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.
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.
With local SEO you’ll be able to acquire new patients essentially for free.
That’s why Local SEO is so powerful!
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.
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.
Search Engine Results Pages aren’t the only place affected by local SEO.
Local SEO also affects Google Maps:
Mobile Search Results are also significantly impacted by Local SEO:
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:
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:
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.
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: :
- 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:
- 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:
- 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.
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.
20% of all 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.
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.
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.”
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:
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.
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:
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.
You can see how difficult the keyword would be to rank for, the monthly search volume, and search trends of individual keywords.
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.
To filter your list of keyword suggestions: Click > “Advanced Filters.”
For a list of questions that include your keyword: Click > “Questions”.
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:
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.
Step 1 – Enter the name of your dental practice.
Step 2 – Choose “Yes” so you can add a location that your patients can visit.
Step 3 – Enter your dental practice’s address.
Step 4 – Choose “No” for this step.
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.
Step 6 – Enter the contact details that you want Google to show customers in the map pack and the knowledge panel.
Step 7 – Click “Finish” and Google will send you a postcard with a verification code that you’ll use to complete the signup process.
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:
Your cover photo is important because it is the most prominent photo shown on your business profile.
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:
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.
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.
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.”
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:
- Structured Citations: Yelp, Angie’s List, Home-Advisor, Foursquare, Facebook, etc.
- Unstructured Citations: A mention of your business in a blog post, news article, etc.
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.
The two primary reasons why citations are important in local SEO for dentists are:
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.
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.
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 is a Free tool that checks for incomplete, inconsistent, and duplicate listings across the top 11 citation sources.
The results consist of the top indexing platforms such as Google Search, Google Maps, Facebook, Yelp, Bing, etc.
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.
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
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:
The following lists show the top 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.
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.
The business at the top of the Map Pack looks good.
So, they decide to click on it.
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.
Not willing to stick around, 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.
The 3rd dentist in the map pack has a 5 review stars, so they click on it.
This time, the dentist’s website is user-friendly!
Not only is it fast and easy to navigate, but the content is helpful.
Now, they spend 7 minutes and 8 seconds on the page reading the content… then click back to the results.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Don’t just cram everything onto a single page.
Each page should target a single keyword.
Include each service in your website’s 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your URLs help both search engines and users understand what your page is about, without having to visit it.
Use your keyword + location in your URL as the “Slug.”
In the screenshot below is the URL to our Local SEO Services in Scottsdale, AZ page.
This next screenshot is the URL to our Local SEO Services in Phoenix, AZ page.
As you can see, each URL contains the keyword, and city.
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.
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:
- 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.
Let’s say you just published a blog post on “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:
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.
Rich Snippets For Dentists
Below are some examples of “Rich Snippets” in the search results.
Review markup enables Google to display Aggregate Review Rating in the search results.
Helps Google understand important information about an organization (business), including address, logo and contact information.
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.
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.”
On the left is the HTML code of the webpage.
On the right, is a list of the structured data present on the page.
Any Errors and/or warnings will be clearly indicated, as in the image below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To ensure that your site is mobile-friendly, make your phone number clickable.
Visitors can simply tap your phone number to call.
Tell visitors what you want them to do:
- “Click Here To Schedule An Appointment”
- “Fill Out This Form To Request A Call Back”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Which is good news!
To improve your ranking in local search, you will only need a few relevant local backlinks.
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 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.
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? 😉
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.
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.
Links from local events are beneficial because the links are:
- Somewhat easily attainable
- Can include NAP information
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.
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:
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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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!