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How Local SEO Increases Patient Appointments For Dental Practices?

Is your dental practice ranking on the first page of Google when one of the locals pulls out their phone to search for a dentist?

The internet has become the first place for customers to find answers, search for services, products, and locate businesses. According to a Google survey, 90% of consumers visited a store using online search before going there. To outshine your competitors on the search engine result pages (SERP) and fill your calendar with more patient appointments, you need to focus on local SEO as one of your dental online marketing toolboxes.

Online marketing for dentists is highly effective when it has a local focus since people will not travel hours to procure services. On the other hand, online reputation management is one of the most important factors that new patients will consider when they want to choose a reliable dentist on a SERP. Online reviews and ratings are not only helping potential patients in their decision-making process, but it is also one of the most important factors that Google considers to boost your dental practice local SEO ranking. 

Dental internet marketing attracts new local patients who are looking for dental appointments. Showing up in places such as Google Maps and Google My Business profile, are the first steps of establishing an online presence, but they are not enough to bring your business to the first page of Google. To rank your dental practice on the first page of search engines needs a local SEO strategy that implements correctly. A dental Search engine optimization (SEO) is not a short term and quick plan, but it pays off at the end by bringing a lot of organic traffic to your website as well as practice along with more patient appointments free of charge.

In this article, you’ll find out what local dental SEO is and how it increases new dental appointments of your practice.


Why is Dental Practice Local SEO So Important for Ranking?

Any dental practice must have a strong online presence since that is how the majority of people acquire information and book their appointments. Statistics show that 93% of shoppers say that they use online resources to search for a product or services, and 60% of the smartphone users have contacted a business directly from the search result page.  Dental search engine optimization can be overwhelming, so understanding how it works will help you achieve the best rankings. While everyone wants immediate results, local SEO is a process that can take time. 

The traffic that results from dental website SEO relies on many factors, including page download speed and how easy it is to navigate, the quality and amount of backlinks, relevant content, and if the keywords that you choose are appropriate. The next section will show you how to create a targeted and relevant keywords list that draws people to your dental practice.


What Keywords Do Potential Patients Use to Find a Local Dentist?

Keywords are words and phrases that describe your services and define what people are looking for. Short-tail keywords (sometimes called Head keywords) consist of one to three words that have a high search volume traffic, but they are extremely competitive, and they do not specifically search intent oriented. 

An example of a short-tail keyword is “appointment.” You can see how the vagueness of a single word would pull up millions of results, which drives no targeted traffic to the dental practice site or office. Another type of keyword is long-tail keywords that have more than two to three words and offer an average volume of traffic. These keywords target a specific audience. It’s essential to develop a robust keywords strategy using a combination of types of keywords for success. 

A long-tail keyword may be “new patient appointment,” which hones down the hundreds of thousands of results, but it’s still not focused enough to search by a local dental patient. A long-tailed keyword, such as “dentists accepting new patient appointments’ can drive more targeted traffic to your site and make it easier to rank your dental practice on the first page of Google.

The power of using your practice city or county name in your keyword strategy for dental marketing, especially local SEO, cannot be underestimated. Geotargeting keywords has grown to be one of the most effective forms of keyword strategy on internet marketing. It essentially finds the geolocation of a searcher and delivers specified information based on their location. Geotargeting keywords can be based on the country, state, city, zip code, neighborhood, and current position of the searcher.


“The key to achieving digital marketing success and improving your dental practice ranking on Google result page is to leverage a keyword strategy based on your location.”


What is Google Local 3-Pack?

Do you remember seeing three dental practices listed in a box at the top of the first page of Google when you search for a dental office in your city? That box is known as the Google local 3-pack or snack pack. It takes the user’s location and makes the search results relevant, even if you don’t type your city name in the search box. According to a study, 44% of searchers clicked on one of those three listings, with a mere 8% going any further. 

The good news is that local businesses will rank higher on Google 3-pack than national companies. The challenge is that your competitors want to be one of the practices listed in that prime location on the SERP as well. The next paragraphs will show you how to make that happen! 


How Optimizing Google My Business (GMB) Can Help Your Local SEO?

Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to take control of your online reputation on Google, and it complements your existing website by giving your online presence an identity instead of relying on outdated information. 

Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business profile is necessary before you can even appear in the 3-pack or start your local SEO activities. This includes entering accurate information and describing your business and choosing the right category.

Regularly uploading photos increases attracting potential clients. Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions, and 35% more click-throughs to your website than companies without visuals, according to Google


A powerful way to improve local dental SEO and online rankings with free exposure is to ensure that your Google My Business listing meets Google’s guidelines. 


How Can a Consistent Online Listing Help Improve Local SEO?

Many review sites and directories pull your dental practice information from your website or main lists. Make sure that your NAP (name, address, and phone number) information is precisely the same everywhere, including Google My Business, Bing and Yahoo Business, Yelp, and dental industry-focused sites like

As study shows, a mistaken representation in any one of these citations can negatively affect your local SEO ranking on Google, as well as losing potential patients to your competitors who have an accurate online business listing.

Here is what you need to do when your dental practice get listed on a directory or website:

  1. Claim the listing
  2. Consistent NAP
  3. Detailed Company Description
  4. Link to your website
  5. Consistent secondary Business information (hours of operation, events, offers and so on)
  6. Pictures & Videos
  7. Patient Reviews 

Four providers of listing data are responsible for supplying the information to hundreds of listing directories, review sites, search engines, and more. Keeping all the online directories updated and managed is an ongoing process. An online reputation expert can help you to keep your business listing on these four databases and other websites and directories updated and accurate.



How Important Are Reviews and Online Reputation Management in Local SEO Ranking?

One of the best forms of the advertisement has always been word of mouth, with online reviews being the modern version of listening to a friend’s opinion. People like to share their experiences with others, and according to inc magazine, dissatisfied customers usually talk about their bad experiences with a business with nine to 15 individuals. 

It takes approximately 40 positive customer experiences to reverse the effects of one negative review. As the owner of a dental practice, it is vital to take the initiative and ask patients to leave an excellent online review if that was their experience. Happy patients are not only an opportunity for free marketing, but they can also help the ranking of the practice on search engines, like Google. 

Google’s star rating can affect how your business listing appears on Google search result page, Google Map, and Google 3-pack. One thing is for sure, no matter the changes that are continually being made by Google, making sure that you receive positive reviews regularly will keep your SEO ranking from dropping. You can check the guide of review management for your online presence.


It’s a great idea to create a standardized way of asking your satisfied patients for reviews, especially ones that include your location and a key phrase. 


Why is Content Marketing Important for Successful Local SEO?

Knowing your target market when considering how to get the highest local search engine rankings is essential. Assuming you want to attract high-quality patients. For example, an orthodontist would target families with teenagers. On the other hand, a general dentist would target two separate categories. One of the groups contain individuals who faithfully get their teeth cleaned every six months (about 52% according to the ADA). You must convince them that you are the one they should trust. The other group consists of people who haven’t seen a dentist recently. You must persuade them that they will benefit from your services.

Building trust is how relationships are formed, and businesses are built; so instead of overselling your services, provide useful information that answers their questions. It can be a challenge producing engaging material whether you post a monthly blog, social media posts, or an ebook on avoiding more significant medical issues with preventative dental care. 

A great idea to influence customers is to launch a campaign that interests people. You can’t open up Instagram without seeing a hashtag challenge and plenty of people sending in videos and pictures. Engaging customer’s interests will lead to increased appointments and more loyal patients.



How Can Good Website Design Help Local SEO?

Your dental practice’s ranking on the Google search result page (SERP) has a great deal to do with the right website structure. 

Google considers a variety of factors when ranking websites. These include:

  • Site security (SSL Certificate)
  • Crawlability (Google can’t search a website it can’t find)
  • User engagement (how long they stay on your site and if they click through)
  • Keyword appropriateness 
  • Consistent NAP
  • Domain Age
  • Backlink Profile


An SEO optimized website will attract people if it is:

  • User-friendly
  • Fast download speed
  • Responsive designed (mobile friendly)
  • Appealing website content
  • Online appointment booking capability
  • Brand integrated
  • Having Marketing Structure


Part of creating a dental website SEO marketing strategy is to create content that engages potential clients. You want your site’s visitors to stay on your website, and exciting and informative content will accomplish that goal. A potential client who clicks on your page should find what they expected to see and that the information is accurate. 

Google ranks websites higher that are considered relevant, and that quality is judged on how long users remain on your page. When users find the page useful, the chance of them sharing it on their social media accounts is increased, driving even more potential customers to your site and boosting its ranking. 

You want ways to get people to stay on your page, because between 70 and 96% of people who leave a website never return, according to

Any dental practice that wants to enhance its search engine ranking and drive organic traffic to its site and improve its local SEO needs to conduct website audits consistently. Optimizing a dental website and ensuring its effectiveness involves creating a detailed page for each treatment or service, content marketing, using the appropriate tags, and easy navigation.



How a Local SEO Expert Can Increase Sales

When you want to improve your dental practice ranking on Google, staying up to date with the trends and changing algorithms of Google and other search engines is essential. Not following the regulations put forth can result in penalties or, worse yet, being lower in rankings than competitors who followed the rules. 

The complexities are countless on the possibility of getting your website to appear on the first page of Google. On average, it takes approximately six months to find that coveted spot with the proper SEO optimization. If an agency says that they can give your website a rank more quickly, you can check this article. Google uses an algorithm that consists of keywords, titles, and tags. It also gauges each page’s importance according to the amount and quality of traffic from other sites from the links. You must consistently monitor your website to ensure it meets the qualifications that will get it to the first page.

Hiring an SEO expert to analyze and improve your dental website structure based on SEO rules can significantly improve rankings, increase organic traffic to your website, and patient appointments, which is the end goal.


“A dental SEO expert keeps up to date with Google’s constantly evolving algorithms to help you consistently appear on the first page of a local search.”



The ultimate goal of dental internet marketing is to obtain new patient appointments. What this means to you is that investing in dental local SEO is essential to helping your dental practice appear on the first page of Google search result pages. This position is sought after by every business since numerous searchers don’t go past the first page to find their information. 

A successful dental SEO requires integrating different dental marketing techniques. We have hopefully helped you understand the importance of diligent online reputation management, such as review management, a consistent online listing, content marketing, and an optimized website. It’s up to you to provide them with impeccable service after you get them in the chair so that you create a lifelong patient. 

You want to get more patients by proving that you provide better service and products than any competition out there. With technology dictating how people look for local services, proper dental local SEO increases your ranking. It keeps organic traffic flow to your site and practice by being consistently present on the first page of Google. Having content and information that people are looking for will draw them into your website. They will schedule appointments with you instead of your competitors.

Dental Marketo

Online marketing for dentists can truly get your name out there and make it completely worthwhile when your schedule is full. Dental Marketo provides expertise in areas from traditional to online marketing. 

Dentists searching for website design, SEO agency, online reputation management, social media marketing, and branding can rely on this full-service digital marketing agency. Our strategies can help you minimize your paid advertising by driving free traffic to your website and have it appear organically when locals are searching for you on Google. See what we have done for countless clients by visiting our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. What is your first step to improving your Google ranking? 

Contact us and let us help you navigate the search engine world!


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