Dental SEO: The Must-Read Guide For Dentists

Do you want to get more traffic and patients from Google?

Then this step-by-step guide to Dental SEO marketing is for you.

I’m going to show you how to generate more traffic to your dental website, get more patient bookings and become the #1 ranked Dentist in your area.

Sounds good?

Let’s get started…

Dental SEO

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What is Dental SEO?

Dental SEO is the process of optimising your dental website to appear at the top of search engines like Google. 

What makes Dental SEO so powerful is that it generates a lot of patient bookings for your Dental Practice.

And that’s because Dental SEO targets people actively looking for the products and services you sell.

For example: 

Imagine someone who would like to get some dental implants or book a general check-up. 

9 times out of 10 they grab their smart phone or computer and search for it on Google.

And because they’re actively looking for the dental services you offer, if your dental website appears at the top there is a high chance they will visit your website and book an appointment.

That’s why SEO for dentists is so valuable because it’s the secret sauce to getting your website found online by ‘ready-to-buy’ patients.


Most Dentists and Orthodontists already know how valuable SEO services are for getting new patients which means the competition is tough.

This guide will show you exactly how to beat your competitors and be the #1 Dental practice in your area.

1. Understanding How Google Ranks Dental Websites

Before anything else, you have to understand how Google treats Dental websites.

For example, look at Google’s results when I type in ‘dentist near me’.

  • There are 7 paid ads (4 at the top and 3 at the bottom).
  • 3 Dental Clinics in the local ‘Map Pack’ listings.
dental map pack example

Local ‘Map Pack’ Listings

  • 10 organic search results (The ones with blue coloured titles).
  • And a ‘people also ask’ box.

Bottom line… 

There’s A LOT going on when someone is looking for a Dentist on Google.

Now, let’s look closer at the top 10 organic search results, I can see 3 of the top 10 results are ‘directory listings’.


Dental Directories on Googles first page.

These directory sites present a great opportunity to generate some organic traffic to your website quickly. 

Think about it…

These directory websites have already put in the hard work and rank on the first page of Google for lucrative search terms, so why not leverage this to your advantage?

Here’s how to do it…

Most of these directory sites have their own internal search algorithm for deciding which dental practice get the #1 position and grabbing these top spots is often easier than ranking in Google.

This strategy is a quick and easy way to get new patients.

Ranking your Dental clinic on directory websites is an easy way to pick up new patients.

Dental & Orthodontist SEO is competitive, you have to think outside the box with your SEO strategy, especially in the early stages of your marketing campaign. 

Having an open mind to your dental SEO marketing will go a long way in grabbing more “organic traffic” – that converts into more appointments.

2. Choosing Dental-Related Keywords

Keyword research and selection forms the foundation of all Dental SEO marketing campaigns.

Get this right and you’ll not only get more traffic but, the traffic you get will result in people calling your clinic to book appointments.

How to find keywords that convert into appointments:

Google’s free keyword research tool (Keyword Planner) is a great place to start and you can quickly find some great keywords. 

Before you can use this tool, you’ll need to create a Google Ads account first.

Next, enter a search query you’d like to explore and Google Keyword Planner will give you a list of all the potential keywords you can target.

finding keywords

Keyword Research using Google’s Free Keyword Planner Tool.

The key to successful keyword research

You want to focus on keywords that target appointment bookings, not visitors to your website.

For example, let’s look at two potential keywords you could choose to target.

“Money Keywords”

Definition: These are the search queries people type into Google when they’re looking to book a dental appointment.

Potential Keywords: Book a Dentist in Melbourne, Dentist near me, Dentist (your local area).

“Informational” Keywords.

Definition: These are the search queries people type into Google when they’re looking for information on your services.

Potential Keywords: Dentist cost, how often should I visit the dentist.

Your focus should be on targeting money keywords because these are what increases appointment bookings. Once you rank for money terms, you can add the informational terms later to dominate your space.

3. Designing Your Dental Website

As a Dentist or Orthodontist, you offer more than just a regular checkup, right?

Things like a crown replacement, dental implants, braces and dental surgery to name just a few of the additional services you could offer.

You need your web design to target all of these services. That way you can maximise the return on investment from your SEO efforts.

Here’s how to structure your website and optimise it for all of your dental-related services.

Add a separate web page for each service you offer.

Example URL structure:

Creating separate service pages for each service your clinic provides gives you the ability to rank for all of your offerings instead of a single keyword like ‘dentist near me’.

Add sub-service pages for even greater traffic gains.

Example URL structure:

Add sub-service pages will allow you to pick up long-tail keywords.

Web Design Structure Optimised for Multiple Dental Services

4. Local SEO Strategies For Dentists

When it comes to SEO for a dental website, one of the most important aspects is local SEO.

Local SEO is important because you want to capture the local search market around your clinic.

For example: The majority of patients will come from a 5-10km radius around your dental practice and a good local SEO strategy will make all the difference.

Here are the additional steps you’ll need to take to make sure your site is optimised for capturing the local search market.

Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) plays a big role when it comes to appearing in local search. It’s your GMB listing that actually appears in the map pack, not your website!

How To Optimise Your Google My Business

  • Make sure you set up and verify your business listing with Google.

    (Google will send you a postcard in the mail with a verification code after setting up your GMB profile – your listing won’t be visible on the local search until you get this verified so do this as soon as possible).

  • Fill out your GMB with as much detail as possible.

Here’s a checklist of everything you should fill out on your local GMB listing:

  • The business name is correct (don’t add keywords here as it goes against Google TOS and can your account reported)
  • At least a 150-word description about your dental practice.
  • Your contact details (website, phone number, open hours)
  • Add lots of photos of your dental practice and your team, the more photos, the better.

Google Reviews

Reviews will increase the number of clicks on your local GMB listing, but more importantly, they send a strong trust signal to anyone thinking about booking an appointment with you.

Make sure you have an active plan in place for acquiring new reviews on your local GMB account.

An easy way to get Google reviews is to email your existing patients and ask them if they would mind leaving a review. Google makes this super easy by giving you a link straight to your review page that you can send to customers.

You Should See a Similar Link To This On Your GMB Account.

Citations and Directories

Local citations and directory links correlate directly with higher local rankings and online visibility of your Dental practice.

Citations and Directory links are local listing websites where you can register your business contact details. Some examples include the yellow pages, white pages, smile etc…

Important: Whenever you add your business details to a Directory, make sure your business name, address, phone and website details match with the details on your website. That way, Google can easily understand your business location and give you a nice boost to your local search results.

Pro-tip: Every time you create a new directory submission, record the login details so you can quickly edit your listing if things change, e.g. moving your Dental practice to a new location.

5. Creating Dental Related Content

Creating content for your website is one of the most critical components of Dental SEO.

The problem is… 

Most Dentists create content that has the opposite effect, driving customers away and hurting their Google rankings.

In the highly competitive space of dental SEO marketing, the ONE thing that will separate you from other practices is engaging and high-quality content that doesn’t put your audience to sleep when they read it.

And surprisingly, engaging Dental related content is easier to create than you think…

Priority #1: Focus On ‘Buyer Intent’ Content

Your goal with Dental SEO is to get more appointment bookings and patients.

So it’s vital you prioritise your sites content to target people who are ‘ready to book’ an appointment.

Specifically, you want to make sure your home page and various service pages are optimised for ‘buyer intent’.


These are the pages on your website where patients will visit before deciding to contact you and book an appointment.

Remember: You should always be focusing on buyer intent as a priority because your goal with SEO is to get more appointments booked.

For example, let’s say you want your website to appear in Google whenever someone types in ‘Dentist Sydney’

Then you’d want the content on your web page to have this search term added to the following locations:

  • Keyword in the page URL
  • Keyword added to the page title
  • Keyword included in the H1 Tag
  • Keyword included in the H2 Tag
  • Keyword in the first 100 words
  • Keyword appears at least 3x
  • Content length is at least 1300 words
  • Content has at least 3 Images
  • Keyword placed in at least one image’s alt text

To make this easy, here’s an example you can follow:

Target Keyword: Sydney Dentist

  • Page URL
  • Page Title: The #1 Sydney Dentist – Dr Paul Smith – Affordable Dental Care
  • Heading 1: Looking For An Affordable Sydney Dentist? Book Your Appointment Now
  • Heading 2: Sydney Dentist Open 7 Days
  • Content: At least 1300 words with at least 4-5 variations of the target keyword added.
  • Image Alt text: Sydney Dentist Dr Paul Smith

Repeat this process on every sales/service page you want to generate more traffic for.

Priority #2: Crafting ‘Information Intent’ Content

I’m going to let you in on an ‘SEO insider secret’.

“Most SEO agencies avoid helping dentists with their blog to capture localised ‘Informational intent’ keywords.

And this is where it gets interesting…

The number 1 success factor for any SEO campaign is your sites ability to earn backlinks.

How can your website attract brand mentions, social media shares and backlinks if it doesn’t have any blog content?

Nobody is going to link to your homepage or service page and more importantly, Google knows this too.

A lot of agencies will simply buy links and point them directly to your service pages which looks unnatural and puts you at risk of a Google spam penalty.

Apart from a dental blog being a great asset to build links to, you can also use it to pick up additional organic search traffic from Google.

Your blog will be targeting informational type keywords where people are not ready to book an appointment right away but are considering making a booking.

For example: Keyword like “root canal cost”, “how long do crowns last” and “how do veneers work”

These are the keywords to build your dental blog content around.

“Most Dentists make the mistake of trying to get local journalists to write a newsworthy piece of content about their practice.”

And this is almost impossible to pull off,

Instead, you want to do something that makes journalists actually want to link to you.

For example, you could run a local smile make-over campaign or help the homeless with their dental needs and invite journalists to come to the event and they will love it because local journalists are actively looking for great stories to cover.

Pro-tip: Your blog content must be engaging and interesting for your readers. Avoid writing posts boring posts like ‘10 Reasons Why You Should Book a Dental Appointment Every 6 months’.

Instead, use your expertise to give real value to potential patients!

Some Great Dental Content Ideas

  • In Depth Guides – “Dental Crowns: The Complete Guide To Protecting Your Crowns”.
  • Original Research – You could run a survey asking patients how often they brush.
  • Infographics – “The visual Guide On How Veneers Work”.
  • List Posts – “22 Techniques To Stopping Bad Breath for Good”.

Give away lots of great advice with your posts, show your patients why you’re worth booking an appointment with versus another Dentist.

Crafting great content will not only show people why they should book with you, but it will also serve as a vital cog in your link building efforts which is easily the most important aspect of Dental SEO.

How do you build links to a Dental website?

That’s what the next step is all about.

6. Off-Page SEO

Backlinks are still the #1 factor for ranking websites.

The trick to building links is to focus on quality over quantity, it’s no longer a numbers game.

Dental SEO is one of the most competitive niches to rank, so building high-quality links is critical to your SEO success.

Don’t be Overwhelmed by Link Building. 

You don’t need to build a tonne of links to achieve success with Dental SEO. Even just a few links from authoritative, dental-related websites can make a HUGE impact on your sites organic traffic.

What are the best backlinks for a dentist?

In order here are the best backlinks a Dentist could get to improve their rankings through SEO.

Getting links from health-related websites that publish articles about dental health.
Links from local sites and local news outlets.
Local dental associations and local business associations.
Social Media properties and general directories.

Internal Linking

Once some of your blog posts earn a couple of high powered links, you’ll want to internally pass that authority from your blog content to your most important service (money) pages.

Internal links distribute the link authority around your website and will help improve the rankings for all your pages.

How to Build High-Quality Dental Backlinks

The best way to get links is to email people who have the power to link to you.

But before you do, you need to give these people a valid reason to link and that’s why it’s so important to craft some amazing content (see the previous step).

Once you have at least one amazing piece of content, you can get stuck into building high powered links at scale.

Link Building Method #1 Resource Pages

A resource page is a page on another website that links out to great resources on other websites. These resource pages are gold mines for earning some great backlinks and there are plenty of these types of pages on the internet for Dentists to target.

Here’s a list of Google search operators you can use to find Dental resource pages.

  • “dental” + inurl:links
  • “dental” + intitle:resources
  • “dental” + “helpful resources”
  • “dental” + “useful resources”

These search operators will help you find some great resource pages. All you have to do now is email the site owner and ask them to include your amazing blog content.

Link Building Method #2 Guest Posting 

Guest posting is a fantastic way to build some powerful backlinks quickly.

Guest posts are simply writing an article on another website. You want to make sure that when you do this, you also link back to your site.

Here’s an example of a Guest post I wrote linking back to my own website:

What’s great about this method is you don’t even need to have a blog to do it.

Here are some search operators you can use to find great Dental related guest posting opportunities:

  • dental + “write for us”
  • dental + “contributor guidelines”
  • dental + “write for me”
  • dental + “submit guest post”
  • dental + “contribute to”
Here’s an example of a fantastic dental guest posting opportunity I found using the above Google search operators:

Pro-tip: You should write guest posts yourself, don’t outsource this to another writer because you’re the expert and will have more knowledge than generic writers when it comes to Dental related topics.

After you build a couple of quality backlinks, you should expect to see an increase in organic traffic and ranking, but it’s essential to know that your hard work is paying off.

The next part is all about measuring the success of your Dental SEO efforts.

Keep reading.

7. TrackIng Your Dental SEO Results

Putting all this effort into getting more traffic from Google, you want to ensure your Dental SEO efforts are paying off.

To do that, we’re going to use two free tools provided by Google called Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

You can quickly track organic traffic improvements using the following methods.

  • Search engine visibility
  • Total Organic Traffic
  • Traffic behaviour
  • Leads and sales from organic search traffic

Tracking Keyword Rankings

Knowing what keywords your site is ranking for gives you an understanding of your websites online visibility. It also allows you to quickly check that your website is appearing for your most important keywords.

We’re going to use Google search console (GSC) to see what search terms people use to find your website.

GSC shows you what keywords your website is ranking for.

GSC also tells you which pages bring the most organic traffic from Google.

Track Your Organic Traffic With Google Analytics

You want to check your actually getting more traffic from Google, right?

You can easily check your organic traffic using Google analytics.

If your SEO is working, then you’ll see an upward trend in the number of users visiting your website.

Please note: Don’t be concerned if you notice traffic has dipped for some time, up and down fluctuations in traffic are completely normal, what’s important is that the long term trend is going up.

Tracking Phone Calls and Appointment Bookings

Hands down the most crucial measure of success for your Dental SEO efforts will be seeing that it’s resulting in more patient bookings.

There are two leading success indicators you’ll want to track and those are:

  • Tracking how many calls are coming directly from your website
  • Tracking emails/online booking form completions.

Setting up proper tracking for these can be a little bit complicated because you’ll need to use both Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics to set these up.

You’ll need to go ahead and set up both tags and triggers in Google Tag Manager.

  • GTM triggers allow you to specify WHEN to fire tags.
  • Conversion on the thank you page.
  • Clicks a specific button (call now, book an appointment).
  • Playing a video.

At the end of the day, SEO for your dental practice is all about increasing your revenue.

To track using Google Analytics, you can set up several goals you’d like your website to achieve.

SEO for Dentists Matters, A Lot!

Now that you have all the steps needed to be successful with SEO, you’re probably wondering…

What’s next?

SEO for Dentists is a lucrative marketing channel that will set your practice up for long-term, sustained success.

If you have any questions or need help with your SEO, I’d love to hear from you.

Leave a comment below or contact me here.


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