[There are many ways dentists can optimize their dental website for SEO.  Today, we focus on our #1 local SEO tip for dentists.  Dentists must optimize their Google My Business listing and use other techniques to let Google know they are truly a local business in a particular area.]

Our #1 Local SEO Tip – Dentists Must Mark Their Territory 

Most dental patients don’t want to travel more than 15 minutes from their home or office to go to the dentist.  This means dentists must establish their dental practice is the “local” option for dental patients in their area. This can be done easily with Google Ads / AdWords but with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) more work needs to be done. (Need help with dentist Adwords management? Check out this article Easy Dentist AdWords Set Up) 

In this article, we will discuss methods dental practices can use to prove to Google they are indeed the ‘most local’ dental practice for their area.  For instance, there might be 50 dentists telling Google they are local to Tacoma, WA.

Google has a tough job because they must rank the 50 dentists and decide which dentists are “most local” to Tacoma.   Your dental practice needs to help Google by providing as much evidence as possible that your practice is “more local” than your dental practice competitors.

Let’s look at the problem another way.  Imagine Google has to choose between two Tacoma dentists and decide which dentist is “most local”.

Which Dentist Is “Most Local?”

Dentist A

  • Mentions Tacoma 2 times on their main page
  • Mentions Tacoma 9 time throughout their dental website
  • Does not have a Google My Business Listing

Dentist B 

  • Mentions Tacoma 9 times on their main page (naturally without keyword stuffing)
  • Mentions Tacoma 167 time throughout their dental website
  • Includes a Google Map of their dental office location on most pages
  • Mentions local Tacoma area like Mercer Island, Medina, Clyde Hill, Newcastle
  • Links to local websites. (newspaper, townhall etc.)
  • Has an active Google My Business listing

OK. So now pretend you are Google.   You are trying to help a dental patient find a dental office near them in Tacoma.

Which dentist are you going to list first? Dentist A or Dentist B?  We hope it is obvious Dentist B is the clear choice.  The point is your dental office needs to help Google to do their job.   You need to provide lots of evidence to Google that your dental practice is the “most local” dental practice in your area.

Let’s look at some techniques to prove your dental clinic is the ‘most local’ in your area so you can win with local SEO.

What Is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business. SOURCE: Google

  • Manage how your dental office information appears across Google, including Google Search and Google Maps for free.
  • Interact with dental patients new and old and tell them the story of your dental practice.

Why Dental Practices Must Use Google My Business

  • Google My Business is your best way of telling Google your exact address
  • Your Google My Business listing helps Google decide where to rank your dental practice for SEO
  • Your Google My Business listing determines your placement on Google Maps
  • Your Google My Business listing allows your dental office to advertise with Google Ads on Google Maps via Google AdWords
  • Your Google My Business listing allows your dental practice to use location ad extensions in AdWords

Google My Business Set Up Instructions For Dentists

  1. Determine if Google My Business listing already exists by searching for the business name in Google
  2. If a listing already exists (see example below) then choose Claim Listing 
  3. Go to Google.com/business
  4. Choose Business Name
  5. Fill out address information on Info Tab
  6. Make sure address in Google My Business matches the address on your website exactly.  (example: if you spell out Southend Drive on your dental website you must spell out Drive on Google My Business so they match exactly)
  7. Verify your phone number
  8. Set up your dental practice hours of operation

Learn more about claiming your dentist Google My Business listing from this video produced by Google.

Reference And Link To Local Places On Your Dental Website

Dentists and dental SEO companies sometimes think that they should only talk about dentistry on their dental practice websites.   That is the wrong way to think about dental SEO.

Beyond anything else, dentists need to prove two things to Google to win with Local SEO.

  1. Dentists need to prove to Google that they are dentists. (that should be pretty easy)
  2. Dentists need to prove to Google that they are local to a particular area. (that requires talking about the local area)

Dental practice websites should feel like they are part of the local community.  Dentists should use their blog to talk about and connect with people in their community by employing some of the following techniques

  1. Dentists should participate in local parades, publish photos and recap after the parade.
  2. Dentists should support local charities and link to those websites. (food bank, goodwill, etc)
  3. Dentists should post about their favorite places in town
  4. Dentists should post about their favorite things to do nearby
  5. Dentists should post links to important town resources (newspaper, town hall etc.)
  6. Dentists should post a Guide For Those New To Town with important local links
  7. Dentists should post about ‘good news’ that is happening around town.
  8. Dentists should welcome new businesses when appropriate.

All of the above will let Google know that your website is not just a dentist website but that your dentist website is associated with a very specific location.

Repeat Your Town Name, Surrounding Town Names, Zip Code And Local Phone Number

Google is smart but they need help.

Imagine this Google search…. “Dental Implants Tacoma 98402”

Now imagine Google finds two Dental Implant pages related to Tacoma.

Dental Practice Dental Implant Page A

Dental implant procedure page with no mention of Tacoma or 98402

Dental Practice Dental Implant Page B

Dental implant procedure page that mentions  Tacoma and 98402

Do you think Google will choose Page A or Page B? Which page do you think the Google user will think is a better result. (more relevant)
If you guessed Page B, you are correct.  Actually, hopefully, you are no longer reading this post and you are already busy adding local references to your dental website.

The Best SEO Companies Still Care About Keywords

Some SEO experts will tell you keywords don’t really matter anymore.  They will tell you Google is so smart that they will ‘figure it out.’ Those SEO experts are wrong.
Here’s the funny thing. If you search SEO company in almost any major city you will find the term SEO company used over and over again.  Using the keyword (a lot) is not the only factor for succesful SEO but not using your important keywords frequently is a mistake.
For instance, if you search for ‘SEO company’ (right now) in the NYC area, you will find http://www.mimvi.com/.  Of course, getting found for the term SEO company in NYC is crazy competitive.  Literally millions of dollars are at stake.
Of course, Mimvi is doing a lot right, but one of the things they are doing right is marking their territory by identifying themselves as a New York SEO company.
On their main page, Mimvi uses the keyword SEO 53 times, the keyword ‘SEO company’ 8 times, the keyword ‘NYC’ twice, and the keyword ‘New York’ 9 times.
If you are a dentist in Tacoma Washington, don’t you think it might be a good idea to sprinkle in the words Tacoma & Washington a little more liberally on your dental website?
Need more help with dental SEO? Check out our article dental SEO Tips Free Instant ebook
ConversionSmiles is a dental patient marketing company.