SEO for dentists helps your website rank higher, bringing in more patients. Learn 5 expert tips and see real-world examples to help your dental practice grow.

Here, you’ll find:

  1. What is SEO for dentists?
  2. 5 tips for getting started with SEO for dentists
  3. 3 examples of top-ranking dental websites
  4. How to find the right dental SEO services for your practice
  5. Benefits of local SEO for dentists
  6. Common SEO terms to know

Gone are the days of flipping through the Yellow Pages to find a local dentist. Today’s savvy consumers do a Google search, check out the dental practice’s website, and read all the dentist’s Google Business profile reviews before making their choice.

So, how do you stand out from other dentists in your area? The position of your website on search engines plays a big role in how many people see your dental practice. SEO for dentists can ensure more potential patients find your dental office online.

Let’s dive into the basics of dental SEO, why local SEO for dentists is important, and how it can help you rank on Google.

Dentist office

(Image: Pexels)

What is SEO for dentists?

SEO for dentists is search engine optimization methods used to rank dental practice websites higher on search engines. The goal is to increase online visibility and bring in more new patients to the dental office. The higher your website ranks on the search engine results page (SERP), the more likely people will visit your website.

5 tips for getting started with SEO for dentists

Not sure where to start with dentistry SEO? Here are a few tips.

  1. Optimize your website with keywords patients use
  2. Claim & optimize your Google Business listing
  3. List your dental practice on local directories
  4. Get reviews from happy patients
  5. Optimize your site for mobile users

1. Optimize your website with keywords patients use

Keyword research helps you find which words and phrases patients use to find dentists in their area. Your keyword strategy won’t always focus on phrases like “dentist [CITY]” or “dentist near me.”

Sometimes, patients want to research an issue or procedure before booking an appointment. For instance, someone considering teeth whitening in Los Angeles may Google “teeth whitening Los Angeles” to find dentists providing this service. And some may want to read more information about the procedure so they’re prepared.

When we search for teeth whitening on Google, the first organic results are from dentists in Los Angeles providing teeth whitening services:

Organic Google search for teeth whitening in Los Angeles

You can use tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or MOZ for keyword research. Choose keywords you can and want to rank for, such as those with low keyword difficulty and high search volume.

2. Claim & optimize your Google Business listing

In 2022, 87% of consumers used Google to research a local business, and 75% of marketers agree that the Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is one of Google’s top local SEO ranking factors. So, if you haven’t claimed and optimized your Google business listing yet, now is the time.

Here’s how a Google Business Profile looks:

Google Business profile for dentist

(Image: Google search results)

Keep your name, address, and phone number information up-to-date on your Google Business Profile so people can find your business given that Google Maps is the most popular.

3. List your dental practice on local directories

You’ve completed your Google Business Profile, it’s time to list your dental practice on local directories and optimize your local citations (anywhere on the web where your contact information is available). This includes everything from national review sites to the local chamber of commerce directory.

Sites like Yelp and ZocDoc are great places to include your listing so new patients can find you. But also update your listing information and manage reviews on sites like Healthgrades, RateMDs, and any other healthcare review sites patients may find information and read about the patient experience.

Here’s an example of a Healthgrades dentist profile. It has information about the doctor’s background, practice, insurance, and patient reviews.

Healthgrades dentist profile

(Image: Google My Business profile)

4. Get reviews from happy patients

Google won’t say for sure, but 90% of marketers believe reviews impact local rankings. And regardless of their actual impact on your keyword rankings, positive reviews still entice new patients to visit.

According to a BrightLocal survey, 98% of consumers at least “occasionally” read online reviews when researching local businesses. And 66% use Google to read reviews for healthcare businesses.

Ask your best patients to review your practice on Google. The more 5-star reviews you have, the more likely people will consider making you their new dentist.

Google reviews for dentist

(Image: Google reviews)

5. Optimize your site for mobile users

Mobile-friendly websites are no longer optional. Google processes 8.5 billion searches daily, and 63% of that traffic comes from a mobile device. Unsurprisingly, 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if their site is mobile-friendly.

Creating a great user experience for people searching on mobile devices makes it easier for them to find and contact you online. The less friction there is in the process, the more likely someone will book an appointment.

3 examples of top-ranking dental websites

We chose three top-ranking dental office websites on Google organic search for Los Angeles, New York City, and Miami. Let’s analyze what they do well to earn that coveted number 1 spot on Google.

LA Dental

LA Dental benefits from having a name that’s also a keyword phrase people type in to find a dentist in Los Angeles. It also creates high-quality, valuable content on its blog.

LA Dental Website

(Image: LA Dental)

The dental office publishes new blog posts weekly on topics its audience cares about. The topics include informational SEO keywords and phrases someone may type in to learn more about a dental procedure.

For instance, its blog post “How Much Does Invisalign Cost?” focuses on an FAQ. The author uses keyword phrases in the blog post headings like “how much is Invisalign” and “what impacts the cost of Invisalign” to align with what people type in when searching for Invisalign pricing.

Dentist blog example

(Image: LA Dental)

Publishing high-quality content on your blog optimizes your website for search, and can improve conversion rates. When you give patients valuable information, they’re more likely to trust and visit your office for services.

New York Dental Office

New York Dental Office also benefits from having SEO keywords in its name. However, it also optimized its website to rank for common dental services it offers.

Each service has a page with detailed information about the procedure, making the page informative for those who never had the procedure before. Plus, it gives the dental office an opportunity to use relevant keywords throughout the text.

Here’s an example of the services page for dental implants:

New York Dental Office website

(Image: New York Dental Office)

It has valuable information about the procedure, but also has location-based keywords weaved in naturally to rank for local searches.

Here’s a great example of local SEO copy that mentions both the service and location:

Local SEO copy

(Image: New York Dental Office)

A New Smile Dental Center

A New Smile Dental Center ranks in the top organic spot when you search “Dentist Miami.”

This practice has multiple locations in Miami Beach, Kendall, and North Miami. To rank organically for each location, the dental center created a specific page for each location using geo-targeted keywords.

Here’s the page for Miami Beach:

Miami Beach dentist page

(Image: A New Smile Dental Center)

And here’s the page for Kendall:

Kendall dentist page

(Image: A New Smile Dental Center)

Though the pages have similar sentiments, the copy is unique and includes location-based keywords to rank for those cities. Each page includes details on the doctors who work at these locations and the services they provide.

Each location page also has FAQs, while working the location-based keywords into the answers.

Dentist FAQ page

(Image: A New Smile Dental Center)

Notice it uses the local SEO keyword phrases “dental practice in North Miami” and “dental emergency in North Miami” in its FAQs, increasing its chance of ranking for these terms.

How to find the right dental SEO services for your practice

SEO is no walk in the park, especially if you’re new to the concept. Hiring a dental SEO expert allows you to benefit from greater visibility online while allowing your team to focus on what you do best — protecting and maintaining beautiful smiles.

So, what do you look for when hiring an SEO agency? Here’s what we recommend.

Local SEO experts

Many digital marketing agencies offer SEO services. But that doesn’t mean they specialize in local SEO. If you’re serious about boosting visibility on search engines, you’ll need an SEO consultant or agency that regularly develops, manages, and monitors local SEO campaigns.

SEO is a core competency at HawkSEM. The team takes an ROI- and performance-driven approach to SEO for dental offices. We take time to learn about all aspects of the business, including offers, target audience, and buyer personas, before we dive in. (This isn’t our first rodeo!)

Custom strategy

Some SEO agencies use the same strategy for every client. But what works for international or online brands won’t work for dentists with physical offices. When looking for an SEO agency, ask about their process for developing your strategy.

At HawkSEM, our team creates a custom SEO program for each client and then monitors and tracks the campaigns closely to ensure a positive ROI. While we use tools for different parts of the process, each campaign is run manually by a human being.

And it helps us get results. By working with HawkSEM, Camarillo Dental Arts increased patient bookings by 279%.

History of results

Find a dental SEO expert with a history of getting results for local SEO clients. Since general SEO and local SEO require different approaches, only work with someone with a proven track record for bringing foot traffic to local offices.

HawkSEM has created and implemented local SEO strategies for many clients with in-person offices, including multi-location healthcare companies. For example, we developed an SEO strategy for Caring Places Management, a senior living facility with locations across Washington and Oregon, to improve its local presence for location queries.

Read more about how we helped them increase keyword rankings by 212% and organic traffic by 85%.

People on your side

In an AI-obsessed world, it’s nice to know you have humans on your side who are concerned about and dedicated to helping your dental office succeed. Plenty of cool technologies promise to rank you on Google, but none have a human who can explain what’s happening.

Our human touch and intelligence set us apart from other agencies that let tools do all the work.

“Each SEO campaign we manage has a senior strategist leading the efforts,” Yadegar says. “We NEVER use AI-generated content — there’s always a human managing and watching over the campaign and its progress.”

Additional services

Search engine optimization is important but shouldn’t be the only part of your digital marketing strategy. Since SEO takes time to work its magic, you can use complementary marketing tactics like local PPC ad campaigns to get results now while you wait.

Look for an SEO agency that also understands how paid search goes hand-in-hand with SEO to boost your results. Having the same experts develop your SEO and PPC strategies ensures both work together towards the same goal.

Benefits of local SEO for dentists

Local SEO uses a more targeted strategy to reach people in a specific geographic area. Local search allows dentists with a physical dental office to bring in more potential patients in their city and surrounding areas.

Here are several benefits of using a local SEO strategy for your dental office.

Improve online visibility

In 2022, 98% of consumers used the Internet to find information about a local business. So, to get in front of prospective patients in your area, optimize your website and local listings to boost online visibility.

When someone searches for a local dentist on Google, they’ll find results like this:

Google search results for local dentist

(Image: Google search results)

Bring in more dental patients

Local SEO tactics can increase relevant website visitors. (Some may even become your dental patients!) The more visibility you have online, the more opportunities to bring new patients into your dental clinic.

Build trust and your reputation

Reviews build a strong foundation for your local SEO strategy. Roughly 76% of consumers regularly read online reviews when browsing for local businesses. As you build reviews for your dental SEO strategy, you’ll build trust with local search engine users and establish an excellent reputation.

When I look for “dentists near me” on Google, this is what comes up:

Dentists near me Google search

(Image: Google search results)

Not knowing anything about these dentists, I’m most likely to click on the dental practices with an average review that’s close to 5 stars.

Get measurable results and ROI

What’s great about SEO is that you can track and measure your results over time. If you’re working with a dental SEO company, there’s no question about return on investment (ROI) because they’ll track the conversions and other metrics as proof.

SEO tracking is easier when you use the right tools. For instance, at HawkSEM, we use ConversionIQ (CIQ) to granularly track every step of the buyer journey to understand what aspects of a campaign work and what we need to adjust.

“Tracking with CIQ allows us to optimize towards a higher ROI year over year,” says Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM. “It also provides more insight about the target audience, which allows us to take that data and use it on another marketing channel (such as paid Google ads or social media) to further scale while maintaining profitability.”

Common SEO terms to know

If you’re just starting with dental SEO marketing, here are terms you should know:

  • On-Page SEO: Optimizations you make to content or the basic HTML on your site. On-page SEO factors include everything from publishing well-researched content on your blog to optimizing URLs.
  • Off-Page SEO: Optimizing your online presence in places other than your website, like social media or your Google Business profile.
  • Technical SEO: Technical aspects of your website, including load time, site speed, mobile-friendliness, and other factors.
  • Algorithm: Set of rules that search engines use to determine a website’s quality and whether a web page is spam or has valuable information.
  • Search engine results page (SERP): Page you see after you type keywords into search engines, showing pay-per-click (PPC) ads and organic results (not paid advertising).
  • Ranking factor: Elements search engines use to determine how to rank a page, such as content quality, keywords, and number and quality of backlinks.
  • SEO keywords: Word or phrase a search engine user types in to find what they’re looking for. Companies use targeted keywords throughout their website to increase the odds of appearing in search results.
  • Backlink: Inbound link from another website back to your website. Quality backlinks from relevant sites help improve your search engine rankings.
  • Link building: Process of getting high-quality hyperlinks from other reputable websites back to your website.
  • Search volume: Estimated monthly number of people who search for a particular keyword or phrase on search engines.
  • Keyword difficulty: Measures the difficulty of ranking on the first page of search engines for a specific keyword. Based on many factors, including content quality, domain authority, and backlink profile.

The Takeaway

The dental industry can be competitive, making dentist SEO a vital part of your marketing strategy. It helps your practice boost online visibility and bring more new patients into your office. And with a little boost from Google ads, you can be outranking your competitors in no time.

If you need support with your marketing efforts, it may be time to hire an SEO agency. We’ll handle all the SEO and PPC strategy and implementation so you can reap the benefits of enhanced visibility and conversions.

To get started, book a free consultation.

Contact HawkSEM for Free Consultation