How to Create a Website for Dentists

Dentists can make websites themselves fairly easy using platforms like WordPress and Wix. These platforms make it fairly straightforward for anyone to build a simple website without any knowledge of coding. They’ll even make it easy for you to host the website on their servers without any real training or specialised knowledge.

But how do you make the website stand out? How do you make it rank highly in Google?

Keep Your Website Simple

If you’re going to create your own website, it may be best to keep things simple at first.

Your homepage should take the most time to create since it is the first thing most visitors will see, it’s your first impression. Make sure you have your logo and branding, images of the practice and the team and links to all your most important pages. These will usually be your treatment pages and your fees page.

Try to keep the number of pages low at first – around a dozen to start off. Instead of a page for each treatment, have a page for all of your orthodontic services, another for all of your cosmetic services and another for all of your general treatments. Instead of a page for each team member, just have a page for the whole team.

Once you get more confident in your design and SEO abilities, create individual pages for each treatment and team member and see how highly you can rank them in Google.

The website also needs to be easily navigable. Keep the menus simple and clearly labeled. A good task is to show the website to a friend and ask them to find something specific. If it’s hard for them to find, it’s hard for patients to find. If it’s hard for patients to find, they will give up looking.

Action Plan

When designing your website, focus on simplicity. Prioritize your homepage with essential elements like your logo, practice/team images, and key page links. Initially, keep the number of pages low, grouping similar treatments and team members together. Ensure easy navigation with clear menus. Test usability by asking someone to find specific information. Simplifying your website enhances user experience and engagement.

Use Call to Actions

If your website could only have one element on it, it should be a call to action. In simple terms, the job of a website is to get customers and patients to click a certain button, fill in a certain form or phone a certain number.

Set up an online booking portal like Software of Excellence for your website as soon as you can and put a big, clear ‘book online’ button on each page.

Get your practice’s telephone number and email address onto every page as well. A good way to do this is to include them in the header or footer of your website so they automatically appear everywhere.

Next, you want to include a contact form on every page. Keep them simple – the more information you ask for, the fewer patients will send a contact form! Ask for their name, a way to contact them and their query. You can then set yourself a notification anytime it is filled in so you can contact the lead immediately.

Action Point

Ensure your website features prominent call-to-action buttons, such as “Book Online” for appointment scheduling. Display your practice’s contact information, including telephone number and email address, prominently on every page, typically in the header or footer. Additionally, include a simple contact form on each page to capture visitor inquiries efficiently. Simplifying the form fields encourages more submissions. Set up notifications to promptly respond to inquiries, optimizing lead conversion.

Using Images on a Dental Website

The next step is to make it visually appealing. Remember that speed is essential to a good website so keep the image size and resolution small. Don’t start adding huge 500Mb HD images to each page, you’ll only hamstring your speed. You can find free tools to shrink and compress images online so make sure they are only as big as they need to be. 300/600px on each side is enough for most screen sizes.

Get your best images of the team, the practice and the local area together and pepper them throughout the site. It’s fine to use stock images from websites like unsplash and shutterstock if you do not have any, in fact, some designers prefer it. However, you might run the risk of your website looking like many others – there’s only so many stock photos of dentists out there!

Action Points

Optimize image size and resolution for fast loading times, aiming for around 300/600px on each side. Incorporate high-quality images of your team, practice, and local area to personalize the site. Balance authentic imagery with stock photos to maintain uniqueness.

Make Your Dental Practice’s Website Fast

Speed has become the key to a great website. Google has been putting more and more emphasis on the speed of a website in recent years and it is now one of the key metrics they use to rank websites. In other words, the fast your website, the higher it will rank.

There are lots of ways to keep load times down and the website fast. We often find the worst culprits are images on the page. However, any widget can slow a website down so play around with different layouts and functionalities until you find the balance between user experience and speed.

Plugins like Lazy Loader can help with your website’s speed by prioritizing what images and videos are loaded in what order. Make sure you do regular speed checks on your website to ensure it doesn’t start slowing down and costing you SEO!

Action Points

Ensuring fast load times is crucial for website performance and SEO ranking. Prioritize optimization techniques such as image compression and lazy loading plugins to maintain speed without compromising user experience. Regular speed checks are essential to prevent slowdowns and maintain SEO effectiveness.

Check the speed of your website here.

Local SEO and Dental Websites

Creating a website for a dental practice is not quite the same as building a website for an e-commerce business that can ship products far and wide. You main customer base is going to be your local area and the surrounding regions. This is where your local SEO becomes important.

Google ‘dentist near me’ and you’ll see a selection of dental practices within about a mile or 2 of your location. That is local SEO at work.

Register your website on Google My Business, which allows a practice to be listed for free, with information such as opening times, directions, services and images. This is the directory Google uses to store your information and match it up to local searches like ‘dentist near me’.

You then want to find other local business directories online and get your practice registered on them. Independent online business directories like Yelp and local councils will let you list your business and boost your local SEO. Make sure your name, address, phone number and website are listed on as many local and national business directories as you can find.

You also want to make sure you pepper your location throughout the text on your website. If you’re a dentist in York, make sure you’ve got ‘dentist in York’, ‘York Dental Practice’ and other, similar variations mentioned in the text of your website.

Action Points

Local SEO is crucial for dental practices aiming to attract patients from their immediate vicinity. Registering your practice on Google My Business and other local business directories enhances visibility in local searches like “dentist near me.” Ensure consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) listings across directories to reinforce local SEO efforts. Integrate location-specific keywords throughout your website’s content to optimize for local searches and attract potential patients in your area.

Make it Mobile-friendly

Mobile internet usage now accounts for over 50% of all online activity. This has huge implications for the way your website needs to be designed. What looks great on a desktop might not (and probably won’t) look good on a mobile phone or a tablet. In fact, there’s a good chance it doesn’t even function properly if you haven’t tested it.

Test and preview your website on mobile. In fact, you should be building your website with a mobile-first attitude. Your links, buttons forms and multimedia all need to look and work just as well as they do on desktops. Most of your traffic is going to be coming from mobile phones and that is only going to increase.

Action Points

Optimizing your website for mobile is crucial as over 50% of online activity now occurs on mobile devices. Ensure seamless functionality and a great user experience on smartphones and tablets by testing and previewing your site on various devices. Prioritize mobile-first design by ensuring all elements like links, buttons, forms, and multimedia work effectively on mobile. With mobile traffic on the rise, optimizing your website for mobile usage is essential for engaging users and driving conversions.

Make Use Of SEO Techniques

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the most important aspects of building a dental website that converts patients. Most people access your online content by using a search engine like Google. This means that you want your dental practice to feature highly in search results – higher than your competitors at least! Making good use of SEO techniques helps you to make this happen. These are aspects you need to effectively digitally market your practice. You need to:

  • Make sure that all online content is easy to read.
  • Think about the keywords that you use, include long-tail keywords, use keywords in titles and sub headings and use locations in your keywords.
  • Keep all of your online content fresh.
  • Include internal links and make sure external links are relevant and to reputable websites.

Action Points

To improve your dental website’s visibility and attract more patients, prioritize SEO techniques such as optimizing readability, incorporating relevant keywords, updating content regularly, and using internal and external linking effectively.

You can learn more about SEO for dental websites here.

If you want to see how we built our dental practice’s website, check out The Neem Tree website.

Our Expert Opinion

“Your website is your main weapon when it comes to getting patients (speaking as a marketer). Your website is one of those things that I will always say it’s worth paying more for. Ads, content, social media, that can all be done very effectively on the cheap. Your website cannot be done cheaply and it’s not something I’d recommend keeping in-house.

Pay a professional to make a really fast, well-built, effective website that ranks on Google. I promise it will be worth it. Keep in mind that there are a lot of developers out there who really aren’t that good and will charge through the nose. Get several quotes, get their testimonials and I can’t stress enough how important it is to get examples of other websites they’ve made first.

Make your website mobile-first, check it regularly and work as hard as you can on the SEO to get it to the top of Google.”

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

What the Google Experience Update Means for Dentists

Our Expert Opinion

“The Google Experience Update changed the game for SEO. Basically, it now means that the better your website performs, the better Google will consider it.

You need to make your website fast, so pay more for a better server and get a developer to speed your site up. Your website also needs to be stable. This is also probably going to need the work of a developer, but it really will pay dividends.

Keywords, backlinks and the rest of the SEO concepts are still going to matter. However, it’s not just your content that needs to be good anymore. The platform on which they are hosted (your website) needs to be as good as possible too. “

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

SEO for Dental Websites in 5 Steps

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for dental websites is the process of improving your website’s ability to be found online via a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. If you improve your SEO, you improve your rankings in search engines, you increase the traffic driven to your website and you increase awareness of your practice and your brand.  

SEO is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, however, it is also one of the least understood marketing strategies by many businesses. Dentistry is no exception!

Search engines use various metrics to determine how high your website or online content will rank in their search results. These metrics are used to decide how relevant your website is to any given searched term or phrase; search engines then match up the web pages they deem the most relevant or related to the search term or phrase.

The key to SEO for dental websites is to make sure your website and web pages are deemed as relevant as possible to the search terms most associated with your industry. Or, at least, more relevant than your competitors!

Your website doesn’t just need to be easily read by audiences, search engines need to be able to read them easily too. From user experience, such as header tags, page structure and layout to how many websites link back to your website, there are multiple tactics we can use to boost SEO for dental websites.

Action Plan

SEO for dental websites is crucial for improving online visibility and driving traffic. By enhancing your website’s relevance to search terms, you can increase your rankings on search engines like Google. This involves optimizing various aspects of your website, such as user experience, page structure, and backlinks. With effective SEO strategies, you can enhance awareness of your dental practice and attract more patients.

Keywords

One of the key metrics search engines use is known as Keywords. Keywords are specific words or phrases that act as tags, letting search engines know what topic, industry or niche any given web page relates to and linking them to the relevant search.

For instance, a typical dental website will have pages on topics such as implants, fillings and veneers. Each of these is a keyword. When these keywords are searched online, it is the search engine’s job to determine which of the millions of web pages online are most relevant to the search. It is your job to ensure your website is the one the search engines pick.

Keywords need to be optimised throughout your website to ensure the highest online rankings possible. This means targeting both the specific keyword and also all possible variations of that term or phrase. Of course, you can’t just make a page repeating the keyword over and over again. You need to be tactical with your use. You need to consider your page titles, your subtitles, the body of the text, the metadescription, the URL, the list goes on and on!

Use dedicated software, such as Ahrefs, to research both you and your competitors’ keyword rankings. This allows you to see which keywords search engines, such as Google, tag alongside your website and its pages, as well as your competitors. You can then examine how much traffic each keyword gets on average a month, which of your pages are linked to the keyword and how difficult it would be for you to rank highly for that keyword.

You could also perform a ‘keyword gap analysis’. This allows you to compare keywords for which your competitors are ranking highly, but for which you rank below them, or possibly not at all! Using this information, you can plan which keywords you need to create content for.

Action Plan

Keywords are essential for dental website SEO, acting as tags that signal the topics covered on each page. Optimizing keywords across the site helps search engines understand their relevance to specific searches. Strategic keyword placement in titles, subtitles, text, meta descriptions, and URLs is crucial. Tools like Ahrefs aid in researching keyword rankings and analyzing competitors’ strategies. Conducting a keyword gap analysis identifies opportunities to improve rankings by targeting keywords where competitors rank higher.

Keyword Pro-tips:

Make Use Of Long-Tail Keywords.

These keywords are more specific to you. They are more niche and less general, meaning that there should be less competition when it comes to ranking for them. Instead of just using ‘implants’ as a keyword, why not try to rank for long-tail variations such as; ‘costs of dental implants’ or ‘how to look after dental implants’ or ‘dental implants in Nottingham’.

Use Keywords In Headings And Subheadings

You should normally aim to use your main keyword in the page heading and at least once in a sub heading (h2/h3/h4 tags), in order to optimise its effectiveness. You should also make sure that the keyword appears in the URL of the page.

Use Location Keywords

If you want to feature highly in a search for dentists in your area, make sure that you include your location as part of your keyword strategy; for instance, “children’s dentist Clapham”. You probably won’t rank number 1 on Google for ‘Invisalign’, but you might rank in the top 10 for ‘Invisalign in Bristol’ if your page is good enough.

Make Sure That Content Is Fresh

It’s possible that your page ranking will improve if you simply post to your blog regularly. Regular posting means that Google reindexes your site more often. This could lead to an improvement in your ranking. However, never post content just for the sake of it. Anything that you publish should be relevant, engaging and informative.

Action Plan

  • Long-Tail Keywords: Opt for specific, niche terms with less competition.
  • Use Keywords in Headings: Incorporate your main keyword in page headings and subheadings.
  • Include Location Keywords: Integrate location into your keyword strategy.
  • Maintain Fresh Content: Update your blog regularly for improved indexing.

Backlinks are the SEO equivalent of referring a friend. If someone recommends a product, service or company to you then you are more likely to use that product, service or company. The more you trust the opinion of the person who made the recommendation, the better that recommendation seems. The more reputable the source, the more you’ll trust the recommendation. Search engines work in exactly the same way.

Websites regularly contain links on their pages to other, external websites. Whether it is a further information link, a promotional link or a link to an affiliate website, most websites link through to another in at least one place. Whether it is for the BDA website, a sponsor’s page or an NHS page, your website most likely already has links to external websites. These are acting as backlinks for that external site (because you are linking back to their website). If such external websites have a link to your site, then they are acting as backlinks for your website.

To improve SEO for dental websites in terms of backlinks, you need to have as many backlinks as possible to your website from reputable external websites. The key here is reputable. Just like with referring a friend, the more you trust that friend or the better their reputation, the more you will trust that recommendation.

In exactly the same way, search engines will judge your backlinks by how reputable or trustworthy they deem the external website to be. In other words, if the BDA, Gov.uk or NHS websites link back to your website, search engines will rank those backlinks higher than a website like obviouslyfake.co.uk or just4backlinks.net.

Action Plan

Backlinks are like referrals in SEO. Just as you trust recommendations from reputable sources, search engines prioritize backlinks from trusted websites. Aim to secure backlinks from credible sites like the BDA or NHS to enhance your dental website’s SEO.

On-Page SEO for Dental Websites

SEO for dental websites isn’t just a question of making Google happy, it’s also about making the patient happy. If your website is formatted poorly, if it is hard to read or navigate, if it takes too long to load or if your audience doesn’t find what they need quickly then your audiences are more likely to leave the website after a short span of time. Search engines know this.

If your audiences are spending no more than a few seconds on your website, this tells the search engine that your website is not fit for purpose. Maybe your website is not relevant to the searched terms, maybe it is relevant but presents the information ineffectively. Either way, search engines will conclude that your website is not what the audience wants to see. Even if it is!

On-page SEO is the process of building web pages in such a way as to optimise your online rankings and improve the user experience. Remember how Keywords affect your online ranking? On-page SEO is how you make sure your Keywords are targeting or referring to the most relevant content and how you let search engines know that you have the content they are looking for.

On-page SEO for dental websites is effected by dozens of criteria. How many keywords you use on each page, whether those keywords are in the body of the text or contained in Header tags, how many variations of those keywords are referenced, these all effect your SEO. Everything from the length of sentences to how many transition words you use can impact the readability of a web-page.

Action Plan

On-page SEO for dental websites is crucial for both search engine rankings and user satisfaction. By optimizing page layout, content structure, and keyword usage, you enhance your website’s relevance and readability. This not only boosts your search engine visibility but also ensures a positive user experience, increasing the likelihood of visitors staying on your site.

Local SEO

Local SEO for dental websites is the process of optimising your website for online searches by location. It is essentially helping audiences in close proximity to your business to find you online. There are several ways to improve your local SEO and make sure prospects in your area hear about you. Once upon a time you registered your business in the Yellow Pages and maybe the local newspaper.

Phone showing google maps and local seo

Nowadays, you need to get your business cited in as many local online directories as possible. From the big names such as yell.com and yelp.co.uk, to your local business directories, the more the merrier! We can source the best online directories for your business and ensure that you are cited in each and every one. The more local citations you have, the more visible search engines will make you to audiences in that area.

Your business’s Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) also has an effect on your online rankings. When you input your business details into Google My Business (GMB), it is this information that Google uses to match up your website to a given search. If your NAP does not match up across all your online citations, search engines will notice this. From incorrect addresses, varying business names to differently formatted phone numbers, there can be no difference between the information you have listed on Google My Business and the rest of the internet.

Action Plan

Local SEO for dental websites focuses on optimizing your online presence to attract local customers. This involves listing your business in online directories and ensuring consistent Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) information across all platforms, particularly Google My Business. Consistent NAP details enhance your credibility and visibility in local search results, increasing the likelihood of local customers finding and contacting your dental practice.

The Importance of a Mobile Responsive Website

More people now access online content using a mobile device rather than using a desktop or laptop. This means that any dental surgery which is looking to grow its patient base needs to have a website that is designed with mobile users in mind. Using responsive web design helps with this as it means that content fits to the size of the screen that is being used to view it. There are also other factors to consider including:

  • Flash should not be used.
  • Links should be easily accessible by clicking.
  • Pages should be easy to read without a significant amount of scrolling.
  • Page load speed should ideally be 3 seconds or less. According to Google, the bounce rate for a mobile website starts to increase dramatically as the load time goes above this level.

It’s a good idea to get professional help with creating a website for a dental practice. I know from experience that trying to do the work in house can be time consuming, and the end result may not be as effective as it needs to be. 

Action Plan

A mobile-responsive website is essential for dental practices to cater to the growing number of mobile users accessing online content. It ensures seamless browsing by adapting to various screen sizes and optimizing factors like link accessibility and page load speed. Professional help in website creation ensures effectiveness and saves time compared to in-house efforts.

Our Expert Opinion

“SEO is what I know most about, it’s constantly evolving and the rules change. However, the main idea remains the same – make your website and content as accessible, readable and engaging as possible.

There is too much go into here in any real detail so here is my practical advice. Download the Website SEO Checker extension on Google Chrome, as well as Google Lighthouse. Use these tools to analyse your website page by page and do what it tells you to do. That may seem simplistic but if you do what those tools tell you, you’ll be ahead of your competition in terms of SEO.

Some of the issues it throws up will need a developer to fix – if you don’t have one then you really will not regret paying for an audit or consult to get the technical problems solved. Otherwise, just go through everything those tools tell you to do.

Lastly, but probably most importantly, it is 100% worth paying for the fastest server and quickest website you can get.”

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.