8 Dental Website SEO Tactics to Increase Keyword Rankings
- You have a hard time attracting new patients
- You don’t have an effective digital marketing strategy
It’s time to fix this.
There’s no one magic SEO formula for getting on the first page of Google (if anyone says differently, they’re lying). But to get in the running at all, you need to play the game and follow the rules.
Here at Delmain, we take a deliberate and ethical approach to dental SEO by combining industry best practices, meticulous attention to detail, and in-depth research. Our process has worked for dentists in major cities, college towns, and suburbs from coast to coast and everywhere in between. And it can work for you, too.
Today we’re sharing a few of the best dental website SEO ideas straight from our playbook.
A local citation is any mention of your practice on the web. These citations don’t necessarily need to link to your website, but it must include your name, address, and phone number. For example, Healthgrades and ZocDoc are 2 of the most popular local citation sites for dentists.
Making sure your practice is listed on these and other similar directory sites is very important for improving your local search results. Why? The more mentions of your business, the more Google thinks you are a reputable practice. It makes you more trustworthy and can help with your local rankings.
There are 3 types of backlinks:
- Natural backlinks — This is when a blogger, news article, or other publication finds your website and content and decides on their own to include a link to your page within their own content.
- Backlinks through outreach — This involves contacting relevant professionals in your field and coming to an agreement where they link to your website from their own.
- Self-created backlinks — A link from a local citation site would be considered a self-created backlink. (Note that not all citation sites allow you to link to your website — that’s okay!)
There are a lot of great strategies for building backlinks and it might take you a bit to find the right approach for your practice. Just remember that this isn’t a “set it and forget it” SEO idea. Make a plan to continuously monitor your backlinks, seek new links, and ensure any links to your site aren’t broken.
Speaking of broken links…
Every page on your website should have a meta title and meta description. These details are part of your website’s HTML code and provide a brief summary of each page. Google will often display your meta information in search results, so the words that show up should be focused on convincing a potential patient to click through to your website.
Here’s a great example of a compelling meta title (green box) and meta description (red box):
- A patient searches Google for “dentist near me”
- Google decides to show your practice’s website and meta information in their list of results
- Compelling copy in your meta title and description (like the example above) convinces a patient to click on your website
- Google makes a note that showing your website was a good idea
- The more people who click on your website, the better you look to Google. Over time, your site may slowly start to rank higher in search results.
Every page on your website should have a primary keyword as well as a collection of closely related secondary keywords. This is an important part of dental SEO and will help your website rank highly in Google search. Some people even refer to identifying and incorporating keywords on your website as the gold standard of dentist SEO!
What are keywords? The words or phrases people regularly search for that describe your practice. Choosing the right keyword for each page isn’t’ too hard but does require time, expertise, and some good old fashioned research.
Once you’ve identified your keywords, even more important is knowing how to integrate them into your website content. Here are some tips:
- Ensure your first keyword mention appears as close to the top of the page as possible
- Include your keyword in page headings
- Avoid keyword stuffing — 14 mentions per page is more than enough
- Pay attention to user experience — your sentences should still read naturally and make sense
In addition to ensuring that your images aren’t slowing down your site, we also recommend naming your images and adding alt text. Not only does this help Google understand what your image is all about, it’s also an important part of improving your website’s accessibility.
- Naming images — Before uploading an image to your site, make sure to give it a unique, specific file name. If possible we recommend including a keyword.
- Adding alt text — When you upload an image to your site, always fill out the alt text field. Just like your image name, the alt text should describe what’s happening in the image and include a keyword or two, where relevant.