Table of Contents
- Essential Dental SEO Tips Backed By Research
- A Focus On Local Dental SEO Tips
- What is Local SEO?
- How Did Search Engines Come To Be?
- How Does The Google Search Engine Work?
- Dental SEO Tips Regarding Google Rank Search Results?
- What Is Different With Google Maps Versus Organic Results?
- Dental SEO Tips: How To Get Started
- Which Dental SEO Tips To Focus On
- Links And Link Structure Are Very Important To SEO
- GUESS WHAT? We Just Happen To Provide Dental SEO
- Related dental SEO articles to explore:
- Dentist Website SEO: Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ Update
- Dental SEO Update: The Google My Business App Is GONE Forever!
- DSO With 50,000+ Google Reviews: Local Dental SEO Interview
Essential Dental SEO Tips Backed By Research
A Focus On Local Dental SEO Tips
I recently wrote an article for Dental Economics that discussed dental SEO tips. I wanted to drill down on one of the points from that article, which is ‘Focus on local dental SEO.’ The term ‘local SEO’ is a bit ambiguous so I wanted to give some context.
I’d say that this is, without a doubt, the most crucial dental SEO concept for dental practices. Dentists find most of their patients in a relatively small geographical area. Research reports state that more than 80% of dental practice patients come from within a 5 mile radius of their practice. It makes sense for a dental office to focus on local SEO because this is how they can be discovered by patients within that vicinity.
What is Local SEO?
Local dental SEO is a dentist search engine optimization (SEO) technique that aids in the visibility of your dental practice in the local search results on Google’s local maps platform.
Local SEO can help any practice that has a physical location. When a potential patient searches Google for any dental service-related term, a map with three listings appears in the search results (AKA Google Map 3-pack). Local SEO tips assists in helping your practice show up on the Google map.
To understand how to get started with dentist SEO, you must first understand how Google works.
How Did Search Engines Come To Be?
There were relatively few websites in the early days of the internet, but as the internet grew in popularity more complex websites were created. For example, business directories, databases, local businesses, mobile friendly websites, and social media video platforms all made the web a much more interesting, yet difficult place to navigate. Search engines were developed to make it easier for consumers to locate what they wanted on the web.
The search engine takes note of the consumers search phrase and compares it to websites listed in their database. This is how Google works; it compares the search phrase with the optimization of your dental website and ranks them according to their relevance.
Google considers hundreds of elements both on and off your website to see whether they’re relevant to display as a search result. The search engine uses factors to generate results, each with a different weight or value combined to provide results. The strength of your relevance to the search phrase and your digital footprint influences whether you appear in Google’s top responses to a query.
How Does The Google Search Engine Work?
When you submit a query to Google, the search engine compares the structure of metadata website signals to provide a list of sites that match your search phrase.
I’ve spoken to many dentists and marketing managers that don’t realize Google isn’t doing a live search of the entire internet when someone types something into the Google search bar. It’s searching a stored copy of all of the sites that Google has discovered. This copy of all of the websites on the internet is called the Google Index.
Google uses tiny software programs called “spiders” to crawl the web to build the index. Each spider works in the same way: it begins on a single page, then follows all of the links on that page, checking for new material on subsequent pages.
Google’s index is built as websites are crawled. Spiders operate at a jaw-dropping speed, constantly crawling billions of pages in a fraction of a second. This will ensure that the index is as up-to-date as possible as new websites and connections are discovered.
If you’ve ever had someone say, ‘You need to make sure your website is indexed.’ What they’re saying is that you need to make sure that the Google spiders have crawled your website and you’ve been added to the Google index. Otherwise, your website won’t even show up in search results. That’s one of the most important dental SEO tips to remember.
Dental SEO Tips Regarding Google Rank Search Results?
A variety of methods are used by Google to rank websites in a matter of seconds. These algorithms are known as search engine ranking systems. When you search for something on Google, an algorithm analyzes the index and provides a list of sites that match your query. Those rankings are determined and ranked based on the relevance and prominence of your website to the search phrase.
The Google algorithm examines many different on-site and off-site criteria to determine which websites are relevant to a search phrase. All of the pertinent sites are added to the list, which is then judged by prominence. The algorithm determines which sites best answer your search query, and those sites are listed at the top of the search results.
This is where dental SEO tips and optimization come into play. Improving dental practice website SEO is optimizing relevance, prominence, and link popularity for your website. If the right aspects of your site’s digital footprint are improved, it will optimize your website and appear higher in the search results.
What Is Different With Google Maps Versus Organic Results?
What about local SEO results? People looking for specific dental practices usually look for a practice near their home. They’ll use local terms in their search phrase or search directly in Google maps. That is why Google’s local search algorithm includes a proximity component.
This means that when you search for a local term (a query with local intent), Google considers your dental practice location. This occurs even if the searcher does not use a city name or “near me” in their query. An example of a search phrase with local intent would be ‘best dentist in (city).’
Google not only considers the location of your dental practice in search results, but also where the person searching is located.
If you’re at work and wish to have a salad delivered for lunch, Google may show a list of places near your workplace in its local SERPs (search engine result pages).
However, if you conduct the exact search at home, you’ll receive a different set of local results. This makes sense since you need food delivered from somewhere nearby.
Local search for dentists has been around for years, but it was hampered due to users only using their desktop computers. Mobile search has exploded in recent years, making dental SEO tips and optimization increasingly essential for the success of any business providing local goods or services.
This has increased even more now that people are becoming adept at local search. Growth rates for consumers using Google maps to find local businesses versus doing a general Google search are increasing 50% faster than other search habits.
Dental SEO Tips: How To Get Started
What does this signify for dental SEO marketing? The main Google search results for local rankings and the local map pack are powered by different algorithms. To rank higher in the Google map is a different strategy than ranking higher in the organic website section of search results. As a local dental practice, you may appear in the Google map and the organic website results below the map in the same SERP.
If that happens to you, it’s good. Brick and mortar businesses have a slight advantage over others, because local businesses have more opportunities to take up real estate on the search engine results page.
Which Dental SEO Tips To Focus On
One of the main difficulties for those who are relatively new to dental SEO is determining what aspect of their online presence should be emphasized.
Many companies provide data research that identifies the variables that affect search rankings. Some of my favorites are Search Engine Land, Moz, and Bright Local. If you’re really interested in local SEO you should follow these companies blogs.
Regardless of which articles and surveys you read, the formula is still the same—include keywords and monetize the phrases that are popular in your community and related to your services.
The first place to begin when optimizing for local SEO is to optimize your Google My Business listing. Not understood by many, this is NOT your website. Your Google My Business listing is your listing in the Google business directory.
This does not mean that you shouldn’t optimize your website for local SEO, but the strategy is slightly different. Updating your Google My Business listing is critical to ranking higher in the Google map. The first step is to download the Google My Business app. This will give you the ability to edit and update your listing easily.
Recently we recorded a webinar that walks through the first ten local SEO tips for optimization.
Links And Link Structure Are Very Important To SEO
Another significant factor in the local search algorithm is the importance of localizing content and local link popularity.
It’s critical to build local location pages for all of the areas that you pull patients from. If you happen to have more than one location, you’ll want to have separate websites for each location. If you’re not familiar with a location page, please refer to this dentist SEO article.
It’s also worth noting that there are many dental SEO articles and solutions that can assist you, from conducting keyword research, identifying your local audience, creating local directory citations, how to write services pages, attracting high quality links, improving overall online presence, managing Google My Business listings, profiles, and posts. All you need is a little bit of time, patience, and consistent local SEO effort.
GUESS WHAT? We Just Happen To Provide Dental SEO
Dental SEO is an important component of any dental practice’s online marketing strategy. If you’re not sure what aspects to include in your marketing plan, contact us today for a consultation! We can help you get started with a dental SEO audit that will lay the groundwork for future success.
About the Author: Adrian Lefler is a dental marketing expert and a key member of the dental marketing team at My Social Practice. My Social Practice is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adrian is passionate about helping dental practices grow. Interested in learning more about the benefits of dental SEO, please schedule a complimentary consultation. And, don’t forget to read our Google My Business reviews.