Local SEO

Local SEO for dentists: give your citations a full check up

Keeping your online presence clean and healthy is vital for growing dental practices

Quick summary
  • Appearing in the top three results in Google’s local pack for a local dentist search requires active local SEO work.
  • Great reviews and well-optimised content go a long way to improving local SEO for dentists.
  • Semrush’s Listing Management tool takes away the pain of building citations, tracking positions and managing reviews with a full set of tools designed to help local dentists with their SEO.

Local SEO for dentists: The basics

When users conduct a local dentist search, whether with location-based keywords like the town name or with “near me” in the query, the positioning of the results they get are going to play a big part in their decision. In fact, 76% of smartphone users who search for a local business visit one of the results within 24 hours.
Competing with other local dental practices means working to improve your rankings so you appear as high as possible in the list, whether in Google’s Local Pack, Google Maps or other popular directories.
Results of a local search for dentists in Google’s Local Pack
Results of a local search for dentists in Google’s Local Pack

Users conducting a local search for dentists will typically ask questions like:

  • How close is the clinic?
  • How do I get in touch
  • How many reviews do they have?
  • What are people saying about them?
  • What do they specialise in?
  • Can I trust them?
Fortunately, brushing up on your local SEO knowledge and getting a few essential tools working for you (like Semrush’s Listing Management tool) can help your clinic shine at the top of local search results.

The #1 task in local SEO for dentists

One of the key things dentists should focus on in their local SEO strategy is making sure their most important information can be found easily. This data is often referred to as NAP (name, address, phone number) and is the bare minimum dentists should distribute. Dentists who want to outrank their local competitors should also include opening hours, website, categories, images of the practice and staff, as well as a detailed description featuring relevant local keywords. Google has made this easier than ever with Google Business Profile (GBP), which is displayed on the right-hand side of the search engine results page (SERP) and also informs the data shown in Google Maps.

A dental practice whose Google Business Profile appears for local search “greenwich dental practice
A dental practice whose Google Business Profile appears for local search “greenwich dental practice

These business details should also appear on all the other important directories online, such as Yell, Facebook and Apple Maps—not just so users doing a local search for dentists find your practice, but also to help Google validate your GBP data and determine your local rankings.

Semrush’s Listing Management tool is the best way to distribute your dental surgery’s NAP data to all the relevant directories, including Google Business Profile, and make sure it’s all up to date and accurate.

Why reviews matter in local search for dentists

As well as looking for NAP details, users will compare the number of reviews and star ratings that appear in their local dentist search, so it pays to incentivise happy patients to leave you a review on Google.

A Google Maps review summary and selection of reviews for a local dental surgery
A Google Maps review summary and selection of reviews for a local dental surgery

This can be done with a simple text message campaign asking users to take a few minutes to write a review on Google; you’ll find a lot of people are happy to do so as long as you make it easy for them and include a link. It’s important to reply to all the reviews you get from patients—even the negative ones—so people coming across your profile can see you care about client feedback (you can use Semrush’s Listing Management tool to save time with the Review Management (tool).

Local dentistry content boosts rankings

Working on your website content can go a long way to improving your rankings in local dentist searches. If your clinic has multiple areas, consider making specific landing pages for each location and embed a Google Map on there to help patients (and Google) to find you. Your NAP data should also appear on these pages, marked up with schema. Authoritative blog posts with local keywords are another important local SEO ranking factor—and they can also be posted to your Google Business Profile.

Local dentist blog content that appears above even the local results on the SERP
Local dentist blog content that appears above even the local results on the SERP

Post content and special offers, such as discounted teeth whitening, on your Google Business Profile too to incentivize patients to choose your practice over competitors that also appear in their local dentist search (you can schedule Google Business Profile posts with Semrush’s Social Media Poster).

Benefits to investing in local search for dentists

Good local SEO hygiene can bring a steady stream of patients and will really set you apart from dentists that have neglected theirs. Local search results for dentists appear above organic website results, so it’s a prime piece of Google real estate you need to be competing for. If your business doesn’t appear in the Google 3-Pack, users might never hear of your business and go directly to a competitor that they can clearly see is nearby and has good reviews. Add a link to allow patients to go straight to book appointments directly via your Google Business Profile and make local SEO for dentists work for you as an incredibly powerful marketing strategy to lock in new business without even having to pick up the phone.

A link to book an appointment displayed in a local search for dentists in Google Maps
A link to book an appointment displayed in a local search for dentists in Google Maps

Smileworks is a cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics practice in Liverpool that became a multi-million dollar business using Semrush tools that are highly recommended to conquer local SEO for dentists.
“I’ve never seen a local dental practice in the world ranking as much as we are now; I’ve never seen a local practice in the world with as much traffic as we have…My biggest problem now is I cannot hire dentists fast enough!”- Ed Challinor, Co-founder and CEO

Tools that makes local search for dentists a lot easier

Google Analytics is an essential free tool that can tell you lots of valuable information about your website’s performance and where your users are coming from. You can learn more about the search traffic coming to your website with Google Search Console, another free tool that can give you ideas for keywords and alert you to technical SEO errors that need to be addressed. Semrush is packed with SEO tools to help dentists with their local search ranking, including the Keyword Magic tool, Position Tracking and Backlink Analytics. One of the most powerful tools Semrush offers to help with local SEO for dentists is the Listing Management tool.

Semrush’s Listing Management tool dashboard displaying duplicates, local reputation and user suggestions
Semrush’s Listing Management tool dashboard displaying duplicates, local reputation and user suggestions

Poor citation distribution and inaccurate information is bad news when it comes to improving local SEO for dentists and can mean the difference between a flourishing practice and one no one has even heard of.
Semrush’s Listing Management tool cleans up your listings and keeps them aligned so you can relax safe in the knowledge you’ve done everything you can to get your business noticed online.

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Using Semrush’s Listing Management tool for local dentist SEO

Getting to the top spot in the SERPs is hard work for dental surgeries as they’re often small businesses without a lot of resources for local SEO.
Semrush’s Listing Management tool is the perfect solution that simplifies local SEO for dentists and works hard to get your clinic to the top of local results faster.

Get your dental surgery noticed on Google

Citations are the key to good local SEO for dentists. They get the most important information about your clinic out to all the right places that people use to look for local dental services.
But creating profiles on 70+ websites that your dentist practice should appear on is an incredibly time-consuming process, especially when you have a long waiting list of patients to attend to.
Semrush’s Listing Management tool distributes citations to all the best directories in one go, giving you a clear report of where your listings are posted and allowing you to edit information across all of them in one simple interface.
A list of directories with correct data in Semrush’s Listing Management tool

Examine what your competition is up to

Winning at local SEO for dentists requires knowing how well other dentists in the area are doing and what you need to do to beat them.
Who’s coming out on top? Who has the best reviews? And what are they doing differently that’s getting them better results?
Keep an eye on the competition and drill down further with Heatmap, which displays the specific areas your business is showing up in local searches for dentists, and which areas you need to work on (available for Premium subscribers).
The Heatmap tool for Premium Semrush’s Listing Management tool subscribers

Manage all your reviews in no time

The best dentists regularly make their patients very happy by taking away their pain and straightening their smile.
So, with a good review-generation campaign in place, it won’t be long before the star ratings come pouring in—but that’s a lot of people you need to get back to.
Instead of logging into each platform separately and managing your reviews the hard way, bring them all under one roof with Semrush’s Listing Management tool, which keeps you informed about your reply rate and lets you get back to people in one simple interface.
The Heatmap tool for Premium Semrush’s Listing Management tool subscribers

Pull out rotten listings… pain free!

Duplicate listings make a negative impact on local SEO for dentists, because they confuse both potential patients and search engines trying to validate your information.
Directories might upload data for local businesses themselves and get things wrong, or there may still be listings live from the previous business owner at your address.
Semrush’s Listing Management tool keeps a close eye on all the most important directories and if it detects a duplicate listing, you’ll be informed quickly so you can approve its extraction.
The Heatmap tool for Premium Semrush’s Listing Management tool subscribers
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