2023’s Best Pediatric Dentist SEO Strategies
A huge part of marketing for pediatric dentists is making sure your practice is up to current SEO standards. Without good SEO (Search Engine Optimization), your online presence takes a major back seat, and your other marketing efforts may go unnoticed.
Let’s go over some pediatric dental SEO basics, and focus on the best strategies for your practice to implement moving forward.
How Do Search Engines Work?
First of all, let’s break down how search engines operate, so you get a better grasp on why SEO is so crucial to your business.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo all have billions of web crawlers (AKA spiders) constantly at work, scouring the internet for content. They follow links and collect information on the pages they find. They look for which keywords stand out, how recently a website or page has been updated, and how much people interact with the site. They then feed that info to a hungry hungry hippo called the search index, which basically holds a copy of the knowledge of the internet—just waiting to be discovered.
When you type a question into Google or Bing like “Who is the best pediatric dentist near me?” the search engine scans its search index, and pops out the most relevant marbles of information it can find.
Plus, the algorithm (which is basically just a fancy calculator) takes your own personal data—like where you live, what kind of things you’ve searched in the past, your age, and your preferences—into account, in order to provide even better results. Maybe you didn’t know this but this is why websites that you’ve visited in the past may come up higher in the search engine than ones you have not visited.
What SEO Strategies Do You Need as a Pediatric Dentist?
Now that you understand how search engines work, you can see why every little detail of your online presence matters. It’s all accounted for, and it all factors into whether or not your practice pops up when someone is searching for pediatric dentistry.
Put these SEO strategies into place, and your practice will find its way onto the first page of Google results.
1) Make Sure Your Website is Technically Sound
The first place to get a pulse on your pediatric dental marketing is always your website. This is the landing spot for current and prospective patients who want to learn more, and your first line of defense for SEO. First, check the technicals of your website to see how it’s performing on search. If you have out-of-date content, broken links, or slow speeds, all of these will show up as big SEO red flags.
Technical SEO accounts for approximately 30-40% of your search engine rankings. A technical SEO analysis will check your website for:
- Page Load Speed
- Proper internal linking
- Your robots.txt file
- Dead links
- Duplicate content
- SSL /HTTPS secure
- Structured data
- Site map
A great pediatric dental website is well-designed, approachable, and highly functional.
2) Increase New Patient Phone Calls from Google Maps
Almost everyone knows about the Google map. Yet many small business owners are unaware that you can optimize your listing on the Google map. You do this by updating and adding information to your Google Business Profile. Ranking well on the Google map is a big deal. Pediatric practices that rank higher get many more new patient phone calls and also improve credibility.
Pediatric dental practices that understand the value of ranking higher on Google maps begin by updating their GBP information. To help pediatric practices get started we’ve created several training videos:
- Understanding How Google Map Rankings Work
- Dental SEO Update: The Google Business App is Gone
- SEO Dental Tip: How to Choose Your Primary Category
- What Your Should Know about Google’s Helpful Content Update
Before you begin optimizing your Google Business Profile run a Google Maps Ranking Report to find out where you are already ranking. Below is an image of what a Google maps report looks like:
If you haven’t seen a Google maps ranking report before, let me explain. Rankings on the Google map are location based. What this means is that the results change dependent on where the person is searching from.
In order for you to understand how well you’re ranking for a particular location you would need to drive to that location and do a search on your cell phone. No one wants to do this, so we’ve developed a way to tell Google to run a search from locations even though you’re not standing there. Each one of the circles is a search from that location. The number listed on the colored circle is where your Google Business Profile is listed on the map. If you’re 1, 2, or 3 then you’re on the front page of Google.
The reason you want to run this report is because when you get to optimizing your GBP listing you’ll need to know where you’re already ranking well.
3) Optimize Photos and Videos for Speed
Another part of polishing up your website is optimizing your photos and videos, so that things run smoothly, and look good—both for the web crawlers and your human audience. This may be something you leave up to your pediatric dental website team because it can get a bit technical. But the basics are:
Resize: Shrink image file sizes and compress videos that may be taking up too much memory on your site.
Use Keywords: Use keywords in file names for images and videos so web crawlers pick up on them in your source code.
Include Alt Text: Alternative text describes the images on your website and is another great SEO tool to include for web crawlers.
Make it Mobile-Friendly: Make sure all images and videos are optimized for mobile devices. If you’re using responsive web design, you should be covered!
Check Formats: Use the right formats to ensure people can see your media files on a variety of different web browsers. WebP for images, and MP4 or WebM for videos.
4) Start Blogging Regularly
Another staple of pediatric dental marketing is blogging. Creating custom copy that is interesting, informative, and high-quality will do wonders for your SEO. When you write a blog you can easily improve your internal linking.
We recommend posting a new blog at least once a month to boost your SEO rankings, and improve visibility. Just make sure each post is substantive and worth reading to your audience. Google’s latest SEO update emphasizes how both quality and quantity are important for ranking—so make sure your posts add value and don’t read like a bad AI prompt.
The value of custom copywriting cannot be overstated. If don’t have time to write new pediatric blog posts, then you’ll want to hire a dental SEO company to help out.
Guest blog posting is a great opportunity for inbound link building. A guest blog post is when you write an article for another website. For example, you can try guest blogging for other websites that are in line with your pediatric practice to improve your off-page SEO.
5) Ensure Proper Website Linking
Internal links are links inside your website. A example would be a blog post that talks about the right kind of toothpaste to buy and links to your homepage. In this post you’ll find lots of internal links. It’s a way to help the reader find additional information.
Internal links are valuable to search engine spiders because it helps them find new pages. Once a new page is discovered, the page can be indexed and found online.
Inbound links are links that come into your website. An example would be a link from a local business to your website. Inbound links are the most powerful source of ranking power for your pediatric SEO rankings.
A great way to think about inbound links is that they’re similar to votes of confidence. Google assesses the trustworthiness of your website by the types of inbound links you have. The best links for a pediatric dentist are those which are ‘locally’ and ‘industry’ relevant. Getting a link from an elementary school is a great inbound link.
Another great inbound link are ‘citation links’ or ‘directory links.’ Most citation links come from directories. For example, Healthgrades is a citation link. Citation links can have corrupted information, like an old phone number or address. You’ll want to check your citations to make sure that they are correct.
6) Dedicate Resources to Social Media
A strong social media presence can boost your SEO? The more people interact with your brand, the higher you’ll rank in search. Spend time making fun, engaging content that appeals to both kids and parents, and be sure to interact with comments regularly.
Social media posts that gets lots of engagement send ‘social signals’ to the search engines that your content is beneficial.
The social media post image above received a ton of engagement because it asked for patients to comment. It got seventy five social media comments, twenty nine engagements, and one share. All of that engagement sent positive social signals and it also received more than two thousand views.
For pediatric dentists, it’s important to keep social media HIPAA compliance in mind when publishing to social media accounts. As you create new content, remember to not disclose any ePHI, avoid discussing patient details, and stay HIPAA compliant when sharing photos.
7) Update Your Website for Mobile Optimization
Most people on Google are using a mobile device. However, Google’s ranking systems still look at the desktop version of a website’s content to evaluate its relevance. This can cause issues when the mobile site has less content than the desktop. In 2018 Google announced a search engine update regarding mobile-first indexing to solve this issue. Mobile-first indexing means that the mobile version of your website is what Google uses for indexing and search engine optimization.
Mobile optimization is necessary because it is designed with a mobile-first approach, which allows the site to reformat itself for mobile users. Mobile-optimized sites are made as frictionless as possible when viewed on a small device and are the best SEO strategy.
Check out these pediatric websites that are mobile optimized.
What is local SEO?
As you work on implementing solid SEO strategies, keep in mind that local SEO is just as important to your pediatric practice. Local SEO is location-specific search engine optimization that helps you rank higher in your specific city.
How do you rank on Google Maps when people search “pediatric dentist near me?” Does your name pop up? You can improve your local SEO by submitting your website to online directories and review sites, and by updating your Google business profile. For example, this pediatric dentist SEO case study resulted in a 250% increase in Google Maps impressions, and a 230% increase in phone calls received from Google Maps.
How Do Search Engines Rank Pediatric Websites?
Search engines show a relevant set of search results as quickly as possible. The better a search engine does this the more likely the consumer will use the search engine again. If consumers keep coming back to the search engine then the search engine can charge more for paid advertising opportunities. That is how Google became the multi-billion dollar company it is today.
The goal of SEO is to optimize your website and Google Business Profile so that it’s beneficial and effortless for consumers. If there is anything about your website that is confusing or broken you’ll be punished with lower rankings. SEO’s goal is to remedy all of those issues.
What is SEM vs SEO?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is another way to boost your overall SEO with paid advertising. You can select a time frame, and dollar amount to create campaigns that target certain keywords, locations, and even competitors to boost your search rankings.
SEO is an organic way to rank. It takes longer but it doesn’t cost anywhere near what a pediatric dentist would invest in SEM.
How Will AI Impact SEO? What’s Next?
As artificial intelligence continues to make advancements, you might be wondering how AI will impact your pediatric SEO efforts. Will robots be able to do all the optimization work for you in the future?
While impressive models like ChatGPT and MidJourney are making content creation easier than ever before, Google is still committed to ranking websites written “by people, for people.” You can take advantage of AI tools for ideation, but you’ll still need to provide a human touch to make sure your pediatric website is ranking how it should be, and that it remains an accurate representation of your practice.
A Pediatric Dentist That Understands SEO
Dr. Bana Ball and her team at Shady Grove Pediatric Dentistry were trying to grow their pediatric dental practice online. She knew that most of her new patients found her practice on the Google map. She was intrigued with Google Maps SEO and gave it a try.
Focus on Teeth—We’ll Do the Rest
We understand that all of this can feel a little overwhelming, which is why we’re here to help. If your pediatric marketing plan needs some work, don’t make these SEO mistakes—start fresh with a strategic plan that works for your practice. Whether you’re looking to get a modern gorgeous pediatric website, or simply need help showing up on map search results, our team of experts knows the drill.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do pediatric dentists need SEO?
If your goal is to increase new pediatric patients then SEO should part of your pediatric practice marketing efforts.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a strategy that focuses on improving the search rankings of your pediatric practice’s website, Google Business Profile, and social media accounts. Implementing a pediatric dentist SEO strategy will increase new patients phone calls on your website as well as from your Google listing.
What’s the ROI of pediatric dentist SEO?
ROI stands for Return On Investment and is a measure of your digital marketing investments. A pediatric dentist can measure ROI by tracking patients generated from the marketing initiative.
One of the best ways to calculate ROI os to subtract the SEO cost from the total income generated from the pediatric dentist SEO investment. This will give you your net return. Once you have your net return, divide that number by the cost of the investment and multiply it by 100. This will give you your ROI.
A good pediatric dentist SEO campaign should return more than 200%. But you’ll want to give the campaign at least a year to develop. Pediatric dentist SEO strategies take full effect over longer periods of time than traditional marketing strategies.
How can a pediatric dentist rank #1 in search engine results?
A pediatric dentist can improve their search engine rankings by performing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on their website and Google Business Profile. In an article by ahrefs it was found that it takes between 61 and 182 days in order for a dental marketing initiative to help a practice rank in the top ten listings in Google.
Keep in mind that when you talk about rankings you need to make sure that you know in which section of the SERP you’re trying to rank higher for. The organic listings are below the Google map and are tied very closely to your website SEO. The listings in the Google map are local SEO results and are tied closely to your Google Business Profile.
How do I know if your pediatric dentist SEO campaign is working?
There are key indicators that you can track; website and social media impressions, organic rankings, local SEO rankings, backlinks, how well service pages and blog articles rank, domain and dental page authority, clicks, conversions, and new patient phone calls. All of these are tracked by Google analytics or other SEO tools. We use SEMRush and Google Map Ranking Reports with out clients.
A dental marketing company that performs SEO should provide their pediatric client with reporting and statistics that are easy to understand and show improvment over time.
Will pediatric dentist SEO help me find the right kind of patients?
As long as you know which pediatric patients you are attempting to attract, the answer would be yes.
When you kick off a pediatric dentist SEO campaign one of the first tasks is to identify keywords that you’ll be going after. Simply put, keywords are the type of patients you’re wanting to attract. If you want lip and tongue tie patients then you would target keywords like “pediatric dentist tongue tie” and variations of that keyword phrase.
Keywords that include services is one way to target. Another way is geographically. If you want patients from specific areas or even neighborhoods, you can tweak the SEO campaign to attract those patients. This is one of the reasons we recommend running a Google Maps Ranking Report. It will identify where you’re already ranking and where you can improve.
Does pediatric dentist SEO improve website traffic?
Pediatric dentist SEO does improve traffic to your website. Visitors will come to your website because your Google Business Profile is ranking higher on Google maps. Also, your organic website rankings will improve with custom content and technical SEO strategies. These are the rankings below the Google map. The higher you are on the page the more traffic you’ll see.
How do search engines decide where to rank Pediatric dental websites?
The search engine ranking algorithm is constantly updated as the search engines attempt to help consumers find the best result for their search query.
The first step you need to take to show up in a search engine result is to make sure that your website has been indexed by the search engines. The second step is to follow the guidelines of the search engine. Google, Yahoo, and Bing send notifications on what updates they would like to have so that the search engine can perform its tasks more efficiently.
Pediatric dentist SEO is the task of following these instructions. As an example, here are some of the requests from search engines:
- Correct meta data of your web pages
- Custom content on each page
- Optimizing your pages for speed
- Updating your site to mobile-friendly
- Ensuring your using correct internal link structures
- Decreasing your bounce rate
- Updating your image to WebP files
As you update your website to meet the requirements of the search engines you’ll see improved rankings.
How long does pediatric dentist SEO take to start seeing results?
Pediatric dentist SEO campaigns vary in timing depending on the competition and goals of the practice. It can vary from a few months to more than a year.
SEO for pediatric practices should be a consistent and long term initiative. Pediatric dentists who begin SEO when they need new patients immediately, will inevitably be disappointed with SEO results. The best course of action is to allocate some of your marketing budget towards an SEO campaign that’s always be running.
A pediatric dentist should not get discouraged though. The long term ROI benefits of pediatric dentist SEO are extremely high.
Does website user experience matter in pediatric dentist SEO?
Google tracks how your patients and potential patients interact with your website and use that information to improve search engine results. For example, if your website is not mobile optimized and someone visits from their cell phone, they’ll probably have a frustrating experience and bounce. Your bounce rate has a big impact on your rankings. Every website online needs to be mobile optimized.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do my website visitors find what they are looking for quickly?
- Is the usability of my website effortless?
- Is the information correctly arranged throughout the site?
Even if you have a gorgeous modern looking site, if the user experience is dull then you’ll be punished. A pediatric dental SEO specialist must consider the technical and user experience aspects when developing a pediatric dentist website.
Is technical SEO required for a pediatric dentist SEO campaign?
The search engine rankings have more to do with user experience and technical aspects than whether or not your website is aesthetically pleasing. Google, Yahoo, and Bing want your website to look good but they put much less emphasis on aesthetics than you would think.
Aesthetics play a big part for pediatric dental practices because patients associate your website design with the quality of your care. This is a psychological phenomenon called transference. Transference is when a person attributes the feeling that they have for one thing to something else. For this reason it is important for a pediatric dental website to look great, but it has little to do with website ranking.
If you’re looking to be found online with search engine optimization and an SEO for dentists campaign, you’ll want to make sure the technical aspects of your website are dialed in and your dental website is getting an A+ grade from Google.
Does pediatric dentist SEO build credibility?
Potential patients trust practices that show up higher in the search rankings. More than 90% of all actions taken on a SERP happen on the first page, indicating trust… or laziness.
Pediatric dentists who appear on the first page of Google maps receive improved new patient phone calls. There’s a reason why the majority of people click on one of the top suggested results.
Would Google rank the pediatric dentist with the worst credibility at the top of the search engine? Most consumers assume it’s the other way around.
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 a dental marketing company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adrian is passionate about helping practices grow through SEO for dentists. If you’d like to book one of the members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that HERE. Interested in learning more about the benefits of dental SEO or our dental website service, please give us a call.