PatientGain receives hundreds of inquiries every month. Most of the dentists and practice managers ask this question, why dental SEO keywords are important? and what difference does it make on how keywords are used on my dental website? Our data shows that if you have 100 or more keywords on the first page of Google, you will be a very happy dental practice owner or practice manager.
For a dental website to be successful, it needs to have excellent search engine optimization, also known as SEO. SEO directly impacts how well a website ranks in organic search results. Organic search results are free, so it is highly preferred you rank high here rather than having to buy your way to the top through paid ads. While paid ads certainly have their place in a dental medical marketing plan, they cannot be relied on as the only traffic source to a dental practice’s website. Generally speaking, you should not expect overnight results from SEO work done to your website unless a dental website is truly a mess. Instead, you should expect results to appear over time. In most cases, results should be noticeable in about six months on average. Sometimes, this is quicker if competition in the area is light. Other times, it can take longer, especially if your competitors try to counteract any improvements made with SEO work of their own. All in all, if you want your dental practice to compete, you need to be on top of your dental SEO keywords.
How does a dental practice improve its search engine optimization and SEO keywords?
First, a dental practice needs to know what SEO keywords are their top priority. Given enough time, you could probably generate an extensive list of keywords you want to rank well for in organic results. It is not practical to tackle all of those keywords at once, but instead bit by bit. Initially select keywords potential patients are most likely to use when looking for services your practice provides. Some of these words and phrases may be medical terms, and other words and phrases may be layman terms that do not describe the dental issue but are still frequently used. You should mix both everyday terms and medical terms in your SEO improvements.
Once a list is selected, it is now time to go through a dental website’s content and insert these words into content that website visitors will read. Chances are many of these words may already be in your content. Moving these words to the top of the page, into headers, and ensuring they are featured is key to having these words perform as best as possible. A common misstep less experienced dental practices owners attempt is to plaster keywords across every page of their website. Some even list them at the bottom of the website. This may have worked years ago, but search engines actively penalize websites that engage in this action. SEO Keywords should be considered as icing on the cake, where the cake is, in this case, unique, authoritative, and engaging content.
What kind of keywords should my dental website focus on for dental SEO?
Developing your SEO keyword list can be daunting. The best guideline to follow is to find keywords and phrases that describe the services you offer and will be the words typed into a search engine. If your content has the exact words, phrases, or even question someone is typing into a search engine, you increase the likelihood of your site ranking high on organic results. These keywords are high value and are likely to have the highest website visitor conversions. Your keywords should attempt to highlight on your content pages should be:
- Dental services offered at your dental practice
- Location of the dental practice
- Credentials of the dentists and other providers working there
- Reviews and testimonials from past patients
- Current and active promotions
How do highlighting dental services improve dental SEO?
Determining the SEO keywords that highlight the dental services at a dental practice is crucial. Your website already has the word “Dentist,” “Dental Practice,” and “Dentistry” throughout its content. So if someone were to search for “Dentist near me,” you have that SEO keywords covered. However, not everyone will use such broad search terms when looking for a dentist. Some potential patients will use words for specific services they need in their search. For example, instead of searching for “Dentist near me,” someone looking for a particular service may search with:
- Root canal dentist near me
- Teeth whitening services near me
- Braces near me
- Oral examinations near me
- Tooth pulling dentist near me
As you can see, each of those services above requires a dentist but not each of those searches has their word dentist in them. Checking to make sure you have the word “Dentist” on every page is not going to be enough. For every service you offer, a dental practice needs to develop keywords for each of them. Some of these keywords may appear on the home page, but each service should have a site page, and those keywords should be used on that page. Be careful not to mix keywords across pages, so root canal keywords and braces keywords remain unique to their pages.
How does including keywords related to a dental practice’s location help with dental SEO?
A subset of website search engine optimization is Local SEO. Many search engines, in addition to listing paid and organic results, will also produce map results. Local SEO helps search engines determine where precisely a dental practice is located. While listings on Google, Bing, Yelp, and Foursquare help, it is also helpful to reference a dental practice’s location on its website. The address, along with other contact information, should be on every page of the website. However, a dental practice should go further to boost their Local SEO.
A directions page should be created describing the most common routes to a dental practice. By naming specific streets, towns, landmarks, and neighborhoods as someone travels to a dental practice, those locations will be associated with the business. Mentioning nearby towns and areas will help draw in potential patients from those areas. For example, if you are located in Jackson, which is just outside of Paulswood, you should mention Paulswood in places on your website. If anyone searches for “Dentists near Paulswood,” that site will have a better chance of ranking higher than a competitor who fails to mention nearby locations. If practical, consider creating a landing page for important areas near your dental practice. These landing pages do not need to be as extensive as a home page, but they should review the services that are being offered, directions to a dental practice, and stress how easy it to reach it.
Finally, not everyone has a personal vehicle available to them. If public transit is available, leave detailed instructions on reaching a dental practice using public transit. Mentions specific routes, stations, and drop-off points if practical. While not related to someone receiving dental care at your facility, all of this work will help search engines provide your website as a suitable relevant choice for a search query.
Why should I detail the credentials of my dentists and providers on my dental website?
There are several excellent reasons why you should list the staff of your dental practice on your website and detail their credentials as well. Many owners falsely believe that competitors will easily steal employees from a dental practice when their bios are published online. In today’s world of social media and online resumes, there are plenty of other ways for people to contact your dentists, providers, and staff. The benefits outweigh this risk, and the risk is not mitigated much by not listing these employees.
First, patients enjoy knowing who is going to be treating them. A picture, bio, and credentials will help them link a name with a face, making it more comfortable for them to commit to an appointment. Another reason to list staff on your dental practice is to provide highly unique, informative, and authoritative content. The people listed on a staff page and their bios are not likely to be found elsewhere, making the page unique. Other competitors are likely to have the same services, but they won’t have the same staff. Finally, listing your staff’s credentials helps boost the authority and relevance of your site when it comes to dental-related searches. Your dentists and provider credentials are likely to include words related to the dental healthcare field, making them valuable SEO additions to your website.
Like every other page of your dental website, this page should be kept up to date. If your dentists and providers achieve new degrees, accreditations, or are featured in local news, update their bios and provide any additional links. As you expand your dental practice and hire new staff, be sure to update this page with their biographies as well. Likewise, if someone leaves the practice, be sure to remove their information without delay. This benefits you and your former employee by preventing confusion and publishing false information.
How does publishing reviews and testimonials from past patients improve the SEO of my dental practice’s website?
From an overall marketing perspective, publishing feedback from patients will help attract new patients. When a potential patient reads reviews and testimonials from others who have received the same service, they will be much more likely to choose that dental practice for treatment. Even if there were no SEO components to reviews and testimonials from patients, it would be a good marketing practice to publish them.
From an SEO perspective, this content is unique, engaging, relevant, and authoritative. A patient’s robust review of a dental practice is unlikely to be word for word the same review at another location. If it is short along the lines of “The service was good,” that could pop up elsewhere. However, a review of a few sentences from a patient can go a long way to boosting the SEO scores of a dental practice’s website. If a practice engages in active reputation management and is seeking out reviews, a new crop of positive reviews is likely available every month. Updating the website every month with recent reviews will show search engines that you are keeping your site up to date, and the constant influx of unique content will boost ratings.
There are two essential things to remember when publishing patient reviews and testimonials: HIPAA and grammar. To remain HIPAA compliant, you want to ensure that no Public Health Information (PHI) is posted. You will want to remove the names and any other information to identify a person from their feedback. Within their feedback, you should read what they wrote and make minor edits for spelling and grammar. Those writing feedback may be doing it in a rush or not paying attention to what exactly they are writing. For a website visitor, these improvements will make the reviews much easier to read.
Why should a dental practice publish active and current promotions to improve their dental SEO scores?
As you know, many people who are seeking out dental care will search for “Dentists near me” in search engines. Many will also look for various deals, sales, coupons, or other specials to lower their overall dental healthcare bill. Publishing any active or current promotions will help capture these potential patients looking for possible deals and sales. Using the same promotional language people use in their search engines will only increase the page’s SEO value featuring a dental practice’s special. Some of the most common words used when promoting specials include:
- BOBO (Buy One Get One)
- Self Pay Rate
Be mindful to put expiration dates on any specials you publish and remove them after their time has passed. Not everyone reads the fine print, and you will save yourself a lot of headaches and disputes at the front desk by removing promos that are no longer valid. Also, swapping in and out of promos will keep the page fresh and up to date, adding to the site page’s SEO Value. Ideally, you want to capture contact information from potential patients interested in a dental promotion to follow up with them later with a marketing message. If practical, use an app that can securely take information to give a discount to a potential patient.
The experts at PatientGain.com have helped many dental practices across the country improve their overall dental search engine optimization. Our dental SEO work has helped other practices grow their business. Call our expert team today and let us show you how we can help improve your dental practice’s organic rankings!