2020's Guide to Local SEO for Dentists

February 9, 2020

With more than 200,000 practicing dentists in the United States you’ve got to make sure that your practice is standing out from your competitors. Since most people now use the internet when searching for services they’re looking for, you need your business to be found online. To do this you need to start doing SEO for dentists. Here are some great tips to follow to ensure you have an edge over your competitors.

Create A GMB

Start by creating a Google My Business (GMB) listing. This will put you on Google’s radar as a local business. Once you have created a GMB profile you’ll begin to start showing on Google search. When creating the profile make sure to include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Hours
  • Website
  • A short description of your business
  • Photos that have to do with your business

One critical element of your Google My Business profile is the category. When you create your GMB page, you can select categories for your business. These categories are how Google identifies you’re your business does and are a very powerful ranking signal. When creating the profile make sure to pick one that relates to the services you offer. You can add up to 5 additional secondary categories for dentists. Here are just a few examples.

  • Dental hygienist
  • Dental clinic
  • Cosmetic dentist
  • Pediatric dentist

Create online citations

A great thing to start doing is find directories to put your business on. Yelp, Yahoo and Yellow Pages are just a few to name. These citations help establish your business. Just make sure when signing up all the information matches what your GMB profile uses. If you’re a dentist in the city of Los Angeles, you may want to submit your business to some local citation directories such as:

For a full list of SEO citations a dentist should be listing  their business on check out Brightlocal.com


Keywords can be such a powerful tool that will help you be ahead of your competitors. Ranking is only helpful if you’re ranking for the terms people are searching for. By doing keyword research, you can identify strategic keywords, which will inform all of your online marketing strategies. Fortunately, there’s some free tools to help you out with this.

Google Keyword Planner Google Keyword Planner is Google’s free keyword research tool. Its primary use is for Adwords, and you log in to the Adwords dashboard to find it, but it can give you rough ideas for traffic. KeywordIN to find all the permutations of search queries This tool helps you generate keyword ideas by combining multiple modifiers, and generating a list of possible keyword phrases for you to research. This is great for building a scratch sheet of possible keywords. Wordstream to see key PPC data This is another Adwords related tool that helps you identify potential keywords with their traffic and cost information right on the result. You can use keywords to start with or just a website. If there’s another dental practice doing SEO well, you can scan their website in and get suggestions based on what they’re doing. SEO Monitor to see how searches are affecting your dental SEO SEO Monitor’s Topics tool gives you keyword suggestions based on your own keyword input. What’s unique about this one is it shows traffic trends year over year. Google Trends gives you search trends from Google itself Google Trends is Google’s own tool for seeing how searches are changing over time, and it can give you suggested related queries too. It’s easy to get lost here when you’re searching for your dental practice’s keywords, but the data will help you make informed decisions on your SEO campaign. Once you have a list of good keywords you would like to use, you’ll be able to start putting them into your meta descriptions, image attributes, and sub-headings for content your writing. Be careful not to “stuff” your keywords on your website. If your stuffing keywords onto your site, it can be flagged and may even lower your search rank.

Get Reviews

One of the most important things your business needs is reviews on your listings. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your social media pages or on your Google My Business page. This will give potential customers to gain a bigger picture of your business. Having reviews both positive and negative on your  business listings shows that you have a reputable business. When getting a review, it’s always important to respond both to the negative and the positive reviews. Reviews can have a direct impact on your rankings. When responding to the negative always make sure your response is courteous and helpful to the customer who experienced a problem.

Connect with other businesses

As a dentist it’s important to connect with other local businesses within your community. Making connections with other local businesses means you should like and share their content, engage with them on all social media platforms and establish a relationship so that you may get links back to your website.

SEO for dentists can be powerful when done right. By taking these steps and creating a GMB, connecting with other businesses, finding the right keywords and getting reviews you’ll be sure to stand out among your competitors. If your still needing help with getting started on SEO check out our blog How to do SEO in 2020.

Robert , founder of Nimbus Marketing, with his family on the porch of their Westchester home
Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.

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