Dental SEO in 2024: Is Your Dental Practice Ready?

Dental marketing Trends 2024

Trends That Will Define Your Digital Success in 2024

I’ve got to say, when it comes to local dental SEO, especially for dentists like you, I was pretty hesitant in the past.

I mean, about eight years ago, I was the guy saying I wouldn’t touch a local SEO campaign with a ten-foot pole! My thinking was, it’s a lot of work with all the local and traditional SEO elements combined, right?

Plus, back then, most businesses weren’t exactly lining up to throw big bucks at local SEO.

But here’s the thing – I’ve had a bit of a change of heart. You see, in the dental world, local dental SEO isn’t just some extra task on the checklist.

It’s a game changer. It’s what makes your practice pop on the digital map and gets target patients walking through your door. So, yeah, I’m eating my words here, and I’m okay with that.

I’m now all about helping you with dental SEO, and trust me, it’s going to make a world of difference for your practice.

Let’s dive into this together and see how we can make your practice attract, gain and retain patients.

"Despite having a stellar website and compelling content, without the right Website SEO strategy, your site will remain invisible to search engines, thwarting its potential for high rankings and visibility."

So, here’s the deal for you as dentists. We’ve completely revamped our approach at our SEO agency.

Now, a whopping 80% of our dental SEO work is laser-focused on local services, and this is huge for dental practices like yours.

Let’s be real – not every business benefits the same from local SEO. I mean, a coffee shop or a gym paying $2,000 a month for SEO?

The numbers just don’t work. They’d need a constant stream of new customers every month to make that worthwhile.

But when we talk about dental practices, it’s a whole different ball game.

SEO for Dental Practices: Quality Over Quantity

Dental services are unique.

Each patient you gain through our Digital Marketing or SEO efforts represents significant value to your practice, both in immediate terms and potentially over the long term.

This high customer value is exactly why our continue work for practices like yours is so important. We don’t need to flood your clinic with patients to make the numbers work.

Just converting leads to patients each month and working with on patient retention and ongoing dental SEO services.

What this means for you is that, with our targeted approach, we’re not just aiming to increase online visibility or your patient contact information; we’re aiming to bring in the right patients.

Those who are looking for the specific dental care services you offer and are ready to commit. This is where our dental SEO experts can make a real difference for your practice, ensuring you get a significant return on your investment.

So, for your dental best practices, this shift in our strategy is designed to bring you the kind of patients that will help your practice thrive, not just survive.

Unlocking the Potential of Dentist SEO: A Game-Changer in Dental Patient Acquisition.

Local Search Engine Optimization can be a game-changer for your dental practice, and let me explain why.

It’s surprisingly easier to get noticeable results with local dental SEO, and I’ll demonstrate that in just a moment.

The real power lies in the prominence of local search results. Imagine someone searching for a “dental clinic Atlanta.” The potential value of consistent patients they might get from such a search is enormous, ranging from thousands to even millions overall.

Now, apply that to your dental practice.

When patients search for dental services in your area, what appears at the top of search engine results can make a huge difference. 

At the top, you’ll see local service ads, which are directly tied to a local business profile – that’s your practice. This is a unique feature of local dental SEO, specifically tailored to businesses like yours.

Scroll down a bit, and there are the regular pay-per-click ads, run through platforms like Google Ads. These are different from local service ads, which are tied to your Google Business Profile

It’s crucial to understand that each of these types demands a unique approach. You can’t run the same type of ads on both; each requires a different strategy.

Local PPC Ads for Dental Clinics

For your dental practice, this means leveraging both your Google Business Profile for local service ads and using platforms like Google Ads for broader reach. 

By effectively using these tools, you can significantly increase your practice’s visibility to potential patients in your area, ultimately driving more appointments and revenue. 

This dual approach in local dental SEO is key to maximizing your online presence and attracting the right patients to your dental practice.

The Power of Local Marketing for Dental Practices

This is all about the power of local marketing, especially for dental practices like yours. 

When someone searches for a service you offer, what appears at the top of Google’s search results captures about 80% of their attention. 

This is prime digital real estate, and Google is increasingly allocating this space to local businesses in response to high-value searches.

Why Google Prioritizes Local Businesses?

Why does Google do this? 

It boils down to customer behavior. Think about it: when you search for something specific services, what’s your first choice? You probably look for the map to gauge proximity. You want to see a selection of businesses, so you have options. 

Reviews matter a lot, right? You can easily click in, see pictures, and get a feel for the place. It’s a much faster experience than navigating to a bunch of individual websites. 

All the information you need is right there, and you can make a decision on the spot.

This is exactly where Google is heading. They’re focusing on making this process as quick and efficient as possible for the user. 

For your dental practice, this means your Google Business Profile – showcasing your location, patient reviews, and quick info – becomes a crucial tool. 

It’s not just about being on the map; it’s about standing out right there in the search results, where decisions are made.

How AI and Semantic Geography Changing the Search Algorithms?

This approach is part of a bigger shift towards leveraging AI and SG (semantic geography) in search algorithms, making local searches more intuitive and user-friendly. 

For your practice, staying ahead in this game means focusing on your local online presence, ensuring that when potential patients are looking, they find you quickly, see the best of what you offer, and choose your practice over others.

When we talk about traditional SEO, it’s a whole different ballgame, especially for dental practices. Imagine this: you are in Atlanta and type in a search, “Dental Clinic Atlanta” and you have to scroll way down past the ads, past the GBP (Google Business Profiles) profiles, to find the traditional SEO results. 

What do you see there? 

It’s often not individual dental practices, but rather big aggregator sites. These sites dominate the local organic searches, leaving about a 50-50 chance for a local dentists like yours to actually appear in these slots even sometimes on the first page of google.

Local SEO Search Result Page

Local SEO vs Traditional SEO: Navigating the Changes

Now, this is crucial to understand. In the past, I might have steered clients towards focusing solely on traditional SEO, but Google’s landscape is changing. 

Google is de-prioritizing these traditional listings. Why? Because of AI and the surge in content creation. These types of results are becoming less valuable in Google’s eyes. 

The algorithm is evolving, focusing more on what users want to engage with.

For a dental industry, this means rethinking strategy. If you’re only focusing on traditional dental search engine optimization, you’re missing out on the prime real estate at the top of the search page. 

That’s where the local listings and ads are, and that’s where people are clicking without having to scroll. 

So, what does this mean for your dental practice? It means adapting to the shift in Google’s focus. 

Prioritize your local SEO, make sure your Google Business Profile is top-notch, and consider how paid ads can supplement your presence. 

This approach is about aligning with how people are actually using Google today – looking for quick, relevant, local results. 

It’s about making sure that when someone in your area searches for dental services, your practice isn’t just a scroll-away option, but a top-of-the-page, can’t-miss choice.

This is a crucial insight, particularly for dental practices. 

I often see this scenario: a prospect comes to our agency after another agency has shown them screenshots of their website ranking first for valuable keywords. 

But despite these high website rankings, they’re not seeing any real increase in leads or phone calls. Why is this happening? 

Because those rankings, often tracked by tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, or various rank trackers, are focusing on the lower part of the search results page, not the “mouse pack” or local listings, which is a whole different ball game.

Optimizing Your Google Business Profile: Key to Visibility for Dental SEO

To truly make an impact, you have to be visible in the local listings section. 

You could be ranking first in traditional SEO and still not get the phone calls you expect, simply because your listing is buried under all the other content that Google prioritizes.

And here’s the thing – this trend isn’t going away. 

Google is pushing this because it provides a better experience for searchers. Plus, they’re still monetizing it effectively. The top of the search results page is loaded with ads, and even within the local listings (the “mouse pack”), there’s space for paid placements. 

So, for Google, it’s a win-win: they’re enhancing the user experience and still making their revenue.

Local map search result

For your dental practice, this means that focusing solely on traditional SEO tactics is no longer sufficient. 

While other SEOs might be busy debating the finer points of canonical tags and the impact of AI, Google is moving on. 

They’re prioritizing a model that benefits both users and their revenue stream, with less emphasis on the lower-ranking traditional SEO results.

In summary, your strategy needs to adapt to this reality. Ensure your practice stands out where it matters most – in the local listings and ad spaces that catch immediate attention. 

This approach is not just about surviving in the ever-changing landscape of SEO; it’s about thriving in a space where your potential local patients are actively looking and making their choices.

The future of search, especially for dental practices, is already taking shape. Let’s break it down with Google’s SGE (Semantic Geography Engine), their AI-driven search engine. 

When I mimic a typical search in SGE, the layout is similar but not identical to the traditional search. You see the four ads on top, followed by the maps pack. However, there are no Local Service Ads (LSAs) in SGE since it’s more of a demo at this stage.

Local PPC Ads for Dental Clinics

Now, let’s delve deeper. When we generate results in SGE (Google Search Engine), the maps pack still dominates, pulling results primarily from Google Business Profiles, not dental websites. 

This highlights the continuing importance of your Google Business Profile in SEO strategies. 

The traditional listings do appear in SGE, and they still hold some prominence. 

However, when it comes to digital real estate, they only take up about 10% of the space, with the rest dedicated to the maps and Google Business Profile listings.

Local map search result

For your dental practice, this signals a clear direction. 

While traditional SEO and website optimization remain important, the real focus should be on optimizing your Google Business Profile and ensuring prominence in the maps pack. 

This is where the majority of user attention is going, and adapting to this trend is crucial for staying relevant and visible in search results.

Conclusion: A Focus on Local Listings, Maps Pack, and Ads

In summary, as Google’s search algorithms evolve with AI and semantic understanding, the way your dental practice appears in search results also needs to evolve. 

Focusing on your local presence, ensuring accurate and appealing Google Business Profile listings, and understanding the dynamics of the maps pack are key to attracting target prospective patients in this new era of search.

What this tells us is clear: Google currently favors local search results, and this trend is likely to continue, if not intensify, in the future. 

For dental practices, the implication is straightforward. It’s not about choosing between local and traditional SEO anymore; it’s about focusing on what actually drives results.

Why would we, as an agency, pour years of experience and resources into content marketing and traditional SEO that’s way down the page, where fewer people are looking? 

It just doesn’t make sense, especially when that part of the search results page is shrinking in importance. 

That’s why I’ve completely changed my stance on local SEO. For businesses like law firms, and similarly for dental practices, a local-first approach is now essential.

We can significantly boost a practice’s visibility in the maps pack within 60 days by enhancing your Google Business Profile, garnering reviews, engaging in local link building, and optimizing website structure. This approach requires less effort but yields faster and better organic results.

Additionally, we’re integrating Local Service Ads (LSAs) into our strategy. 

We’re even offering to set up LSAs for our clients for free, as they’re closely tied to the local business profile and relatively straightforward to manage. And for those with the budget, we’re layering paid search on top of that.

The key takeaway is that we’re no longer fixating on tracking rankings in the traditional SEO section of the search results. 

Our focus has shifted to maximizing marketing plan where it counts most in today’s search landscape – in the local listings, maps pack, and related ads. 

This is where your dental practice has the best chance to be seen, attract new patients, and thrive.

If you would like a risk free marketing package made for your dental clinic, schedule a free call and our proven dental ppc and dental seo agency can implement all of this for you, no upfront cost. 

Once you see the difference, you can start paying. Schedule by clicking here

Reach out with any questions!  Good luck with with you dental marketing.

– Zachary Ellison | Digital Marketing Specialist


About Author

Zachary Ellison is a highly skilled digital marketing strategist, recognized among the top 1% in the field. With over a decade of expertise in Local SEO and PPC, he is the architect of the innovative AGRmethod, designed to scale small businesses and guide marketers. His experience as a CMO in Silicon Valley startups demonstrates his capability in managing large-scale marketing budgets and driving client success.

Zachary’s commitment extends beyond professional achievements, as he also values personal development and client engagement, blending expertise with genuine care for his clients’ growth.

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