It’s easy to assume that it’s the best dentists that make the most money, but really it’s the dentists with the best marketing. They’re the ones who are pulling in the most patients and the highest revenue.

Especially in the dental industry, acquiring new patients is paramount. Why? Loyalty. If a patient likes their dentist, they’re unlikely to switch. They’re also likely to refer all of their friends and family members. The return on your investment in acquiring new patients will amplify dramatically through their loyalty.

So, dentists need to work smarter, not harder. That’s where Fingerprint Marketing’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. By creating relevant, high-quality content, you’ll drive those high-value new patients right to your website.

Why SEO Marketing Is Great for Dentists

Your patient prospects likely start by searching Google when they’re on the market for a new dentist. However, 95% of searchers won’t go beyond the first page of results! This is because most people don’t know how search results work—they just assume that dentists on the first page are somehow better than dentists who aren’t. You could be the best dentist in the world, but your practice will fail if you don’t invest in SEO strategies to manipulate search results.

When patients search for dental services, they don’t typically search with a price point in mind—they just want high-quality care. In real terms, this means that dentists can and should invest a little bit more money in SEO services to rank higher. Patients who find you on Google won’t consider the alternatives on the second, third, or fourth pages. So, you will recoup the cost with higher patient traffic.

Fingerprint Marketing can take your practice to the next level through time-tested SEO services that work powerfully for medical and dental practices.

To see how Fingerprint Marketing increased a doctor’s patient load by over 1000% in 15 months, check out our case study on Dr. Kate Kass’s practice.

Here, we’ll use her case study to show how the same effective SEO practices can help you achieve your dental practice marketing goals.

Like Dr. Kate Kass, you could rank on the first page of Google by implementing five SEO techniques:

  1. Keyword Research
  2. On Page Optimization
  3. Content
  4. Site Structure
  5. Backlinks

Let’s break these techniques down:

SEO Keyword Research for Dentists

Keyword research is used to target variations of different searches that Google users might type into their browser to find what they’re looking for. Not all of your patients will search in the same way. They might search for generic terms (like “dentist”), symptoms (like “tooth pain”), or by various specific treatments (like “root canal”). Regardless of how they search, you want to make sure that you are among the first dentists who show up in the results.

Take a look at the various keywords that Dr. Kate Kass ranks on the first page for:

Now let’s picture your practice and imagine what keywords you could rank on the first page of Google for. Think about services that are in great demand and are often covered by insurance:

Let’s break this down even further. The generic searches for Dr. Kate Kass’s practice looked like this:

Generic searches for your practice might look more like this:

Symptom searches for Dr. Kate Kass looked like this:

Symptom searches for your practice might look more like this:

Specific treatment searches for Dr. Kate Kass looked like this:

Specific treatment searches for your practice might look more like this:

On-Page Optimization: Dentists’ Best SEO Trick

To promote your business, you need to create content on a dedicated page for each search that your patients are likely to make. Why? Because in overall rankings, pages with content that is more relevant to searchers will replace the pages with content that is not as relevant.

What tells search engines like Google that some content is more relevant than other content? SEO pros like Fingerprint Marketing have inserted relevant keywords in specific places:

  • URLs
  • Meta titles
  • Meta descriptions  

How can you implement on-page optimization on your own? The first step is to add the name of the city in which your business is located and the keyword for which you would like to rank—right into the URL of your web page. The meta title for your web page should also include the keyword, two variations of the keyword, and the name of your brand. After that, you can write a meta description that starts with the keyword and includes at least two variations of it. Finally, the H1s on your web page should include your keyword (embedded in a phrase) and your H2s should be variations of that keyword.

One thing to note is that top-ranking results are often paid advertisements, like Yelp. Yelp and similar sites are what are known as listing websites—and they’re much harder to beat in rankings. However, Fingerprint Marketing employs a variety of SEO strategies to do just that.

SEO vs. Google Ads

Now, before we continue, let’s break down the difference between SEO marketing and advertising with Google Ads:

When you perform a search (say, “dentist seattle”), you’ll see the several of the top results say “ad.” These are actually advertisements, and it means that the businesses have used Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords). Google Ads brings instant results like these, but the drawback is you have to pay for each click. According to WordStream, clicks on Google Ads can cost between $1 to $60, depending on how much competition there is for a particular keyword.

How well does it convert prospects into paying customers? The average conversion rate for health/medical services is 3.36%.

Here’s some data on the average cost per click on Google AdWords:


Next, here’s the average conversion rate of those clicks:

So, what does all this data mean when you’re choosing whether to invest in SEO (a monthly cost) or Google Ads (a per-click cost)? Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

SEO Pros

1. With SEO, website traffic will continue once you stop paying Fingerprint Marketing.

1. Fingerprint Marketing bills for SEO services at an easy monthly rate.

SEO Cons

2. It will take a while for you to see results with SEO.

2. You won’t be able to manage your own SEO campaigns.

Google Ads Pros

1. Your results from Google Ads will be instant.

1. You will directly pay for every individual sale with Google Ads.

Google Ads Cons

2. Website traffic goes away once you stop paying for Google Ads.

2. You might spend so much on Google Ads that you actually lose money.

 

Creating High-Quality Landing Pages for Dentists

Google’s algorithm was built to value one major thing for how it ranks search results: relevant, high-quality content. This is how Google ensures that it’s delivering what its searchers are looking for—and earning their trust and loyalty in the process.

However, you don’t necessarily need to have the most amazing dental content ever to rank on the first page! You just need to go through specific steps to make sure that Google views it as better than the local competition. Google determines quality by tracking “user engagement metrics—it’s all about how humans interact with pages:

  • time spent on site
  • bounce rate
  • pages visited
  • overall engagement

To drive better user engagement, the first step is to add more content to your landing page. The best practice in terms of quantity is to have more content than any of the sites currently ranking on Google’s 1st page. For dentists, this typically means about 2,000 words per landing page.

The second step to increase user engagement metrics is be crafting “structured data.” This means content that has some or all of the following:

  • Lists
  • Bullet Points
  • Tables
  • Tables of Contents
  • Embedded YouTube videos
  • External citations

Here’s a great example of good landing page content from North Seattle Orthodontics on their landing page for Invisalign. This page ranks at the top of the first page of Google results for the keyword “orthodontist seattle.” It has almost every kind of structured data and is designed to achieve high user metrics:

  • 717 words
  • 2 embedded videos
  • 2 embedded images
  • 1 Set of bullet points
  • 1 quote
  • 4 outbound citations

By contrast, the following Invisalign landing page for Riolo Orthodontics has a lower ranking for the keyword “orthodontist seattle.” It doesn’t include long-form content or structured data, which means that users will be much less likely to spend time on the site. Google’s algorithm will see higher bounce rates, fewer pages visited, and less engagement with the site overall. It can be found on page 10 for the keyword.

Site Structure

Site structure is probably the easiest SEO activity for novices to implement: in the header and footer navigation menus, simply link to each landing page.

This ensures that Google can find and index your landing pages, tells Google that these are the most important and relevant pages for your business, and makes it easy for visitors on the homepage to navigate your site easily.

Let’s look at the example of Seattle Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, which ranks on the first page of Google for “oral surgeon seattle.” First, here’s a screenshot of their header. Note the easy navigation:

Then, here’s their excellent example of a footer. Note the easy navigation at the very bottom:

Local Backlinks, Directories, and Outreach

Backlinks can be a useful SEO strategy for driving traffic—but only after you have completed other SEO optimization strategies. If you build backlinks to light content that isn’t relevant and optimized, you’re not going to see the results you want. But, when you’re ready, there are several backlinking strategies to employ:

Social Backlinks

Social backlinks are backlinks from social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Set up accounts on all of the major social networks, then, simply link back to your website! Check out the Facebook page for Dental Care Seattle, which ranks at the top of the first page of Google for “dentist seattle.” They have their website link under “additional contact info.”

There are hundreds of social networks you can backlink from. Get creative! Think YouTube, SoundCloud, and any other platform that has a public profile.

DIRECTORY LINKS

Directories are like online phone books for businesses—places that can link back to your website and improve your ranking. Yelp, Glassdoor, and industry-specific sites like DentistDirectory.com are all examples. You can set up accounts on each of these and link back to your website.

Here are a few examples:

And here’s what a typical listing looks like:

PODCASTS AND PR OUTREACH

Our final backlinking strategy is the most difficult and time consuming—but it is also the most powerful and impactful: creating a list of industry publications that are relevant to dentists and reaching out them individually. This helps you position yourself as an expert in your industry.

How does it work? Simple. You offer to contribute content to their website.

You help them deliver high-quality content for their readers, and you get to be seen as a passionate expert ready to share your expertise. Here’s the key: write ~1,000 words of high-quality content, and be sure to include one or two links back to your own landing pages!

Here is an example pitch the Fingerprint Marketing developed for Dr. Kate Kass in order to create a guest-post opportunity:

~

Hey y’all,

I’m Dr. Kate Kass, a local functional medicine specialist and holistic physician in the Seattle area.

I was reading one of your articles when I noticed you accept guest posts.

I’m reaching out because right now I’m working on some pieces surrounding men’s health, hormones, and fitness, and I’d love to write for your site!

My skill set focuses on naturopathy, age management, regenerative medicine, and sexual health. I began my practice in 2014, working out of a shared clinic with other doctors. Today, I have my own growing practice with multiple nurses and am looking for doctors to work under me. This all makes me very confident that I can provide a valuable contribution to your website.

If you still accept guest posts, please let me know – I’d love to put together a draft for your review!

Thanks,

Kate Kass – Website

~

Get ready to rank when qualified leads start clicking directly to your site!

Blogging for SEO

Dentists and healthcare companies invest big time in blog content because they’ve been told it helps with SEO.

It’s time for real talk: blogging does not help with your SEO and it doesn’t help you connect with new patients.

Blog posts primarily rank for informational searches, which are the least likely kind of search to bring in qualified leads. This is because informational searches will not display search results from local businesses. You’re actually competing with results from all over the country! Even if your blog post does rank for an informational search, the searcher likely lives in a different city than your dentist practice is located.

What does an information search look like? Here’s a good one: “how to whiten teeth?

None of the search results are local dentists, which means that acquiring a new patient from an informational query is highly unlikely.

However, blog content is great at building trust and credibility. 

Once prospects have found your website through one of your marketing channels, your content will establish your expertise and help you convert leads.

Here are a few tips for leveraging high-quality blog content:

  1. After they have given you their contact information, send prospects informative blog post via direct links.
  2. After a prospect has left your website, reach out to them with informational content from your blog with a Facebook pixel.

The Takeaway: SEO for Dentists Means Results

Fingerprint Marketing is a pro when it comes to establishing a winning SEO strategy. When you’re ready, give us a call! In the meantime, here’s a few takeaways to get you launched:

CONTENT

  1. The content on each of your landing pages should be at least 2000 words long
  2. Your content should include at least 5 of the following: lists, bullet points, tables, embedded videos
  3. Blog posts build trust and credibility—not website traffic
  4. Sharing informational content on industry leading publications is a great way to connect with qualified leads

RELEVANCE

  • The URL for each of your web pages should look like this: https://nameofmydentalpractice.com/nameofservice-nameofcity.

For example: 

  • The meta title for each of your web pages should look like this:
    name of service | first variation of service | second variation of service | name of dental practice

Meta Title Example:

  • The meta description for each of your web pages should look like this: name of service… blah…blah…blah first variation of service blah…blah…blah second variation of service blah…blah…blah…blah.

For example:   

BACKLINKS

  1. Create social backlinks
  2. Create directory backlinks
  3. Establish backlinks by publishing in authoritative dentistry publications
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