Great SEO for dentists should begin with optimization of your Google My Business account. I spoke with a dentist the other day, and she asked, “I don’t understand the difference between SEO and Local SEO.” That’s was a good question. The word ‘local’ means that the SEO tactics focus on the geographical area of the practice. 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.’ They are essentially the same thing.
Let’s get started on the top 6 ideas for local dental SEO!
1.) 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 you should claim it. Claiming means that you can control, update, edit, and optimize the listing.
It is critically important to SEO for dental practices that they claim verify and update their GMB listing. The information in your practice GMB account displays on the Google Map. You’ll want to ensure that it’s correct and updated.
Watch How to Claim Your GMB listing.
2.) 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 you want to do is check all of the information on the info tab and make sure that it’s all correct. Next, towards the top of the page, on the info tab, you’ll notice that you have a section titled ‘primary categories.’ Near 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 be able to rank. As a general rule, try to stick to no more than three. For example, pediatric dentist SEO would get more specific to pediatric services. However, this rule can be disregarded if you have a multi-disciplinary practice.
Below is the list of Google My Business 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
3.) Update Your Dental Services to Enhance SEO for Dentists
Now that your categories are updated, you can move onto adding your practice services. Google places your services as a sub-category to your primary categories. Google does not predetermine the dental services, and there is no limit to the number of services you can list. List as many dental services as you can think of.
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.
4.) Add Location Pages To Your Website For Big Local SEO Benefits
Search engines crawl your dental website, trying to find the most compatible match for the potential patient 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 a location 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?
Check out this cosmetic dentist location page that we recently created. It can be helpful to see how SEO for dental practices looks in real-time.
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 exciting 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. Sending signals to Google that you’re supporting local businesses is a great way to help you rank in that area. A good example would be a link to the local business directory or your favorite restaurant. Just make sure that you link to a physically located website in the area the location page is describing.
Third, you’ll want to include at least one or two links to services pages for which you want to rank better. Suppose you want to rank for the keyword ‘cosmetic dentist in Henderson, NV’. In that case, 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 embed a Google map from the location to the practice address. Here is an excellent location page for a pediatric dentist. Check out the embed map at the bottom of the page with walking directions from the nature preserve to the dental practice!
5.) Post Content To Your GMB Account
Not many dentists know that you can post to your Google My Business account just like posting blog articles. The posts show up in the knowledge graph and map 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 can link from the post to your website, your GMB website, directory listings, and other online assets. Posts help Google to see the relevance between your website and your GMB listing. A part of great SEO for dental practices is optimizing your GMB page.
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 assigned to the doctor’s Google My Business account.
6.) 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 excellent resolution and will work, but you want to take the right photos. I’ve included a GMB Photo Checklist that you can download, with specific instructions on which shots to take, how many, and where to upload them.
Dentists, Need Help With Your SEO?
SEO for dentists is not straightforward. Many digital marketing strategies help dental practices rank higher in search. But the marketing strategies that I’ve listed above should be part of any local SEO campaign. When hiring a dental marketing company, make sure that you check to see if the tips above will be part of the marketing plan before deciding.
If you have more questions about dental SEO or if you get stuck trying to optimize your 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. Still, no one gets the results like My Social Practice does for their clients when it comes to enhancing and optimizing your online presence.