The Ultimate Guide to Dental SEO

Randi Grant

By Randi Grant

Marketing Manager

Published September 29, 2020
Updated March 10, 2023

4 min read

Today's SEO is all about optimizing your dental practice website and your overall online presence using local SEO best practices to make you findable online. It is important to work with a dental SEO company that uses “white hat” techniques (those recommended by Google), assuring lasting value as the algorithm continues to evolve.

Here’s a guide to effective white hat SEO for dental offices.

This is included as part of the Smile Marketing service based on the Service Plan you choose.

dentist website marketing

Dental SEO Marketing Starts With Great Content

Long gone are the days of keyword stuffing and metatag manipulations. Instead, Google and other search engines measure what website visitors actually do on your website.

  • Do visitors arrive and then quickly leave?
  • Do visitors explore more than one page?
  • How much time do they spend on the site?
  • Do they watch videos or engage with the content?
  • Are they repeat visitors to the website?

These metrics are far more reliable indicators of a website’s authority than questionable link building techniques and other dubious overtures used by mercenary freelance SEO consultants.

Smile Marketing starts with high-quality, relevant content, presented in an easy-to-browse format that addresses the real-world concerns of prospective new patients.

dental website marketing

On-Page SEO Best Practices

Of course, dental search engine marketing isn’t all about engagement. After all, you first have to get visitors on your site in order for them to engage. On-page SEO refers to the factors you incorporate on your pages to improve rankings. Here are some simple best practices we follow when optimizing client pages:

1. Begin with the right keyword

The proper local SEO for dentists strategy is critical to be findable in Google. The idea is to hone in on your “money” keywords and then work from there by adding related keywords. All the while, you must do this without diluting your content. If Google sees that you are trying to manipulate its algorithm by stuffing keywords unnaturally, you could get penalized. Say you are located in Columbus, OH and you are optimizing your home page. Your money keywords might be “dentist columbus, OH” and some related keywords might be “columbus teeth whitening,” “best dental care columbus,” and “quality dental care in columbus, oh.”

2. Watch your headings

Make sure to include headings (H1, H2, etc.) throughout your content. This makes your site easier to scan for Google’s algorithm. It also creates a more user-friendly experience, which is essential if you want visitors to engage, and ultimately, convert into new patients.

3. Link your pages internally

Linking to other pages on your site provides multiple benefits. First, it improves engagement by encouraging users to visit multiple pages. Second, it helps search engines to crawl various pages of your site more easily. For example, if you mention teeth whitening on your main services page, make sure to link internally to your dedicated “teeth whitening” page.

4. Use outbound links sparingly

Linking out to other websites within your niche is a relevancy signal to Google. You can also link out to websites that focus on your local community. This will help you rank for local-based keywords, in addition to dental-related keywords you're trying to rank for.

Which Channels Actually Produce New Dental Patients?

Search engines aren’t the only source of new patient traffic. While they are the number-one driver, there are other ways you can attract more new patients through SEO.

We let the numbers do the talking. If a particular channel is performing well, we go after more. Because there’s far more to Search Engine Optimization these days than fighting over the top three slots on Google. Remember, you want new patients not rankings, traffic or “hits.”

"We Used to Be At the Top…"

High search engine rankings for your dental website don’t automatically translate into new patients. This assumption has caused many dental practices to squander untold thousands. Remember, conversion is the key, not traffic.

Worse, this strategy often backfires.

Aggressive attempts at securing links from overseas websites, link farms, irrelevant blogs and other questionable sources have caused these overly-optimized websites to fall away in the rankings.

Now they have to spend even more time and money for “link pruning” services to undo hundreds of dubious links that produced an unnatural link profile.

The point? The in-house Smile Marketing SEO department is world class. You have a reputation to protect. And so do we. Our dental website SEO strategies stand the test of time, painstakingly pursuing quality traffic that converts into new patients.


Dental SEO Is Part of Our Website Service

Local SEO for dentists is a big conversation. Which we’d love to have with you when you contact us by phone or email.

dental website marketing

Ready to Improve Your Google Ranking?

Request a free, no-obligation SEO and website review to find out if there are easy ways to improve your website's performance.

One of our Digital Marketing Consultants will:

  • Check your current ranking
  • Research your competitors
  • Evaluate your on-page SEO
  • Look for improvement opportunities

You'll walk away with actionable tips for improving your SEO and getting more new patients from the Internet.

We look forward to speaking with you!

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"We have seen a 228% growth in new patients since starting with Smile Marketing almost 3 years ago. All Smile Marketing team members have truly been outstanding and gone above and beyond to support our practice in achieving our digital marketing goals." Dr. Peter Raymond- Dr. Peter Raymond