Tips for Doing Local SEO for Dentists and Dental Clinics

May 2nd, 2024, 09:00 AM

Like any type of local business, dentists can benefit from doing local SEO to improve their online visibility and attract new patients. 

But the healthcare services industry, including the dental services sector, is a highly competitive industry in local search. 

By following some dental SEO best practices, dental practices can gain a competitive edge and get found in more local search results when people perform searches for dental services in nearby areas.

What's the ultimate goal of local SEO for dental practices? Appearing in the top three results on Google — Google's 3-Pack!

Why Is Local SEO Important for Dental Practices?

When someone searches on Google or Google Maps for "dental clinic" in any city, town, or neighborhood, they're going to pull up a ton of results to choose from when looking to book their next dental appointment. 

While they might instantly discount some of the options based on where they're located, chances are that there will still be many nearby dental clinics they could potentially visit for that much-needed dental cleaning or checkup that they've been putting off.

So, how do local customers choose which dental practice to book an appointment with? Well, more often than not, they're simply going to choose one of the top few results they see.

By doing local SEO, dental clinics can improve their local search rankings, appearing as highly as possible in the list of results for local queries and increasing the odds of someone choosing their clinic over competitors.

Tips on How To Do Local SEO for Dentists and Dental Clinics

Doing local SEO for dental practices is a multi-faceted process that involves the following key steps:

  1. Do Dental Services Keyword Research
  2. Optimize Google Business Profile for Your Dental Practice
  3. Get More Positive Reviews From Dental Patients
  4. Optimize Your Dental Clinic's Website
  5. Create Helpful Locally Relevant Content
  6. Check up on Your Local Citations
  7. Perform Competitor Analysis

Do Dental Services Keyword Research

Before you can do local SEO for a dentist's office, you need to do some keyword research and come up with a list of relevant keywords to target. 

Using a local rank tracker, like Local Falcon, and other keyword research tools can provide you with lists of dental keyword suggestions and save you time when doing this.

Fortunately, the dental industry is well-trodden when it comes to SEO, so it shouldn't be too hard to find relevant keywords. 

Just make sure to cover all the services your dental clinic offers, including general ones like teeth cleaning and dental checkups and more specialized ones like dental implants and cosmetic dentistry.

You should also make sure to go after a mix of short- and long-tail keywords. While short-tail keywords tend to have the highest search volume, they are also the most competitive, so it's harder (and more expensive) to rank for them. 

On the other hand, long-tail keywords usually have lower search volume, but are less competitive and easier to rank highly for. They also tend to convert better because of the search intent behind them.

For example, when someone searches for a long-tail keyword like "teeth whitening dentist near me," they are more likely to book an appointment than someone who just searches for "teeth whitening."

Optimize Google Business Profile for Your Dental Practice

Google Business Profile is any business's single most important asset in local SEO. This is because Google Search and Google Maps account for the vast majority of local search traffic, and the top results on Google are almost always three or so Google Business Profile listings.

So, in order to even stand a chance of ranking in Google's 3-Pack, dentists must focus on optimizing their Google Business Profile listings.

The first step to optimizing Google Business Profile for a dental clinic is to take ownership of your listing, if you haven't done so already. After that, you'll have full control over what and how information appears on the listing, be able to upload photos and respond to reviews, and more.

Here are some tips for optimizing a dental practice's Google Business Profile:

  • Ensure accurate and up-to-date business information
  • Upload high-quality images of the practice, staff, and facilities
  • Add relevant keywords in the business description
  • Encourage satisfied patients to leave positive reviews
  • Respond promptly to reviews, both positive and negative
  • Utilize the Q&A section to address common patient inquiries
  • Include specific services offered by the practice as secondary categories
  • Add business hours, including any special hours for holidays or events
  • Enable messaging to allow patients to contact the practice directly
  • Use Google Posts to share updates, promotions, and news
  • Monitor and analyze insights to understand user interactions
  • Select relevant Attributes (e.g., wheelchair-accessible entrance)

Note that, if your dental clinic is located within a bigger healthcare facility or on a healthcare campus, you'll want to use the "Located in" feature for the Google Business Profile listing address to optimize it as part of a campus.

If your dental practice accepts insurance, you may also be able to add specific insurance providers to your listing to show which types of insurance you accept.

Get More Positive Reviews From Dental Patients

Getting reviews on Google Business Profile serves two main purposes. Firstly, the more positive reviews you get, the better your listing will rank in search results. Secondly, positive reviews help potential patients decide which dental clinic to contact for an appointment.

So, in order to optimize your Google Business Profile and help convert leads, it's important to encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on Google. 

You might do this by posting a QR code linked to Google Business Profile reviews somewhere highly visible, such as at the reception desk or somewhere else in the waiting area. You could also ask patients to leave reviews in a follow-up email thanking them for their visit.

But you shouldn't only focus on the positive reviews — it's equally important to pay attention and even respond to any negative or mediocre reviews. This can both offer insights into ways to improve your dental practice and demonstrate your commitment to providing excellent customer service, ultimately leading to more positive reviews in the long run.

Optimize Your Dental Clinic's Website

Although your Google Business Profile listing always has the highest chances of showing up at the top of Google results, it's also possible for your website to show up highly, so it's important to optimize a dental practice website as well.

To help a dental clinic's website show up in more local search results, you should focus on optimizing its content and metadata with locally relevant keywords. 

For example, the homepage, service pages, and other pages should include headings that include keywords like "dentist in [your city]." 

For instance, a dentist in Oakland might have a service page about teeth whitening and include headings like "Looking for a Teeth Whitening Dentist in Oakland?" and "[dental clinic name] Offers Fast Teeth Whitening in Oakland."

Wherever possible, include these types of locally relevant keywords naturally throughout the website's content and metadata, including title tags and meta descriptions. This will help the site and specific pages within the site show up in as many relevant local searches as possible.

Create Helpful Locally Relevant Content

Creating a dental blog and regularly publishing helpful news and articles provides the perfect opportunity to include even more locally relevant keywords on your site.

For example, you can write blog posts about common dental-related search topics like "do root canals hurt," "are dental implants expensive," and "invisalign vs braces."

Look for opportunities to include locally relevant keywords naturally throughout the content to help it rank in local searches. For example, in an article about the cost of dental implants, you might include a heading like "How Much Do Dental Implants Cost in [your city]."

Publishing this type of content makes it easier to target some of those more long-tail keywords we mentioned earlier, helping your site rank for them in search results. It also establishes your dental clinic as an authority on dental service-related topics, which could influence people to choose it over competitors.

Check up on Your Local Citations

Local citations are online mentions of your dental business, including important business information like its name, address, and phone number (NAP). 

These citations matter for local SEO because they signal to search engines that your business is trustworthy and relevant to local searches — but only if they're consistent.

When you're doing local SEO for a dentist, it's important to check up on all their local citations and update them as needed to ensure that they all provide the exact same information. 

This means that everything, down to the way the address is written or abbreviated, should be exactly the same.

If, for example, different business listings show different business hours, the dental clinic could potentially get penalized in search results.

Perform Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis is a crucial aspect of any successful local SEO strategy for dental clinics. By understanding what competitors are doing well and where they may be falling short, dental practices can identify opportunities to differentiate themselves and improve their own local search rankings.

Start by identifying who your main competitors are in the local area. These are likely other dental clinics or practices that offer similar services and target the same audience. For example, if your dental practice primarily provides pediatric dental services, your top competition would be other dentists who offer dental services for children.

Visit your competitors' websites and Google Business Profiles to see how they present their services, what keywords they target, and how they engage with their audience. Pay attention to the quality and quantity of their reviews, the type of content they publish, and the keywords they use in their content and metadata.

Analyze the reviews your competitors have received to understand what patients appreciate about their services and where they may be lacking. Use this information to improve your own services and address any potential weaknesses.

To save time on competitive analysis for dentists and dental clinics, use Local Falcon to compare your local search rankings with those of your competitors and gain actionable insights into potential optimizations that could help you outrank them.


Optimizing a dental practice for local SEO is crucial for attracting new patients and standing out in a highly competitive industry. 

By following dental SEO best practices, dental clinics can improve their visibility in local search results and increase their chances of appearing in Google's 3-Pack. 

These strategies not only enhance online visibility for dentists, but also help potential patients choose their practice over competitors, ultimately leading to increased appointments and business success.

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