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Why SEO Is Important For Dental Practices

By Planet DDS
April 13, 2022

By Dr. Greg Grillo

Dental SEO isn’t the hottest topic when clinicians get together, but it’s as relevant as smile makeovers and All-On-4 cases. Without an effective SEO strategy, we may miss out on prospective patients searching for a trustworthy dentist.    We often feel like we have so much bandwidth in our days as we focus on procedures, patients, and staff. Adding marketing expertise to the mix can feel overwhelming. However, SEO can move our search engine results higher, lead more patients to our website, and get them into our operatories.

What Is Dental Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Dental SEO is the strategy that pushes our practices higher in search engine results without paid advertising. If a prospective patient turns to Google and enters “dentist near me,” “best implant dentist,” or similar terms, a well-executed SEO strategy helps us jump to the top of search engine results.  Getting to the top of Google searches has significant implications; Click-Through Rates (CTR) drop sharply after the first position. Searchers rarely move beyond page one of their search results; CTRs are less than 1% on page two and beyond, in most cases.

Why Do Dentists Need SEO?

Over 7% of Google searches are related to healthcare, and some of those include patients in our area looking for a trustworthy dentist. As they search, SEO supports our growth because:

1. SEO Reinforces Credibility With Patients

Most people click on one of the top few results in Google and automatically believe those listings belong to more credible dentists than lower-ranking results. Google takes the same approach with its selection process. The technicalities behind search results reflect key psychological factors. Initial SEO feeds into an organic cycle that’s critical for any business. As your practice ranks higher in searches, potential patients are more likely to click on your website. With more clicks,  trust builds with Google to push us further to the top.

2. SEO Brings More Patients To Our Website

If our practice shows up in position #1, it earns ten times the CTR of a practice in position #10.  SEO that pushes us to the top can dramatically influence the number of site visitors that reach our site. Plus, SEO-driven results start with intentional searches; these are patients looking for dental solutions. SEO creates an inbound traffic opportunity with a higher likelihood of conversion. If we follow solid SEO with an excellent website, the chance of our site visitors becoming a patient increases.

3. Quality SEO Creates A Memorable User Experience

The algorithm that drives quality dental SEO involves complex secrets that most of us will never understand. Google updates its search algorithm 500 times or more each year, and some of the changes can influence SEO strategies. We do know that the user’s website experience influences SEO results. For example, your website pages shouldn’t take longer than three seconds to load, and pages should include headings and subheadings with engaging, original content. Since over 54% of traffic is on mobile devices, a mobile-friendly design is essential.

4. We’re Not The Only One Using SEO

We risk getting lost in space if we overlook our SEO strategy. Review web results in your area to see how you stand against other practices. Type in “best dentist near me” and check out the reviews, map listings, and websites that populate the top of the page. You need to keep pouring fuel on the fire if you’re there. If you’re not, it’s time to implement a complete strategy.  Patients have many options for dental care. It’s up to us to position our practice where they’re looking. Dental SEO that’s done right keeps moving our brand up.

What Makes A Search Engine Run?

There are many mysteries inside a search engine, but it helps us if we evaluate how Google sees queries. If you enter “best dental implants,” the search engine may consider it as “Where can I find an implant dentist near me?” The results reflect the resources that Google believes are trustworthy and relevant to the inquiry. Search engines evaluate on-site and off-site factors to determine ranking. They constantly crawl 1.9 billion websites to develop a profile identifying the value each brings.

These are just a few of the factors that affect on-site scoring:
  • Keywords in headers, URL, meta titles and descriptions, and photo filenames
  • Length and quality of the copy
  • Age of a website
  • Overall structure of the website
  • Page-loading speed
  • Time visitors spend on your site
  • Mobile user experience

Off-site factors reflect how your website is regarded across the online landscape, and search engines consider the number of links, age, the value of linked sites, and more. A complex mix of on and off-site factors help determine our local market prominence.

Use Dental SEO Marketing To Grow Your Practice

Dental SEO marketing includes many moving parts, but it’s an essential foundation for our visibility and growth. Consider a comprehensive strategy with tools that integrate with your overall marketing approach. Legwork takes this effort to the next level by managing the plan so we can focus on dentistry. In addition to many behind-the-scene tasks, they help SEO and our patients by:

Keeping Our Listings Up-To-Date

Local SEO demands accurate online business listings across over 100 apps, maps, and directories. Legwork Listings ensures practice name, address, hours, phone numbers, and more puts your best foot forward everywhere.

Making Sure Dental Reviews Flow

Legwork Reviews sends patients post-appointment texts and emails with a link directly to our Google and Facebook profiles. Automation gives patients an easy way to leave a review, another part of the SEO formula.

IntegratIng Their Software With Our Website

Online tools draw site visitors looking for convenient ways to manage their healthcare. Nearly 70% of patients want the ability to schedule their appointments online, and many of them look for appointments when we’re not available by phone.  Patients can repeatedly return to our site to pay their bills, schedule appointments, or fill out digital forms. Legwork tools work seamlessly with our websites to provide value beyond an informational source, and the extra traffic boosts our SEO.

Talk To The Team That Knows SEO Dental Marketing

If you’d like to learn more about the profession’s best single-platform marketing solution for dentists, reach out to Legwork. SEO dental marketing sets the stage for practice growth that helps push us to the top in our communities!