Dental Practice SEO – Part 2 – Keyword Research – What are your potential patients looking for?
Welcome back to our Dental SEO series. In this video we’re going to talk about the first and arguably the most important topic when it comes to SEO which is Keyword Research or figuring out what dental services people in your area are ACTUALLY looking for, what they want to buy, and where you should focus your efforts in order to drive the most and highest quality patients to your practice.
Many dentists get little-to-no results with SEO because they start throwing money at SEO with no real plan for what keywords to target. All the time dentists come to us and say “I want to be #1 on Google” and we say… okay… cool… but for what keywords? They either respond with “ugh… I don’t know” or they say “all of them. I want to be #1 on Google for everything”
Unfortunately, that’s not possible. There are thousands of different keywords people search for on Google when they are looking for dental services. You cannot build a website that ranks well for everything. If anyone tells you differently, I assure you, you are being scammed.
Success with SEO starts with creating a good plan
Success with SEO, like most things in business and life, starts off with creating a good plan and laser focusing your efforts on what will drive the best results. This is done through good keyword research, and it’s the difference between attracting a lot more new patients to your practice, or just lighting your marketing money on fire.
There’s a really powerful tool to help you figure this out, it’s called Google Keyword Planner and it’s completely free. All you have to do is go to ads.google.com, sign up for a free account, you don’t need to spend any money or run any ads, you can just use the Google Keyword Planner tool without paying a dime.
The Google Keyword Planner helps you discover what keywords people in your area are searching for when it comes to dental services and how competitive those keywords are.
As a dentist there are many types of services you offer, everything from checkups & cleanings, to root canals therapy, to teeth whitening, to dental implants, and much more. If you try to go after everything, unless you are in some small one-horse-town in the middle of nowhere with no competition, it’s highly unlikely that you are going to be successful.
Pick only a handful of keywords for best results
Of the thousands of different keywords that people in your area are looking for each month related to dentistry and dental services, you want to pick a handful that are going to drive the best results. Let’s take a look at some examples of how you can do this using Keyword Planner.
In this report we are looking for dental keywords in Knoxville, Tennessee. We can see that there are around 2,400 monthly searches for “dentist near me” and it has a medium level of competition and dentists who are advertising for this keyword are spending between $5.71 per click to $16.96 per click to drive someone to their website.
This keyword has a lot of traffic but it’s pretty generic and it would be much harder to rank for compared to other keywords because it’s probably the keyword every dentist in Knoxville wants to rank for. We may be able to do it but it could take a tremendous amount of time and money to do so and it’s arguable whether this would actually drive good patients to your practice.
Looking lower on the list we can see two other keywords, “pediatric dentist” and “pediatric dentist near me” which combined generate around 650 monthly searches and both have Low competition. These keywords don’t generate as much traffic as “dentist near me” but I would say these two keywords are better targets to go after because the people who are searching this are more specific about what they are looking for, they are looking for a pediatric dentist, and the competition is also lower.
Looking further down we see another great keyword, “best dentist near me” which may only have 50 searches per month, but I would argue that those 50 people are probably much better potential patients because they care about quality, they’re not just looking for any dentist, they want to find the best dentist.
If we go a bit lower we can see some examples of bad keywords like this one here “cheap dentist near me” which I wouldn’t want to target because it’s likely going to attract low quality patients.
Remember above when we looked at the keyword “dentist near me” and it had 2,400 monthly searches? Those 2,400 monthly searches are made up of things like “cheap dentist near me” and “affordable dentist near me” and keywords that we probably wouldn’t want to show up for.
Search intent matters
It’s critical to really take the time to think about what you are trying target and being laser focused on the best keywords. Just because you rank well on Google for a certain keyword doesn’t mean it’s going to drive high quality patients to your practice. It’s important to understand the search intent behind the keywords.
Let me give you an example. Let’s look at these five keywords that people may search for on Google when looking for a dentist in your area. They could type in:
“Dentist near me”
“Cheap dentist near me”
“Best dentist in Knoxville”
“Best Invisalign dentist in Knoxville”
Let’s stop for a second and think about the search intent of the person who would search for these keywords.
The first keyword “Dentist” is very generic, we really don’t know anything about them either other than maybe they are someone looking for a dentist.
The second keyword “Dentist near me” is a bit more specific which is good, and their search intent is probably to find a dentist that is in their area. They probably value convenience and location.
“Cheap dentist near me” is someone who probably places a huge emphasis on finding the lowest price, and on-top of that they also want someone close by. The likelihood this would be a good patient to your practice is very low.
“Best dentist in Knoxville” is a great keyword because it’s someone who isn’t just looking for a dentist down the street, they may be willing to travel anywhere in Knoxville if they can find a really good dentist.
“Best Invisalign dentist in Knoxville” is an even better keyword to go after because not only are they looking for quality and may be willing to travel anywhere in Knoxville, they also know exactly what they want, Invisalign.
By looking at each keyword carefully and really thinking about the intent behind the search such as:
- Does it seem like they know what they want?
- Are they just looking for the lowest price?
- Are they looking for whoever is closest?
- Are they looking for whoever accepts their insurance?
- Are they looking for a quality or expertise?
You can save yourself a lot of time and money by going after the people that are most likely to be the highest value patients.
To be successful with your SEO it’s not about just ranking higher on Google for all kinds of random keywords, it’s about ranking high for very high value keywords that are being searched by quality patients who need a dentist and are serious about going to one.