To grow your dental practice, you need to put your offer in front of more people.
One of the most effective ways to reach people is through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It’s a cost effective marketing strategy to get your brand out there and generate awareness and leads.
But while we’ve covered SEO for dentists before, we’ve yet to cover Local SEO. This is a marketing strategy that specifically shows your offer and website to local users. So a Sydney dentist will be visible to Sydney residents, a Melbourne one – to Melbourners, etc.
In this guide, we’ll discuss why local SEO matters and how to build a local SEO strategy that produces results. We’ll cover local SEO benefits, 9 tips, and a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
Let’s start with the basics…
What Is Local SEO for Dentists?
Local SEO for dentists is about making sure your website appears on Google in relevant local searches. For example – someone looks up “dentist near me” or “Melbourne dentist” and you’re the first thing they see. This helps you get more leads and patients.
How does this work?
When someone searches for a dentist in their local area, they’re presented with several options. This includes your business if your website is optimised correctly. The goal of local SEO is to make sure that your website is the option users see and pick.
The main difference between local SEO and regular SEO is where you appear on a search page… And who sees you.
With regular SEO, you appear in regular search results as content. People see your videos, web pages, etc.
With local SEO, you may appear differently. You’re likely to be on the map embedded into Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Or you may show up on a list of local dental businesses with a star count representing your rating.
With local SEO, as with regular SEO, regularly optimising your website improves rankings over time. SEO is not an overnight solution. It takes consistent effort over time.
Benefits of Local SEO for Dentists
There are numerous benefits of local dentist SEO. Here are some of the most important ones.
1. Build awareness
Local SEO is an outstanding way to build awareness for your dental office. When you optimise your site for Google, you let Google know who you are and what types of services you provide. You also make it easier for prospective patients to discover you.
This can help you reach new patients and build relationships with existing ones. Since going local focuses on local prospects – not the whole Internet – it tends to be cheaper, with high returns on spend.
Awareness can also help build your brand up. As people get used to seeing you on Google’s first page, they’ll associate you with dentistry in your area. This makes you the natural go-to choice for people when they need your services.
2. Generate organic traffic
Part of SEO is identifying keywords that your audience uses when they search the internet. For example, potential prospects may be searching for:
- “Dentist near me”
- “Sydney dentist”
- “Dental care in my area”
- “Dental surgery in [your location]”
By optimising your website for these keywords and phrases, you will appear in search results for them more. As a result, you can generate organic traffic (unpaid) that is highly interested in your services. You don’t look up a “local dentist” if you don’t need one!
What works especially well is combining local SEO with content marketing. Writing in-depth blog posts and articles about dental issues helps you get found on Google… But is also an excellent way to demonstrate expertise and connect with prospective patients.
3. Educate potential clients
Before someone becomes a patient, they need to be educated. People want to know why they need the services you offer and how these will benefit them. Providing answers via content is a big part of local SEO – and an added benefit is that you’re educating prospects.
Quality educational content helps establish your practice as an authority in the dental industry and can help move prospects closer to becoming customers. You are able to educate visitors on their pain points and how you can solve those pain points.
4. Convert visitors into leads
Your conversion rates will increase if you create landing pages that help your prospects find the information they need. You should also include a contact form and other relevant information on your website to encourage visitors to reach out.
By optimising your site for SEO, you can make it easier for potential patients to find the answers they’re looking for. This will increase their chances of scheduling an appointment, giving you their contact information, etc.
9 Steps To Page One Rankings for Dentists
1. Claim Google My Business Listing
Optimising your Google My Business listing will help you rank better in local search. Your Google My Business listing should include all the important information about your practice.
Follow these steps to claim and optimise your Google My Business profile:
- Add or claim your dental practice – Go to Google My Business and select “add your business.” Fill out the required information and click “submit.”
- Verify your practice – If you have already claimed your listing and need to verify it, look for a postcard in the mail with instructions on how to complete the verification process.
- Add photos – Once your practice is verified, add photos to show off your office and staff.
- Update information – Make sure you include all the relevant information about your practice on your profile, including address, phone number, hours of operation, and services offered.
- Monitor reviews – Monitoring reviews can help you build trust and grow your practice. Respond to reviews in a timely manner, both the positive and negative ones.By claiming your Google My Business listing, you will appear higher in local search results and help potential patients find your practice online. This can lead to more booking appointments, visits, or sales for your dental business.
2. Get Patient Reviews and Display Them On Your Site
One of the first things people do when searching for dental practices is look at the reviews. Potential patients want to know that people have had good experiences with you, and lots of positive reviews builds that trust.
Additionally, having a lot of reviews helps boost your local SEO rankings. It shows Google that your practice is trustworthy and should be boosted in the rankings.
One simple way to get reviews is to email the review link to patients after every appointment. This not only helps you get more reviews, but it also helps build relationships with your patients.
Once you’ve collected reviews, make sure to display them prominently on your website. This will help instil trust in potential customers and convince them that they should book an appointment at your dental practice.
3. Get Listed In Directories and Claim Citations
Claiming your business on multiple websites increases the visibility of your practice and can help boost your SEO rankings.
For example, in addition to claiming your Google My Business profile, claim your business on Yelp, Angies List, etc. There are numerous places to list your practice, some free and some costing money.
Another benefit of getting listed in directories and claiming citations is that it allows you get links back to your site from other sites. Backlinks are one of the most important Google ranking factors, and the more you have the stronger your SEO results.
4. Regularly Update Your Google Maps Listing
In addition to claiming your Google My Business profile, you should regularly update your Google maps listing. This can help boost your local search rankings. In other words, when someone searches for a dentist in your area, they’ll be more likely to find your practice if you update your Google maps listing.
Updates can include adding photos of your office and staff, updating business hours or services offered, responding to reviews, and more. The more up-to-date information you provide on your map listing the better. Also consider posting new patient specials and promotions.
5. Geotag Your Dental Images
Geotagging is the process of adding geographical information to images, usually through GPS coordinates. This helps Google understand the relevance of your content and can help boost local search rankings.
You should geotag all images related to your dental practice, including photos of your office, staff members, and even blog posts about dental topics. You can use a variety of tools to geotag your images, such as Google’s free Picasa tool.
6. Create Pages For Each Service and Symptom
Your website should have separate pages for each service you offer and each symptom your dental patients may experience. This not only helps potential patients find the information they need, but it also helps Google understand your content better.
These pages should include detailed descriptions of each service and symptom, as well as any related procedures or treatments.
They should also include keywords that are relevant to these topics. This will help Google understand what your website is about and boost your rankings in local search results.
7. Use Social Media
Social media is an excellent way to reach potential patients.
Not only can you use it to promote your practice and showcase the services you offer… You can also use it in two other ways.
First, you can use social media to create more local SEO signals pointing to your website. Adding addresses, maps, etc on social media can help increase your rankings that way.
Another benefit is that you can use social media to connect with local users. Go there to respond to customer reviews, announce new patient specials or promotions, and even discuss specific dental procedures.
Be sure to post regularly on social media and link back to your website whenever possible. This will help spread the word about your practice and boost your SEO rankings.
8. Do Keyword Research
Keyword research is essential for local dentist SEO. It’s the process of finding the words and phrases your audience is using in search engines.
There are both primary and long tail keywords. Primary keywords are broad and usually have a higher search volume. For example, “dentist in Melbourne.”
Long tail keywords are more specific and have lower search volume. For example, “emergency dentist near me in Melbourne.”
By researching and targeting the right keywords, you can improve your rankings and get more qualified leads. You should also focus on local keyword variations such as city names, zip codes, and nearby areas.
9. Create Educational Content
Educational content, such as blog posts are a great way to share information with your audience, as well as target long tail keywords. It’s also a great way to establish yourself as an authority in the dental industry.
When creating content, be sure to use keywords that are relevant to your topic and local area. Also focus on providing helpful information and addressing common questions or concerns about dental services and procedures.
10. Use Proper Page Titles & Header Tags
Your page titles and headers should contain relevant keywords. This allows Google to index your pages and rank them for those keywords. They also help users understand what each page is about, which provides a better overall user experience.
To rank for the most keywords, use variations of primary and long tail keywords throughout your site. Include them in your H1, H2, H3, etc. headers.
11. Implement Local Site Schema
Local site schema is a type of structured data markup that supports local SEO. It helps search engines better understand your content and can also help boost rankings in local searches.
To add schema to your website, you’ll need to add additional HTML tags to the source code. You can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to create and test your schema before adding it to your pages.
12. Generate Quality Backlinks
As we noted, backlinks are essential if you want to rank well in Google searches. Google sees backlinks as votes of confidence. The more backlinks you have, the more trustworthy your website is in Google’s eyes.
Getting Results Faster
Some ways to build backlinks include:
- Get listed in directories
- Join local associations that will list you on their website
- Fully build out your social media profiles
- Write educational articles that are so valuable that other sites link to them
SEO for dentists requires both time, effort, and knowledge. But it’s time and effort well spent. The more you show up in local search results, the more leads you’ll get. More leads translates into more patients.
If you need help with your dentist SEO, schedule your free consultation with Megaphone (worth $1,200).