Local SEO for Dentists
Competition for the top position in Google is more competitive than ever. Local SEO helps dentists rank on the first page locally when potential patients are looking for a dentist in their area. Did you know that 46 percent of all Google searches are to find local information? That includes searches for dental practices.
You want your website to come up when people search for local dentists, so you need to incorporate a local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Then, when people search for “dentist near me” or “dentist in (city, state),” your practice will appear. This is critical if you’re going to grow your practice. Local SEO for dentists can be a bit confusing if you’re not a marketing expert. Let’s look at some of the most vital components that are included in our local SEO strategy.
What is Local SEO and Why is it Important for Dentists?
Find Location-based Keywords and Optimize Your Site for Local SEO
Location-based keywords are the foundation of a local SEO strategy. These keywords let Google and other search engines know that they need to display your website when people search for a dentist in your area. Of course, you aren’t the only dental practice fighting for virtual real estate on the internet, so you need to be smart about the keywords you choose.
For instance, if 20 dental practices are using and ranking for “dentist in Louisville, KY,” you would need to choose variations, so you can claim the top listing. Variations might be “Louisville, KY, dentist” or “dental practice in Louisville.” You need to conduct proper keyword research and then add the location-based keywords to your website. However, don’t overdo it. If your copy is stuffed with city and state terms, it won’t flow well. Keep the reader in mind while creating quality content that the search engines can index.
Create Location-based, Authoritative Blog Posts
Search engines and patients love quality content. You’re more likely to rank high in the results if you provide regular content with a local twist. For instance, you can write a blog post about dental trends in your area or write a post about easing dental fear for patients in your location. Again, you don’t have to overdo the location-based keywords but sprinkle them in to let the search engines know where you’re located.
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
If you go to Google and search for a dentist in your area, you will see a map with listings under it. When you click on one of the results, you’ll see the practice’s name, address, phone number, directions, and more. You can even look at photos and access the practice’s website. This is the practice’s Google My Business listing, and it is one of the most important aspects of local SEO. It is impossible to reach the top of the search results if you don’t claim and optimize your Google My Business listing.
After you claim your listing, you’ll need to verify it. Then you can optimize it by filling out the information. Be sure to include the local keywords you found in your listing. While you can just create a basic listing, go the extra mile by choosing a secondary category for your practice. For example, if you’re a pediatric dentist, choose that as your secondary category. You can add multiple secondary categories, so choose as many as needed to represent your practice.
Then your listing will come up in the results. Just like regular search results, Google analyzes different factors when choosing which listings to display. Google considers the relevance, distance, and prominence of the listing. Your listing might not display at first, but your local SEO marketing company can help you move up in the results.
Get Listed on Online Dental Directories
Dental directories can help you build local authority. This, in turn, can help your website show up when people search for “dentist near me” or “dentist in (city, state).” Include your practice in high-quality directories, such as:
- 1-800 Dentist
Also, look for dental directories in your area. Just be careful before adding your site to different directories. You only want to choose high-authority directories as part of your local SEO campaign. If you list your practice on a low-quality directory, your website could pay the price. Google analyzes the authority of the directories before determining a site’s rank, so choose wisely.
Generate Online Reviews for Local SEO
Online reviews can impact your local SEO. Search engines consider online reviews when ranking websites. Also, online reviews can influence people when choosing a dentist. You should have a strategy for generating reviews for your practice. This might include email marketing, asking for reviews at your practice, or calling people after services. Be sure to include an online reputation management strategy, as well, so you can put your best foot forward when managing your local SEO campaign.
Check Your NAP
NAP is the acronym for Name, Address, Phone Number, and it plays an important role in local SEO. Search engines expect the NAP to be consistent across all sites. That means your name, address, and phone number need to be the same on your website, directories, review sites, and social media pages.
Even a small deviation can cause your SEO to tank. Even if you think your NAP is the same across the internet, it’s worth a look. Countless practices make this mistake, and it hurts their search rankings.
Build Local Links
You can give your local SEO campaign a boost by incorporating a local link building strategy. Look for authoritative sources in your area and then link to them. This can include local dental organizations. You can link to them on your website and your blog posts. You can also build local links by doing some guest blogging for websites in your area.
Optimize for Voice Search
Many prospective patients use their voices to search for dentists in their area. You can reach these people by optimizing for voice search as part of your local SEO strategy. Think about how people use voice search compared to a standard web search. When people use the standard search feature, they might type “dentist near me” into the search bar. However, with voice search, people are likely to ask, “What dental practices are near me?”
Think about the questions people will ask when using voice search, so you can optimize your website. You need to be careful doing this since questions don’t always sound natural when placed in the content. Take special care to provide the best experience for your site’s visitors while still attracting local searchers. While this takes some finesse, you can enjoy some major benefits with this strategy.
Get Help With Local SEO Today!
If you don’t have a local SEO strategy, the people in your community won’t find your practice. Fortunately, Accelerate Dental Marketing is here to help you build a strong strategy that gets results. From finding the right keywords to optimizing your site for voice search and so much more, we will handle all of the work for you.
We specialize in dental marketing, so we understand your unique needs. After speaking to our clients, we realize that many are fearful about corporate dental practices moving into their neighborhoods, and they want to find a way to be competitive in the changing landscape. We can help you accomplish just that.
Contact us today for a free quote for our local SEO services. With us as a partner, you can be more competitive in the dental industry, even if you are right next door to a corporate practice.
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