Marketing SEO

Local SEO Guide for Dentists – How to Optimize

Local SEO Guide for Dentists – How to Optimize

As a dentist in local area, getting first-page rankings in search engine is fierce. So the question is How to get first page ranking and get the most visibility for your practice? The simple answer for the question is to optimize your business website with a step-by-step Local SEO strategy.

Reasons Dentists Should Invest in Local SEO

Recently HubSpot published, 88% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit or call a store within a day and nearly 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information. As per the Google, Over the last two years, searches for local places without the qualifier “near me” have grown 150%, faster than comparable searches that do not include “near me.”

As the number of mobile users increasing, it’s become quite vital to optimize your business with local SEO practices as it can help you in getting a lot of free traffic which can result in free patients.

Here we have compiled a 5 Step guide to optimize your dental practices for local SEO. 

Step 1. Keyword research

One of the most crucial steps for an effective Local SEO campaign is keyword research and find out the best keywords that can drive people looking for dental services. Researching for the keywords that have a hiring intent and the keywords that have educational intent can really help for a local SEO campaign. For an instance a keyword like “pediatric dentist near me” indicates a hiring intent and if you dental practice is ranking on the first page, it can generate a good amount of leads for free.

Research and optimizing for educational keywords will educate your visitors which will not only increase the traffic but also will help users to educate them which can turn into a patient for you as they will be doing some research before visiting a dental practice.

As a standard rule, you should prioritize those and the first thing to optimize is the homepage and service pages with the hiring intent keywords. And then you can move to the educational and information  keywords.

Step 2. Website Content Optimization

Optimizing the content of the website with hiring intent keywords is another critical element that includes the home page and service pages of the website.

  Home Page

The most important part of the content optimization is the homepage. Homepage of a dental practice website carries a lot of value so optimizing the content of the website with most important hiring intent keywords. As a standard rule, we suggest to add 500-1000 words copy on the homepage with some history about your practices. You need to make sure that copy is compelling, give value to the potential patients and read naturally.

The second part of the homepage is the Title Tags. Title tag is not directly visible on the website page but it can be seen in the Google Search results and you can also find it at the top of your browser window. The title tag of the homepage should include the most important keyword aligned with the City in which you offer services. For an example, if you are a pediatric dentist in Chicago, then the primary keyword for the homepage will be “Pediatric Dentist Chicago | {Name of Your Practice}”. Title tag also helps search engine crawlers to understand your page. The length of title tag should ideally be 50-60 characters in the length so it doesn’t get truncated.

The last but not least part is the meta description. Meta description for the home page should include your practices and expertise. It’s directly not visible on the website page but can be seen in the search engine result pages under the blue highlighted text. The ideal length for the meta description is 150-160 characters including spaces.

Dental Practice Pages

A most common mistake that we have seen with dental practice websites is, they create a single service page and list all the services on that. As a common SEO practice, we recommend to have individual service/specialty pages and have a good amount of content on the page. By creating individual service pages, you will have a better possibility of getting higher rankings in search engine result pages.

For an instance, if your offer pediatric dentistry, then you’ll want to have individual pages for different type of dentistry you offer like Composite filling, oral care, pediatric crow, teeth whitening and more. This way, you will have targeted pages for each of the service you offer.

Once you have those pages ready, don’t forgot to optimize those pages with Title Tags, Meta Description, H1 Tag and Content on the page. For service pages, we recommend to have 500-1000 words unique copy with the detailed information and some images.

Step 3. Google My Business

Your Google My Business Listing is what shows up in the “Local Map” results for local dentist-related queries. Having a fully optimized Google My Business listing page is one of the most critical elements and will play a vital role in generating lot of inquiries. Google My Business listings are quite faster and easier to get ranked so it becomes quite important to optimize your Google My Business listing.

Here is the way to Verify and Optimize it:

Register and Verification

In order to get your Google My Business Listing (GMB) verified, first go to Google My Business and add your business details that includes Business Name, Physical Address, Phone Number, Website URL and Category. Once you fill all the details, Google will ask you to verify through Post card and it takes around 5 days to reach your location. In next 5 days, you’ll receive a Post Card that have a PIN, so you simply need to login back to your account and verify the listing.

Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP)

When creating the business profile on GMB, make sure you use official Name of the Practice, Address and the phone numbers. It’s most important to use consistent Name, Address, and Phone number information across your GMB Listing, website, and other listings including Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media channel!!

Category of the business

According to the guidelines of Google for local businesses, each category should describe your practices. For instance, you can add a category that states “Dentist” instead of “Orthodontics”.  It’s quite important to add relevant category to your practice in Google My Business because Google always identify a business with its category so if you are Pediatric dentist always select “Pediatric dentist” as a category.

Description of the Listing

Google has detailed guideline on the business description which can been seen on Google Knowledge Guide. When writing the description, make sure it doesn’t have any grammatical errors and it should be written in a conversational tone which should include your specialties.

Images

Google allows interior and exterior images along with the logo for your practice. Images helps in increasing engagement can help patients find your location quickly. Make sure when you post photos, those are sized between 10KB and 5 MB with a minimum resolution of 720px x 720px.  We also suggest replacing the generic Google My Business background image with a branded image.

Step 4. Citations

Citations are the brand mentions of your dental practice with consistent  NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number).

Citation is a part of the link building but those are quite focused and have a different value. The first thing in citation is to create listings on the relevant business listing websites. We have categories them into 3 different categories that includes:

Local Directories

Local directories are the directories of your local area. In some cases, there are city specific directory sites that allow you to list your business easily. An example of a local directory would be your local Chamber of Commerce website.

National Business Directories

There are a number of national or general business directories that work for all the states of your area. For example: Yelp.com serves all over the united states and for most of the queries, they rank in top 5 positions.  There are more sites like Yelp that allow you to list your dental practice and add all the information and images including NAP.

Niche Business Directories

These types of directories are specific to a niche or industry. Since you own a dental practice, you would be looking for dentist business directories that allow you to list your business and promote your profile. For an example, Practo.com is one of the greatest example where you can easily list your dental practice and can create your own profile.

Step 5. Backlinks

A backlink is simply a link from one website to another. Search engines like Google use backlink as a ranking signal because when one website links to another, it means they believe the content is noteworthy.

We have already discussed the first part of the backlinks i.e. citations. However there are a number of ways to build backlinks that include:

Content Marketing: This is one of the ideal way to earn backlinks. There are a number of techniques that can be used including Sending Press Releases, Working with Bloggers and Journalists to publish you copy on their websites and give you link back to your website.

Competitor Backlink Research: This is also one of the most effective ways to get backlinks. You can check the backlinks of your competitors and can try to get similar links as well. There are a number of tools that allows you to check competitors backlinks including SEMRUSH, Ahrefs and Moz.

Step 6. Tracking and Monitoring

This is the last step in which you can monitor and track your results and how your dental practice local SEO campaign is performing.  We recommend to monitor following 3 core metrics:

Rankings

This is one of the first metrics that you can track. Generally we recommend to track the rankings twice a month.

There are couple of ways to do so. The First one is using Google Search Console. GSC can give you a great insight on your keywords and how you are performing for a number of keywords. It will also give you an idea about clicks and average position of your targeted keywords.

As a dental practice owner, you can also review the performance in your GMB dashboard. GMB allows you to review the top performing keywords, the number of people click on phone number, number of people visited the website and number of people asked for the direction.

The final way to track the metrics is purchasing a paid tool like WebCEO. This tool will automatically update ranking reports for you across multiple keywords.

Traffic:

By the traffic mean visitors on the website and the easiest way to track the traffic is Google Analytics.

In order to track users on the website, you will need to install Google Analytics Tracking code on the every page of the website and then you can login to Google analytics to review the traffic data. You can review how many visitors are visiting your website, which page is the most popular page on your website and how much traffic you are getting through different channels like Organic, Referral, Direct and more.

Conversions:

In additions to traffic and ranking, you’ll want to track the conversions, you’re receiving from your SEO efforts. A conversion can be anything including Phone Clicks, Email Clicks, Contact Form submissions, Appointment Scheduling and more.

Conversion tracking is one of the core elements of your SEO efforts to determine how many new patients you are receiving from those efforts. Google Analytics allow you to easily setup goal tracking so you can track how many visitors are taking any specific action.

Final Words

Local SEO can be one of the most effective and best marketing investment, you can make for your dental services. To achieve desired results, you need to follow the process step-by-step and avoid doing multitasking. To recap the things, here are the top 6 steps you must take:

    • Keyword Research
    • Keyword Optimization
    • Google My Business
    • Citations
    • Backlinks
    • Tracking

These steps will make your life much easier and will help you to rank higher, generate more relevant traffic and attract more patients!!

Author

Saira Garg

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