Biggest Mistake in Dental SEO

How to avoid paying a hefty amount to dental SEO consultants for nothing?

As you may have noticed, I am one of the search engine optimization experts for dentists and dental practices and that’s the reason I want to share with you one of the biggest mistakes SEO consultants make on a regular basis. If you have a dental SEO guy and you have been paying him for years without seeing enough patients through the door, there is a possibility that he is making the same mistake. Oh! And believe me! I know many dentists that are doing it, simply because they don’t know what to expect from dental search engine optimization.

Before I explain about the biggest mistake or better said biggest fatal error, I should explain that search engine optimization is not just anybody’s work. It needs expertise, years of practice, following Google and other search engines closely and regularly for changes they make in their search algorithms and the most important one: Dental SEO expert should be familiar with Dental and Dentistry industry and preferably have experience working in the industry. There are many aspects to SEO and there are many mistakes that can prevent you from having a successful SEO and enough patients through the door, but I will concentrate on the one that is specifically because of lack of knowledge about dentistry and dental practices.

O.K.! Here you go! The biggest fatal error is “wrong keyword search”. What does that mean? Search Engine Optimization is a pull marketing campaign. It means you make your site visible for specific searches and by that I mean specific keywords that people search. So when people enter specific search terms in Google, Yahoo and Bing they find your dental practice website as one of the top results. As an example, your website may be visible via search when people search for “New York Dentist” or “New York Dental Implant” or “New York Implant Dentist”. Those are three different searches coming from three different strategies and one of the main factors for a successful SEO is selecting the right choice of Keywords.

Depending on your area, local Long-Tail keywords are some of the best keywords to optimize your dental practice website for. Long Tail keywords usually are keywords consisting of two to five words and representing the exact search when a searcher looks for something. In search for dentists and dental practices, it translates to a combination of “Area: City, Zip-code, etc.” and “Specialty: Orthodontist, pediatric, etc.”. What makes the keyword search increasingly important is the areas are different so depending on the area, competition and population, the right choice of keywords for dental practices vary.

Let me give you an example. In our New York example, unless if you have lots of money to invest and lots of time to wait, “New York Dentist” is not the right keyword for you. Why? Because there are other dentists that have spent lots and lots of money over the years to increase their visibility and winning the competition over them for a new comer, is close to impossible at least for the short-run. Now, you may want to target one of the zip-codes or neighborhoods instead and have your keywords concentrated on specialty. That way you target less number of people but if you choose the right set of keywords, with the right SEO, you still will have enough searches and enough visibility to bring you a decent number of new patients every month.

On the other hand if you are living in a small city, let’s say “Moraga, California”, then it may be a wrong choice to pick “Moraga dental implant” as your keyword. Why? Because the competition is less so with the right investment and the right consultant, there is a high chance for you to be on top of Search Engine Page Results (SERP) for better keywords because of limited competition. And here is the reason for fatal error in this case: Being concentrated on the first results on search engines for local keywords with very low search volume doesn’t bring enough new patients. What is the use of being the first result for the search term “Moraga Dental Implant” in search engines if rarely anybody ever searches for it? In an area like that you might be better off with concentrating on more general keywords such as “Moraga Dentist”

To summarize, if you choose the wrong keywords for your Dental SEO efforts, they might fail when 1- Because of high competition in highly populated areas, you will have a low chance of being on top for general keywords. 2- Because of low volume of search in low populated areas, you will not have enough website views even if you are on top.

At “DDS Strategy” we help dentists for search engine optimization among many other dental marketing campaigns. We take our own advice and deeply analyze the keywords before starting the dental SEO process. Contact us today for a free no-commitment consultation session.

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  • Jason Sipe

    I agree. I try to help my clients understand that there practice will benefit more from long-tail keywords when they’re in a larger city. Trying to get a keyword phrase like “Portland Dentists” will be an uphill battle!

  • Bryan George

    Good post.