SEO for Dentists – Dental SEO Keywords, Tips, Implementation, & Hiring

man on computer conducting seo for dentists
man on computer conducting seo for dentists

You’re here because you know the importance of search engine visibility for your dental website.

I’m also assuming that if you landed here, you’re in 1 of the following situations:

  • You work for a dental office and are either considering hiring an SEO company or implementing it in-house
  • You are an SEO freelancer or agency employee looking for SEO tips & strategy specific to dentists

Stick around, because this article provides actionable insights on implementing SEO for dentists for each of those situations.

But first, we can save you some time with a free dental SEO audit with hand-catered advice. Just click below to request more information:

Otherwise, keep reading, because this is everything you need to know about setting up your (or your client’s) dental website for search engine success.

SEO at a glance

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of enhancing a website’s organic (non-paid) position within search engines.

It is implemented through website edits, content creation, and off-page management.

More specifically, all SEO tasks will fall into 1 or multiple of these 3 overarching elements:

  1. Technical SEO – Writing the website in a way that is search-engine friendly
  2. Content Marketing – Creating strategic, search-engine friendly blog articles & landing pages
  3. Off-Page SEO – Also referred to as off-site SEO, this includes promoting your website on other websites with things like reviews, listings & backlinks.

While these SEO tasks span all niches and industries, each niche will have a bit of a different SEO strategy. This article will cater specifically to SEO for dentists.

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The importance of local SEO for dentists

SEO is especially important for local brick and mortar businesses such as dentists because simply put, search engines are how their clientele find them.

In fact, 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine – and 46% of those searches are for a local business or service.

Usually, the buyer’s journey for prospective dental patients begins with a search phrase like:

  • “dentist near me”
  • “dentists in [city]”
  • “[city] dentist”

and so-on.

The prospective buyer will base their likelihood of booking with you on 2 things:

  • Your visibility within search engines (how easily they found you within the SERPS)
  • Your ratings, reviews, & online impression/reputation

Here is exactly how to enhance that visibility and generate positive branding so prospective dental patients find you and book with you.

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10 dental SEO quick tips

Before I get into our step-by-step guide for ranking your dentist website, here are 10 SEO quick tips catered specifically to the dental niche.

1. Set proper budgets and expectations

SEO costs money and takes time. This is especially true with dental websites because this niche tends to be more competitive.

If hiring an SEO company, don’t hire the cheapest route or someone who promises quick results – you will end up getting burned.

Good SEO requires expertise and can take as long as 6 months to start accruing results (even when implemented perfectly). Understanding this and setting aside the right amount of funding and time will help set you up for search engine success.

2. Gain a good grasp of your target keywords

A huge part of SEO is simply using the right keywords in the right places. Whether you are hiring a company or doing your SEO in-house, having a good grasp of your target keywords is absolutely imperative.

Use a free tool such as the Google Keyword Planner or a paid tool such as Ahref’s Keyword Explorer to research search volume, competition levels, and gain key insights on keyword opportunities.

3. Put your user first

If users love your website, then search engines will love your website. Focus on creating digestible content that matches the searcher’s intent, fast-loading page speeds, and visually appealing layouts.

Having a good user experience (UX) on your website will not only enhance your brand reputation, it is a direct SEO ranking factor. Search engines look at engagement metrics such as click-through rates and the time spent on your website to determine if your user was satisfied with their visit to your website. If they were, then search engines see this, and show your website to more searchers.

4. Focus on content to build topical relevance

Topical relevance (also called topical authority) refers to generating content on your site based in your niche. As a dentist, your million dollar keyword is probably “dentist in [location]”. To help you rank this, you want to create dental blog content to help build this authority. You could write content like “How Often Should I Go to the Dentist” “What Does A Trip to the Dentist Cost” “How to Make My Child Like The Dentist” and so-on. These informational posts will help you rank your “money” (purchase intent) keywords by showing search engines that you are an influential force on the web.

5. Don’t be (or hire) a spammer

Spamming search engines is so 2010. Today, search engine algorithms have wised up to these black hat SEO tactics. In a post-Penguin and Panda era, the best way to rank websites is to work with search engines and not against them by creating user-centric content.

This is especially true for sites in the health niche such as a dental office. Websites related to the health and wellbeing of users are held to a higher web standard than say, entertainment websites. That is because the information is more important. Read on to #6 to see what i’m talking about.

6. Understand these 2 acronyms: “EAT” and “YMYL”

EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. This acronym refers to search engine algorithm’s assessment of how trustworthy and reputable a website and its authors are.

YMYL stands for Your Money Your Life. It refers to websites that provide information that directly affects a person’s health or finances. Search engines hold YMYL sites (such as your dentist website) to a higher standard standard than say, an entertainment website.

EAT is especially important for YMYL sites.

Spamming/black hat SEO is even less effective and more risky for YMYL sites.

Keep EAT and YMYL in mind when implementing SEO for your dental office (or hiring someone to do so). Dental SEO requires a purely white hat SEO strategy that builds EAT through authoritative content & backlinks.

Read more on EAT and YMYL

7. Build your EAT with high quality backlinks

How do search engines determine the EAT (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) of a website? Lots of ways (some of which are top secret), but a big one is features (backlinks) from authoritative 3rd party publications.

For example, let’s say I am Dr. Jane Doe, DMD with Smile XYZ Dental and I was a journalistic resource for a WebMD article about dental care. WebMD quoted me in their article and linked to my website to cite the source.

This backlink helps my EAT big-time. That is because WebMD is a huge, well-respected publication with strict editorial standards. If they trust Dr. Doe enough to link to smilexyzdental.com, then search engines will trust (and rank) me too.

Public relations is the best way to get featured in these publications to build authoritative white hat backlinks and your EAT.

8. Cater your SEO toward local

Remember, all SEO efforts for all niches/business models will fall under 1 or multiple of these 3 umbrellas:

  1. Technical SEO
  2. Content marketing
  3. Off-page SEO

That being said, the strategy of a local brick and mortar store (as with your dentist office) will differ from the SEO strategy of other business models such as an international ecommerce website.

“Local SEO” is your buzzword. When researching SEO or hiring someone to do your SEO, make sure there is an emphasis on local.

9. Create & optimize your local listings

Local listing creation and optimization is a big part of “off-page” or “off-site” SEO.

These local listings can also be referred to as “citations”.

There are thousands of listing & directory sites, here are the biggest ones and the ones you should be most concerned with.

General listing sites:

  • Google Business Profile (formerly “Google My Business”)
  • Bing Places
  • Yelp

There are also dentist-specific listing sites like Zocdoc and Dentaquest that you should be listed on as well.

To optimize listings on these sites, make sure the info is consistent on each site, filled out in detail, and has good reviews.

You can also use a service like BrightLocal to manage your listings automatically.

10. Reviews, reviews, reviews

Did I mention reviews?

Getting lots of good reviews on sites like your Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Facebook are extremely important for your dentist website for 2 reasons:

  1. The volume and quality of reviews is a search engine ranking factor
  2. The volume and quality of reviews will directly impact your brand’s reputation and the likelihood that prospective patients will book with you

The best way to get more reviews for your dental practice is to send a direct review link to each patient after each visit, asking them to review you.

Additional ways to encourage reviews include review links on your website, in your email signature, in a print signage QR code, and by simply asking some of your favorite patients to drop you a review.

Your Google Business Profile reviews are the most widely used and important for SEO – so I suggest you focus on that first.

The next 2 most important places to get reviews for your dentist practice are Facebook and Yelp. Facebook is important because Bing embeds those reviews right into the SERPS. Yelp is important because of how widely used and trusted it is.

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DIY local SEO for dentists: A step-by-step, comprehensive implementation guide

This is the exact process that I use to rank & generate sales for our dental clients, and it’s what you should do too.

Follow these steps to a tee and you will be in a very good spot:

Step 1: Set up these SEO tools

When beginning your dental SEO efforts, the very first thing you need to do is set up the tracking infrastructure.

Mandatory free SEO tools include:

Google Analytics – This allows you to see your site traffic from a holistic standpoint and how users interact with your site.

Google Search Console – This tool is catered specific to SEO and is essential for seeing what keywords are generating traffic and for diagnosing/managing technical SEO elements.

*These 2 tools are free from Google and must-haves for gauging your SEO performance & developing strategy.

Optional free SEO tools include:

Yoast or Rank Math (WordPress plugins) – These free WordPress plugins will help with SEO tasks like on-page SEO and sitemap submission (more on both of these later).

Screaming Frog – Screaming Frog is a powerful free tool for batch analysis of websites.

*Both of these tools are great optional free add-ons to your SEO toolkit – especially the 2 WordPress plugins

Optional paid SEO tools include:

Ahrefs – A popular choice for advanced SEO. It is popular for having the most in-depth backlink data.

MOZ – Probably the most popular SEO tool, great for advanced and beginner SEO’s alike.

Semrush – Another powerful SEO tool, known for having superior rank tracking features.

*All 3 of these tools offer comparable services. At least 1 of these is a must-have for SEO agencies or those serious about their SEO. They have advanced features that simply aren’t offered with free tools.

Step 2: Optimize the technical framework of your site

Remember, technical SEO is 1 of the 3 pillars of SEO, and its 1 of the first things that you should do.

To address potential issues and optimize your technical SEO, some of those above tools will be your best friend.

Here are some technical SEO tasks that you need to conduct:

  • Page Speed – Ensure your website loads fast. You can use Google Search Console and Google Page Speed Insights to test this. Another free easy tool is the Pingdom Website Speed Test.
  • Indexability – You need to make sure that your Robots.txt file is allowing access to search engines and that all of the pages on your website are indexed. Use Google Search Console’s “Coverage” feature to diagnose and fix potential issues.
  • Sitemap submission – A sitemap tells search engines how to crawl your website. If you’re on WordPress, then use Yoast or Rank Math to make sitemap creation easy. Then submit the sitemap via Google Search Console.
  • Mobile Usability – Google switched to “mobile first indexing”  in 2019 – meaning the mobile version of your site is not only every bit as important as desktop – its more important. Use Google Search Console to make sure this is in check. It will automatically notify you if there are issues such as text too small to read or clickable elements are too close together on mobile.
  • “SEO Score” – Paid tools will scan a website for technical SEO errors such as broken links. Ahref’s “Site Health” feature is my favorite paid tool for addressing holistic technical SEO issues.

Step 3: Conduct keyword research

Now that you have the proper SEO tools in place and your dentist website is optimized technically, it is time to gain a strong understanding of your target keywords.

You can use Google’s Keyword Planner or a paid tool such as Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to learn about search volume, competition levels, and potential traffic.

Once you’re logged in to your keyword research tool of choice, start by searching for “Dentist [location]”. This will show you all of the variations of your money keywords, such as “dentist [city]” “dentist [state] “best dentist in [city], [state], etc.

You also want to check the data for “dentist near me”, but be sure to set your location to the city that you are targeting. Google’s Keyword Planner is good for checking localized keyword search data.

Also check informational-intent search terms to give you blog ideas, such as “What does the dentist cost” “How often to see the dentist” “How often should I floss” and so-on. This will give you a good idea of blog topics that you can write about in the future.

Step 4: Implement on-page SEO of your “money pages”

A “money keyword” is a keyword with transactional intent, such as “Best dentists in Denver”. A “money page” is a page that is intended to rank those keywords.

First, you want to make sure you have a separate page on your website for each location. I.E. if you are a dentist with locations in Dallas, TX and Fort Worth, TX, then you want a separate page on your website for each location. Your Dallas page would target the keyword cluster “Dallas Dentist” and your Forth Worth page would target the keyword cluster (you guessed it) “Fort Worth Dentist”.

If you only have 1 location (or multiple locations in the same city), then you want to target that city on your homepage.

Now that you know your keywords and have separate pages for each city, you need to conduct on-page SEO of each of those pages to optimize them for their respective target keywords.

On a fundamental level, on-page SEO is simply using the right keywords in the right places. Specifically, your target keyword should show up in the following places:

Use an SEO plugin like Yoast to make managing these on-page SEO elements easy.

Let’s go back to our earlier example. I am Dr. Jane Doe, DMD, owner of Smile XYZ Dental. Let’s say my dental practice is located in Iowa with 2 locations – 1 in Des Moines, IA, and 1 in Waukee, IA.

I want to have 2 pages on my website as follows:

smilexyzdental.com/dentist-des-moines 

and

smilexyzdental.com/dentist-waukee

On each of those pages, I should include “Dentist in [City]” (or a close variation of such) in all of the above-mentioned places. I also want to include variations of that exact match, such as “Dental Care in [City]” “Best Pediatric Dentists in [city]” etc.

There’s more to on-page SEO though. To learn everything you need to know, check out this article that will tell you everything you need to know about on-page SEO by Gotch SEO: https://www.gotchseo.com/on-page-seo-checklist/.

Step 5: Build & manage your citations (NAP listings)

A citation is a listing of your business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP) on a website other than your own.

Examples of citations include your Google Business Profile, Bing Places, Yelp, YP.com, EZlocal, social media, etc.

Here’s a list of a bunch of those sites that you can list your business on.

When creating these listings, consistency and accuracy is key. It is best to have 1 unified text document of your business’ info and to create new & edit existing listings for consistency.

You can also use a citation tool such as Bright Local to automate this process.

Another huge part of citation management is getting reviews to some of the bigger NAP sites. Reviews will not only help your rank, but they will make prospective patients more likely to trust you and book with you.

Focus on your Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Facebook reviews – those are the most important. The best way to get reviews is by simply asking each customer after each visit for a review of their service, with a direct review link. You can also manually reach out to your close clients, business partners, friends, and family – that is only if they’re actually patients – no one likes fake reviews, and neither do search engines. If they catch them, they’ll remove them and it will hurt your EAT (expertise, authority, trustworthiness).

Step 6: Begin an ongoing content & link building SEO strategy

The first 5 steps are imperative initial SEO steps for your dental website. Now what? Now you need to conduct an ongoing monthly SEO strategy. This ongoing strategy entails 2 things:

  1. Content creation (blogging) – Content creation is essential for building topical authority, EAT, and earning natural backlinks. Focus on creating strategic, high quality blogs that target the right keywords. With time, you will generate traffic and authority centered around niche, and this will in turn rank your “money pages”.
  2. Link building – Inbound backlinks from 3rd party sites are essential for SEO. Link building is the process of generating these links. It entails reaching out to websites with value propositions for linking from their site to yours. Some of those methods include guest blogging, niche edits, and broken link building. Here is a guide on additional ways to build backlinks.

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Dentist SEO keyword ideas

100 transactional intent dental keyword ideas (money keywords)

KeywordDifficultyMonthly US VolumeMonthly Global VolumeMonthly Traffic Potential
dentist near me79158000024900001040000
pediatric dentist near me31145000155000145000
emergency dentist near me4514000019100093000
kid's dentist near me438000081000115000
dentist office near me6573000770001020000
best dentist near me64450007200030000
childrens dentist near me252400030000146000
medicaid dentist near me46140001400096000
walk in dentist near me301400017000114000
affordable dentist near me5714000160003400
cheap dentist near me5313000190006100
dentist near me that accept medicaid50130001300094000
family dentist near me3511000120001040000
cosmetic dentist near me2610000140008800
holistic dentist near me53100001200012000
24 hour emergency dentist near me4997001700020000
dentist near me accepting new patients4885009800129000
24 hour dentist near me3781001100036000
dentist that accept medicaid near me5061006400130000
good dentist near me6958001000030000
dentist offices near me71540065001020000
adult dentist near me695300560094000
dentist open near me525100820016000
dentist near me that take medicaid4551005200130000
dog dentist near me22480060005100
dentist near me no insurance50470050008400
dentist that take medicaid near me524500470093000
black dentist near me7420043004900
biological dentist near me49400047005800
dentist open on saturday near me223900470024000
pediatric dentist near me that accepts medicaid393700390057000
dentist who accept medicaid near me5037003800130000
medical dentist near me473600380011000
dentist near me medicaid5635003700130000
best pediatric dentist near me11350043008600
top dentist near me683300450030000
dentist near me that accepts medicaid503300350096000
dentist that take medicaid for adults near me5232003300129000
free dentist near me523200470018000
medicare dentist near me63310035005000
general dentist near me75280033001020000
top rated dentist near me452700330030000
female dentist near me3260037001300
dentist school near me732500270010000
low cost dentist near me462500290043000
same day dentist near me1124002600108000
sliding scale dentist near me41240025003300
dentist open on sunday near me222300410021000
urgent care dentist near me3523002600108000
dentist with payment plans near me39220040004900
invisalign dentist near me22220037008900
best cosmetic dentist near me30220031008400
african american dentist near me7210022004400
tmj dentist near me7210027001800
cigna dentist near me24200021006400
dentist near me that takes medicaid4320002100122000
most recommended dentist near me692000230028000
children's dentist near me4419004300115000
emergency dentist near me open now441900450041000
hospital dentist near me2819002000500
root canal dentist near me12190024009700
no insurance dentist near me531900210014000
implant dentist near me42190039005300
smile dentist near me3019002700450
dentist that accept medical near me54190020009800
dentist near me that accept medical36190020009700
denture dentist near me51190023007100
sedation dentist near me11180028009700
veterinary dentist near me26180019004500
dentist that accept united healthcare near me591800190010000
find a dentist near me80170037001080000
dentist near to me78170028001080000
metlife dentist near me101700180020000
24/7 dentist near me271700190019000
weekend dentist near me411700230011000
braces dentist near me3917004600300
emergency dentist open 24 hours near me411600210014000
aetna dentist near me361600180086000
dentist that accepts medicaid near me5516001800122000
kids dentist near me3716007000115000
dentist emergency near me411600330041000
dentist near me open saturday111600220021000
dentist open on weekends near me221600190020000
hmo dentist near me571600170032000
cheapest dentist near me551500420013000
dentist near me that accept caresource24150015004500
dentist pediatric near me3215002900115000
dentaquest dentist near me3314001400122000
best rated dentist near me491400180028000
low income dentist near me511400160045000
cheap dentist near me no insurance491400160013000
medicaid dentist for adults near me5714001500122000
emergency dentist near me no insurance431400160010000
dentist jobs near me41400290030
dentist who specializes in dentures near me30140015005000
pediatrics dentist near me2913003500115000
saturday dentist near me261300180011000
dentist who specialize in dentures near me37130013005100
dentist review near me461300150028000
the best dentist near me741300200028000

100 informational intent dental keyword ideas (blog topics)

KeywordDifficultyMonthly US VolumeMonthly Global VolumeMonthly Traffic Potential
dentist who accept medicaid near me5037003800130000
how often should you go to the dentist29150032001200
dentist who specializes in dentures near me30140015005000
how many years does it take to become a dentist221100190013000
what is dmd dentist121000120025000
what does the dentist use to numb your mouth9100010005900
how much is a dentist visit without insurance201000110013000
dentist who accept medicaid4810001100122000
what do dentist use to numb your mouth8100011005900
dentist who take medicaid529001100122000
dentist who does root canals3690010009800
how long do dentist appointments take190010002600
how to remove a tooth without a dentist9900180019000
dentist who take state insurance55900900122000
how many years to be a dentist22900180013000
how do dentist remove tartar690014004800
what is a dentist4880035001600
how much is teeth whitening at dentist with insurance108008001300
how much is teeth whitening at dentist9800170027000
how to be a dentist40800220013000
dentist who take humana3570070032000
how much is deep cleaning dentist2570070014000
how long are dentist cleanings07007004000
how long does dentist appointment take27008002700
what is dds dentist1270070025000
how to find a good dentist56700120012000
how much does a dentist make an hour3270010009300
how much for a dentist visit without insurance2170080013000
how to find a dentist70700130012000
how long does a dentist appointment take17008002600
how long is a cleaning at the dentist07009004000
how much is teeth whitening at the dentist9700150027000
how much is a deep cleaning at the dentist2570070014000
how much is a deep clean at the dentist2570070014000
how long is a dentist cleaning07009004000
how long is a dentist appointment27008002700
how long are dentist appointments17007002600
how much dentist make457009006700
how to fix rotten teeth without dentist3070022002100
how to get rid of numbness after dentist77008001200
how much is a visit to the dentist without insurance2070080013000
how much does it cost to go to the dentist without insurance2570070013000
how to be a dentist assistant236006003500
what does a dentist do306002800600
dentist who do payment plans416007005000
how long to become a dentist assistant196007003800
how does a dentist kill a nerve in your tooth260090050
how much does a dentist x ray cost76007003800
what do dentist do306001200600
why is the dentist so expensive26001300800
dentist near me who accept medicaid55600700122000
how much does a fill in cost at the dentist1260060017000
how much does dentist make5060010009300
how much money does a dentist make4560012009300
what type of dentist does implants10600700150
how are teeth numbered by dentist2660060031000
how much do dentist make a month34600700600
dentist who take aetna22600600800
how much does a dentist make a month34600800600
what is a pediatric dentist3060090011000
how long does a dentist appt take26006002600
how much do dentist x rays cost76006003000
how much is a cleaning at the dentist2260013009100
why do dentist kill themselves13600600900
what is a dds dentist1260070025000
how much is an x ray at the dentist76007003900
how much are dentist x rays76006003800
how much does a dentist appointment cost285009005100
what dentist takes medicaid51500600122000
how to make a dentist appointment405009002500
how much does dentist appointment cost285005004900
how much is a dentist appointment without insurance2650060013000
what do the dentist and your boyfriend have in common9500500900
dentist who accept humana3550050033000
how much does a dentist appt cost285005004900
what is a deep cleaning at the dentist1650060010000
how long does a cleaning take at the dentist05005002400
what dentist take medicaid5450050088000
how to make dentist appointment355006002600
how do dentist number teeth2850060033000
dentist who accept medicaid for adults in michigan315005001000
how long is dentist school175006005900
how dentist number teeth2850060033000
how much do dentist make a year505009008900
how much does it cost to become a dentist17500700500
how long does dentist cleaning take05006003200
how much do dentist appointments cost385007004800
how much for dentist check up294509002100
how much does the dentist cost without insurance4645060013000
what is an holistic dentist54505001700
how much are dentist appointments2045011001100
how much is a dentist without insurance264504509000
how much is dentist check up244501000900
what is the best dentist insurance6545045037000
how much is the dentist without insurance274505007500
how much is a dentist appointment2445013001100
how to make numbing go away dentist74504504600
what do dentist use to whiten teeth614507003100
how many years does it take to be a dentist224508005100

Hiring an effective SEO company for your dental office

While SEO is very attainable for just about anyone, it requires a very big labor investment. For that reason, it makes a lot of sense to contract out your dental SEO efforts. If you’re looking to hire, it’s important to know how to hire an effective company.

How do you find a good SEO company for dentists?

The best way is to find an SEO company for your dental practice is to find a company that can demonstrate the success that they have delivered for their current clientele. Check reviews, case studies, and the performance of their existing clients. Simply ask these prospective companies to demonstrate the success that they have delivered in the past.

Also, a good SEO company will never guarantee quick, cheap results. SEO takes time, even when done by the experts. Also, a good company will not be cheap. A good rule of thumb is any SEO campaign should cost at least $900/mo.

Next, a good SEO company will implement an SEO strategy that entails Technical, Content, and Link Building. All good SEO companies should talk about all 3 of these things.

Another thing to ask them is how they measure success. What good are rankings without sales? While the 2 tend to go hand-in-hand, it is possible to do “SEO” and create traffic without generating sales. The end goal of you and your SEO company should be to enhance your business sales & overall profitability.

Last, they should be experienced in Local SEO. As mentioned, a national/global SEO strategy will differ quite a bit from a local strategy. Bonus points if they specialize specifically in SEO for Dentists like we at Clicked SEO do.

Related Reading: 15 Tips for Hiring an SEO Company That Doesn’t Suck

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