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Brush Up On SEO And Link Building For Dentists With This Guide

SEO And Link Building For Dentists Header
SEO And Link Building For Dentists Header

Looking for a guide to SEO and link building for dentists that will put a smile on your face? You’ve come to the right place.

The dentistry industry is notoriously one of the most competitive niches to dominate, not least because marketers are challenged with outranking related websites from around the world – as well as beating the local competition!

However, the rewards that come from ranking on the first page of Google’s search results can transform the future of any dental practice. Whether you’re an in-house team managing the firm’s SEO strategy or an agency working on behalf of clients in the dentistry industry, mastering dentist SEO should be a central focus of your digital marketing strategy.

In this guide, we’ll answer all of your key questions regarding SEO and link building for dentists, including but not limited to;

  • What is SEO for dentists?
  • Why do dentist practices need SEO?
  • How can dentists climb the Google rankings?
  • What ranking factors impact SEO for dentists?
  • How can dentists utilize link-building opportunities?

So, brace yourself to discover the tooth about SEO for dentists and how to be crowned #1 on Google.

What Is SEO For Dentists?

Dentistry SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is the process of actively boosting the company’s visibility on search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.

When a user (in this instance, someone seeking a local dentist) conducts a search, they will be presented with thousands of relevant website links. This is because virtually all businesses are indexed by search engines. However, the order in which companies are listed is not random.

Google and other platforms rank each website for relevance and authority to determine the order shown on the SERPS (search engine results pages). SEO is the key to climbing the SERPS and getting onto the first page, which attracts between 70% and 90% of all clicks.

A total of 185,897 US dental practices were in operation at the end of 2023 while over 11,000 independent dental businesses operate in the UK too. So, dentists (and their marketing agencies) face stiff competition if they want to get onto the first page of the SERPS.

Search engine optimization is vital for businesses across all sectors, and SEO for the dentistry industry shares many similarities with other arenas. However, dentistry SEO does differ from general SEO. Its key characteristics include;

  • A local intent because almost 100% of patients will come from a local audience.
  • Compliance with ethical and regulatory standards of the dentistry profession – for example, all info must be factual while guarantees should be backed by evidence.
  • A focus on Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EEAT).

With thousands of “dentist near me” searches conducted daily by prospective patients, SEO for dentists is one of the most valuable instruments in any in-house or agency-built marketing strategy.

Quick Facts About Dentists and Google Rankings

SEO can have a lasting impact on a dental practice’s visibility, traffic, and reputation. It ultimately allows businesses in the dentistry industry to maximize their hopes of growing their patient lists and generating greater profits, particularly in an increasingly digital age.

If you’re still unconvinced about how significant dentistry SEO can be, take a look at the following statistics;

  • 46% of all Google searches have a local intent.
  • Up to 88% of local searches on mobile devices result in contacting/visiting the business within 24 hours.
  • 80% of all internet users turn to search engines to find local products and services.

Dentist practices will see the vast majority of their patients come from the local area. Given how often people search for professional services on Google, a high ranking is vital. Aside from visibility, a strong SEO presence is often associated with trust and reliability.

The Importance of SEO Strategies for Dentists

Dentistry businesses that want to rank high on Google need a dedicated SEO strategy to achieve their goal of increased awareness and conversions. Here’s why:

Patients Search for Dentists

Booking a dentist appointment isn’t often an impulse decision like buying a new outfit from a retailer. While traditional ad campaigns like PPC have a role to play, target audiences primarily discover dentistry firms through proactive methods. SEO is now the top-performing sales funnel.

Almost 1 in 5 Americans select a dentist because it is the top-ranked result for their local search. Meanwhile, other top factors like customer reviews and proximity directly feed into a website’s ranking.

As with most service-based businesses, people now tend to opt for online searches as the first point of contact rather than visiting or telephoning dentists. Given that organic ranking websites garner more attention than paid ads, a strong SEO strategy is crucial.

Authority Leads to Appointments

Dentistry websites fall under the umbrella of YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) categories. Therefore, Google will prioritize websites that provide users with reliable insights and relevant information.

From the patient’s perspective, trust is one of the key driving forces that will determine whether they select a dentist or not. Proving authority with a strong SEO strategy, and the elements that help build it, will provide an extra source of confidence.

However, establishing an authoritative voice in the dental industry isn’t easy, which is why a dedicated strategy is vital. Service pages and content like blogs can help achieve this goal by answering patient queries. FAQs and about pages can all be optimized to boost search engine rankings.

You Won’t Gain Success via Luck

As mentioned, there are thousands of dentists vying for the top spots on Google. Even if your local search results only have a few dozen competitors, the harsh reality is that it is a highly competitive niche. After all, companies and agencies have the resources to invest in SEO and understand the benefits that a strong ranking brings.

The global dentistry market is set to exhibit a CAGR of 7.9% for 2023-2030 while it is also one of the more lucrative markets for successful firms. If you want yours to thrive, you must learn how to master SEO and gain patients through this sales funnel.

Appreciating the importance of SEO is one thing, but actively seeing the benefits for your business (or the dentist practice you represent) is another. In an increasingly fierce niche, only those who implement advanced tactics can succeed.

Understanding Google’s Ranking Factors

If your dentistry practice wants to climb the SERPs, it needs to give search engines what they want. Sadly, without understanding Google’s key ranking factors, it becomes an almost impossible task.

Google sets particularly high standards for YMYL websites, such as dentistry sites, as their services affect the user’s health and happiness. So, E-E-A-T (we’ll discuss that in detail soon) is a particularly vital factor.

However, effective dentistry SEO must take a comprehensive approach. While there are over 200 ranking factors, SEO value for dentists is primarily influenced by the following elements;

  • Keywords – Keywords are the lifeblood of SEO in all industries as they tell search engines what the webpage is actually about. For dentist practices, keywords should relate to dentistry as well as the town/city.
  • Backlinks – Backlinks are seen by search engines as a vote of confidence from the websites linking out to your dental practice. Quality links pointing to your website from sites with high domain authority will send your SERPS visibility through the roof.
  • Mobile optimization – Mobile now accounts for about 60% of all online traffic, which is why Google ranks sites on their ability to adapt to varying screen sizes. A dentistry website should have mobile-friendly pages, even when they contain lots of info.
  • Site speed – Site speed and loading times should be no more than 2 seconds because this is the moment when users will abandon the session. Search engines are committed to delivering the best user experience (UX), and prioritize fast sites.
  • Navigation – Navigation relates to how easily prospective patients can find information. It should not take a user more than three clicks to access the information that they require.

The harsh reality is that a number of dentists operating in a geographic location will be fishing in the same pool of potential clients. Therefore, getting the above SEO factors under control is required to build a stronger platform. In this industry, though, you cannot ignore E-E-A-T.

The Role of E-E-A-T

As an industry that falls into the YMYL category, search engines will place a lot of focus on the credibility of a dentist. E-E-A-T, formerly E-A-T, is the key acronym that marketers must understand. It stands for Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness;

  • Experience – the dentist’s professional and life experience in dentistry.
  • Expertise – the dentist’s skill and knowledge relating to the topic of dentistry.
  • Authoritativeness – the dentist’s position as the go-to source for dentistry in the area.
  • Trustworthiness – the dentist’s reliability and honesty in relation to its website.

E-E-A-T is assessed by human reviews, who rank it using internal Google Search Query Rating Guidelines. It is considered a separate entity from the ranking factors above as it is not analyzed by automated crawlers. So, while a new dentistry website could be indexed in just hours, it may take some time for E-E-A-T to have an influence.

When it does, though, it becomes one of the most important ingredients in the recipe for success due to Google’s desire to provide credible information to its users. So, understanding the Google Search Query Rating Guidelines is a must.

Link Building for Dentists

As mentioned, backlinks are an essential weapon to have in your arsenal as you enter the battlefield of dentistry SEO. In fact, it is shown that pages with backlinks from high-traffic websites directly boost organic traffic by 30%. For starters, users will see your links when browsing relevant content on other websites, which makes more people aware of the dentistry website.

More importantly, Google and other search engines view backlinks as verification of a business’s credibility. Therefore, relevant backlinks can have a huge influence in supporting your E-E-A-T efforts.

Backlinks can be achieved organically by providing great content that other websites will want to link to. Meanwhile, a dedicated blogger outreach campaign can help you acquire backlinks from a vast network of websites.

While all backlinks will generally have a positive influence, it should be noted that some links are more valuable than others. The best will;

  • Come from websites with a high domain authority. For example, getting a backlink from Medical Daily will count for more than a link from a newly launched blog with 10 monthly readers.
  • Be linked from relevant websites. Backlinks from websites that focus on oral health and dentistry are the most effective but links from any website in the YMYL category should perform well.
  • Come from websites that produce high-quality content that is presented in an educational or entertaining way without explicitly promoting products or services. These links are more credible.

A lack of backlinks is a major issue that a large percentage of dental practices experience. While too many can indicate unethical practices and lead to Google penalties, securing 40-50 backlinks to the homepage can work wonders for dentistry. SEO.

Dentistry Industry SEO Strategies

Focusing time, effort, and resources on the right SEO strategies for dentists will help you dominate the local SERPs. Let’s take a closer look at six steps to success:

Technical SEO and UX

Before worrying too much about external dentistry SEO practices, you must first master on-page SEO. Technical SEO covers performance and functionality, which is why a website must be fast, secure, mobile-friendly, and easy for search engine crawlers to ‘read’.

HTTPS protocols, SSL certificates, domain names, contact info, and payment seals are all key attributes. Google’s PageSpeed Insights (PSI) criteria should also be met by dental practices. All criteria points are measured as “Good,” “Needs Improvement,” or “Poor”. The goal is to hit Good for all of them.

PageSpeed leads nicely into the UX. Search engines want to provide the best UX to their users, which is why they rank websites with a strong UX above those that lack this. Some of the key focal points are;

  • Using clear Call-to-Action (CTA) text and buttons.
  • Making the website easy to navigate.
  • Providing clear and compelling content that drives value.

The use of testimonials, reviews, and customer feedback can also be very useful. They provide valuable insights for the user while also verifying the quality of your business to search engines.

Keyword Research

Keywords let search engines know what the dental practice actually does. When the website is optimized for the right keywords, it helps search engines promote your website to users looking for the services that you provide. Consequently, then, you cannot gain qualified leads if this element isn’t under control.

Selecting keywords for dentistry SEO purposes means trying to find the search terms that people are likely to use when looking for dentists in your area. However, you need to consider that;

  • Patients are likely to search for the location too – i.e. “Best dentist in [city]”.
  • It will be very difficult to rank #1 for terms like “best dentist” or “dentist near me”.
  • People now use voice search, which can influence the wording of search terms.

There are plenty of keyword planning tools like Semrush and Moz to help you. Alternatively, you can type “dentist [city]” into Google and let the automated responses tell you what people might be searching for. Otherwise, our keyword research services can do the hard work for you to deliver hundreds of suitable options.

The objective is to find keywords that you can actively rank for while still maintaining relevance. From adding the location to inputting specific features like “pediatric dentist” or “teeth whitening” can help you climb to page one far sooner.


All on-page content should be created with both search engines and the human user in mind. Service pages, company info pages, blogs, and articles can all be used to deliver a better product to the web user. The key is to answer all of their questions emphatically and empathetically.

Content produced for dental practices should be informative and factual, but it should also show some personality and actively address their pain points. Some of the key questions that will help guide your content creation processes include;

  • How can the dentistry services provided help the patient with the oral health or cosmetic requirements?
  • What can the dental practice do to prove that it is the right choice for the patient’s upcoming or future treatments?
  • How can the dental practice website help the prospective patient make an informed decision regarding the best treatment for them?

All content should be delivered with clarity. Of course, you can additionally use the insights from keyword research practices to select content topics too.


The value of backlinks from relevant sites with high domain authority rankings has already been discussed. If other companies proudly link out to your dental business, it shows that your dental practice is viewed as a reliable source. In turn, search engines will look favorably on it.

However, it is important not to spam the internet with irrelevant links or disguised ads that break ethical standards and regulations surrounding the dental industry. Blogger outreach services are particularly useful because;

  • You do not have creative control over the content, meaning you are not responsible for the links.
  • Backlinks are incorporated naturally into the content and linked to relevant keywords that support your objectives.
  • It is a chance to appear on local websites as well as YMYL websites that appeal to audiences who need a dentist.

The great news is that the dentistry industry is relevant to all demographics. So, all backlinks that help your business (or client) become indexed by search engine crawlers will boost your dentistry SEO practices.


Citations aren’t quite the same as backlinks, but they do share some similarities. They are essentially business profiles that appear on various directories and link back to your website. Given that they can usually be claimed for free and with minimal effort, every dental practice should embrace them.

For starters, you should claim profiles on Google My Business and Yelp. However, it is equally crucial to seek industry-specific opportunities with platforms like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

All dental practices that understand SEO will look to utilize this tool. So, while gaining citations may not directly boost backlink efforts, not having them may limit your impact. Furthermore, they help search engines;

  • Verify your location and authority,
  • Confirm the type of dental services offered,
  • Understand how long you’ve operated for.

In addition to helping search engines verify your credentials and provide relevant info to their users, citations may help you gain direct traffic from users who turn to directories rather than search engines.

Digital PR

Finally, Digital PR can work wonders for SEO. It can generate backlinks and underline authority within the dentistry industry. Moreover, it’s great for E-E-A-T purposes and helps you reach audiences who may not have discovered the dental practice through search engines or other funnels.

PR opportunities allow you to gain increased exposure and credibility by leveraging success from online media outlets. To succeed in this environment, though, you need the right contacts and the right story.

Media outlets will cover newsworthy stories that intrigue their readers and will link back to your dental practice website in return. Our professional press release writing services deliver high-quality content to the most relevant media outlets, including those in the YMYL arena as well as local outlets. Top stories may involve;

  • Stories about new hires, new dental practices, and expansions.
  • Novel cases, such as using new dental practices and technologies.
  • Milestone achievements or award victories.

The use of PR will boost visibility and inspire trust from potential patients. This can be further supported by giving quotes and contributions to local journalists for their dentistry-specific articles. Most will be happy to link back to your dental practice as a thank you.

Outsource Your Way to SEO and Link Building Success

Dentistry SEO is one of the most important aspects of any effective marketing strategy for dentists. However, as this guide has shown, it is a process that many attempt but only a few master.

Whether looking to boost your dental practice’s search engine presence or you’re an agency wanting to provide your clients with better deliverables, FATJOE is here to help. Our dedicated SEO and link-building services for the dentistry industry include link-building, website copywriting, and blogging while packages can also be tailored to your needs.

With your SEO and link-building for dentists under control, you’ll have more time for other crucial tasks such as running a practice or designing a website on the client’s behalf. The road to Google’s first page starts now.

Daniel Trick
Daniel Trick

Head of Content

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