Dental SEO: Beginner's Guide to Dental SEO (2024)

Dentistry is competitive. With the majority of people searching online for their new dentist, SEO for dentists is an essential part of running a successful practice. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) means optimising your website to ensure it’s found high up on Google search results for popular search terms.

Do patients use Google to find dentists?

In the UK each month there are tens of thousands of users searching for dentists and private dentists in the UK. Search data shows that ‘dentist near me’ is searched for 19,700 times each month but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Look at the monthly volume each big city in the UK receives, these are broad keywords and not service specific.

Keyword Monthly volume
dentist london 3200
dentist liverpool 2300
dentist manchester 1700
dentist bristol 1500
dentist leeds 1400
dentist birmingham 1400
dentist glasgow 1400
dentist nottingham 1200

Unless you show up for these search terms, you’re not getting found by those looking for your services. Without that traffic from Google, you’re missing out on leads that could become patients.

The broader search terms such as ‘dentist near me’ receive the highest number of searches each month. But unless you’re working on SEO for your website each and every month, you won’t be seeing clicks from this highly valuable search term. The same goes for location searches too, such as Sheffield and London.

The broad keywords are important but so are the treatments, here are some examples:

Keyword Monthly volume
invisalign london 1300
teeth whitening manchester 1300
dental implants london 900
teeth whitening leeds 700
veneers london 500
dental implants birmingham 400
invisalign sheffield 250

It’s essential to have an SEO strategy in place targeting the treatments too, prioritising the ones that are most profitable for your practice. We find that treatments are more likely to convert due to how specific the search is. If you want to grow your practice, having a strategy targeting both broad and treatment specific keywords is essential.

How to SEO optimise your dental website

Google My Business

As most dentists serve a local area, local search shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to SEO. In fact, local search is the best place to start, as it’s easier to rank for specific and local search terms than it is broad and countrywide.

Whenever someone searches for something on Google, the search engine considers their location, regardless of whether they have looked up something location specific or used the key ords ‘near me’. It’s important to make it really easy for Google to understand where you are based, to ensure that you show up at the top of the search results.

Something else you might have noticed on the Google search results is ‘the map pack’. This is a set of three listings with basic info and an address that shows up at the top of any Google search with local intent. For any local business, it’s key that your details show up here.

map pack

So what can you do to ensure that you appear at the top of Google for your location? Creating local content is key, ensuring you have landing pages focusing on local search keywords. If you have multiple practices, you will need multiple landing pages to cover each location. Elements such as your business name, address and phone number should all be included, as well as the keywords and location you are targeting. It’s also essential to have a listing in Google My Business (which is free!) so those searching via maps can find your practice. Without this, you won’t be featured in the map pack either. Here is how you can appear higher for local searches in your area via the map pack.

Include key details

Filling out as much information as possible on your Google My Business page is crucial to appear highly in the map pack – some examples include:

  • Opening times (plus days you are closed ie bank holidays)
  • Phone number (make sure it’s tracked to measure performance)
  • Business address
  • Business categories(s)
  • Service & products
  • Website URL included
  • 750 character business description (be sure to take advantages of all 750 characters)

Reviews

Encouraging your clients to leave reviews on Google is a key ranking factor. Your Google My Business listing will appear higher in the pecking order based on the amount of reviews you have. It’s a sign of trust which is also a great attribute to display on your website. We would also suggest replying to all the reviews you receive both positive and negative.

Try to increase your chances of getting a review at every stage. Have cards at your reception offering 5% off when your client leaves a review, or gently remind them to review your business via your mailing list or social media.

Images

Images also play a key role in local search. Google states that businesses with photos on their Google Business Profile are more likely to receive clicks through to their website than businesses that don’t have photos. For this reason, Google will rank a website that has local images higher. Photos of your staff and your practice will help potential clients quickly understand what to expect from your business, and will also improve your local SEO too.

reviews & photos

Citations

Building local citations will also improve your visibility on Google. Put simply, local citations are online mentions of your business that include things like your business name, address and phone number. These can be across directory listings, review sites, social media platforms and blogs.

To build local citations, list your website on Yell, Yelp and other key business directories. The more citations you can build the better. The most important citation is your Google My Business profile, this should include a description of your business which as much detail as possible, opening times, holidays, your address, phone number and any other locations.

Keyword research

As part of the planning phase, keyword research is the first step to outline your SEO for dentists strategy. Keyword research is done to find the keywords that your potential clients are searching for. It can also be used to build both a short term and long term strategy, focusing on working towards ranking for high traffic (and often high competition) terms, as well as lower traffic terms. The terms with lower traffic and lower competition are typically easier to rank for, and will increase your traffic early on, while you build towards those bigger search terms.

On page SEO for dental websites

Keyword targeting

Your on page SEO is the first place to start when it comes to optimising your website for your targeted keywords. Start by optimising your home page for broad terms which apply to your business such as ‘dentist Sheffield’, ‘private dentist Sheffield’ or ‘cosmetic dentist Sheffield’.

For more specific search terms, optimise your treatment pages. You should have one page for each treatment. This would include keywords such as ‘veneers Sheffield’, or ‘Invisalign Sheffield’.

Meta titles

A meta title shows up on Google’s search results and is essentially the title of your page. This is a good opportunity to include keywords and further optimise your website.

meta title meta description

Meta description

A meta description is the content that shows up on search results underneath your meta title. Highlight unique selling points, benefits, or key information that sets your page apart from others in the search results.

Image Optimisation

The final step to optimising your site for search is to use Alt tags on all of the images on your site, of course including your targeted keywords.

ALT tags

Header tags

Header tags present another good opportunity to add keywords. These should be used in the main content on each page of your website, and using keywords within header tags will help support your SEO.

Header tags

URL structure

Don’t forget to edit the URLs on each page of your site too, to include your targeted keywords.

Internal linking

Internal linking can be done within the content on your website. Links help Google to understand which are the most important pages on your site, and more links to certain pages puts more page authority behind them.

Interlinking

Create quality content regularly

Another really important element of your strategy should be publishing new content regularly on your website. Not only is it important for Google to see that your site is active, being improved and built on regularly, but adding new high quality content is a great opportunity to add more keywords and strengthen your SEO.

When it comes to SEO for dentists, position yourself as the go-to website for all dental content. Provide the answers to any questions that your clients might have, encourage potential customers to click through to your website and take advantage of that huge search volume in your industry.

Once you’ve started building great content on your site, you can achieve something known as ‘topical authority’. This means that Google considers you the ‘go-to’ place for answers about dentistry, and will rank you higher than other websites that don’t have topical authority.

Link building

Off-site SEO is important too and shouldn’t be overlooked. You can work on your off-site SEO by link building. This refers to the practice of gaining links from other relevant websites. The more high quality links you have, the more Google will see that your website is important in your industry and the higher you will be ranked.

Need Expert Help With the Above?

When you’re running your own business, finding time to focus on SEO can be tricky. Plus it’s important to be sure that your strategy is the right one and will deliver the results that you need for the time that you’re putting in. We can support you with your SEO to help you start gaining more traffic and generating more leads. Ready to get started? Get in touch

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