Getting your dental practice noticed on search engines is important, but it’s even more important to rank well when people are performing a local search for dentists.
After all, SEO for dentists does little good if the search results are being clicked on by people 200 miles from the office. You want to make sure the folks within driving distance are able to find you online when they are looking for the right dentist to serve their needs.
While you should always try to follow general dental website SEO best practices, there are some strategies specific to local searches that can help you stand out where it really matters. Unfortunately, these are the same things that often get overlooked by dentists who are trying to rank highly for local queries. Avoid the following “no’s” if you want to rise above your competition.
No localized target keywords
Many dentists tend to overreach when it comes to targeting keywords for their websites. While it would be nice to be in the number one spot on Google for “best orthodontist,” it is more realistic to focus on keywords that tie you to nearby search inquiries. Obviously, it will depend on the size of your market, but landing on page one for phrases like “dentists in Cincinnati” or “Seattle periodontist” can be within your grasp with a solid dental SEO plan.
No local content
To support your local keyword targeting, it helps to have content on your website related to your local area. A page on your website or a section in your biography dedicated to why you chose to open your practice in your town or why you enjoy serving your local community can be a great way to use local keywords in a natural way while also giving your patients an opportunity to get to know you better.
No Google Business Profile
The strongest indicator that Google relies on when ranking you for a local search for dentists is your Google Business Profile. Completing your free profile from top to bottom and fully optimizing your Google Business Profile will greatly increase your chances of moving up in your local search results.
No local backlinks
Another strong signal to Google of your importance within your local area is the amount of backlinks that point to your site from other sources on the web. Local business directories, chambers of commerce, and similar local sites are all places that you should make sure your website is included on. A great strategy for getting more of these backlinks is to write guest articles for online sites and blogs that already have a strong local presence.
Despite being an inanimate (but highly sophisticated) piece of software, Google actually does care what people think, at least in terms of online reviews. If you have very few positive reviews on your Google Business Profile, Google can judge your business as not being very prominent locally. So if you are lacking reviews, start asking for them!
How’s your dental website’s SEO?
In addition to optimizing for local searches for dentists, have you checked your overall dental SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your website recently? There’s a lot that goes into achieving dental SEO marketing success, but we have a helpful self-evaluation checklist featuring the six key factors you’ll need to succeed. Take the free quiz and see if your dental SEO passes the test.