Expert Answers to the Top 9 Dental SEO Questions You’re Too Afraid to Ask

We’ve all heard the saying, “There are no stupid questions.” Even still, most of us will occasionally find ourselves refraining from asking questions about things we’re not familiar with or are unsure of, fearing we’ll come off as ignorant or ill-informed.

The Top 9 Dental SEO Questions

And when it comes to something like dental SEO (search engine optimization), where best practices and strategy are ever-evolving, that hesitancy to ask questions can become even more pronounced. With that in mind, here are the expert answers to the top 9 dental SEO questions you’re too afraid to ask.

1. Why Does My Dental Practice Need SEO?

SEO is important because 75% of your patients use the internet to find a dentist.1 The time and effort you put into optimizing your website for search impacts how Google evaluates how well your practice has satisfied their SEO-ranking requirements. And that directly relates to where your practice appears on the search engine results page (SERP). 

You want your practice to rank as high as possible on the SERP. Why? Because 28% of people click on the first search result,2 and 55% click one of the first three results. After that, the drop-off only gets steeper.

2. What Should My SEO Goals Be?

The goal of any good SEO strategy should be to drive your ideal prospective patients to your website. You do this by creating content that appeals to your ideal target audience, built around the keywords or search terms they would enter into a google search when looking for that content.

But it’s not just enough to drive as much traffic as possible to your website. You want to focus on increasing the right type of traffic—qualified new patient leads, who match your ideal patient personas and who are likely to become new patients or book appointments for high-cost procedures. So you want to not only invite your ideal patient using the best keywords to match how they search, you want to create a website experience that makes it more likely they will “convert” by completing one of a set of prespecified goals (like booking that appointment, or filling out a webform).

Whatever your goals, they should be SMART.<sup>3</sup> That’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

3. What’s Dental Paid Advertising? What about Organic?

There are two types of search results, organic and paid. Organic results are based on the strength of your SEO. The better your SEO, the higher your rank for organic search. In addition to your organic SEO campaigns, you can also purchase paid ads for certain keywords. These ads will appear above the organic search results for those search terms, based on different parameters you set when creating the campaigns. You’ll be charged a fee when a searcher clicks on your ad, and the fee will vary depending on how competitive the keywords are considered by Google’s algorithm. You can create spending caps for your paid ad campaigns, which helps you control those costs.

4. How Often Should I Use Keywords?

You might be thinking, “Shouldn’t I use the keyword as much as possible?” In the early days of search this might have helped you, but now you’ll actually hurt your ranking. This practice, referred to as “keyword stuffing,” is flagged by Google’s Algorithm and counts against your SEO.

Generally, keywords and keyword phrases should appear about once every 100 words—if the usage is natural. Include the keyword in the page title, immediately in the introduction, in at least one subtitle and aim for a keyword density of 2%4 in the text.

5. What’s the Difference Between Link Types?

Hyperlinks, internal links, backlinks—each one has a part to play in your website design and digital strategy. But what exactly is the difference between them? Let’s break it down:

  • Hyperlinks are any link on your website.
  • Internal links are links on your website that take users to another page on your website.
  • Backlinks are links to any of your pages from another website

So, for example, if a dental association added a link on their website that goes to your website’s “About Us” page to profile one of your dentists, that’s a backlink. And these are special because, unlike internal links, Google considers backlinks when determining page rank.5

6. What’s Local SEO?

Local SEO is a specific digital strategy that focuses on geographically based keywords that are, well, local to the physical location of your dental practice. Think “dentists near me” and “best dentist in [insert town] here.” Since most people searching for a new dentist start by looking for practices nearby, it’s important to include some local (or even hyperlocal) keywords in your SEO plan.

7. What Does HTTPS Mean?

Many people (we promise, it really is many people!) have this question. On the internet geek side, these letters stand for “hypertext transfer protocol secure.” In plain language, the acronym simply means your site is encrypted and safe to visit.

8. What’s a Crawler?

Crawlers are what Google uses to analyze each individual page on the internet. As they “crawl” your website, these tiny internet bots assess the information presented there for key ranking factors to determine what position on the SERP each page should be awarded.

If Google hasn’t crawled your website, your pages won’t appear in searches, no matter how good the SEO.

9. How Long Does SEO Take to Work?

Every marketer has asked themselves this at least once. Experts agree that most SEO strategies take six to 12 months to take effect.6 Part of that delay comes from the time Google takes to crawl your pages. That process doesn’t occur automatically, but crawling must happen before a page will rank for anything.

A Good Website Makes a Great First Impression

Whether you’re a veteran marketer or new to dental advertising, you’ll always have SEO questions. Dreamscape Marketing has the answers. Schedule a strategy session by calling us at 888.307.7304 to get the answers to your not-so stupid questions.


For a list of references, please contact us.