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How to Choose the Right Keywords for Dental SEO.

Are you struggling to attract new patients to your clinic even after investing time and effort into SEO? Yes? Well, you’re not alone!

SEO is one of the most frequently used buzzwords today. But for many, it is still just a buzzword; there is a distinct lack of knowledge and awareness about what SEO is, how it works, how it is beneficial for a business.

In a nutshell, dental SEO is the process of increasing the volume and quality of organic traffic to your website through search engines. While you can undoubtedly learn and do it yourself, SEO usually plans, implements, and manages by a Dental SEO Management company consisting of dental SEO marketing experts. 

According to studies, more than 81% of people use search engines to find local businesses. SEO ensures that they reach your website before your competitors’.

While the benefits of SEO for dentists are manifold, the process isn’t as straightforward. You need to do a lot of things right to get the most out of SEO. One such thing is selecting the right keywords for optimization of your on-site and off-site activities.

Through this article, we’ll shed some light on how to choose the right keywords and the importance of doing that.


Why and How Are Keywords Important in Dental SEO?

Keywords essentially are the primary means of communicating to the search engine’s algorithm about the topics you are covering on your website pages. 

Back in the day, the more often you used a keyword in your content, the more relevant it appeared to the search engine. However, this led to the practices of keyword stuffing, which ultimately did hurt the user experience. Hence, over the years, the Google algorithm became more sophisticated and the company has introduced various updates designed to better understand the website’s content and how relevant it is to the search query. 

Keyword stuffing doesn’t work anymore. It attracts Google penalties that can hurt your SEO ranking. But some agencies continue to do it, fleecing gullible clients and causing long-term damage to their website reputation and search engine ranking.

For driving high-quality traffic to a dental website, the website content should be user-centric, and keywords should be chosen smartly and incorporated into the content to ensure that it meets the Google algorithm requirements. High-quality, location-specific keywords tend to work best for dental SEO.


What Type of Keywords is Essential for Dental SEO?

For Dental website SEO, you should use various targeted keywords in your website content for on-page SEO and off-page SEO activities. This includes single-word keywords, long-tail keywords, location-based keywords, and service-related keywords. Let’s look at Location-based and service-related keywords, which are undoubtedly the two most essential types of keywords for dental practices. 


1. Location-Based Keywords or Local Keywords

Local keywords are essential for dental practices as most patients are expected to be living in the vicinity of the dental practice. Local keywords focus on getting ranked for location-specific searches made by patients. These keywords ensure that your website appears on the search engine results if a search string contains a specific geographical location or place. 

According to Google, 30% of all mobile searches are related to location. With such keywords, you are more likely to reach the patients searching for dental services in your neighborhood. Suppose a Los Angeles resident suffering from persistent toothache is looking for a dentist. Such a patient is more likely to search for keywords such as:

  • Dentist in Los Angeles
  • Best dental clinic in LA
  • Dentist for toothache
  • Emergency dentist near me

Hence, the keywords you incorporate in your website content must be highly location-specific as well. Most patients search for dental practices in their neighborhood. No patient likes to travel more than 5-10 miles or so to see a dentist. Including these keywords in content marketing for SEO would ensure your website’s high rank in the local search engine results.

Related Article: How Local SEO increases patient appointments for dental practices?


2. Service-Related Keywords

Service-related keywords are meant to rank your website for search queries specific to the dental services you provide in your practice, such as dental implants, teeth whitening, root canal, and so on. Some of the service-related keywords you may use includes:

  • Emergency dentist
  • Pediatric dentist
  •  Dental implants
  • Cost of dental implants 
  • Teeth whitening treatment
  • Wisdom teeth removal

As can be observed, these keywords are specific to dental services. Ideally, you must use both service-related and location-specific phrases to identify the ideal long-tail keywords for your practice to reach in-market patients in and around your location. Here are some examples of longtail dental SEO keywords:

  • Best Pediatric Dentist in LA 
  • Orthodontist in Miami
  • Family Dentistry in Los Angeles
  • Top dental clinic near San Francisco
  • Dental implants in Irvine, Ca
  • Wisdom teeth removal in Hollywood LA 
  • Teeth whitening treatment near me 
  • Cosmetic dentist in Nashville
  • Best orthodontics in Washington DC


What Does the Ideal Dental SEO Keyword Strategy Look Like?

Developing targeted website content featuring keywords that reflect what potential patients near your locality are searching for shall help your website get found. However, it is essential to note that the keywords having the highest search volumes also tend to have the most competition. Hence, it shall be a much more prudent move to look for long-tail keywords with low to medium competition when planning to target local traffic. 

Once you have the shortlisted keyword list in hand, it’s time that you start to take action. Perfectly incorporating your chosen keywords into your website content plays a crucial role in defining your Dental SEO rankings. You should try to use your most important keywords into your content pieces’ main headings and sprinkle the rest throughout chunks of text describing your services or any blog post. 

To drive organic traffic, you must also use your keywords in: 

  • Meta-descriptions
  • Alternative Tags for images
  • URLs
  • Sub-headings
  • Image names and captions


When Do Keywords Start Ranking?

A long-term dedication to your dental SEO management strategy is vital, as SEO is a continuous process that needs to be maintained. It requires constant work, and you might have to keep evolving your SEO tactics as per the latest trends and Google algorithm updates and regulations. 

For example, as per an update made in January 2020, the first Google SERP will no longer have web pages that already appear as a featured snippet. This change affected 100% of all search listings worldwide, including that of dental websites. 

There is no such exact manual to get a top rank in the search engine result pages or SERP. If an agency claims to give you the first-page ranking, then you must read this and then think of hiring them or not. Specific techniques may be used to get the results, but there is no guarantee that these techniques would work. Your page’s SERP rankings would wholly depend on the search engine algorithms, and methods used to ensure that a page ranks as abiding by those algorithms are largely implemented by trial and error. 

Hence it might take longer to find a strategy that will work on your website at times. The time frame from implementing SEO on your website to its ranking in the search engine top results usually takes about a year to achieve, but the results start showing after 3-4 months.

Related Article: Things Dentists Must Know About SEO Ranking

Google continually updates, refines, and changes its search algorithms to provide users with relevant and quality content without spam. Professional providers of Dental SEO services tend to keep track of these updates and are always prepared for any changes that may affect your website’s position. They both select and incorporate keywords based on search algorithms, which allows your website to land at a better place on the Google search result page. 

Selecting the right keywords and publishing it along with quality content is the key to pleasing the Google algorithm. However, if you are using the wrong keywords, then there is a high chance that your target audience shall not find you in the search results, regardless of how relevant and good your content is. 

While simple keywords and key phrases like ‘dental clinic’ and ‘teeth whitening treatment’ seem appropriate enough for your practice, these are incredibly competitive keywords, and chances are high you won’t rank for that term. Hence, it is better to go for more specific, long-tail, location-oriented keywords. 


4 Keywords Mistakes That Harm Your Dental SEO

When picked and used smartly, keywords can do you a lot of good. If not, they can cause even greater harm. A smart dental SEO company would avoid making these keyword related mistakes:

Keyword StuffingPacking too many keywords into the website content is not suitable for optimization. Google will penalize your website when found to have stuffed keywords, resulting in the page rankings being demoted or even removed altogether.

Disregarding Semantic KeywordsSemantic keywords do not match a search query precisely but are related to a brand’s niche, a dental practice. These words help search engine algorithms to fetch more relevant results for a query. For instance, semantic keywords for the keyword dentist near me could be “Beautiful Smile,” “Healthy Teeth,” and so on.

Focusing on Too Specific and Broad Level KeywordsGeneric dental keywords such as “teeth”, “ surgery”, or “dental” will not help fetch the intended audience to your site. Although these words may obtain top rankings for your website, the leads generated through them would usually not be relevant. More often than not, they would be school or college students researching for an essay! A better target keyword must be more specific with adequate search capacity. 

Ignoring Current Traffic Sources The knowledge of keywords that currently rank well for your website is necessary to increase your dental website SEO effectiveness. This can be done through Google Search Console.



Dental SEO is an essential aspect of your dental digital marketing strategy. When properly researched and optimized, keywords can end up acting as a conduit that connects your target audience with your website and practice. Chosen keywords must be smartly incorporated into your website to reap the best possible results and boost your SEO rankings.

Improving the search result rankings and driving quality traffic to your dental website sets up a chain reaction to your benefit because more traffic leads to more patients, which leads to more references leading to a further increase in foot traffic and revenue.

However, it is equally crucial to steer away from methods (Black hat SEO) that would raise red flags on the Google search algorithm to avoid any kind of penalty. Employing the right dental SEO company, strategic implementation of keywords, and URL customization are your first steps towards enhancing your digital presence. 

Dental Marketo

At Dental Marketo, we have a proven track record of delivering consistent, tangible results that have increased our clients’ new patient appointments by more than 200%. If you want to take that route too, call our SEO team to learn more about SEO services.

You can also evaluate your current SEO company by simply answering a few simple questions, and eventually get customized dental marketing strategies for your practice. 

Your next patient is already searching for you on Google. Get in touch with us to ensure they get in touch with you!.


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