10 SEO Tips for New Dental Practices
Opening a de novo practice is both thrilling and intense. There is enormous pressure to get new patients in the door quickly so that your practice can start turning a profit. The good news is that you can lay the groundwork for consistent patient acquisition long before the ribbon-cutting ceremony with SEO.
Take a look at these dental marketing SEO strategies for your de novo dental practice. By focusing on your online presence, you can set yourself and your practice up for success.
1. Choose A Search-Friendly Name For Your Dental Practice
Naming your de novo dental practice might be a fun way to get creative, but it can also be a smart tool for gathering more search traffic than your competitors. Consider the terms that patients use when looking for a new dentist. “Bright Smiles” is a fun name from a branding perspective, but doesn’t do anything for you when it comes to SEO and search. “Best Dentist Near You” is boring by comparison, but you can bet that it is going to rank well on Google.
Aim to name your practice wisely by using geo-targeted keywords and keeping “dentist” in the title. This is an easy way to attract consistent traffic to your website. If you happen to be a specialist the same rules apply.
2. Launch A Modern Website That Reels In New Patients, But Avoid These Pitfalls
Even before you open the doors of your de novo practice, get your website up so you can start building interest in your new practice. A great dental website works well from the inside out. Don’t make these mistakes when building your website, they could hurt your SEO performance:
- Not Mobile-Friendly. Nearly 60% of all searches are done on mobile devices–not to mention that Google will use your mobile version to index your site for search.
- Poor Design Choices. Choose a color palette that feels comforting and clean (things patients associate with going to the dentist). We recommend avoiding red.
- Stuffy Stock Photos. Stock images breathe no life or energy into your website. Using just your cell phone you can capture real dentist-patient interactions that feel much more natural.
- No Original Content. Don’t copy-paste content from another practice’s website (even if it’s your own). A new practice needs its own fresh content online to perform well.
- Missing or Inconsistent Contact Information. As you are introducing your de novo practice to the digital world, keep your contact information and hours consistent across all platforms. This will help Google properly index and share your practice in search results.
- Awkward User Experience. If you are opening up a new location, make sure it has its own URL and doesn’t try to co-exist on the same web pages as your existing practices.
Leverage your website as your first tool to convert website traffic into future patients. Get a dental website design that is SEO-optimized with great keywords and powerful functionality. As you start attracting new visitors to your website, you’ll want to have ways to communicate with them even if you aren’t open yet. Set up a 24/7 chat support feature and hire an agency to take phone calls so you don’t miss any new opportunities. Leverage these dental SEO strategies to build a website that regularly brings in new traffic.
And check out this great dental SEO guide before you get started.
3. Set Up Your Google Business Profile
Setting up your Google Business Profile is easy, free, and is a key component of your dental marketing strategy. See how to set up, claim, and optimize your Google Business Profile in this video. If you have done this before for your other practices, the process is very similar. Since you have a new URL, address, and contact information for your de novo practice, be sure to give it its own Google Business Profile. As you optimize your profile, use geo-specific keywords and learn how to choose your Google Business Profile primary category for the best results.
4. Optimize Your Personal Dental Google Business Profile
Here’s a little-known secret for medical providers: You can actually create and manage a personal Google Business Profile apart from your practice profile. Google calls this listing a “professional listing” or a “provider listing.” They allow for professional listings because they know that within the medical industry there are more than one doctor at a medical facility. If you happen to be a dental associate and you want to control your online reputation, set up and claim your provider listing and start getting reviews for yourself.
Head over to Google’s healthcare provider business profile and update it just as you would with your practice profile. (And get yourself lots of positive reviews!)
5. Get Your De Novo Practice Listed In Directories
There are lots of options for medical providers to get listed in directories online. These directories not only help you get found online, but also provide you with a high-quality inbound link that improves your website SEO. Some of the directories you might look into are:
- 1-800 Dentist
- Facebook Business
You can use tools like Yex, Vendasa, or Moz to get your de novo practice online quickly. It’s also okay to get some help with dental marketing by hiring a dental marketing agency.
6. Build Up Your Google Maps Ranking
When you update and edit your Google Business Profile, you are also working in tandem with Google Maps. Your Google Maps ranking is especially important because patients will be searching for location-specific dental practices. Using those types of keywords will boost your Google Maps rankings for high-value patients.
One way to stand out as a Google Maps listing is to turn on your chat feature. This is a super simple way to quickly connect with new patients and answer questions about your practice. The fewer hurdles you can put between your potential patients and the information they seek, the happier they will be.
7. Collect Reviews Like The Tooth Fairy Collects Teeth
Positive Google reviews are worth their weight in gold when it comes to your dental marketing strategy.
If you are an existing DSO, send out the link to collect reviews from past or current patients. You can find this link on your Google Business Profile. Just copy and paste it into an email or text message.
If you are a new dentist and you’re wondering who is going to leave you reviews, it doesn’t have to just be patients. Send a review link to family, friends, colleagues, classmates, and whoever has worked alongside you in the past. The goal is to get all the positive vibes up on your Google Business Profile as a recommendation of your good nature and dental skills. This will help you outrank the competition.
8. Get The Buzz Going On Social Media
There’s a lot that goes into social media for strategies for dentists, and it’s a great place to start drumming up interest for your de novo practice.
Don’t sleep on Facebook for dentists. Facebook works well for connecting with your local community, participating in community events and groups, and even getting more positive reviews to attract new patients.
Leverage Instagram marketing to spread the word. Instagram is perfect for reaching a wide demographic of people—from Gen Zers to millennials to boomers. You can collaborate with other accounts and connect with your community by using geo-specific hashtags like #sandiegodentist or #treasurevalleyorthodontist.
This is also a fun space to get creative and share fun content in a variety of ways. Play with the multiple features within the app like Stories and Reels. Focus on creating fun, clickable content—not just building updates and announcements. Think about using contests on social media to reach new audiences as well.
Yes, dentists are on TikTok and they are absolutely killing it. Creating short, fun videos that have a higher probability of going viral than on other platforms could get you the exposure you need for your new practice. Watch what other Dentists are doing on TikTok to start exploring how you can make an impact on social media.
De Novo Orthodontic practices should pay attention to these Orthodontic marketing strategies because this is the perfect place to showcase the transformative power of orthodontics! (Also watch this interview with an orthodontic practice that has over 600k followers.)
9. Consider Targeted Ads
Yes, ads can be expensive, but they can also be quick and effective. You can spend on specific keywords to get your de novo practice in front of your target audience on Google or try a social media ad campaign.
To get the most out of your advertising budget, consider working with a dental marketing company. Choosing a dental marketing company that will help you grow can speed up the time it takes to start turning a profit at your new practice.
10. Settle In For A Long-Term SEO Strategy
As you pull the pieces together for your de novo practice marketing strategy, you’re setting yourself up for a successful long-term SEO strategy that (unlike ads) will continue to bring in new traffic without additional costs.
Start by filling your blog library with at least 1–4 blogs per month (check out how much your competitors are producing first). Keep each blog over 750 words, link back to important pages on your website, and use images in the right format (WebP) so they are optimized for SEO. You can use AI tools like ChatGPT to help you source ideas, draft outlines, or spark creativity, but not as a copy+paste solution.
Blogs also are the perfect way to collaborate with the community and other dental professionals. If you are an endodontist, read up on these Endodontic marketing strategies, which include swapping guest blog posts with referring dentists to boost your SEO and introduce yourself to new audiences.
You can also write educational articles to be published at local universities or state dental organizations. These are high-value links that can benefit your overall website performance.
Find Marketing Success For Your De Novo Practice
A smart marketing strategy can ensure that your de novo practice hits the ground running with new patients making appointments every day. It’s an exciting time to grow as a dentist or DSO. So whether you’re a pediatric dentist looking to improve marketing or you simply want to show up in Google Maps for specific types of patients, we hope these SEO strategies guide you on your way.
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.