For dentists, attracting new patients is essential to the success of their practice. The problem is, with so many dental clinics out there, it can be challenging to stand out and get noticed. That’s where local SEO comes in. By optimising your website and online presence for local search, you can increase your visibility in search results, attract more potential patients, and grow your practice.
In this article, we’ll explore what local SEO is, why it’s crucial for dentists, and how to implement it effectively to attract new patients and avoid local SEO mistakes. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from keyword research and on-page optimisation to local listings and reviews. So, let’s get started!
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimising your online presence to appear higher in local search results. It involves several strategies, including optimising your website content, building local citations, and managing online reviews. The goal of local SEO is to increase your visibility in search results when people search for dental services in your area.
Why is Local SEO Important for Dentists?
Local SEO is essential for dentists because it helps you reach potential patients in your local area. When people search for dental services online, they typically use location-based keywords such as “dentist near me” or “best dentist in [city name].” By optimising your website and online presence for local search, you can appear higher in search results for these keywords, making it easier for potential patients to find you.
7 Local SEO Strategies Every Dentist Should Know
1. Add your Practice to Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile, previously known as Google My Business, is the key to local online exposure. Google Business Profile helps small businesses gain visibility and showcase their services or products to an interested audience. It provides all the tools needed to create an optimised, accurate, and descriptive listing that helps your patients learn what they need to know about your practice.
Listing your practice on Google Business Profile is necessary to utilise local SEO benefits. At times, Google automatically generates business listings on GBP. In this case, you need to claim the listing, verify it, and check it for accuracy to ensure it does not turn away potential patients by spreading incorrect information.
Moreover, adding the appointment booking link to your Google Business Profile can swiftly increase your appointment bookings. One of LoudGrowth’s clients witnessed a 44% rise in bookings after adding the appointment booking link.
2. Focus on Keyword Research
Keyword research is the foundation of local SEO, as it guides you on which keywords to optimise for, allowing search engines to link relevant queries to your listing and potentially driving patients to it. Local keywords differ from regular keywords as they are defined by location-specific phrases such as “Dentist near me” or “Paediatrician in Sydney”.
To begin local keyword research, it is important to be intuitive and put yourself in your patients’ shoes. What are the words they use when looking for a doctor? What do they think about?
- Brainstorm several key phrases and create a list.
- Once you have a list, use the best free keyword research tools to search for the phrases from your list. Shortlist the keywords relevant to your phrases and achieve the right balance between search volume and competition.
- It is worth noting that the search volume for local key phrases is generally low. Therefore, don’t be afraid to shortlist relatively smaller SV keywords.
- You can also use keyword tools to determine what keywords your competitors are ranking for. These keywords have been proven to connect searching patients with practices like yours, making them helpful in finding the right kind of visibility.
3. Local Landing Pages
When it comes to local SEO, many people are unsure whether to link the call to action (CTA) to the website’s home page or create separate landing pages for each distinct keyword. In this case, the most effective option is to link the CTA on your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing to your local, keyword-specific landing page.
You can use this landing page as the next step in communicating with potential patients, providing more detailed information about the keyword. For instance, suppose your keyword is “Paediatrician Melbourne“. In that case, you can create a landing page that addresses common concerns that parents in Melbourne may have about a pediatrician and clearly explains how you can solve these issues. Consider your audience’s problems and try to address them on your landing page. Use clear and concise headlines and organise your text to keep readers engaged. Focus on the benefits of your service rather than its features, and include appealing images throughout the page to maintain your audience’s attention.
Ensure that your landing page is optimised with the relevant keywords for the services discussed on the page.
Incorporate social proof, such as testimonials and reviews, and trust signals such as awards and certifications on the page to establish trust with potential patients.
Strategically place a CTA on the page. Choose one action and stick to it. If you want readers to book an appointment, make your CTA “Book Your Appointment” or something similar. Avoid using a mix of CTAs and the paradox of choice.
Include a dynamic map at the bottom of the landing page to make it easier for searchers to locate your facility. Finally, don’t forget to optimise your landing pages for mobile users as half of all healthcare website visits come from mobile phones.
4. Local Link Building
Backlinks are URLs from your website that are placed within the content of other websites, and the process of obtaining these links is called link building. Google favours websites with a high number of backlinks as it views them as trustworthy and authoritative. For regular SEO, people aim to obtain backlinks from relevant high-authority websites. However, for local SEO, it is necessary to acquire links from local entities to establish your presence in that locality and rank your website for searches in that area.
The process of obtaining links from local websites is known as local link building, and there are several strategies you can use to obtain a link from local websites. You can create helpful content for doctors and dentists and have it posted on your community blog with a link back to your website. If your practice generates enough revenue, you can sponsor a local school team or students from the local school or college and obtain a link from these institutions. You can join your local chamber of commerce and post in their news section to obtain a link from there.
Most cities have local newspapers. You can create PR content for these newspapers, offer advice, or write articles for them and link back to your website. These websites often enjoy high domain authority, providing valuable links. You can also find local business directories and include your practice to obtain another backlink. These are just a few of the numerous local backlinking strategies. If you can be creative, the possibilities are endless.
5. Make Good Use Of GBP Calls And Messages
Businesses listed on GBP can receive direct calls from users who find them through Google search. Therefore, if you have included your phone number on GBP to receive calls and messages from your online audience, ensure that someone is available to answer and respond to them promptly.
Failure to respond to internet-driven calls and messages can result in a poor customer experience, leading to negative reviews and poor promotion, which can harm your practice.
Patients want to ensure that the healthcare provider they choose is skilled at their job. More importantly, they want reassurance that the facility meets their standards and does not have a negative reputation. For these reasons, 98% of people read online reviews. As a result, the majority of healthcare consumers say that online reviews impact their decision when choosing a healthcare service provider.
Therefore, it is crucial to have a variety of reviews on your GBP listing to earn potential patients’ trust. However, obtaining reviews is not always easy. Only 74% of consumers write online reviews, and people are more likely to leave negative reviews than positive ones. Therefore, it is essential to pursue positive reviews for the benefit of your business.
One way to do this is to request feedback from every patient after their appointment and encourage them to leave a review on your GBP listing. Ensure that you review all feedback and remove any personally identifiable information that may have been accidentally shared in the review.
Furthermore, while responding to positive reviews is crucial, it is equally important to address negative reviews and show that you prioritise your patients’ experience and work to improve it.
7. Build Local Citations
Local SEOLocal citations are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other websites, such as local directories and review sites. Building local citations is important for local SEO because it helps search engines verify the accuracy of your business information and improve your local search rankings.
To build local citations, start by creating profiles on popular local directories such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Yellow Pages. Make sure your NAP information is consistent across all directories and that you include your website URL and business hours.
How to Perform Keyword Research for Local SEO
Keyword research is the foundation of any successful local SEO strategy. It involves identifying the keywords and phrases that potential patients are using to search for dental services in your area. There are several keyword research tools available, such as Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush, that can help you identify relevant keywords and estimate their search volume.
When performing keyword research for local SEO, focus on location-based keywords such as “dentist in [city name]” and “emergency dentist near me.” You should also include long-tail keywords that describe your services, such as “teeth whitening in [city name]” or “orthodontist for adults in [city name].”
On-Page Optimisation for Local SEO
On-page optimisation refers to the process of optimising your website content to make it more search engine friendly. Here are some essential elements of on-page optimisation for local SEO:
- Title tags and meta descriptions: Include your target keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions to help search engines understand what your page is about.
- URL structure: Use descriptive URLs that include your target keywords and location.
- Header tags: Use header tags (H1, H2, H3) to structure your content and make it easier for search engines to understand.
- Content optimisation: Make sure your content is high-quality, informative, and includes your target keywords. Use local keywords naturally throughout your content.
- Image optimisation: Optimise your images by including descriptive alt tags and file names.
Local SEO is essential for dentists who want to attract new patients in their local area. By optimising your website and online presence for local search, you can increase your visibility in search results, attract more potential patients, and grow your practice.
To implement local SEO effectively, contact us, we will help you increase your site traffic and get local clients..