While returning clients play a role in a successful dental practice, getting new patients through the door will take your business to the next level. Search engine optimization (SEO) uses a deep understanding of search engine algorithms to ensure that your website appears on the first page of a search engine results page, which means tailoring your site to particular queries or dental SEO keywords.
Are Keywords Still Important in Dental SEO?
Keywords still form the foundation of any SEO campaign, as they provide the main way in which your site communicates with search engines about its content and purpose. While Google's algorithm doesn't weigh keywords as heavily as it once did — a practice that led to keyword stuffing which led to a poorer user experience — keywords are still an essential component that will inform the rest of your content creation and website development strategy.
An important part of SEO for dentists is choosing the ideal keyword mix for your site. Keyword themes are groups of similar keywords that let you cover multiple bases at once, and you can pick and choose several themes while developing your SEO campaign.
As a dentist, you operate out of a specific location, which means that you will want to follow the best practices to local dental SEO that our team at Dental Intelligence recommends to increase traffic from people in your local area rather than from the entire world — a potential patient in Minnesota won't get any benefit from finding a dental website in Miami.
While Google may have started defaulting to local areas, location-based keywords can still give you a leg up on your competition. An important note on location-based keywords is that you still need to consider grammar and readability. Some keyword tools will suggest the "dentist services New York" format, but this tends to sound stiff and fake. Rather keep the preposition "in New York" to make your content more natural to prospective patients.
Using service-related dental SEO keywords makes sense for a service-based profession such as dentistry. Consider using at least one keyword per service you offer, but be careful of potentially competitive keywords, such as "checkups" or "dental cleanings." Instead, focus on services that make your practice unique in your location.
Dental Problem Keywords
Potential patients usually look for a dentist when they have a particular problem. Including these problem-based keywords in your strategy will establish your practice as a thought leader for that particular problem, especially if you use these keywords in blogs and other informative content.
Be very careful when choosing dental problem keywords — some people may be looking for a self-help solution or getting more information about their condition rather than explicitly looking for a dentist, making them a low-quality lead. Consider combining dental problem keywords with service or location-based keywords for higher-quality traffic results.
Choosing the Right Dental SEO Keywords for Your Site
Keyword research can be intimidating, especially in a competitive industry such as dentistry. The most important thing to remember is the buyer journey and what people type when looking for a dentist. However, you can use several free and paid tools to narrow your search for the optimal dental SEO keywords.
A great place to start is through Google Analytics. This tool lets you see what keywords and phrases people used to get to your site, and you can use these as a baseline for further keyword research.
Also, consider using Google's free Keyword Finder. This tool provides a more nuanced breakdown of keywords by providing information on the search volume of particular terms and the competitiveness of certain options. All you need to do to take advantage of this tool is enter your website's URL, industry, and location, and Google will do the rest of the hard work for you.
Using Keywords Optimally
Most websites focus on including keywords in content such as blogs or on the website itself. However, small tweaks can have a huge impact on how well keywords perform, such as:
- Using your top keywords in main headings and throughout your website's text while avoiding keyword stuffing.
- Using keywords in meta-descriptions, URLs, and image names and captions
- Keeping keywords grammatically consistent for more natural integration with your content
Choosing the right dental SEO keywords requires effort and care, but choosing the wrong ones can derail your entire SEO strategy. Whether you want more information about keyword research or monitoring leads and digital marketing strategies, don't hesitate to schedule a free demo with our team at Digital Intelligence today!