to employ a
social media strategy, use pay per
click advertising, engage in content marketing, manage their
reputation online and be involved in the whole process of marketing their
business even if a digital marketing company is taking care of the heavy
Hopefully this blog post has helped clear the air on the tactics that work in ranking your dental services. Now get started and rank above the competition.