Local SEO is one of the most effective ways to drive new customers to your dental clinic.
If you manage to rank on Google’s first page for terms like “dentist [location],” you’ll have hundreds of qualified buyers visiting your website monthly – zero ad spend required!
Unless you’re a digital marketing wizard, though, local SEO can definitely seem like rocket science.
That’s mostly because the guides you’ll find on the internet are going to be very long, theoretical, and impractical for a dental clinic.
Which is why we wrote this article! To teach you local SEO for dentists and get you ranking #1 on Google in your area without having to spend a decade learning technical SEO!
Read on to learn:
- What is Local SEO for Dentists?
- Why is Local SEO for Dentists Important?
- 9 Best Local SEO Techniques for Dental Clinics
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of optimizing your website so that it stands a chance of ranking for local search queries.
A local search query, on the other hand, is a type of keyword someone Googles when looking for services in their area.
Some examples of such keywords are:
- Dentist Atlanta
- Dentist near me
- Dental clinic
Something to note here is that although the 3rd example keyword doesn’t mention a location, it’s also a local keyword. That’s because Google can tell that someone looking for a “dental clinic” is looking for one in their general area.
Why is Local SEO Important for Dentists?
These days, when someone’s looking for a service or product, the first place they’re going to look is Google (not in YellowPages or some sort of directory).
As such, you want your clinic to be one of the first results that pop up when patients look up keywords like “dental clinic” or “dental clinic near me.”
Otherwise, you risk losing out to your competitors who are already ranking well.
Now for reference, there’s a very easy way to estimate how much ranking for keywords like “dental clinic” is worth it in your area.
On Google Planner, you can input your location, and see how many people look up dentists in a given area.
As you can see above, thousands of people look up variations of the keyword “dentist” in Atlanta.
On the same screenshot, you can see how much it would cost you if you wanted to advertise on Google for the very same keywords.
If you wanted to pop up on top of the Sponsored listings, for example, you’d have to be paying up to 20 USD per click.
This shows just how valuable organic SEO is – instead of having to pay thousands of dollars on advertising costs per month, you get the very same traffic for free.
9 Local SEO Tactics for Dentists (to Help You Rank #1)
Now that we got the basics out of the way, let’s talk about what’s important:
What you need to do in order to rank your dental practice #1 on Google.
Below, we’ll cover 9 of our tried-and-tested SEO techniques for dentists.
#1. List Your Practice on Google My Business
When doing local searches, you’re going to get 2 different types of results.
You’re going to get Google Maps rankings:
We’ll explain how to rank for the 2nd throughout the article, but in this section, we’ll cover the first.
In order to rank on Google Maps, you’ll need a Google My Business (GMB) profile. So, head over here and create your account.
When filling out the profile, follow these tips:
- Include the essential business information. This means your working hours, location, business name, and so on.
- Make sure your working hours are accurate and include information on whether you work during certain holidays.
- Create a “from the business” description. This is a small blurb that describes your business. Include keywords you want to rank for here, like “Dental Clinic Pittsburgh.”
- List your services on your GMB profile. This one’s optional, but it can help. You can add your different services on the GMB profile, as well as their prices.
- Include pictures of your dental clinic. Add pictures of your clinic from the outside (to help patients find it), as well as pictures of the interior.
- Make sure to answer questions on the FAQ. Sometimes, your customers will ask questions related to your business. Answer them whenever possible to provide the best possible customer experience.
- Post news or updates. Like on any other social media, you can post updates related to your business on your GMB profile.
Finally, and most importantly, encourage your customers to leave reviews. This is one of the most important ranking factors for Google Maps, so it should be your main focus.
#2. Do Keyword Research
Other than “Dental clinic [location],” there are other keywords potential patients search for when looking for dental services.
Some examples of such keywords include (but are not limited to):
- Dental implant [location]
- Tooth replacement [location]
- Cosmetic dentistry [location]
If you want to get the most out of Google, you’ll want to target each of these keywords on different pages on your website.
Before you can do that, though, you’ll want to start by doing comprehensive keyword research and compiling a list of the keywords you want to target in the first place.
For this, you can use a tool like Ahrefs. Simply input your seed keyword into the Keyword Explorer and you’ll get a list of hundreds of spin-off keywords:
#3. Create Dental Service Pages
Next on, you should create respective service pages to target the keywords you found during keyword research.
Your homepage can target your main keyword (E.g. “Dental Clinic [Location]”), but you’ll still need one new page for each type of keyword you’re targeting because of different search intent.
What we mean by this is that when people look up the keyword “tooth replacement,” for example, they’re looking for pages specifically about this topic – they’re not looking for your homepage.
This is why you’d want to create a dedicated page for that keyword and include all the essential information that the person looking up the query might want to know, such as:
- What’s the process of implanting new teeth?
- What are the benefits of dental implants?
- What are the (ballpark) prices for a dental implant?
Your service pages can either be text-heavy and formatted like a blog post, such as:
Or they can be more visual and framed as landing pages:
#4. List Your Service Pages in Your Navigation Bar
Once you’ve published a service page, you should add it to your navigation bar as a drop-down.
Linking to a page in your navigation bar means that this page is important for your website, and as such, Google is more likely to rank these pages well.
#5. Follow On-Page SEO Optimization Best Practices
Simply creating service pages isn’t enough – you also want them to be optimized for Google’s best practices.
Fortunately, this process is easier than you’d think. For each of your web pages, follow these practices:
- Include your target keyword in the URL. E.g. if you have a page about dental implants, the URL should be /dental-implants/
- Mention your location throughout the text to increase your chances of ranking locally.
- Include your target keyword in the H1 header of a given web page.
- Sprinkle your target keyword throughout the body text of any given page.
- Include links to your other web pages whenever it’s relevant.
- Don’t over-optimize. You don’t have to mention your target keyword everywhere.
- Embed your Google My Business at the footer of your landing pages.
#6. Make Sure That Your Website is Fast & Mobile-Friendly
When evaluating how to rank your web pages, Google looks at your website’s loading speed, as well as its mobile friendliness.
So, hire a professional web developer and ensure these two metrics are among their main priorities.
And if you want to see how well your dental clinic website holds up you can run it through Google’s tool and see how it’s rated:
As you can see above, this page scores 41/100 in terms of performance for mobile, which is very likely to impact their Google rankings.
#7. Build Backlinks for your Dental Clinic’s Website
A backlink is a link from a different domain to your website.
Google regards backlinks as votes of trust – when someone links to your website, they vouch for it being “legitimate.”
The more backlinks a website has, the more likely it is to be of high quality, and hence, Google is a lot more likely to grant it better rankings.
Some of the most popular link-building techniques you can use for your dental clinic’s local SEO are:
- Niche Edits. You can ask websites about dentistry for a link placement in one of their existing posts.
- Guest Posting. You can reach out to dental publications and pitch a guest post for their blog.
- Backlink Exchanges. You can exchange backlinks with other clinics in different cities or neighborhoods.
#8. Focus on Citation-Building
Citations are a tactic that helps with Google Maps rankings.
A citation is basically any mention of your business online that includes the following information:
- Business name
- Phone number
Yelp, Google My Business, and Yellow Pages are all examples of citations.
The more sources confirm your business details, the better it is. Google understands that since all these different websites quote the same information, then it’s a lot more likely that it’s accurate.
As such, the Google Bot is a lot more likely to rank you well on Google.
So, make a list of directory websites in your niche and start creating some citations.
The most popular websites you can use for citations are:
- Bing Places
#9. Keep Track of the Right Dental Clinic SEO KPIs
As with any other marketing channel, to succeed with local SEO for your dental clinic, you’ll need to track the right KPIs.
Some important local SEO KPIs for a dental clinic are:
- Impressions. This is the best metric to track initially. You won’t start ranking on Google for a few months, but you’re going to start seeing a steady rise in impressions in that timeframe.
- Clicks. The # of clicks your organic rankings are getting on Google. You should see a steady increase in these once you’re getting more impressions.
- Ranking. How well your web pages are ranking for their target keyword and whether there’s anything you can do to improve them.
- Form submissions. The number of people visiting your website who filled out an interest form.
- Phone calls. The number of phone calls you’re getting from leads from Google per month.
- Lead quality. Which of your web pages are driving leads that turn into paid customers?
Track your local SEO KPIs on Google Search Console – it’s going to be a lot easier and more convenient than doing it with Google Analytics.
Local SEO for Dentists FAQ
Finally, here’s the FAQ section. In case you still have questions on local SEO for dental practices, we’ll answer them here!
#1. Why do dentists need local SEO?
Dentists need local SEO because it’s one of the most effective ways to drive new patients to a dental clinic. Potential patients have a much easier time finding the dental clinic, and the clinic ends up driving a lot more traffic, as well as higher revenue.
#2. Do dentists need websites?
Yes, dentists absolutely need websites. Having a website is essential if you want potential patients to be able to find your dental clinic via local SEO.
#3. What do people search for when looking for dentists?
When looking for a dentist, people look for keywords like “dental clinic near me,” “dental implant [location],” “cosmetic dentistry [location],” and other similar keywords.
#4. How long does it take for dental clinic local SEO to start working?
This depends on several factors, such your how competitive your location is, the size of the city you’re based in, whether you’ve done any SEO work in the past or not, and others. On average, though, it can take anything from 5 months to 1 year (and beyond) to get results from local SEO for your dental practice.