Local SEO For Dentists: The Most Complete Guide On The Planet!

Local SEO For Dentists: The Most Complete Guide On The Planet!

This is the most complete guide to Local SEO For Dentists on the planet!

In this guide you’ll learn:

  • What Local SEO Is & Why Dentists Need It
  • How to find local keywords
  • How to optimize your website for local searches
  • How to build local backlinks for dentists
  • And lots more

So if you’re ready to go start seeing results with Local SEO, this guide is for you!

Let’s dive right in.

Local SEO For Dentists-Local Map Pack on Desktop and Mobile

Using the resources and strategies in this guide, you can ensure that your dental practice will be found when your target customers search for a dentist in your area.

What is Local SEO for Dentists?

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your Dental Practice’s website as well as your presence online as a whole so that you’ll show up when your potential patients are searching on Google.

For dentists, local SEO will help promote your services to local customers at the exact time they’re looking for them online.

In order to deliver the most relevant local results to users, Google relies on signals from Google My Business, Citations, Local Backlinks, Social Signals, On-Page Optimizations, Proximity to the searcher, and more. 

Why Do Dentists Need Local SEO?

According to Google’s small business trends 2019 report, interest in “Local” + “Near Me” searches is 350 x’s higher than it was 10 years ago.

Local + Near Me Searches=350 times higher than 10 years ago

With local SEO you’ll be able to acquire new patients essentially for free.

That’s why Local SEO is so powerful! 

Instead of using pay-per-click ads or Facebook ads to appear on the first page of Google, you’ll show up there for free.

That’s just one of the many benefits of local SEO.

Why Ranking In Local Search Results Matters For Dentists

The first page of Google is so valuable because people don’t go to page two. 

92% of Searchers Will Only Pick Businesses on the First Page of Local Search Results.” Source

If they don’t find what they’re looking for on page 1 of the search results, most people will just conduct another search. 

What Are Local Search Results (SERPs)?

Local search engine results pages or “Local SERPs” are the search results shown for localized searches.

The primary difference between the local SERPs and traditional SERPs is the presence of the “Map Pack” and local relevance of the organic results.

The aim of Local SEO is to get your business to show up in Google’s Local 3 Pack (Map Pack) and the localized organic search results.

What Are Local Search Results (SERPs)?

In local search results, 35% of clicks go to the local “map pack,” and 51% go to the organic results.

A BrightLocal study found that PPC Ads only receive 14% of clicks.

Choosing instead to click on the local map pack and the localized organic search results.

Proportion of clicks in local SERP-14% to Ads and 86% to the Map Pack & Organic Results

Search Engine Results Pages aren’t the only place affected by local SEO. 

Local SEO also affects Google Maps:

Google Maps search for "Arizona Dentist"

Mobile Search Results are also significantly impacted by Local SEO:

Local Mobile search results for "Dentist Near Me" on Google

Google uses the GPS in your phone to identify your location in order to return the most relevant results in the local area.

What Influences Local SEO For Dentists?

According to Moz’s local SEO study, the map pack and organic results are influenced by different factors.

Map Pack Ranking Factors:

Google Local Map Pack Ranking Factors

At 25%, Google My Business is the most important Map Pack Ranking Factor. 

Other important factors are Links, On-Page, Citation, and Review Signals.

Localized Organic Ranking Factors:

Google's Localized Organic Ranking Factors

For the localized organic results, the two dominant ranking factors are Link Signals (28%) and On-Page Signals (26%).

Keyword Research For Dentist Local SEO

Keyword research is the most important part of any local SEO strategy.

Keyword Research For Dentist Local SEO

I’m sure you know your dental practice inside and out.

Start by listing the services your practice provides. 

This list might include fillings, crowns, teeth cleaning, and orthodontics. 

What words or phrases do people enter when they need a dental procedure or service you offer? 

  • “Dentist Near Me”
  • “Best Dentists in [City]”
  • “Dentists Near Me That Accept [Name of Insurance]”
  • “Emergency Dentist in [City]”
  • “Affordable Teeth Cleaning Near Me”
  • “Teeth Whitening in [City]”

1. Brainstorm A List Of Keyword Ideas

These are just to get you started.

List the services your dental practice offers, as well as what problems a searcher is trying to solve when searching for a dentist. 

Put yourself in your patients’ shoes.

Come up with a list of 20-50 keywords and phrases.

Below are some examples: : 

  • Dentist
  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Teeth Cleaning
  • Kids Dentist
  • Root Canal
  • Walk-In Dentist

2. Find Local Keyword Modifiers

These are words (adjectives, adverbs) that people add to their main search query in order to get more relevant and specific results.

For example, the keyword “Dentist” is a very broad keyword.

But, by adding a few modifiers to it like, “Affordable” and “In Phoenix AZ” it becomes a long-tail keyword.

In the long tail keyword “Affordable Dentist in Phoenix, AZ.

The keyword modifiers are:

  • Affordable
  • In Phoenix, AZ

Here’s another example:

Let’s say your main keyword is “Teeth Whitening.” 

In the long-tail keyword “Cheapest Teeth Whitening Near Me.” 

The keyword modifiers are:

  • Cheapest
  • Near Me

3. Find Local Keywords

Local keywords often include a location like, “Top-Rated Dentist Phoenix AZ.”

The following are examples of localized keywords:

  • Greater Phoenix Dentist Office
  • Scottsdale Children’s Dentist
  • Teeth Whitening Dentist Scottsdale
  • Teeth Cleaning Central Phoenix
  • Paradise Valley Emergency Dentist

Voice Search Keywords For Dentist Local SEO

Voice Search is very big right now, and it keeps getting bigger.

Voice Search Keywords For Dentist Local SEO

We’re constantly surrounded by Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. 

So, whether you have experience using voice search or not, it’s very important to your local SEO strategy.

Why Does Voice Search Matter in Local SEO for Dentists?

So… why does voice search matter in local SEO for dentists?

Let’s take a look at some voice search stats… they’re pretty convincing.

41% of adults (and 55% of teens) use voice search daily.

41% of adults & 55% of teens use voice search daily

20% of all Google mobile queries are voice searches.

20% of Google mobile queries are voice searches

Soon enough, every home will have a smart speaker. 

As more and more people adopt using voice search, SEOs will need to adapt and keep up.

It’s estimated that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. 

Percent of all searches as voice search in 2020

Now, you might be wondering:

Why Is Voice Search Growing So Quickly?

The primary drivers behind the growth of voice search are speed and convenience.

Searching with your voice is 3.7x faster than typing.

Searching with voice is 3.7x faster than typing

Faster searches = faster answers.

Voice search is more convenient. 

In one survey, respondents stated that they use voice search so they “don’t have to type.”

Reasons for using voice commands

Typing “Find a dentist that offers affordable teeth whitening in Scottsdale, AZ” on a keyboard isn’t fun, nevermind on an iPhone! 

Saying the same phrase out loud… not so bad.

Voice Search – Optimize For “Near Me” Searches

Not too long ago, if you wanted to find a Dentist in Phoenix, Arizona, you’d Google something like:

Google search-"Dentist Phoenix, Arizona"

As the devices we use to perform searches have evolved, so has the way we conduct local searches.

The ubiquity of smartphones and voice assistants has led to an explosion in  “___ Near Me” searches. 

Mobile “Near Me” Searches Have Grown 500 Percent

This means you NEED to optimize around terms that voice searchers use.

Mobile Voice-Related Searches Are 3X More Likely to be Local-Based Than Text-Related Searches.” Source

For example, I live in Phoenix, AZ. 

Let’s say I walked into a door and chipped a tooth in the process.

Having just moved here, I don’t have a regular dentist.

I could type my search on Google, but, as a tech-obsessed millennial, I don’t like to type. 

It makes my delicate fingers ache. 😉 😉 😉

Instead, I use my voice and say: “Hey Google, find a Dentist Near Me”.

Instantly, I have a list of Dentists in Phoenix: 

Voice Search-"Hey Google, find a Dentist Near Me"

Dental practices that are properly optimized for these hyper-local searches will rank best. 

Use SEMRush to Find Local Keywords

In SEMRush, type in a keyword > enter your location. 

SEMRush-Type Keyword & Choose Location

You can see how difficult the keyword would be to rank for, the monthly search volume, and search trends of individual keywords.

SEMRush-Broad Match Keyword Suggestions

Although SEMRush isn’t the most user-friendly at first, once you get some practice with it, it’s great. 

The initial keyword results are “Broad Match Keywords.”

You can switch to: “Phrase Match,” “Exact Match,” and “Related” keywords.

SEMRush-Related Keywords

To filter your list of keyword suggestions: Click > “Advanced Filters.”

SEMRush-Advanced Filters

For a list of questions that include your keyword: Click > “Questions”.

SEMRush-Questions That Include the keyword "Teeth Whitening"

Google My Business For Dentists

If you could only do ONE thing for local SEO, it should be this!

As we saw earlier, Google My Business is the most important ranking factor in the map pack.

What Is “Google My Business”?

Google My Business (GMB) is a free, easy-to-use tool that helps businesses manage their online presence and appearance in Google Search and Google Maps.

If you’ve ever searched for a business’ name, you’ve likely seen the “knowledge panel,” a card containing information about local businesses.

For desktop searches, it’s displayed to the right of the organic and paid search results like this:

What is Google My Business-Knowledge Panel

On mobile searches, it’s usually the top result before the organic results.

Why Should I Care About Google My Business?

The benefits of Google My Business are threefold:

  • Increased visibility in local search
  • Better experience for patients
  • More traffic to your website, social channels, and dentist office

Optimizing your Google My Business page helps Google understand more about your business: 

  • Who you are
  • What services/procedures you offer
  • Where you’re located
  • What your website is.

The more Google knows about you, the more searches your business can appear in. 

How To Sign Up For Google My Business 

Go to Google My Business > Click “Manage Now”

The images below are screenshots of the Google My Business iPhone Apps sign up process.

Google My Business-iPhone App

Step 1 – Enter the name of your dental practice.

Google My Business-Step 1-What's the name of your business?

Step 2 – Choose “Yes” so you can add a location that your patients can visit. 

Google My Business-Step 2-Add location customers can visit?

Step 3 – Enter your dental practice’s address.

Google My Business-Step 3-Enter your dental practice's address

Step 4 – Choose “No” for this step.

Google My Business-Step 4-Do you serve customers outside this location?

Step 5 – Choose the category (Dentist, Cosmetic Dentist, Pediatric Dentist) that best fits your business.

You can add additional categories after your listing is verified.

Google My Business-Step 5-Choose Category (i.e. Dentist)

Step 6 – Enter the contact details that you want Google to show customers in the map pack and the knowledge panel.

Google My Business-Step 6-What contact details do you want to show to customers?

Step 7 – Click “Finish” and Google will send you a postcard with a verification code that you’ll use to complete the signup process.

Google My Business-Step 7-Finish and Verify this business

Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Once you’ve verified your Google My Business listing, go through your profile and make sure it’s fully completed. 

When filling out your Google My Business listing remember to incorporate keywords that are relevant to dentists.

Include descriptions of the procedures and services you offer and provide answers to any questions Google asks about your business.

Add Photos To Your Google My Business Listing

According to Google, businesses with photos see 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses without photos.

Uploading high-quality photos and videos can make your dental practice look more appealing to potential patients. 

Google recommends that photos should be at least 720 x 720 pixels and saved in jpg or png format. 

They should also be no larger than 5MB in size.

Let’s take a look at the types of photos you can upload:

Cover Photo

Your cover photo is important because it is the most prominent photo shown on your business profile. 

Google My Business-Dentist Cover Photo

This image is also used in thumbnails, so be sure to pick an image that makes you stand out from competitors or makes people want to click on your listing:

Profile Photo

Your profile photo is what shows up on your avatar when you post a photo or reply to a customer review. 

A business owner might choose to upload a high-quality photo of themselves as the profile photo or a high-quality image of the business logo.

Other Photos

Be sure to also upload a variety of other photos to represent your dental practice. 

Here are some ideas you may want to consider:

  • Photos of the exterior of your business
  • Photos of the interior of your business
  • Photos of your most popular procedures
  • Photos of happy patients
  • Photos of your team or employees

Add as many high-quality photos as you need to fully convey your offerings and what your dental practice does.

Google My Business – “Posts” For Dentists

The “Posts” feature in Google My Business is similar to posts on social media. 

Use “Google My Business Posts” to promote your dental services. 

Google My Business-Posts Feature-What types of posts can you create?

What Types Of Posts Can You Create?

1) What’s New – Standard Post Type with Image/Text/Button
2) Product – Posts that emphasize a specific product your business sells.
3) Offer – Create an offer with image, title, start/end dates, coupon code, a link, and T&C.
4) Event – Create an event with an image, text, title, start/end dates, and CTA Button

Google My Business – “Question & Answers”

Google My Business enables you to interact with prospective customers via “Questions and Answers.

Google My Business-Questions & Answers

Customers are able to interact with you and get answers to their questions without feeling any obligation to do business with you.

The customers’ question & your answer is then available in your business’ knowledge panel.

Citations For Dentist Local SEO

Citations play an important role in local SEO for dentists. 

What Is A Local Citation?

Citations are any mention of your “N.A.P.” (Name, Address, Phone Number) online.

Citations can occur on local business directories, on websites and apps, and on social platforms. 

Not only do citations help users discover local businesses, but they also impact local search engine rankings. 

There are two types of citations:

  1. Structured Citations: Yelp, Angie’s List, Home-Advisor, Foursquare, Facebook, etc.
  2. Unstructured Citations: A mention of your business in a blog post, news article, etc. 
There are two types of Local Citations: Structured & Unstructured

A citation does not need to link to you, but Google uses them as a local signal to determine an entity’s online authority.

Why Citations Are Important For Dentists?

If you have too many variations of your NAP scattered around the web, especially if some or many of those are outdated, this makes it hard for customers and thus, Google, to trust your information. 

If Google thinks your data is untrustworthy, this could downgrade your local search ranking.

According to Myles Anderson, inconsistent citations is the #1 issue affecting local SEO for small businesses.

The two primary reasons why citations are important in local SEO for dentists are:

1) Google

Search engines like Google compile information about businesses. 

When that information is accurate, the search engine trusts the validity of the data. 

This is believed to strengthen the business’s chance of ranking well. 

However, when the information they encounter is inaccurate, this trust is eroded, lessening ranking opportunities.

2) Customers

Accurate citations help people discover local businesses, which can result in web, phone, and foot traffic, ideally resulting in a transaction. 

Inaccurate citations, however, can misdirect customers, leading to a loss of reputation and revenue.

Citation (NAP) Consistency

Make sure when adding new local/niche citations that your NAP is EXACTLY as it appears on your Google My Business listing.

NAP Consistency Affects Local SEO Rankings For Dentists

Local citations help Google locate your dental practice based on the number of local citations that show the correct NAP information. 

The more consistent local citations Google sees, the more it’s going to trust your business information.

How To Check NAP Consistency

To check your NAP consistency you can use Moz Local.

Moz Local Citation Search For Harris Dental

Moz Local is a Free tool that checks for incomplete, inconsistent, and duplicate listings across the top 11 citation sources.

Moz Local Citation Search Results-Harris Dental

The results consist of the top indexing platforms such as Google Search, Google Maps, Facebook, Yelp, Bing, etc.

Moz Local Citation Improvement Recommendations

How Many Citations Do Dentists Need to Rank?

According to BrightLocal, dentists have on average 107 citations, with the median number of citations at 197.

How many citations do Dentists need to rank?

There is a strong correlation between the number of citations a business has, and how high it appears in Google’s search results. Dentists that rank in positions 1-3 have an average of 122 citations Source

Correlation between Number of Citations and Local Rankings

How To Build Citations For Dentists

When building out local citations for your dental practice, you’ll want to make sure to fully fill out the profile, including your business description, hours, photos, NAP, and more.

Consistency is key! 

Be sure to enter the SAME information in each profile.

Citations can be a bit of a pain to create yourself though, which is why a lot of businesses will hire an agency that builds citations as part of their Local SEO Services.

The lists below are of the top citations for dentists:

Moz’s List of Top Citations For Dentists

Moz’s List of Top Citations For Dentists

WhiteSpark’s List of Best Citations For Dentists 

WhiteSpark’s List of Best Citations for Dentists

The following lists show the top citations for dentists in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Top Local Citations By City (Moz)

Moz’s List of Top Local Citations For Dentists in Phoenix, Arizona

Best Local Citations By City – Phoenix, Arizona (Whitespark)

WhiteSpark’s List of Best Citations for Dentists in Phoenix, Arizona

To change the location, click the dropdown and choose your city or scroll to the top of the page and click on your city.

Website Localization For Dentists

Website localization for dentists involves optimizing your website and content for the keywords that you identified earlier.

Deliver a Positive User Experience

Your website is often the FIRST impression people will have of your dental practice.

Make sure it’s a good one.

Your website is like a  24/7 salesman that helps people to get in touch with you, or schedule an appointment.

User-Friendly Website Helps With Local Rankings

Regardless of specialty, dentists face immense competition online. 

With so much competition, dentist’s websites are a dime-a-dozen.

This means you need to ensure that when a potential patient arrives on your site, they stay!

Google looks at how users interact with your website.

When users stick around and consume your content, “Dwell Time,”  Google rewards you with better rankings.

What Is Dwell Time?

Dwell Time refers to how long a user spends on a page from the search results before returning to the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). 

Let’s illustrate this with an example.

Say a potential patient searches “Dentist Near Me” on Google. 

Google Search For “Dentists Near Me”

The business at the top of the Map Pack looks good. 

So, they decide to click on it.

User clicks Dentist at top of Map Pack

When they arrive on that dentist’s website, they instantly recognize it’s NOT user-friendly. 

Not only is the website slow… the content isn’t helpful.

Dentist website is slow and not user-friendly

Not willing to stick around, after 6 seconds, they click the “back” button.

After 6 seconds - they click the “back” button

That users’ Dwell Time was 6 seconds.

A short dwell time clearly indicates that the user wasn’t satisfied. 

Having clicked back to the search results, they notice the 2nd dentist only has 3 review stars.

User Ignores Second Dentist in Map Pack with 3 review stars

The 3rd dentist in the map pack has a 5 review stars, so they click on it.

User Clicks on Third Dentist in Map Pack

This time, the dentist’s website is user-friendly!

Not only is it fast and easy to navigate, but the content is helpful. 

Website is user-friendly = Content is helpful and PageSpeed is Fast

Now, they spend 7 minutes and 8 seconds on the page reading the content… then click back to the results. 

7 Minutes 8 Seconds spent reading all the content

The long dwell time is indicative of a positive user-experience.

This signals to Google that the website is fulfilling user intent, and providing a lot of value.

Long Dwell-Time from a lot of users = Rankings Boost

As this pattern repeats, Google will boost its rankings. 

How To Improve User Experience

By making your website SEO-friendly, you’ll also be improving the areas that negatively affect user experience.

If your website is difficult to use, visitors will NOT stick around.

Mobile-Friendly Web-Design For Dentists

Mobile has changed the world. 

We all have smartphones on us all the time.

We’re constantly communicating and looking for information. 

In fact, 62% of traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets.

Mobile-Friendly Web Design For Dentists

Having a mobile-friendly website is a critical part of your dental practice’s online presence.

If you haven’t made your website mobile-friendly, you should. 

The majority of users coming to your site are likely to be using a mobile device.

69% of smartphone users also say that they are more likely to buy from companies with mobile sites that easily address their questions or concerns.” Source

Ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly will improve the user experience.

Mobile-Friendly Website offers a better user experience

Mistakes To Avoid for Mobile-Friendly Websites:

  • Text that is unreadable or pictures that are indecipherable without zooming or scrolling
  • Tap-targets that are inadequately spaced
  • Unplayable content

Use Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test” to check your site’s mobile-friendliness

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test For Dentists

The tool will tell you if the webpage you tested is mobile-friendly and what needs to be fixed to improve it’s mobile-friendliness.

Mobile-friendly website test-Page is Mobile-Friendly

This tool only tests a single page, not your entire website.

You’ll have to check each page individually.

Optimize Your Website For Speed

People don’t like waiting around for a webpage to load.

Optimize Your Dental Practice's Website For Speed

Google wants to deliver high-quality and valuable content to searchers.

Even if your site is full of great content, if it takes too long to load, no one will stick around long enough to discover it.

In fact, PageSpeed is a direct ranking signal.

Which is why you need to make sure that your web pages are built for speed.

Just as with mobile-friendliness, Google provides tools for testing your site’s speed.

Local On-Page SEO For Dentists

When it comes to local SEO, most of the on-page SEO best practices still apply: 

  • Dentist Keyword + Location in Title Tag
  • Dentist Keyword + Location in H1, H2’s, H3’s, etc.
  • Local SEO-Friendly URL
  • Dentist Keyword within first 150 Words
  • Dentist Keyword + Location in Meta Description
  • Dentist Keyword + Location in Image Alt Text
  • LSI Keywords Throughout Content
Local On-Page Optimizations For Dentists

Taken individually, the on-page optimizations we’re going to cover don’t seem very important.

However, when combined they add up to provide a significant boost to your local ranking.

Set Up Individual Service Pages

In order to maximize your opportunities to rank for relevant local searches, you’ll need individual pages for each dental service or dental procedure that you offer.

Individual Service Pages On Dentists Website

Don’t just cram everything onto a single page.

Each page should target a single keyword. 

Include each service in your website’s navigation.

Dental Services in Website Navigation

This will make it easy for visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for without having to go searching around your site.

Dentists With Multiple Locations

If you have more than one location, create individual pages for each service in each location.

Below is how you might structure your URLs.

  • yourwebsite.com/phoenix-az/teeth-cleaning
  • yourwebsite.com/phoenix-az/teeth-whitening
  • yourwebsite.com/phoenix-az/fillings
  • yourwebsite.com/scottsdale-az/teeth-cleaning
  • yourwebsite.com/scottsdale-az/teeth-whitening
  • yourwebsite.com/scottsdale-az/fillings
  • yourwebsite.com/tuscon-az/teeth-cleaning
  • yourwebsite.com/tuscon-az/teeth-whitening
  • yourwebsite.com/tuscon-az/fillings

Keyword Placement

Keywords and LSI keywords need to be used strategically throughout your website.

Title Tag – Include Keyword + Location

Title tags are the most important part of on-page optimization

The title tag appears in the search results as the blue link above the URL and Meta-Description. 

Primary keyword and location in title tag

To avoid your title tags being truncated in the search results, try not to exceed 50-65 characters. 

Below is an example of a locally optimized title tag for dentists.

Locally Optimized Title Tag, URL and Meta-description in SERPs

Meta Descriptions – Include Keyword + Location

Meta-Descriptions aren’t a ranking factor, but they still play a very important role in getting users to click-through to your website. 

Your meta-description is the grey text under your title tag and URL in the search results. 

Include your keyword and location in your meta-descriptions.

Keywords in Meta-Description are made Bold in the search results

When a search query contains the keywords that are in your meta-description, Google makes them bold which helps them stand out in the SERPs.

If you’re unsure what to write, perform a Google search for the keyword that you’re targeting.

Check out the meta-descriptions of the pages that are already ranking.

Meta-Description Best Practices for dentists

For pages that don’t have a meta-description setup, Google pulls content from the page. 

Local SEO-Friendly URL Structure

URLs are green in the search results.

They’re sandwich between your title tag and meta-description.

Local SEO-Friendly URL For Dentists on Google

Your URLs help both search engines and users understand what your page is about, without having to visit it.

Use Keyword+Location in URL

Use your keyword + location in your URL as the “Slug.” 

Local SEO-Friendly URL structure

In the screenshot below is the URL to our Local SEO Services in Scottsdale, AZ page. 

Local SEO Services in Scottsdale, AZ URL

This next screenshot is the URL to our Local SEO Services in Phoenix, AZ page. 

Local SEO Services in Phoenix, AZ-Screenshot of URL

As you can see, each URL contains the keyword, and city.

I use the same local SEO-Friendly URL structure for our Local SEO Services in Mesa, AZ page as well as our Local SEO Services in Gilbert, AZ page.

Each of the pages is ranking on the first page of Google’s local search results, and they show up in the local map pack.

Use Headings & Sub Headings To Structure Your Content

Use headings and subheadings to break up long blocks of text.

People don’t read every line of text on a computer screen, they skim.

Breaking up your content with headings and subheadings will make it easier for people to skim your content. 

Local Keyword Optimized Headings & Sub-Headings

Remember to include your keyword, location, synonyms, and LSI keywords in your headings and subheadings.

Schema Markup For Dentists

Although it’s not a ranking factor, Schema Markup still plays an important role in local SEO for dentists.

Schema markup can help your dental practice stand out in the search results, leading to higher click-through rates.

What is Schema Markup?

Schema Markup for Dentists will help search engines like Google understand what web pages are about.

With schema, search engines are able to identify location-based structured information such as:

  • Addresses
  • Dates of Events
  • Phone Numbers
  • And Other Information

This information can be used to display the search results as rich snippets, reviews, answer boxes, video carousels, etc.

Rich Snippets Will Help Your Dental Practice Stand Out In search results

Let’s say you just published a blog post on “DIY Teeth Whitening.”

Blog Post: DIY Teeth Whitening

Schema markup tells search engines:

  • “The process takes 20 mintues”
  • “This is what you’ll need”
  • “This is a Before & After Picture of an improved smile”

Hopefully, Google will show off this data in the search results as a Rich Snippet:

Dentist Rich Snippet In Google SERPs

If you want to learn more about schema, check out Google’s Structured Data Guidelines.

What Are The Benefits Of Schema Markup For Dentists?

Schema markup helps to increase:

  • Click-Through Rate: More users clicking on your site
  • Organic Visibility: Increased visibility in local organic results & map pack
  • Traffic Relevance: Better quality traffic means higher potential for conversions

Schema Markup for dentists will help search engines display additional information in search results. 

Schema Markup helps search engines display additional info in search results

Rich Snippets For Dentists

Below are some examples of “Rich Snippets” in the search results. 

Reviews

Review markup enables Google to display Aggregate Review Rating in the search results. 

Dentists Office-Aggregate Review Rating In SERPS

Organization

Helps Google understand important information about an organization (business), including address, logo and contact information.

Organization Rich Snippet-Crest Toothpaste

Video

Search engines can’t ‘Watch’ videos… Yet.

That’s where video markup comes in.

Video markup will help search engines understand what your video content is all about.

Video Rich Snippet For Invisalign in SERPs

One you’ve implemented schema markup on your website, it’s a good idea to test it to ensure it’s functioning properly.

How To Test Your Site’s Schema Markup

Google makes it easy to test your site’s schema markup with their “Structured Data Testing Tool.”

To test a webpage, enter the URL > Click “Run Test.”

Google Structured Data Testing Tool

On the left is the HTML code of the webpage.

On the right, is a list of the structured data present on the page.

Structured Data Test Results

Any Errors and/or warnings will be clearly indicated, as in the image below.

Structured Data Errors & Warnings

Warnings aren’t a big deal, and they shouldn’t cause any problems.

If you’re seeing any Errors, make sure you fix them or hire a developer to do so.

How To Add Schema Markup To Your Dental Practice Website

To add schema markup to your dental practice’s website, you have a number of options. 

I personally use, and suggest the “Schema Pro” plugin by BrainStormForce

Schema Pro By BrainStormForce

This plugin makes it really easy to get schema set up on your website.

Embed A Google Map On Your Website

Embedding a Google Map on a webpage helps Google understand your location and increases that pages relevance for a particular locality.

Google Map Embedded on Dentist’s Website

I suggest embedding a Google Map on your:

  • Contact Us Page
  • Location Pages

Display Dental Awards & Certifications Prominently

Has your dentist office received any awards or certifications from trusted and reputable organizations?

Display them prominently on your website.

Dentist-Specific badges as well as badges from prominent review sites are great forms of social proof.

Dentist-Specific Awards & Recognition on Dentist Website

Visitors are looking for signs of credibility. 

The logo of a well-known and trusted 3rd party will serve in establishing credibility.

In the image below are logos from affiliations.

Display Certifications & Affiliations on your homepage

Use Photos Throughout Your Website

Convey trustworthiness to prospective customers through photos of you and your employees.

This gives people a sense of what to expect when they arrive at your dentist’s office. 

To take things a step further, you can provide a “Virtual Tour” of your office.

Virtual Tour of Dentist’s Office

Include pictures of you with your family, like in the image below.

Dr. Dalesandro has a great picture of him and his family on his homepage.

Picture of dental practice owner & family on

People love images and visuals, so incorporate them into your website.

Use Videos Throughout Your Website

Video is the future of content marketing.

Plus, Google owns YouTube!

They want videos that they show in the search results.

Biltmore Dentistry of Phoenix, AZ has a number of videos on their homepage.

Biltmore Dentistry has several Videos on their homepage

Use Clear Calls-To-Action To Generate Leads

Website traffic is effectively meaningless if visitors aren’t converting into patients or leads.

Make it as easy as possible for visitors to get in touch with you or to schedule an appointment.

Include Clear Calls-To-Action (CTA)

To ensure that your site is mobile-friendly, make your phone number clickable.

Visitors can simply tap your phone number to call.

Display Phone Number as a clickable link

Tell visitors what you want them to do:

  • “Click Here To Schedule An Appointment”
  • “Fill Out This Form To Request A Call Back”
Use Clear Calls-To-Action on your Dental Practice’s website

Don’t use vague or ambiguous calls-to-action.

Visitors to your website shouldn’t have to guess what to do.

Display Reviews & Testimonials

Reviews are the single most powerful source of social proof you can display on your website. 

91% of 18-34 yr old consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.Source

Including reviews from third-party websites will help establish trust and improve conversions.

Reviews displayed on Dental Practice’s Homepage

Consumers rely on reviews, reading an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.

Reviews For Dentist Local SEO

Acquiring reviews is one of the most important aspects of any Local SEO strategy.

Reviews For Dentist Local SEO

They play a big part in reputation management and an even bigger part in consumer buying decisions.

92% of consumers read online reviews and 68% state that positive reviews influence their feelings of trust in a business.Source

How Do Reviews Impact Local SEO For Dentists?

Reviews have a significant impact on local SEO for dentists. 

They are akin to word-of-mouth recommendations and are great for establishing trust and credibility.

Ask Customers to leave a review

How To Get Reviews For Dentists

1. Send Follow-Up Emails Asking Patients For Reviews 

After completing a job, send a thank you email and ask for a review. 

Include a link to your Google, Facebook, or Yelp.

2. Ask Patients In-Person For Reviews

The best time to ask for a review is in person, right after a teeth cleaning or other pain-free procedure.

Obviously, you don’t want to ask a patient for a review right after ripping their wisdom teeth out.

You can give customers a card outlining the steps for leaving a review.

3. Tell Them To Search On Google: 

After your Google My Business listing is verified, your business will show up in the “Knowledge Panel” for branded searches.

Knowledge Panel “Write A Review”

The knowledge panel displays your business’ information and allows customers to leave reviews.

They just need to click on “Write A Review” and this box will pop up.

“Write a Review” Popup on Google

Responding To Reviews

Responding to reviews is an essential part of local SEO for dentists.

The more reviews you respond to, the better.

And yes… that includes negative reviews. 

By responding to reviews, you show that you care about your patients and improving your business.

When responding to negative reviews it’s not so you can win over the negative reviewer.

It’s to win over anyone that reads your reviews. 

Dental Practice Responding To Google Review

Just think of negative reviews as an opportunity to showcase your empathy and professionalism.

Local Link-Building For Dentists

Local off-page SEO for Dentists consists of building local backlinks and social media marketing.

The aim of local off-page SEO for dentists is to raise brand awareness, and increase the local relevance of your website.

What Are Local Backlinks?

Local backlinks are links from relevant local websites that point to your website. 

What Are Local Backlinks?

Local Backlinks VS. Regular Backlinks 

If you’re at all familiar with backlinks for conventional SEO, that’s great… but it’s not going to help much with local SEO.

With local SEO for dentists, backlinks from locally relevant websites are more important than backlinks from high-authority websites. 

Local backlinks differ from regular backlinks in that they are specific to a particular city.

Local Backlinks vs. Regular Backlinks

For example, a Dentist in Phoenix, Arizona might have a link from a local Phoenix newspaper, a local dentist association, and a local blogger.

Because those links are from local websites, they provide more value than non-local backlinks from high-authority websites.

Why Is Local Link-Building Important For Dentists?

The majority of small business websites have very few, if any backlinks.

Which is good news!

To improve your ranking in local search, you will only need a few relevant local backlinks. 

Hyper-Local Links Boost Local Rank

As you build local backlinks, you’ll increase the local relevancy of your website.

How To Build Local Backlinks For Dentists

Building backlinks isn’t the most glorious task.

That said, it is necessary and essential to any successful local SEO campaign.

Below are 10 Local Link-Building Strategies for Dentists:

1.  Dentist Referral Partnerships

Do you refer dental patients to a local orthodontist?  

A periodontist?  

A local oral surgeon? 

To begin building local backlinks to your dental practice’s website, you should start with low-hanging fruit.  

A great place to start your local link-building campaign is in your referral network. 

Local Link-Building through Dentist Referral Partnerships

Not only are these links highly relevant, but if the website is a local practice, these will be very helpful local backlinks. 

2. Dental Patients and Friends Websites

Do any of your patients have their own business?

See if they’re willing to link to you as “the best dentist in [your city]?”  

You can also ask friends who have a website if they would be willing to add a link back to your dental website?

3. Get Local Backlinks Through Local Sponsorships

This is a pretty simple and effective way to get hyper-local backlinks for your dental practice’s website.

Sponsor a little league or high school hockey team… what sport requires more dental work than hockey? 😉

 Local Link Building For Dentists-Sponsorships

You can also sponsor local charities, local plays, races, conferences, etc. 

These local organizations usually have a website and they receive news coverage, which can lead to higher authority local websites. 

To find local sponsorship opportunities for your dental practice, you can use the following search operators on Google:

  • inurl:sponsors “City Name”
  • intitle:sponsors “City Name”
  • intext:sponsors “City Name”

Replace “City Name” with your town or city.

Google Search Operator-inurl:sponsors “Phoenix”

4. Host A Local Community Event

Hosting local events is a great way to build your brand. 

Anything from workshops to speaking events. 

Hosting an event is a great way to get people to know more about your dental practice in the community.

It’s also a great opportunity to get highly relevant local backlinks.

Host a community event to build local backlinks

Links from local events are beneficial because the links are:

  • Geo-Specific
  • Somewhat easily attainable
  • Can include NAP information
  • Diverse

For a detailed guide on how to execute local events, I recommend Moz’s guide

5. Offer Local Discounts

Offer a discount on any of your dental services. 

Military, Teacher, Senior discounts are common but you can get creative & offer discounts to other groups as well. 

Offer Local Discounts - Local Link Building Strategy for Dentists

To find places that are already offering discounts, use the following search operators on Google. 

“City inurl:military, discount.” 

For example, to find discounts in Phoenix I searched: “Phoenix inurl:members, discount” or “Phoenix inurl:discounts, dental”. 

Using those search operators, I was able to find these opportunities:

Using Google Search Operator: “City inurl:military, discount”

You can list your dental practice as a provider of these discounts.

You’ll be rewarded with a hyper-local backlink back to your site.

6. Business Associations

Links and citations from industry-specific business associations are not only valuable but also easy to get. 

Business associations like the Arizona Chamber Of Commerce provide a powerful and trustworthy backlink. 

Arizona Chamber of Commerce Website

Local backlinks from websites like the Chamber of Commerce send a strong relevancy signal that boosts your local ranking.

7. Attend or Host Local Meetups 

Attending or hosting Local meetups can be a great way to find highly relevant local backlink opportunities.

Attend Local Meetups or Offer to Host one

Local Meetups are also a great source of business connections.

Find a group that doesn’t have a place to host their meetup and offer them one. 

8. Local Resource Pages

This could be anything from a hyperlocal news site, sports coverage nightlife, etc. 

If you make a good resource, you should gain natural links & traffic from your area once people begin to find it (if you build it, they will come). 

Create a Local Resource Page to attract local backlinks

Localized Facebook ads can help speed awareness up.

9. Run A Facebook “Like” Drive

This can get you a backlink from a local charity with a high-authority website.

The idea is to pledge money for every “Like” your Facebook page gets within an allotted time. 

Make sure you set a cap for the maximum amount to protect yourself like “up to $1,000.” Run the campaign for 30 days.

The more you promote it, the more “Likes” you’ll get. 

Facebook “Like” Drive by Dental Practice

To get the attention of the charity’s audience, “tag” their Facebook page when you announce it on your own page.

Write an announcement for the charity’s blog or simply asking them to link to you. 

10. Local Crowd Sourcing

Get a group of local influencers together and ask them their opinions on something community-related. 

Compile their responses into a blog post on your site.

Odds are, they will share and post your content on their social media channels without you even having to ask. 

Need Local SEO Services?

Is your dental practice showing up in local search results?

If not, you’re missing a major opportunity for growth. 

Our Local SEO Services can help you fix that!

Now It’s Your Turn

So that brings us to the end of Local SEO For Dentists.

Now I’d like to turn it over to you: Which aspect of your Local SEO strategy will you focus on first?

Are you going to begin by setting up Google My Business? Or by doing keyword research?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now!

To find out how Cre8tive Digital Media can help you to grow your dental practice, please Contact Us.

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