If you have been delving into the world of dental SEO and trying to boost the performance of your dental website you have undoubtedly heard the dreaded term keywords pop up. Keywords are what make Google happy and they are the cornerstone of SEO implementation.
These are the words and phrases that your patients will search for on Google and other engines to find dental services. For example, if I want to find a new dentist I might type on Google “Dental surgery in XXX”, where XXX is where I live (I’m not telling you that!). Google would then give me a list of websites based on which ones have the best SEO (search engine optimization) for that phrase!
The first dilemma you have however is finding the right keywords to use in the first place. We understand this can be a minefield but to help, we have listed three simple steps below that you can take to research keywords for your dental practice effectively.
Step 1 - Find Key Features of Your Business
SEO for dentists is no different from other companies – you just have a different set of keyword considerations to make. The best starting point is to really dissect your dental business and understand what you do, where you do it, and how you do it.
Spend time looking at the following aspects of your dental clinic and make detailed notes:
– Services provided
– Areas covered
– NHS / Private
These four things are paramount to your keyword selection and in some cases simply by listing these things, you can see some potential keywords immediately.
Let’s say that your surgery is located in Barnet for example in London. From this, you instantly have some potential keywords such as “dentist in Barnet”, “dental surgery in Barnet”, and “dental treatment in Barnet”.
Step 2 - Choose Dental Keyword Themes
With the core information and services of your dental clinic listed, you can break your keyword selection into specific themes. Using keyword themes is a brilliant way to segment your research and make the process easier to complete.
By themes, we mean an underlying aspect of your business that someone may search for. For dental clinics, the best themes include location, services, reviews, and problems.
Most people do not want to travel out of the area they live to go to the dentist. They want convenience and they want a short walk or drive to have their checkups and treatment.
Keywords based on the physical location of your dental surgery and the areas you cover are therefore incredibly important.
Primarily you want to base your keywords on the town, city, or village where your practice is located. But you could also look on Google Maps and include neighboring areas where patients might still travel from.
Next you should look at keywords relating to the services you provide as people will often search on Google for specific things they require.
I might need a tooth extraction for example and don’t know which dentists provide this process so I may hop on Google and type in “tooth extraction dentists in XXX”.
This won’t apply to all your services though because some are taken for granted with a dentist. You wouldn’t expect many people to search for dentists that provide checkups for example – this is a standard practice that all surgeries provide.
Did you know that a high percentage of people actually search for terms that include some form of review phrase? We don’t just want a “dentist in Barnet”, instead we want the “best rated dentist in Barnet”.
Review-based keywords for dental practices can be incredibly popular due to the nature of the service and the fact that many people are nervous about using a dentist they don’t trust or that hasn’t been reviewed.
Examples could include things like “root canal treatment Barnet”, “Barnet teeth whitening”, and “Tooth extraction Barnet”.
Step 3 - Use Keyword Research Tools to Refine Your Choices
You now have detailed business info and a list of keyword themes and hopefully, you have already spotted some suitable options.
It’s now time to make use of some of the incredible keyword research tools available online. There are some fantastic tools that help you find the right keywords for your dental practice that you can realistically compete for, and the top services include:
– Google Keyword Planner
– Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
Google Keyword Planner is a great starting point as it integrates with other Google services and is free to use. Semrush and Ahrefs Keyword Explorer are also superb tools but these require a monthly subscription so might be more beneficial once you have got the basics sorted.
Keyword research tools are what bring everything together and help you refine your choices. You can use them to filter out keywords that are rarely searched for, and maybe find niche keywords that don’t have much competition.
Keywords are the Starting Point for Dental SEO
Without the right keywords, you can’t hope to implement effective dental SEO and in today’s online-orientated world, this is something your practice really needs to have. SEO is the mortar that holds the bricks of your website together and it’s what gets you noticed on Google.
Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.
He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.