Looking to start your dental SEO campaign but don’t know where to start?
In this guide, we’ll walk you through PPC keyword research for dentists– what it is, benefits, and things to consider.
Additionally, check out our in-depth guide to understand what SEO for dentists is and how it can be applied to dental marketing.
What is Keyword Research?
Let’s first begin by understanding what keywords are.
Keywords are phrases or words that people type into search engines with the intent of finding an answer to their question.
This term is used interchangeably with ‘search queries’. Users type search queries in the search bar.
Next, we can understand keyword research as the process of looking for words or phrases that will help better optimize your dental advertising. Keyword research aims to see what people are searching for and choose the right keywords for better optimization.
Starting the research process includes various factors and tools to explore, so here we’ll go through some of the benefits and basic ideas.
Benefit of Doing Keyword Research
Keyword research is a great point to start your dental SEO.
One of the benefits is that it will help you find the right keywords. This is important to a search engine optimization campaign because you want to appear to users when they search for anything relevant to your dental services.
A good campaign will help increase your dental site traffic and lead more people to booking appointments.
How to Find the Right Keywords
To start your dental research write down a list of potential search terms that you think are relevant to your dental practice.
For this part, it is important to try to put yourself in the customer’s perspective, rather than a marketer’s.
Next, after collecting a list of potential words and phrases, type them into a keyword research tool. Platforms such as Ubersuggest allow you to view estimated logistics for your search terms. Common metrics that these platforms include are search volume, top keywords, and traffic to name a few.
You can also type into the Google search bar to see what type of content shows up. Google Chrome extensions such as Keyword Surfer and Ubersuggest have features such as site traffic and domain authority.
Then, looking at the SERP, analyze the first three results that Google gives you. These three sites have ranked at the top of the page for a reason and so you must try to figure out how their site is different from the lower ranking sites.
To do so, you can use a keyword planner tool to see what top keywords the first three sites use. From this, you can determine which keywords your dental site may be capable of ranking for.
A tip is to look for your rival’s top keywords that have the least backlinks. It will be easier to rank for these types of keywords.
Things to Consider For Keyword Research
There are numerous ways to go about keyword research and it could be difficult to figure out where to begin.
Here are important things to consider for keyword research.
Find Your Competitors
An important starting place is to find who your competitors are.
First focus on rival dental clinics that are at a similar level as you. While it is good to recognize bigger name dentistries as your competitors, you must know where your business stands in comparison to them.
You can start by googling “dentists near me” and see which dental sites place on top of the search result list.
As mentioned earlier, it is important to analyze which keywords your competitor is ranking for. You can get great ideas just by looking at what words and phrases are bringing them the most traffic.
Another aspect of your competitors that you should examine is their relevant services. Looking at your competitor’s relevant services can help bring new ideas as well.
Overall, a key takeaway from examining your competitors is to see if there are any keywords that your dental can try to obtain a higher rank for. This is first done by examining your rivals’ top keywords and then determining if you can give better value or quality within your dental content.
Search volume is the number of people who are searching for a given word or phrase.
A high volume means that you have a higher chance of getting more patients to book appointments as more people are searching for those keywords. However, it also brings the cost of difficulty to rank high for this keyword.
Research tools commonly provide estimated search volume for the keywords you input. Typically, these tools will give you an approximate number. Whereas, Google Keyword Planner will give you a range; for instance, 1k to 2k searches. Due to this, search volume is usually an underestimation.
Additionally, you want to look at the top-ranking sites for the chosen keyword, and view those sites’ total search traffic. According to Forbes, a study has shown that the top five search engine results receive about 67% of clicks. Therefore, it is important to examine the first three sites at the top of the search results page.
Google takes into account the amount of time a user spends on that site; do they immediately click back to the results page, or do they stay longer? Analyzing these top-ranking sites are important to figure out what value is being offered to the user.
On some research platforms, “search volume” is used interchangeably with “volume” as seen below.
Keyword difficulty is a score that tells you how hard it is to rank for words or phrases.
It is important to consider the keyword difficulty to better weigh its potential success for your site ranking.
There may be a lot of searches for certain dental keywords, but it will be difficult to rank for. If it is too hard to rank for, find a similar keyword with slightly less search volume but easier to rank for. Although, it is also important to keep in mind that it will take time to build up your site ranking.
A basic feature of most research platforms is the ability to see your competitors’ keyword difficulty. Many platforms will have a column with keyword difficulty abbreviated as “KD”.
This is a helpful tool in dental keyword research because it allows you to see more information on why a site is within the top three on the SERP. It is important to view these top pages often and analyze why they are still ranking first. You also want to compare these top pages with yours and see how your dental page can improve its ranking.
A high keyword difficulty means that there is a lot of competition and there is a high chance that the top pages may have a big number of backlinks. Backlinks add to a site’s ranking, but it will take time to obtain. Therefore, it may be your best bet to choose keywords with lower difficulty. Or you can try to find keywords that the top ranking sites obtained with not many backlinks.
The keyword difficulty score is useful in narrowing down your dental words and phrases to those that do not need many backlinks.
As seen below, it is important to know that a higher keyword difficulty does not mean there will be a correlating high volume for that word or phrase.
Searcher intent is the purpose behind the search queries that users type into a search engine.
To understand search intent it is important to think from your customers’ perspective.
For instance, there is a difference between someone who is looking for benefits of dental braces versus actually getting the braces from their local orthodontist. If a person was just looking for benefits of dental braces, they would just type into the search bar “dental braces” or maybe “dental brace benefits”.
A way to see search intent is to type into the search bar your potential word or phrase and see if it aligns with the dental content that you are striving for.
A good site that may have a higher chance of building a greater ranking position will have the answer to the user’s question. Sites with quality content or greater value for users will often rank higher.
The screenshot below is one of the top-ranking pages for the search term “dental braces”. As you can see, this landing page effectively talks about the key information that people want to know about dental braces while also guiding the user to book an appointment.
Keyword Research Tools
There are many keyword research tools available in free and paid versions that can help your dental search engine optimization.
Ubersuggest is a great tool that offers a free and premium version. It is easy to navigate and find information for your dental keyword research.
For instance, if you want to see how your rivals are ranking, go to “Competitive Analysis” on the very left side of the page.
Then, click “Top Pages By Traffic” and then input your rival’s URL.
You will then see the number of backlinks it has as well as which keywords they rank for, the number of clicks, and other useful metrics.
Another great platform that comes in both a free and paid version is Ahrefs.
This tool allows you to gain insight into keyword difficulty and search volume for your potential terms or phrases.
With the paid version, you can view your competing dentists’ keyword information as well.
Keyword research is important for improving your orthodontist site and bringing in more patients for your clinic. Overall, it is crucial to conduct keyword research to gain more insight into key factors such as searcher intent, volume, competitors, and keyword difficulty. Having a strategy for your orthodontic’s SEO provides a higher probability of increased traffic.