Pain-Free Approach to Dental SEO

What is SEO? As a dental marketing agency, one of the first things we’ve had to grapple with and understand was that there are different types of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There’s local SEO and international SEO, but also SEO across industries. Before we jump into how that applies to driving results to your dental […]

dental marketing expert working on seo

What is SEO?

As a dental marketing agency, one of the first things we’ve had to grapple with and understand was that there are different types of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There’s local SEO and international SEO, but also SEO across industries. Before we jump into how that applies to driving results to your dental practice, let’s define SEO. 

SEO is a digital strategy that can increase a website’s visibility online. SEO helps with organically driving traffic from search engines like Google. Dentists and healthcare providers typically serve a specific geographical area and therefore adopt a local SEO strategy to appear in local search results.

Many marketing agencies promise to be able to deliver a winning SEO strategy for dental practices, but in reality, their approach is cookie-cutter. They assume that what works for a barber or plumber would also work for a dentist. Such a one-size-fits-all strategy fails due to a lack of deep insight and understanding into how dental SEO truly works.

What is Dental SEO?

Dental SEO refers to practices specifically designed to help dental professionals rank higher in search results, typically in their area. 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results. Dentists need to attract patients in their local area, not across the other side of the country. However, there’s not a whole lot written about dental SEO because it is a super niche service and industry.

At Pain-Free Dental Marketing, our goal is to implement dental SEO that goes beyond relying on bots and algorithms. Our strategy is grounded in trust, quality, and expertise. We constantly test the latest local SEO and dental SEO strategies to get our clients ahead of the competition. 

How to Implement a Dental SEO Strategy (The Pain-Free Way)

From researching everything on local SEO that has been tried and tested by Google and other agencies, here are a few strategies our dental SEO experts found to work specifically for dentists hoping to bring more traffic to their website:

Optimize images, meta descriptions, and content. 

There’s a right way and a wrong way to approach dental SEO. The right way involves understanding that generic copy and basic descriptions on your website will not do. Sometimes a competitor can rank #1 on SEO, but not get the most traffic. If the second search result listing has a more appealing meta-description, that listing is more likely to be clicked on. That’s because a real human is on the other end of that Google search. And, our goal is to speak directly to that person and to ultimately earn their trust.

So when describing your dental services in meta descriptions or other copy, here are some tips:

  • Get clear about the types of problems your treatments solve.
  • Use descriptive language on your website, blog, and meta-descriptions to write copy specific to your brand and your audience. (To do this, you really need to understand what makes you unique.)
  • Precise language hooks and captures the imagination beyond buzzwords like “pristine service” and “we care about you.” People do not click on listings with basic phrasing. Instead of writing that your pediatric office offers “a relaxing environment” say, “We provide an environment where kids feel less anxious about going to the dentist.”

Consider your dental practice’s demographics to create content that appeals to your target audience.

When we think about the “human side” of dental SEO, we look at many factors such as:

  • Who is the dental practice’s demographic?
  • Who is searching?
  • What problems are they looking to solve?
  • What questions do they need to be answered?

By asking questions about general demographics for the dental practice in Google Analytics, we can make decisions based on this insight. For example, your target audience may skew toward local moms if you are a pediatric dentist. This demographic will be different from a barbershop that is male-dominated. What might appeal to a mom seeking services for her family? Perhaps a photo of a female orthodontist hugging a smiling child. For any parent, that dentist would be the place to go. Other industries and approaches serve different demographics and therefore use different imagery and different language.

Create local content.

SEO is more than just language and keywords. Technical SEO considers the functionality of your website. Off-page SEO considers what other websites link back to yours or mention yours. All of these factors become an important part of a local SEO strategy.

Google’s bots will consider:

  • Is it easy to read and understand my website?
  • Is there a Google My Business page and other local listings?
  • How quickly do my pages load?
  • Is the content updated frequently?
  • How long do people stay on my website?

Everything matters in local SEO for dentists because you are in constant competition with the dental practices around you. This is why we encourage slight, seemingly insignificant actions, such as responding to reviews with local descriptions and local areas. The goal is to get Google to recognize that your dental practice is a key player in a specific area. Even if Google doesn’t say that responding to reviews with descriptions of local businesses and landmarks has an impact, we go the extra mile to push our clients ahead. Of course, you should already be responding to reviews to build trust with your audience, which we talk about here.

Adopt a holistic approach to your dental SEO strategy.

Dental SEO involves the collective effort of a team to the smallest principles to make sure that the whole works well. Keep in mind: a person seeing your page at the top of a Google search is not enough. They also have to call the office to make them book an appointment. What other factors will they consider in order to make that call?

  • Do you offer the services they need?
  • Is your website easy to navigate?
  • Is your brand appealing or attractive to look at?
  • Do they get a real sense of who you are as a practice? (Real photography and videos can give them a truer sense.)
  • Are there positive reviews from other patients?
  • Do you accept their insurance?
  • Do you earn their trust?
  • Is it easy to contact you to book an appointment?

In addition, we like to analyze how patients use your website. At Pain-Free Dental Marketing, the SEO team collaborates with client services to learn what areas are the highest traffic for a particular dentist. From the tech team, we might discover that a client’s highest click-through rate is their “About Us” page.

Such insight might reveal that site visitors are curious to know who the dentist is before they scroll through the landing page, which means the “About Us” should be aesthetically pleasing, informative, personal, and quick to load. If we see bad performance on a particular page, we speak with the tech team to improve its performance because that impacts ranking and user experience. 

The Pain-Free Approach to Dental SEO

Bottom line: Dental SEO can’t exist in a vacuum. It is a part of a larger strategy beyond website optimization. We have multiple departments doing cross-work aligned with the goals the SEO team is trying to achieve. Our team also relies on data-tracking to test images and messages and learn what pages people are landing on to get the best results for our clients. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your practice rank higher on Google.