Dental practices are everywhere, as well as e-commerce dental brands online. The competition is fierce, and it’s only growing as more businesses become digital-centric. With this in mind, it’s important to focus on dental marketing tactics that can give you an edge over your competitors, and SEO is one of the most important ones.
Dental SEO is simply the application of SEO for dental-related websites, whether that be a local dental practice or an e-commerce website selling dental products. SEO or search engine optimization is the practice of making adjustments to a website for the purpose of increasing its rankings in search results (mainly on Google).
SEO is important for dentists because it can increase revenue. This is what it comes down to. How does SEO do that? By ranking high for keywords your target audience is searching for, you’re able to increase targeted organic traffic to your website, which leads to more appointments or online purchases.
Also, by dominating search results, you increase your overall brand awareness. There are countless benefits that come from investing in SEO, and it’s well worth taking the time to learn how to do SEO or outsource SEO so that you can get the most out of your website over the long term.
Keyword research is an important part of the SEO process. The point is to find keywords that a) your ideal target audience is searching for and b) to find keywords that you actually have a ranking for.
An example of a keyword a dental practice in Boston may want to rank for could be “dentist boston,” which is searched 250 times per month.
This would be a good keyword for the homepage of a dental practice in Boston.
An example of a keyword for a blog post could be “how to brush your teeth.” This is searched 4,900 times per month in the US.
The issue though is that this is a competitive keyword (61/100) according to Ahrefs.
If you have a new website, then it’s better to target less competitive keywords that are still frequently searched. An example could be “rotten teeth,” which is searched 11,000 times per month but is less competitive at 14/100.
You could then create a blog post around this keyword titled something like “Rotten Teeth: Symptoms, Pictures, and Treatment.” If you have an established website, then it’s still worth finding less competitive keywords, but it comes relative to the authority of your site.
Website speed is important for SEO, specifically for something called Page Experience and Core Web Vitals. The reason it’s important comes down to the aim of Google, which is to provide people with the best information and the best user experience. The faster a page loads, the better the user experience. So, you should aim to have your website loading as quickly as possible.
You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to test pages on your website, see your score, and what you need to improve on.
There are many things you can do to speed up your website, including reducing the size of images without compromising their quality too much. Including fewer images on a page. Minifying code, deleting excess plugins used on your website (if you’re using WordPress), and many other things.
If you’re not technically savvy, then it’s well worth investing in your web development company or freelancer to take care of these adjustments for you.
Backlinks are other websites that link to your website. Acquiring backlinks from authoritative websites, particularly links that have a “dofollow” tag helps to boost the authority of your domain, which makes ranking for keywords easier. This is oversimplified, but essentially what you want to do is focus on getting other high-quality and relevant sites to link back to your site.
One of the best ways to do this without resorting to methods against Google’s policies (buying links) is to publish consistent educational and valuable blog content. Informational content that answers peoples’ questions is natural for people to link to. Over time, as you build authority as a thought leader in your dental niche, you’ll receive more backlinks.
But, you shouldn’t just do this and wait. You should be proactive about it by forming relationships with others in your industry, making guest posts on other websites that you can then link back to yours from. There are several natural and “white hat” methods for building backlinks that you can read more about in this guide on how to get backlinks.
EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Essentially EAT boils down to Google figuring out whether the content is accurate, safe, and credible. This is especially important for YMYL (your money or your life) topics, in which many dental blog topics are included.
Because you’re writing about something like how to brush your teeth, which can negatively affect someone’s health if it provides unsafe information, you’ve got to make sure that your content is credible. If you’re a legitimate dental practice, then obviously it is, but this needs to be clearly shown so that Google knows it too.
An easy way of doing this is to publicly display on your page who the author of your blog content is written or reviewed by. For example, if you write a blog post about “gum health,” then have a bio, name, and headshot of a real dentist or dental hygienist to show Google and readers that the content has been checked for factual accuracy and is credible.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a prerequisite for ranking, but it’s becoming increasingly important and worth doing for the long term to stay competitive.
Search intent is the intent behind searches. It’s important to understand the exact search intent of specific keywords before you start creating your pages and posts. Search intent is simple to determine. You type in the keyword you’re targeting, e.g., “how to brush your teeth,” and then you assess the top results in Google.
The top-ranking posts are all informational blog posts, which is no surprise, meaning that it’s in your best interest to also create an informational blog post, rather than a product-centered page targeting the same keyword.
The other part of search intent is deeply considering the thought processes of your target audience when creating something like a blog post. If you’re writing a blog post on “how to brush your teeth,” then consider all the questions they may be thinking about this specific topic, and ensure that your piece of content provides a comprehensive overview of the topic, sufficient to “fulfill” their search intent.
Technical SEO is the process of making sure a website meets specific technical requirements. It can include things like crawling, indexing, rendering, and website architecture.
One of the best ways to make an assessment of technical SEO for your website is to do an SEO audit, either by hiring an SEO consultant, agency, or using software such as Ahrefs to run an SEO audit.
This will provide you with a report of multiple things wrong with your technical SEO and what steps you can take to amend the errors and improve your website’s performance in the eyes of Google’s algorithm.
Understanding your closest competitors is one of the best shortcuts when it comes to SEO. You can use one of the best SEO tools available to see what pages on competing websites are already performing well.
This saves you a lot of time researching and helps you make smart decisions on what kind of topics you should cover and what’s expected to succeed, and how it’s going to potentially perform given your rank as well as them. It’s also a great way to see what your competitors tried and failed at, saving you a lot of time.
This is one of the first things a new dental website should do for SEO—find competitors, assess what’s working for them, and then make a decision as to what you can reverse engineer and do better.
Internal links are an important part of SEO. These links are important for two reasons. Firstly, they help users navigate around your website. Second, they help search engines (and humans to an extent) understand which pages you are prioritizing.
An example of an internal link would be if you’re writing about “how to brush your teeth” in a blog post, and you mention the word “gum health.” Then, you hyperlink the word “gum health,” which goes to another blog post you’ve written about gum health, and how to take care of it.
It’s also important to hyperlink the relevant keyword itself “gum health” as opposed to “click here” as this helps search engines more clearly understand your website.
Internal links can be used to show search engines which pages you prioritize more. A “service page,” such as “teeth whitening CITY NAME,” may not naturally receive many backlinks from other websites, giving the page authority.
So, you can add internal links to this page to give it a boost. Consider adding internal links to your most important and profitable pages in the footer of your website, as the footer is on every single page on your website, giving these pages quite a bit of a boost.
Meta tags are tags used in HTML and XHTML that help provide search engines and humans with key information about a web page. In Google, when you see a list of results, the title is called the “meta title” or “website title“, and the description below the title is called the “meta description.”
Every page that you are trying to index and rank for in Google should have these meta tags optimized for SEO, especially the meta title, which is an essential part of optimizing a web page for SEO. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about gum disease, and your focus keyword is “gum disease,” then it’s good practice to include this keyword in your meta title, ideally closer to the beginning.
An example would be “Gum Disease: Causes, Risk Factors, and Symptoms,”
This title helps provide clear relevance to search engines and humans about the contents of your page.
And the meta description provides an accurate description of what’s within the page.
A blog is one of the best ways to fuel your SEO. In fact, many would argue it’s essential if you want your website to be the best it can be. Firstly, it’s incredible for your current and prospective patients and customers. You can answer questions they’re searching for, educate them, and provide value.
From an SEO perspective, this gives you so many opportunities to target keywords your ideal target audience is searching for. While a blog isn’t going to change everything overnight, consistent weekly blog content (the more the better as long as it’s quality) can exponentially increase your traffic.
Doing so improves everything in your business from overall brand awareness, to leads, and most importantly your bottom line.
The more blog posts you rank for, the more backlinks you get, and then more power you have with your site to have your service pages rank. If you’re aiming to dominate on a national or international scale, or an entire city, then blog content should be a key part of your dental SEO strategy.
SEO is an important part of marketing your dental brand online. While it’s effective, it takes far more time than other marketing methods to see results. That said, it’s worth the investment if you’re playing the long-term game. At the end of the day, a successful dental SEO focuses on providing your target audience with the more relevant information in the most accessible way possible.