Great SEO for dentists typically focuses on localized dental marketing efforts. The word ‘local’ simply means that the SEO tactics being used are focused on the geographical area of where the practice is located. So, don’t get confused when a marketing expert says ‘You need to focus on SEO.’ and another marketing expert says, ‘You need to focus on local SEO.’ SEO for dentists is always localized, therefore it is essentially the same thing.
Let’s get started on the top 6 ideas for local dental SEO!
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business (GMB) is your dental practice’s business listing in the Google business database. Think of it like Google’s business directory. You’re listing had better be there and it needs to be claimed. Claiming simply means that you control the listing and can update and edit the listing.
It is really important that you claim, verify and update your GMB listing. The information in your GMB account is pulled into the Google Map, which is a local SEO result. You’ll want to ensure that it’s correct and updated.
Check out this quick video that explains how to claim your GMB listing and explains some of the issues that you might run into in the process.
Update Your Dental Practice Primary Categories
Once you’ve claimed your listing and you get access to the account, you can start updating, editing, and adding information to your Google My Business account. Local SEO for dentists begins with updating this information.
The first thing that you want to do is check all of the information on the info tab and make sure that it’s all correct. Towards the top of the page on the info tab, you’ll notice that you have a section titled ‘primary categories’. Next to that section is an edit button that allows you to update those categories.
When selecting your primary categories we recommend that less is more. As we’ve been working on this for the past couple of years, our optimization tactics have shown that the more primary categories you list the less likely you’ll actually be able to rank. As a general rule, try to stick to no more than three. This general rule can be argued if you have a multi-disciplinary practice.
Below is a list of several dental categories:
- Cosmetic dentist
- Pediatric dentist
- Oral Surgeon
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
- Emergency dental service
- Dental hygienist
- Dental implants provider
- Dental implants periodontist
- Dental Clinic
- Dental insurance agency
- Dental lab
- Dental school
- Dental radiology
- Dental supply store
- Teeth whitening service
Update Your Dental Services to Enhance Dental SEO
Once you’ve updated your primary categories you’ll notice that they are pulled down into the services section. Google allows you to list your services underneath your primary categories. Services are predetermined by Google, and there is no limit to the number of services you can list. So, list as many as you can think of that pertain to your practice.
When a client asks us to do their dental SEO for them we regularly list upwards of 100 different services into their GMB accounts to help their local SEO rankings. This will take some time but the benefit is Google recognizing your GMB account’s services in relation to search phrases of potential patients.
Add Location Pages To Your Website For Local SEO Benefit
Search engines crawl your website trying to find the most compatible match for the potential patient who is searching. A location page has information about the area where you want to rank better in search results. Think about it this way. Your potential patients will most likely search an area and a service. For example, ‘cosmetic dentist in Henderson NV’. Why not have a page on your website that talks about offering cosmetic dentistry in Henderson, NV?
Below are a few tidbits of info on how to write a location page.
First, you’ll want the page to be at least 500-600 words. It needs to be relevant and interesting content, sounds well written, and it needs to be custom. You can’t copy from someone else’s website and add it to your site. We want new custom content, always.
Second, you want to include one or two outbound links to local websites. You want to send a signal to Google that you’re connected to other local businesses or areas of interest. A good example would be a link to the local business directory or to your favorite restaurant. Just make sure that you link to a website that is physically located in the area that the location page is talking about.
Third, you’ll want to include at least one or two links to services pages that you are wanting to rank better for. If you want to rank for the keyword ‘cosmetic dentist in Henderson, NV’, then you want to talk about offering cosmetic dentistry in Henderson and link internally (within your website) to your cosmetic dentistry page.
Lastly, you want to include an embed link of the Google map of the area that you’re trying to rank for or directions from an area of interest to your practice. Here is a great location page for a pediatric dentist. Check out the embed map at the bottom of the page that has walking directions from the nature preserve to the dental practice!
Post Local Dental SEO Content To Your GMB Account
Not many dentists know that you can post to your Google My Business account just like you can post blog articles. The posts show up in the knowledge graph and maps search results. The image to the right is an example of the posts showing up in the knowledge graph.
Not only do the posts add additional imagery and content to your knowledge graph, but you also have the ability to link from the post to your website, your GMB website, directory listings, and other online assets. This helps Google to see the relevance between your website and your GMB listing.
One suggestion to strengthen the relevance of your GMB account so that it ranks higher in local SEO would be to post your location pages in your GMB account. Here is an example of a location page posted to the doctor’s Google My Business account.
Update Your Google My Business Photos
Google wants the map results to provide as much information about your practice as possible. They want the potential patients to find relevant and helpful results. Photos play a big part in building trustworthiness with people searching online. If you have not updated your photos, not only does the person searching wonder why your photography is old and out of date, but Google will not give you any search love if you don’t update them.
You do not have to hire a professional photographer for a photoshoot. Most camera phones have great resolution and will work, but you do want to take the right photos. I’ve included a GMB Photo Checklist that you can download, with specific instructions on which photos to take, how many and where to upload them.
Not all dental SEO campaigns are straightforward. There are lots of digital marketing tactics that can be used in a campaign. But the marketing strategies that I’ve listed above should be part of any local SEO marketing strategy.
If you have more questions about dental SEO or if you get stuck trying to optimize your own account, please reach out to us. We would love to help you out. There are many dental SEO companies out there that offer online marketing and SEO strategies but when it comes to enhancing and optimizing your online presence, none do Google Maps SEO like My Social Practice.