This guide contains everything we know and we're constantly adding to it. It's a wealth of knowledge for helping local dentists dominate their SEO and through evidence-based strategies. For your convenience, we've broken it up into a table of contents.
Watch this 10-minute presentation of how to generate local leads through SEO and content for dentists.
An Example of How SEO for Dentists Works
Let’s set the stage for this guide. We want to establish why SEO is so important to dentists and we’ll establish our credibility as an SEO agency that offers the best SEO services that can help dentists dominate their market and convert qualified leads.
We’re going to look at the search term: Invisalign near me.
This keyword gets searched almost 10,000 times per month in the United States at the time of writing.
We searched that term in Google and here are the top results as of January 2021:
I searched “Invisalign near me” while sitting in my office in Grand Rapids, MI, and pictured above is what I see from the first results in the Google Map Pack.
You can see the keyword “Invisalign” is bolded in the Google Map Pack in two different ways; an individual’s review and that it is mentioned on another company’s website.
The results of any given search are telling if you know what you are looking for.
Google is trying to recommend the most relevant, trustworthy source to anyone that is looking for Invisalign near their physical location.
Google wants to recommend to the searcher a relevant page that is all about Invisalign and answers a lot of the frequently asked questions about the service.
Take a look at what’s next on the page under the map:
This is a search engine results page feature called FAQs or People also ask.
These questions help the searcher get answers to the most common questions people ask about invisalign or any given topic, product, or service.
These questions are important to answer thoroughly on your website if you want to attract potential patients to your website from the search engines.
You also want to make sure that your website offers a relevant experience that matches what the searcher is looking for.
How do you make sure you have a relevant dental website?
If your audience finds you by searching for a particular service or product category, make sure you have a service/product page for that category.
No one looking for “invisalign” wants to be sent to a page that also talks about dental implants, for example. Imagine the experience of someone looking for invisalign services, but being sent to a page that just lists your services and doesn’t talk in detail about invisalign.
That’s not a great experience. Google gets that, so they appreciate a comprehensive service page.
This leads us to one of the most important factors when it comes to SEO; user intent.
What is user intent?
User intent is what a searcher intended or wanted to find online when they typed their search term into a search engine.
Your goal with optimizing your website for search engine visibility for your dental practice needs to be about fulfilling user intentions and giving them everything they could possible need.
Build your website for your customer, not for you, and you’ll end up building an effective, revenue-generating machine.
How do you do that?
Start with a comprehensive keyword list to understand exactly how your customer searches for what you have to offer.
Why SEO for dentists? Local SEO for Dentists Stats
SEO is like planting a garden, while SEM is going to the grocery store. If you need to eat tonight, you don’t plant a garden, you go to the grocery store. But, you should still plant your garden now so that in time, you won’t have to go to the grocery as often or spend as much money there. But, if you have to eat today, you don’t only plant a garden. Or, you are going to starve.
Investing in SEO for your dental business will pay dividends into the future of your business.
Here are the top three reasons why SEO and content marketing are so important for local dentists:
There’s a ton of search volume. We have compiled a list of 865 dental keywords that a typical dental business would want to rank for in the search engines. The total monthly average search volume in the United States for all of those keywords combined is 5,652,180. This means there are a lot of people potentially interested in the dental services your business provides. Every search is an opportunity for new business.
People search locally. Of the 865 keywords we tracked, only 86 show the map pack (3 local businesses that show up in Google when you search). But, those 86 make up an average monthly search volume of 4,096,750 in the United States:
This means that local SEO for dentists is incredibly important.
Education is crucial in anything health-related. When it comes to anything that could affect your health and your lifestyle, Google takes those search queries very seriously. You need to offer a lot of transparent, educational content on your services, the products used, pros and cons, etc. With all of this work comes a lot of great opportunities. An educated searcher is more likely to become a new prospective patient.
SEO Strategies and Tactics for Dentists
What is SEO for Dentists?
SEO or search engine optimization for dentists is the process of getting quality traffic to your site from search results with the intent of converting that traffic into a lead and eventually a new dental patient.
On-Page, Off-Page, & Technical SEO
SEO can be broken down into three general categories; on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
On-page SEO is mainly the content on your page. Keywords, titles, headings, meta descriptions are all SEO signals that are on a page of your website. Search engines want to make sure the content is relevant to the search term or keyword. Relevancy plays a big role in on-page SEO for med spas.
Off-page SEO is everything from other web pages that help a particular page on your site rank. There are several factors, but the biggest are backlinks or links from other sites to your site. It’s crucial to have a good volume and good quality or relevant backlinks to validate your trust and authority.
Technical SEO is, for the most part, all under the hood of your website. It’s making sure your website is developed so that it is crawler friendly, has an SSL certificate, loads fast, etc.
Meta Titles and Descriptions
Meta titles or page titles are the titles of each individual page or post on your website. These are not necessarily visible on the page, but they are visible to the search engines. You have control over the title and what it says so it is imperative that you optimize these titles to stand out.
Meta descriptions or page descriptions are another HTML attribute that provides a summary of a page or posts content. These can also be optimized for the search engine results page, but Google will often manipulate them for certain search terms.
Keyword research is a crucial part of search engine optimization. A keyword research tool is imperative to identifying quality keywords, identifying user intent, and determining your overall content strategy.
Using a keyword research tool, you can shortlist your keywords. We use SEMRush to do keyword research.
In the screenshot below you’ll see a list of dental business keywords that we exported and then grouped. They originally were found via SEMRush.
Above is a screenshot of the list of our 865 dental keywords that have been grouped by topics.
Grouping keywords like this helps us to make better decisions about what information to include on a dental website and how to organize that information in a website sitemap.
Keyword research can and should help your dental company get an idea of how big your market is and plays a crucial role in determining if it’s an investment worth making for your business.
Typically, we like to encourage dental professionals to have a dedicated service or product page for all products and services and then work on blog posts to go into more educational detail on each one of your products and services.
This is helpful to your potential customers and therefore a great SEO practice.
Page Load and Mobile-friendliness
Your page load time is crucial not only to SEO but your potential customer’s experience. Google will promote sites with a faster page load speed if it enhances the user’s experience. This is especially important when loading over mobile devices, which are often being used on 3G and 4G connections with slower download speed.
Keep the size of your images and other large media minimal and work with an experienced web developer to optimize your site for speed.
Your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Your target audience is searching for you on mobile devices and with Google’s mobile-first indexing, you can’t ignore the importance of a mobile-friendly website. Mobile-first indexing is essentially Google stating that they are prioritizing mobile-friendly sites when people search on their mobile devices.
Your dentist website is important to the user’s experience. If your potential customer can’t easily find what they are looking for, you may miss out on new business. It’s important to consider internally linking between pages to add context and help the user navigate.
Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks or links from other sites to your website. This is really important to build your expertise, authoritativeness, and trust as a provider of medical services.
Utilizing your social media channels, you should be promoting the content you publish on your website.
Local SEO helps you optimize your site for a local audience. If your target audience is physically close to your company’s location, it’s important to add some additional tactics to your SEO strategy.
There is a lot to cover with local SEO, but for a quick reference make sure you:
Mention the areas you serve on your website and possibly even create a web page for each location.
Make sure you are listed on other local citations like your local Chamber, and other business directories.
Content Marketing for Dentists
Why do we bring up content marketing on a guide about SEO? Because an effective SEO strategy is incredibly reliant on great content. SEO and content go together like peanut butter and jelly.
The beginning of any effective content marketing strategy begins on a foundation of a thorough keyword research process, which is also the foundation of great SEO.
Our keyword research process for dentists is below.
How to Identify Content Marketing Ideas
Talk and Listen to Your Customer
While it’s true that you probably understand your products and services really well and can talk about it all day with a bunch of industry jargon, that most likely is not true of your customer.
You probably know less about your customer and don’t know what words they use to describe what they need.
The best way to start to get ideas for content marketing is by asking your ideal customer the right questions. Start by surveying your current customers to get some more information about who they are, what they do, and how they think.
Your goal is to identify quality content that is attractive to your ideal customer that you could create. In the Venn diagram above you’ll see what we’re referring to.
This is how you develop a great content marketing strategy.
Do Keyword Research
By using a keyword research tool you can start to gather great content marketing ideas to attract leads via SEO campaigns. Start by looking at the questions people ask related to your product or service.
Based on a keyword like “DIY teeth whitening,” you could write a ton of great, related content like about all the different options your customers have for teeth whitening.
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “why would I do that!? I offer teeth whitening services.”
Almost 10,000 people search for DIY teeth whitening per month.
Not everyone who researchers DIY options will end up doing it themselves.
Wouldn’t you like to be the dentist that is there when a potential client decides they’d rather have a professional whiten their teeth?
With great content that is made for SEO you can also repurpose it in other channels and turn people like DIYers into new customers!
That’s the power of great content marketing for dentists.
When you write great content that is related to what you sell you are supporting your domain’s authority online. By focusing on writing quality content on all the questions, topics, and subtopics people search for on your subject matter, you’ll begin to dominate the search engines because you have the most useful content for your audience.
Create a Shortlist
As you use your keyword research tool, add keywords to a shortlist. These can be high-intent, low-intent, short-tail, and long-tail. Add any that seem relevant for now. You can chisel them down later. The point of creating a big list is to get a good overview of your entire potential and you can create a content plan based around all of your keywords.
Look at Content Types in SERPs
Content is not just written copy and your target customer doesn’t want to just read. The dental business industry is highly visual. It often makes sense to support your content with images and videos. But, don’t just take our word for it.
With a tool like SEMRush, you can determine which SERP (search engine results page) features show up on each of your keywords. In the screenshot above, we have filtered our keywords by those that show up in the local pack. But, there are also options for those that show reviews, include videos or images, and much more.
This information can help you determine exactly what type of content to include on the pages of your website.
Our SEO Services: Websites That Increase Traffic & Conversions
We create dentist WordPress websites and do done-for-you local search engine optimization that is evidence-based and ROI-driven.
Attracting website traffic can be a challenging and daunting task. There are a lot of moving parts to your website. It’s a living organism that requires constant attention and maintenance. And then you have to think about quality, fresh content that you can contribute. Writing great, authoritative content takes time.
But, it can be worth the investment to your dentist office with the right SEO strategy and content marketing strategy.
Evidence-based Dentist Marketing
At Avalanche Creative, we create evidence-based, highly executable search engine and content marketing plans. Our process takes the mystery out of the question, “should I invest long term in SEO and content marketing?” and provides a bullet-proof plan for how to execute spa SEO and content strategy that drives more traffic, more qualified leads, and builds your brand’s authority.
We are a digital marketing SEO-focused company that specializes in SEO for dentists. Our SEO services mitigate the risk of a bad investment in search engine optimization. We do this by researching and planning more thoroughly than anyone else. We make sure your SEO and content marketing plan is truly investable for your medical practice.