A Comprehensive Guide to Local SEO for Dentists

Photo Credit: Tima Miroshnichenko | Pexels

Marketing is always a vital concern for any business, dental clinics included. You and your competitors offer essentially the same service, and it may be challenging to express your unique value proposition to potential patients.

That’s where SEO comes in. Implementing a local SEO strategy may just be the key to attracting a regular influx of new patients in your area to ensure healthy growth for your clinic as time goes on.

Most prospects looking for services in their area like a children’s dentist in Guelph, to name one example, use search engines to locate those essential services. Since so many people use search engines, it’s vital that your website ranking is high, for the services you provide, to ensure you show on the top page of search results. Having your high site ranking often makes all the difference when it comes to netting more local clients.

What’s the Difference Between SEO and Local SEO?

It may not sound like much of a difference between SEO in general and local SEO, but it does matter. Traditional SEO is all about improving your online visibility in search results related to your practice. This is great when you’re casting your net wide, but you’ll get optimal results targeting a more specific niche.

That’s where local SEO enters the picture. Local SEO marketing focuses on boosting your site’s visibility on local SERPs to attract nearby patients to your clinic. Local SEO matters precisely because it targets those would-be patients who are in a position to come to you for their dental needs.

For convenience, consumers are likely to visit businesses close to their location. This makes it a good idea to target those nearby clients to get quantifiable results for your clinic. Local SEO also boasts less competition for rankings due to geographic criteria, meaning it shows results faster than standard SEO. In short, make local SEO marketing a major element of your marketing strategy to pull in more high-quality traffic to your website.

How to Improve Your Local SEO

As a Toronto, or any city-based, SEO firm may tell you, there are a few strategies you can implement to bring in more qualified leads. To help you begin, try out these ideas to start taking your SEO in the right direction. Take note, the more money and effort you put into your SEO, the better results you get. The more of these you can use, the easier it is to get the right kind of attention from your patients, old and new.

1. Start with your keyword research

One of the first places to start when building an SEO strategy is your keywords. As a dental clinic, your basic keywords will include “dental services” or services you offer like “root canals.”

Once you have some basic, relevant keywords, use a keyword planner tool to identify the top keywords that people use when searching for dental services. As a rule, long-tail keywords are preferable. These keywords are typically more specific, and consequently less competitive.

For local SEO, it’s also a good idea to add specific filters that allow you to narrow down the search results to your local area. Location-specific terms are a particularly good idea. It makes a world of difference when narrowing down the location like “dental office in York,” or “denture clinic in London.”

Specific keywords are there to match the user intent of prospects, while the location specifier narrows searches down to your general area. This gives you more powerful and relevant results than relying on more general keywords.

2. Build your Google My Business Page

Working on your Google My Business Page is another way to strengthen your local SEO. Your GMB page provides a business profile that is visible on Google to help point prospects to your clinic.

You can add vital information to your page including your name, address, operating hours, and contact details that enable patients to connect with you. For optimal results, make sure your information is accurate and complete. After all, if patients want to get in touch, it pays to include correct and up-to-date contact details.

A Google My Business Page also offers some opportunities to present your unique business proposition. Write a business description to list the services you offer and why patients should choose you over the competition.

While you’re at it, you can also include some of your keywords here to contribute a little more to your online visibility. Your page also allows you to post photos of your clinic and give patients an idea of what to expect from you. Pictures are also a great way to add to your credibility, which Google takes into account when ranking your site.

3. Post reviews where visitors can see them

Reviews are another important metric for determining how trustworthy a business is, both for Google and your patients. The more independent reviews you have, the more authority your website possesses, which reflects in your ranking. Meanwhile, your patients are more likely to trust your services if you feature plenty of honest reviews.

Google My Business is a convenient platform to display those satisfied reviews, as are sites like Yelp. Alternatively, you can also feature patient reviews on your site. Consider creating a review page to show off those reviews and give future patients an idea of what to expect from you.

Whichever approach you take, always encourage patients to leave their feedback. There are several ways to do that, from creating a unique link where they need to make their reviews to sending emails or text messages to encourage them to do so post-treatment.

In general, it’s a good idea to come up with a plan to respond to reviews, be it positive and negative. Not only is this a good way to engage with patients, but it also works as damage control in case of negative reviews.

Addressing the concerns of your patients is a great way to maintain their trust while showing at the same time that you’re constantly dedicated to self-improvement. Whether positive or negative, always respond promptly to reviews to let your patients know that their feedback is important to you.

4. Create plenty of quality content

A common piece of advice in the SEO world is that content is king. Good content is an additional service you can offer your loyal patients, above and beyond what you normally provide. Creating a blog is one of the easiest ways to provide that quality content. Set up a blogging schedule to guide your content creation and ensure you release regular content to satisfy your patients.

For optimal results, it’s a good idea to focus on long-form content. Longer content not only ranks higher but will also contribute to a more positive user experience for your audience. Long-form content is a great chance to provide more in-depth information for readers.

For example, if you’re writing articles offering simple dental cleaning tips, it’s a chance to share your knowledge in detail. Sharing your expertise like this also reflects highly on search results, improving your online visibility considerably.

While most businesses focus on written content, there’s no need to limit yourself to writing. Videos are a dynamic medium that allows you to share what you know in a more hands-on fashion.

When you need to demonstrate something to your viewers, videos allow you to show them how it’s done properly and ensure the lesson sinks in. With the help of an online video editor, you can also create video tours or introductions to show off a more personal side to your clinic and forge a closer relationship with your patients.

Local SEO is one of the most effective marketing tools in your arsenal, and so it pays to know how to use it properly. Keep this guide in mind when formulating your local SEO strategy to give yourself a good head start when improving your digital marketing moving forward.