The Complete Dental SEO Guide (with Free PDFs & Templates)

This dental SEO guide contains theoretical as well as actionable tips to take your dental website to the moon.

It’s massive as it covers everything – from keyword research and content marketing to on-site and local SEO tips-tricks.

So if you want to get more customers for your dental business, let’s get started…

We have also created some interesting PDFs and templates that you can get for free.

What is dental SEO?

Dental SEO is the process of optimizing dental websites for the search engines so that they appear higher in the search engine results and bring more traffic to the website. And that without paying even a single penny for ads.

The term “dental SEO” can also be written as “SEO for dentists” or “SEO for dental practices”. It basically means optimizing dental websites and businesses for search engines like Google.

And as the dental space is a very competitive niche, it requires a well-planned strategy if you want to dominate the search.

What are the benefits of doing SEO for dental sites?

Just like for any other website, the benefits of doing SEO for dental sites are significant:

  • Higher rankings and more traffic: Helps your dental site rank higher in the search results and that brings more traffic to your website
  • More number of customers: The more traffic your website gets, the more will be the number of customers that avail of your dental services
  • Builds trust and credibility: The easier it’s to find your website through the search engines, the more credible and trusted it is perceived by your potential customers
  • Helps beat competition: With a robust SEO strategy, you can compete and beat your competition and stand out
  • User-friendly experience: To make the site rank higher, you also improve its loading speed, CTAs, etc., and that ultimately improves the user experience

Why SEO matters for dental websites

Let’s quickly look at some interesting stats…

More than 47% of internet users research health professionals online, and more than 77% of patients use a search engine to book their next healthcare appointment.

Patients use search before booking an appointment
Data: Source

Clearly, SEO for your dental website can’t be ignored.

How SEO helps you find more dental patients

Let’s understand the pattern of how dental patients decide which clinic they should visit. I have created this simple flowchart to help you understand:

Dental patient decision making flowchart
A simple flowchart of how dental patients make decisions to book appointments

You can see how people end up googling about the “best dental clinics”. And if your website appears at the top, there are high chances that those patients land on your site and end up being a customer.

But Google is not just used for discovery purposes, the patients might also use Google to compare two or more dental clinics by looking at the reviews, how high it ranks, and how clear the information is.

In fact, high-ranking sites are perceived as the provider of high-quality products or services.

So ranking higher doesn’t just bring more traffic, but also helps you establish a brand eventually.

The theoretical part ends here, now let’s look at the actionable steps that you can take to rock at doing dental SEO.

Dental SEO guide

I have divided the guide into the following chapters:

I will be explaining all these sub-topics in detail and with examples. Let’s take a look:

CHAPTER 0: SEO site audit for dental websites

An SEO site audit is a process of identifying common issues that prevent your site from ranking in the SERP.

And for doing a proper SEO audit, you have to check on the following aspects of your dental website:

  • If the site appears in the SERP as you want it to
  • If there are no 404 or 500 errors on the site
  • If the website loads within 3 seconds
  • If it satisfies the Core Web Vitals requirements
  • If robots.txt and XML sitemap files are present and correct
  • If all the internal links are working properly
  • If 301 or 302 redirects are there and working as expected
  • If all the pages do not have the issue of duplicate or thin content
  • If the quality of content matches with the current ranking sites
  • If backlinks coming to the site are of good quality

And to run these audits, I recommend using the following tools:

  • Google Search Console: Helps you identify the indexing-related issues
  • Google Analytics: Understand the site visitors and their behavior in a better way
  • Google PageSpeed: Checks if the site is performance-optimized
  • Schema Markup Validator: Validates the schema markup code added to your site
  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider: Crawls website pages to understand their structure and several other aspects
  • SEMrush or Ahrefs (paid): Runs a full audit automatically, and provides an interactive report

There are several other free and paid tools to run a site audit, but these are the best from my experience. And most of the time, you won’t even have to use paid tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs.

I prefer and recommend doing a manual audit, as you get more insights and ideas to improve when looking at the different aspects of the site one by one. However, if you’d prefer automated tools, then you can use the site audit tool by SEOptimer as it’s free and a bit better than the others.

CHAPTER 1: Defining target audience for dental sites

“Know your target audience” seems like very shallow and repetitive SEO advice; at least that’s what I thought when I started. But later I realized how significant this advice is.

When you know your target audience, you understand their pain points, search patterns, and behavior. And once you know who they are and what they want, you can reach them effectively.

Now the question is, how to define your target audience? Let’s find out.

How do you define the target audience for a dental business?

To define the target audience, your goal should be to know as much as you can about the potential customers.

  • Understand the existing customers by looking at the CRM data about the services they availed
  • Brainstorm who would be the ideal customer for the dental services you’re providing
  • Analyze the existing analytics data of the people who visit the website
  • Visit forums and communities where your potential customers hang out and learn about them
  • Use tools like Google Analytics, Search Console, SEMrush, etc. to understand more about your incoming traffic
  • Do competitor research and find out their target audience because your competitors’ audience is a subset of your potential audience

And combine the data to form a single sentence that defines your target audience. It can be something like “people of 40+ age who are living in X, Y, and Z cities and having an income more than $$$”.

Furthermore, SEJ has a very elaborate article on finding the target audience that you can refer to.

CHAPTER 2: Strategic dental SEO planning

Along with the carefully crafted landing pages, almost all business websites have a blog to educate and appeal to their audience. And the chances of success increase if you make a strategic plan for blog posts as well as landing pages.

For blog posts

It’s better to keep all the existing and upcoming blog content organized in a single place. I have a content calendar created in Notion that looks like this:

Content Calendar for Dental Blog

You can duplicate the above content calendar template to your Notion account for free.

The idea here is to plan, don’t wait for the current post to be finished, and then start again with finding topics. It’s not an efficient way to do it.

You can use a project management tool of your choice and plan weeks or even months of content at once. It saves time as well as makes it easier to track the progress.

I will explain how to select and finalize blog topics in the keyword research chapter below.

For landing pages

For a dental website, you should have multiple landing pages precisely targeting a different set of audiences. The landing pages can be built based on:

  • Different services you provide
  • Patients of different age groups
  • Different cities where your services are available
  • Different problems that dental patients are facing

For example, there can be different landing pages for different cities – say, dental services in Mumbai, dental services in Bangalore, dental services in New Delhi, etc. If there are different landing pages for each city, then there are better chances of your site appearing in the top positions.

Citywise Landing Page for Dental Site
An illustration of city-wise landing pages for a dental site

Similarly, you can create different landing pages for dental services like root canal treatment, dental implants, orthodontic treatment, etc.

You get the idea, right?

If you are creating numerous pages, then using the techniques of programmatic SEO can be an effective strategy. It lets you create 1000s of landing pages targeting long-tail and highly transactional keywords in no time.

CHAPTER 3: Dental keyword research

Keyword research is the market research of the digital age.

The more time you spend researching keywords, the effectively you will be able to target your potential customers. Because when you spend more time researching, you understand exactly what terms your potential customers might be searching to find the solution.

However, relying just on the keyword research tools is not a good idea, as some high-converting and high-volume keywords are either not at all shown or seriously underestimated.

I have listed some timeless keyword research techniques below.

How to find keywords for dental service pages

Finding keywords for dental sites is a bit different from other niches and sites. For most of the sites, you find informational and how-to keywords.

But for dental sites, your most valuable keywords are the ones around services (and products). For example:

  • Root canal treatment
  • Wisdom tooth removal
  • Teeth whitening treatment, etc.

And here’s precisely how to find keywords that are service-focused:

Brainstorm keywords

I consider this to be the best way to discover some interesting keywords that are generally missed by SEO tools.

Just write down all the different aspects of your business – from features/highlights to different ways you reduce the number of pain points — and try to generate blog topics or landing page ideas from them.

The best thing is, there are no rules. After writing everything down, if it clicks to you that it is something that people would want or be interested in, there’s your keyword.

Now, see if a keyword is fit for writing a blog post or creating a landing page and plan accordingly.

Raid dental forums

Forums like Reddit and Quora are goldmines of long-tail and question-type keywords.

Discover the forums and groups where your potential patients hang out and discuss their problems. Note down the keywords which you think are suitable for your dental business.

On Reddit, there are Subreddits like r/AskDentists and r/Dentistry where thousands of people discuss their dental issues. You will certainly get some profitable keywords from there.

Using Reddit Subreddit for Keyword Research
Finding keywords and topic ideas from Reddit

Similarly, you can just use the Quora search feature to find some topics.

Quora dental implant search
Finding keywords and topic ideas from Quora

Yes, the process of scraping keywords from forums is a time-taking process as it’s all manual, but it’s entirely worth the effort because the questions and discussions on these forums are the real issues that the people are facing.

And those specific keywords would bring targeted traffic with high chances of those people becoming your paying customers.

Use Google’s tools

Most probably, more than 90% of the traffic on your website comes from Google searches. So, the tools that Google provides are another great source of getting keywords that people actually search.

These tools are not specifically designed for keyword research, but there are ways to find frequently searched keywords directly from Google.

  • Google Autocomplete: Typing some parts of the keywords in Google’s search bar shows autocomplete suggestions and those are your keywords, try different combinations and note everything down
Google Autocomplete for Dental Implant
Google autocomplete showing useful keywords
  • Related Searches: Search the keywords you know and Google will show you various related keywords at the bottom of the search page, those are the keywords that people are searching for
Google related searches for dental implant
Useful keywords in Google’s Related searches section
  • People Also Ask: Google’s people also ask section is the best for finding long-tail and question-type keywords, and when you search for something, the section is shown somewhere in the top half of the search page
Google people also ask for dental implant
Google’s People also ask section showing blog topic ideas

Apart from the above-mentioned tools, you can also use Google’s dedicated keyword research tool called Keyword Planner (free to use). By using the tool, either you can discover new keywords or get monthly search volumes for the existing keywords.

Google keyword planner for dental implant
Keyword suggestions from Google’s Keyword Planner tool

Yes, the keyword suggestions provided by the Keyword Planner tool are not superb, but it does give you some interesting ideas.

Use SEO tools

Remember that the keyword tools only show the keywords that they have discovered as of now. You can find untapped keywords by using other above-mentioned methods.

There are free as well as paid tools to do keyword research, I have listed a few tools below that I like:

Free keyword tools:

  • Answer the Public — Free to use and the best if you’re trying to find long-tail keywords
  • KeywordTool.io — Just put the seed keyword and the tool gives you countless ideas

Paid keyword tools:

  • Keywords Everywhere — Shows the search volumes and related keywords right on the Google Search page, it’s affordable and straightforward to use (I’d recommend this over all other paid keyword tools)
  • Ahrefs/SEMrush — The biggest multipurpose SEO tools that can be used for keyword and backlink research and so much more (the keyword research process might seem complicated if you’re a first-time user, but you’ll find several tutorials on YouTube)

These tools, sometimes, do show keywords that you wouldn’t have figured out or found out otherwise.

Ahrefs monthly searches are underestimated
Source: My post in SEO Signals Lab Facebook page

However, it is worth mentioning that the keyword tools seriously underestimate the monthly search data. Even if a keyword has only 10 monthly searches, note it down because chances are it might have thousands of monthly searches.

I have listed some low-competition dental keywords here.

CHAPTER 4: Content marketing for dental sites

Content marketing can help you get LOTS of targeted traffic… and customers.

The only question is, how do you use content to get higher rankings and more traffic to your dental website?

In this chapter, I’ll give you some tips and takeaways that I’ve learned from producing hundreds of pieces of blog content.

Let’s dive right in…

Create a tremendously valuable dental blog

While having a blog is optional, it can play an important part in any legit dental SEO strategy.

A valuable blog can supplement your SEO efforts in multiple different ways.

  • Publishing high-quality content helps you in getting more backlinks and those links help your landing pages rank higher in the search engine
  • Brings more users to your website, and that ultimately increases the chances of casual visitors becoming loyal customers
  • Educates the patients about certain dental topics and helps them make better decisions

Furthermore, when your website repeatedly appears in the SERP for more search queries, people recognize the brand and that’s useful to make users’ transaction decisions in your favor.

Here are some tips on establishing the foundation of a powerful dental blog:

  • Do proper keyword research by using the above-mentioned methods and cover all the possible topics that the potential customers might be searching for
  • Create a content calendar to make the content management easier and to be able to effectively push out quality content at scale
  • Wherever relevant, do not forget to add internal links to the landing pages or selling pages from your blog posts
  • Have a clear call to action in blog posts, giving readers a quick way to sign up or book an appointment
  • Apart from writing on the transactional topics, also cover the entirely informative topics (and, interlink everything)

Remember that you’ve to serve two lords – users and search engines. And creating more “useful content” is the way to do it.

I have created a simple blog content tracker (see the below screenshot) that will help you manage and organize your dental blog effectively. I use the same Notion template to manage all the content here at Untalked SEO.

Content Calendar for Dental Blog
Content calendar Notion template

You can view and duplicate the above Notion template from here (for free).

CHAPTER 5: On-site optimization of dental sites

On-site optimization is all about making the website content easier to read and understand for search engines as well as for the users.

I have divided the on-site optimization process into the following 3 main sections and then several subsections:

  1. Optimizing the website structure and appearance
  2. Optimizing the code (HTML, CSS, and JS)
  3. Optimizing the images

Allow me to explain each of them:

A. Optimizing the website structure and appearance

Optimizing the website structure and appearance is all about keeping the site content organized, making the site look good, and having a better overall user experience. While it may sound like a very complicated thing to do, it’s not.

It might sound very technical in the context, but website structure just means how you organize the content of your website. Some reasons to have an optimized structure are:

  • It’s how search engines understand the priority and hierarchy of the webpages
  • It helps create better navigation and user experience
  • It improves crawlability and discoverability by the search engines

Here are some tips to have an optimized website structure and appearance:

a) Permalink structure

There are 2 kinds of permalink structure that you can choose from:

  1. yoursite.com/post-name/ — If you’re not planning to put 100s of pages of dental-related content on the website, this permalink structure works well, as there are not too many content types and categories to organize.
  2. yoursite.com/topic/post-name/ — But… if your website has numerous topics, content, and categories to manage, this permalink structure is better. However, it gets complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing.
b) Page structure

Page structure determines the hierarchy of a website. In a way, it can also be called the SILO structure.

There can be several ways to decide the hierarchy of a website, but the page structure I would choose for my dental website would look something like this:

Dental Site Page Structure for Blogs and Landing Pages
Page structure for blogs and landing pages

The homepage is at the top of the hierarchy and then the other sub-pages:

  • for blogs — home > categories > blog posts
  • for landing pages — home > type > landing pages

Basically, your goal should be to create a page structure that is easier to understand and, most importantly, that can keep your site content organized.

Understanding Page Depth

I recommend keeping the page depth or click depth 3 or less.

c) Internal linking

From the SEO and user experience perspective, internal linking is as important as backlinks (if not more). A properly interlinked website has advantages like faster indexing and better navigation than a poorly interlinked site.

And, having a well-organized page structure makes it easier to add internal links to the pages.

Internal Linking for Dental Website

I recommend going crazy about internal linking – add at least 4-5 internal links on all the pages (mainly, on blog posts but if possible, on landing pages too). An ideal internal linking diagram would look something like the above image.

UX experts suggest that a page shouldn’t take more than 3-4 clicks to be reached, and adding internal links do decrease the page/click depth.

In short, interlink wherever it is relevant. And make sure to use different anchor texts while adding internal links.

B. Optimizing the code

Optimizing the code makes your web pages load faster and helps search engines easily understand the website content.

Some tips for optimizing the website code are:

a) Optimize HTML, CSS, and JS

All web pages contain HTML, CSS, and JS, and optimizing them can significantly improve the loading speed. Generally, you can do the following 3 things:

  • Minify — Minifying all the CSS and JS files lowers the file size and makes the site load fast
  • Combine — Combining different JS and CSS files reduces the number of HTTP requests to the server
  • GZIP Compression — Reduces the response time by reducing the size of HTTP responses

The implementation might be a bit technical for custom-built websites, but it’s easier on WordPress. You can simply use plugins like Litespeed Cache (if your site is hosted on a Litespeed server), W3 Total Cache, or Autooptimize to minify and combine the CSS and JS files.

I will cover the topic again in the next performance optimization chapter.

b) Add relevant schema markup

Adding schema markup might seem scary, but it’s not.

For your dental website, you can quickly add organization schema markup to the homepage of your site so that the search engines can better understand what the site is all about.

Schema Markup Generator Tool
A screenshot of the Schema Markup Generator tool

This online Schema Markup Generator (see above screenshot) helps you quickly generate the schema code that you can just copy-paste to add to your site (as shown in the above screenshot). I will explain it again in detail in the local SEO section below.

c) Add and optimize necessary tags

While Google has started rewriting meta descriptions and title tags, it’s still a good practice to add the following tags to your web pages.

  • Meta title and description tag — Write your meta title in a way that increases the CTR. Wherever possible, adding numbers, brackets, and emojis to the title helps.
  • Open Graph — Make your OG images colorful and eye-catching so that it immediately draws attention when links from your site are shared on social media.
  • Canonical tag — If the same/similar content is published somewhere else, adding a canonical tag with the link to the original piece is highly recommended.

Earlier, search engines prioritized the keyword tag, but not anymore. So, you can skip that.

C. Optimizing the images

On your dental website, images constitute a significant share of the size of web pages. If a webpage is of 800 KB then most probably, 400-600 KB are images.

In fact, optimizing images can bring more visitors to the site. Let’s see how:

  • Optimized images make pages load faster, which helps in the rankings (because Core Web Vitals are a ranking factor now)
  • Optimized images can also help you rank in Google Images and Google Lens (as Google understands them better)

And, here are some tips to optimize images:

a) Resize images

Say, the service page on your dental site allows images to be a maximum of 640px wide, then there is no point in having an image of 1280×720px wide images added on the page. It’s just unnecessary and seriously slows down the loading of the webpage.

I recommend resizing images before uploading them to your site. It reduces their file size, which reduces the overall size of web pages and makes them load faster.

b) Compress images

After resizing, compress all the images to further reduce their file size.

I use TinyPNG, a free web tool, to compress all my images before uploading. Typically, the tool reduces image file size by more than 50%. This means an image of 100kb will just come down to 50kb.

Compressing an Image using TinyPNG
The result of compressing an image by using TinyPNG

You can see the huge difference in the file size before and after compression.

c) Add descriptive alt tags

Adding descriptive alt tags helps search engines understand images in a better way, and that increases the chances of them being discovered.

The HTML code for the alt tag looks like this:

<img src="dentist-service.jpg" alt="Best dental clinic">

You might not realize it, but Google images can also be a considerable source of traffic.

CHAPTER 6: Performance optimization for dental sites

Ever since Google announced the inclusion of Core Web Vitals as one of the ranking factors, the performance of your website is a big deal now. In fact, the website loading speed doesn’t just affect your Google rankings but also affects user experience.

So… it’s time to get it sorted out at the earliest.

But first, let’s understand the problems with a slow-loading website:

Issues caused by a slow loading website

a) Reduced conversions

Even a single second delay in the website loading speed considerably impacts the conversion rate.

According to a report by Portent, a site that loads in 1 second has a conversion rate 3x higher than a site that loads in 5 seconds and 5x higher than a site that loads in 10 seconds.

b) Bad user experience

Say, a patient is looking for some dental service and clicks on your website from the SERP, but the website doesn’t open in the next few seconds.

What does the patient do now? Of course, he/she will hit back and go to another website that’s offering the same service.

See… the slow loading of your website costs you a lot.

c) Less search visibility

As I mentioned earlier, the Core Web Vitals are now a ranking factor and if your website doesn’t pass the CWV score, it will eventually be pushed down the SERP.

If you want detailed information on the subject, read our blog post about Core Web Vitals and related tools.

Tips to optimize your website performance

This section contains various steps that can help you get a high Google PageSpeed score, like the below screenshot.

High Google PageSpeed Score
A screenshot of Google PageSpeed of UntalkedSEO

Apart from Google PageSpeed, you can also check the site’s performance by using GTMetrix and Google Search Console Page Experience section.

Now, let’s look at the tips to get a fast-loading website:

a) Use a fast and reliable web hosting provider

If you’re really serious about your website, stay away from cheap shared hosting providers, they might cause real damage to your search engine rankings. Shared hostings are only good for hobby bloggers.

Always go with a reputed web hosting provider and choose a plan with enough computing resources (CPU and RAM) in the server.

I recommend going with VPS hosts like AWS and Digital Ocean and selecting a server that can easily handle occasional spikes in the traffic. However, if you have difficulties with all the technical stuff of setting up a server, you can go with managed hosting providers like Cloudways and WPX.net (if you are using WordPress).

Also, have 70-80% of free RAM regularly available on your server so that it can handle sudden surges in the traffic without crashing (in case, your content gets shared on social media or in a newsletter).

b) Keep optimized images on the site

Out of all the different file types, images have the biggest file sizes, and they take around 70-80% of a webpage size. And, having optimized images makes your web pages load considerably faster.

To optimize images, you just have to do the following 2 things:

  • Resize: Resize all the images to the maximum dimension that your webpage requires. In most cases, you don’t need an image larger than 1080px width.
  • Compress: Compressing images further reduces the file size of the images. You can either compress all your images before uploading or have a setup that automatically compresses uploaded images.

I resize all my blog post images to 1024px and manually compress them by using TinyPNG before uploading.

You can also serve the images in the modern WebP format to further reduce the file size. But serve the WebP format images dynamically so that when a browser doesn’t support it, PNG or JPEG formats can be loaded. If you’re on WordPress, ShortPixel Image Optimizer is your plugin.

c) Minify and combine CSS and JS files

Minifying CSS and JS files reduce their file size by more than 50% and combining the files reduces the initial server response time. Minifying the files removes newlines, unnecessary spaces, and indentations from the code that makes web pages load faster.

If you’re on WordPress, it’s straightforward to implement, as most caching plugins also have options to minify and combine these files.

Moreover, it can easily be implemented on other platforms too.

d) Leverage the power of caching

Setting up a proper caching system makes web pages load even faster, as the pages don’t need to be rendered over and over again for each user. The caching system stores the current version of the web pages in the fully rendered form and doesn’t make database requests each time a user opens the page, saving lots of computing resources.

Probably, caching is much more than what I can explain, but just know that it makes your site load fast. Here’s a caching guide that you can follow for further information.

On WordPress, I recommend using caching plugins like Litespeed Cache, WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, etc.

e) Other possible optimizations
  • Use CDN if you have a massive media-rich site
  • Reduce the use of web fonts
  • Reduce the number of 301 redirects
  • Use prefetching and pre-rendering techniques

CHAPTER 7: Dental link building

There are more than 200 factors that Google uses to decide which site should rank higher, and backlinks and content quality are the most important among those factors.

In simple languages, the more backlinks your dental site has, the better will be the possibility of ranking higher (of course there are other factors involved too).

In this chapter, I will show you the best tips and strategies to earn more backlinks.

Can a website rank without backlinks?

Yes and no.

Yes, a website can rank without backlinks if it has high-quality content that no other competing sites are offering.

And no, a website can’t rank without backlinks if the competing sites have plenty of quality backlinks as well as quality content.

Again, the above is a very generalized concept as I haven’t considered other factors.

Now, let’s look at some effective ways to approach the link-building process.

I have divided the process into the following 2 steps:

  1. Finding link prospects
  2. Reaching out with a proposal

Let’s look at the details…

A. Finding link prospects

Finding link prospects is identifying sites from which you can get backlinks. There can be several methods for this, but I have explained a few useful ones below:

a) Competitor research

Researching your competitors and then replicating their backlink profiles is not as difficult as it might seem.

Your goal here is to find all the sites where your competitors are getting links from and then reach out to those sites to get links to your website. And most probably, you will get links because those sites do allow links (via guest posts, niche edits, or some other means) and that’s how your competitors got backlinks.

Backlink Analysis using SEMrush
Backlink analysis of a dental site using SEMrush

While there are some free tools for this, choosing a paid tool like Ahrefs and SEMrush gives the best result.

b) Finding other sites in your niche

Another great way to find link prospects is by finding other sites that operate in the same niche as yours and then reaching out to them for links.

But the question is, how to find those same-niche sites:

While paid tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs will help you do that, I prefer finding the prospects from Google itself — just google terms like:

  • <dental keyword> blogs
  • <dental keyword> “contact”
  • <dental keyword> “get in touch”
  • <dental keyword> “contribute”
  • <dental keyword> “write for us”, etc.

And, you’ll find plenty of sites to whom you can reach out with your proposal.

Here, the <dental keyword> can be replaced with dental, dentist, root canal, dental implant, and other dental-related words.

Find Blogs for Guest Posting
Finding link prospects using Google

However, I recommend only selecting the sites where there are no “write for us” pages. For that, you will have to manually search some related terms and find sites that are ranking at the 1-5 pages of Google.

Yes, it’s more difficult to find the link prospects this way, but you’ll get better quality links from those sites.

c) Pursue unlinked mentions

When referring to your site, sites just mention your brand name and forget to add a link to your site. You can reach out to them and request them to link to you.

Since your website is already mentioned there, there are chances that they will happily add a link back to your site.

To find the unlinked mentions, you can use the following Google search operator:

intext:"Untalked SEO" -untalkedseo.com -facebook.com -twitter.com
Pursue Unlinked Mentions for Backlinks
Pursuing unlinked mentioned using Google search operators

You will have to manually open each URL and see if they have linked to your site, you can reach out to them in case they haven’t.

Tweet about Unlinked Mentions by DeepakNess
Source: My post on Twitter

You can also use paid tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Screaming Frog. For further information, refer to this guide by Ahrefs.

d) Find sites with low-quality outbound links

As it’s recommended to add relevant outbound or external links to your articles, some websites add outbound links to low-quality resources. And, there’s your chance.

You can reach out to those sites and offer them a better resource to link to, usually, they will be happy to link to your site if the content is useful for their readers.

Yes, the challenge here is finding those sites. It’s a completely manual process, but entirely worth the time and effort.

e) Reclaim lost links

Every so often, some inbound links, that were coming to your site from other sites, get removed for some reason. You will have to use paid SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to find out the deleted backlinks.

Make a list of web pages from where the backlinks have been removed and reach out to let them know that the links have been removed and if they would be kind enough to re-add. Yes, it won’t always work, but it’s worth trying as it doesn’t take much time.

B. Reaching out with a proposal

Now that you have a list of sites (with their contact details) which there is a possibility of getting a link from, it’s time to start the outreach campaign.

And the most important factor in getting links would be what you’re offering in exchange for the backlink that you’re getting. You can offer the following things in return:

  • High-quality article while doing guest posts
  • A link back from your site
  • A well-designed infographic
  • Some money as settlements, etc.

Email is the best way to reach out to prospects, but you can also DM associated people on social media.

And, remember that you do not spam these people by sending repeated emails. As you don’t like it if someone emails you again and again, it’s the same with other people.

The main challenge here is with creating the outreach proposal — it should be precise as well as persuasive. Just know that those people that you’re reaching out to receive tens of those kinds of emails every single day, so you need to stand out.

Here are some tips to stand out:

  • Give the proposal a personal touch
  • Drop the emails/DMs during the middle of the week
  • Use interesting yet real subject lines
  • Keep the proposal short and sweet
  • Talk about what benefits they’ll be getting too, etc.

And, never copy and use a template that you find on the internet because other people are probably doing the same and that will not make you stand out.

CHAPTER 8: Local SEO for dental clinics and dentists

Doing local SEO for dental sites is just like doing local SEO for any other sites, but it’s crucial. Because most of the patients who visit a dental clinic come from local Google searches like “dental clinics near me” and “dental clinic in <city name>”.

Optimizing your dental site for local search revolves around finding local keywords, optimizing your GMB profile, and building “NAP” citations.

For local SEO, Google My Business profile and other local directory listing profiles are much more important than your website.

Before we jump onto the tips, some important ranking signals for the local SEO are:

  • Searchers’ location
  • Online ratings and reviews
  • Social shares
  • Check-ins
  • NAP citations
  • GMB listing, etc.

Your goal should be to appear in the map pack section that appears for the local searches on Google.

The Map Pack on Google for Local Results
The map pack section at the top and a local organic result at the bottom in Google

Let’s look at ways to optimize your dental site for the local SEO…

a) Find local dental keywords

Finding local keywords for your dental site is a one-time job, just spend a few hours finding the keywords that local users search to find a dental clinic in the area and now optimize your local listings around those keywords.

Some tools for finding local dental keywords that have transactional intent are:

  • Brainstorm (a lot)
  • Google related searches
  • Google suggest
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Suggestions in local directories like Yelp Suggest, JustDial Suggest
  • SEMrush and Ahrefs
  • Other methods mentioned in the chapter #3 above

The autocomplete feature and suggestions provided by the local business directory sites can be a huge help in finding local keywords.

JustDial - Dentists in Delhi
Left-side search suggestions in JustDial

For example, search for “dentists in Delhi” in JustDial and see the other search suggestions that it provides in the left sidebar (see the above screenshot).

Autocomplete Suggestions for Dentists in Yelp
Autocomplete suggestions on Yelp

Furthermore, you can find some interesting dental keywords from autocomplete features on Yelp, as illustrated by the screenshot above.

The keywords you find through these methods can be combined with the local modifiers and more keywords can be constructed. Some common local search modifiers are:

  • near me
  • in <city>
  • in <country>
  • best
  • affordable, etc.

Ahrefs has a detailed guide on finding profitable local keywords that you can refer to if you want to dig deeper.

I have already collected some high-volume local keywords for dental SEO that you can download by clicking here.

b) Create an optimized Google My Business profile

For local SEO, Google My Business Profile > Your Website

According to a survey done by BrightLocal, 36% of SEOs think that having a Google My Business profile (GMB profile) is the most important factor to rank in the local map pack (see the screenshot below).

It indeed is!

Google Map Pack
The map pack section in Google local search

Some of the best practices to create and optimize your GMB profile are:

  • Use the exact business name and address
  • Always keep opening hours updated (including holiday hours)
  • Use relevant business category
  • Properly set up the service areas
  • Add lots of photos of the interior and exterior
  • List all the products and services you offer
  • Ask your customers for ratings and reviews

A common mistake that I notice is people adding extra information (like business category and location) in the business name field – don’t do that. The business name in GMB should be the same as the registered business name.

c) Have related landing pages on the website

The content on your website is significant for ranking in the map pack as well as in the local organic results.

I recommend creating landing pages for different products and services you offer. And if you can create unique content for each page, you can create different pages for different cities too (either manually or by using programmatic SEO techniques). For example, you can create pages targeting different cities:

  • Teeth cleaning services in New Delhi
  • Teeth cleaning services in Bangalore
  • Teeth cleaning services in Mumbai, etc.

Just make sure that at least 80% of the content on the pages is unique.

Another interesting thing is, sometimes, GMB rankings are also affected by whether a listed service is somewhere mentioned on the website or not. Here’s a great example of that:

Dental Implants Map Pack
A screenshot showing how Google picks up phrases from your website for local results

You can see that Google picked the phrase “dental implant” from their website.

However, it’s not necessary, but it’s good to have pages for different products and services you provide.

d) Create NAP citations

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone. Sometimes, it’s also NAPW where W stands for the Website.

And for local SEO, NAP citations are one of the most important ranking factors. They also help potential customers discover your business online.

According to Moz, the local citations can be divided into the following categories, mainly:

  • Search engine profiles (Google My Business, Bing Places, Apple Places on Maps, etc.)
  • Data aggregators (Foursquare, Data Axle, etc.)
  • Directories and review platforms (Yelp, Facebook, etc.)
  • Geo-specific and industry-specific platforms
  • Unstructured citations (mentions on blogs, news sites, government databases, etc.)
  • Owned properties (your website, social media, and other properties you own)

The goal here is to be present on as many local platforms as possible and increase the possibility of being discovered by the people. As mentioned earlier, it also increases your chances of being present in the map pack.

We have created a list of free and paid local citation platforms that you can get by clicking here.

e) Use relevant Schema Markup

I have already covered the schema markup part briefly in the on-page optimization section above, but let me quickly go through it again.

Schema markup is a kind of structured microdata that helps search engines understand the content of your site in a better way. Adding them to your site gives search engines more insights about your dental products and services, ultimately improving search engine visibility. It also increases the chances of being shown as rich snippets in the SERP.

That said, there’s an entire category of Schema markup for local businesses.

For the perfect schema markup, add the following properties to your markup:

  • Business category (which is “dentist” in our situation)
  • Name of your dental business
  • Logo of your business
  • Telephone, if available
  • URL of the homepage or associated landing page
  • Address of your dental clinic
  • Geo-coordinates of the clinic address
  • Area-served (zip codes of the areas where your services are available)
  • An image that defines your business (an illustration or storefront image)

Also, the Search Engine Journal recommends adding some common schema properties like Review, AggregateRating, FAQPage, PriceRange, etc. You can learn more about them if you like.

A perfect schema markup code for a dental website (an example site) looks something like this:

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "Dentist",
  "name": "Dental Care",
  "image": "https://dentalcare.com/image.png",
  "@id": "https://dentalcare.com/#organization",
  "url": "https://dentalcare.com/",
  "telephone": "+1234567890",
  "priceRange": "$$$",
  "address": {
    "@type": "PostalAddress",
    "streetAddress": "107, Navi Mumbai",
    "addressLocality": "Mumbai",
    "postalCode": "123456",
    "addressCountry": "IN"
  },
  "openingHoursSpecification": {
    "@type": "OpeningHoursSpecification",
    "dayOfWeek": [
      "Tuesday",
      "Monday",
      "Wednesday",
      "Thursday",
      "Friday",
      "Saturday"
    ],
    "opens": "09:00",
    "closes": "07:00"
  },
  "sameAs": [
    "https://facebook.com/dentalcare",
    "https://twitter.com/dentalcare"
  ] 
}
</script>

Before adding the code snippet to the production website, make sure there are no errors by validating your schema code. You can use the free Schema Markup Validator to identify any errors in the code.

And, if your website is created using WordPress, you can use the local SEO features on the SEO plugins like Yoast and RankMath. That way, you won’t have to add the markup code manually, as these plugins do that automatically.

One important thing to note is, the same schema markup should not be present on all the pages on your website. You can just add the code with all the above-mentioned properties on the homepage.

BONUS CHAPTER: Common dental SEO queries

In this chapter, I will be addressing some common pain points as well as some other useful information.

What are some bad dental SEO practices that you must avoid?

There are quite a few practices that are considered bad:

  • Say no to AI writing tools

No matter how good an AI writing tool is, it’s never a replacement for the human writer. And if you still try to replace it, it’s going to end badly, eventually.

Just like a human writer can provide incorrect facts and plagiarize from somewhere, it’s the same with AI tools. They shouldn’t be used to write dental blog articles.

Yes, if you’re using an AI editing tool that’s just assisting you a bit in your writing, it’s good as the content structure and thoughts are of your own.

  • Avoid backlinks from spammy guest posting sites

Guest posting is not bad, it’s one of the best ways to build high-quality backlinks. But it can be the worst, too.

If you’re doing a guest post outreach for your dental site, avoid sites that are only used for selling guest post links. The list of websites that you get by googling “dental blogs that accept guest posts” are mostly the kind that I am talking about, avoid them at any cost.

  • Do not keyword stuff your articles or landing pages

Those days are long gone when people used to just put the keywords 10-20 times in their content with no context and used to rank higher.

Other than where keywords are naturally needed in the article, do not use them for increasing the keyword density.

  • Building backlinks? Do not build it fast

Another rookie mistake that you can make is building 100s of low-quality backlinks at once that you get by ordering as a pack from a backlink seller.

Those backlinks do more harm than good. Avoid them.

How to measure SEO success for your dental site?

The ultimate success would be when more patients start coming to your dental clinic, right? Yes!

But you can definitely measure if you’re on the right path if the graphs are going upward. If your website or the GMB profile starts appearing in the map pack, that’s another win for you.

Metrics and KPIs to Measure SEO Success

The most important metrics and KPIs that define the success of your SEO efforts on your dental site are shown in the above infographic.

Final words

I do not say that SEO is free, it has a huge cost attached, but it undoubtedly has a better ROI than PPC and other ads. If local SEO and content marketing is done right for your dental website, it can continuously bring local patients and collect leads from a global audience.

Yes, the dental SEO process might take weeks before you notice any growth, but it’s all worth it in the end.

Also, here are some useful freebies that you can quickly download or duplicate:

Just click on the link to download or duplicate (for free).

If I haven’t made myself clear in some chapters or sections above, feel free to drop your questions in the comments below.

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