Researching Keywords for Dentists

Google recently changed its Adwords Keyword Tool (Keyword Planner) a bit, but it still works well for selecting strategic keywords. You can access the tool with a free Gmail account, and you do not have to purchase Adwords.

The Problem with Adwords Groups

I don’t want to point fingers, but many SEOs (the term we use to describe SEO providers) are lazy when it comes to selecting keywords. It all stems from not wanting to write or edit original content. At MDPM Consulting, our primary business is dental copywriting, so this isn’t an issue. I should explain my accusation.

Most SEOs go to Google Adwords Keyword Tool and type in “dentist” plus the major metropolitan area, like “Dallas” or “Chicago.” The results are many, so the quickest and most compact solution is to select groups of suggested keywords. This strategy may seem like a good idea on the surface, but when you consider that a dentist’s office attracts patients primarily within a 12-20 mile radius, or less, paying for keywords like Dallas dentist seems like a waste of time and money.

Taking Time to Find the Right Keywords

Instead of selecting pre-sorted groups of keywords, take time to enter the locations of towns where your patients work and live. In most cases, dentists will choose suburbs, neighborhoods within larger cities, districts, boroughs, or nearby towns (for country dentists). Then, use the keyword tool to search for services, symptoms, and the synonyms of these words, that your ideal patients might type into Google.

You may be surprised to find that few people search for “dental practice.” Most search for “dentist office.” Likewise, “chipped tooth” may be more popular than “fractured tooth.” You won’t know these nuances until you conduct a thorough search with Google Adwords Tool.

After Selecting Keywords

Once you’ve determined the best locations and keyword phrases for your SEO strategy, check out what your competitors, or local colleagues if you prefer, are doing. Install a tool like SEO Quake in your browser, and analyze the keywords used on other dental websites. For those that rank higher than you in search results, check them out on Majestic SEO to see how many incoming links from different IP addresses they have accrued. You might also take a peek at their WhoIs.SC account to learn the domain name age and WhoIs SEO score. Just as football coaches watch their rival teams, you should keep an eye on the competition and adjust your own SEO strategy accordingly.

Integrating Keywords in Copy

Keywords should be in your metadata (title tags, primarily), Alt-image tags, link names and anchor text, headings, and body copy. Original content is the only kind of content that will help your SEO strategy.

If your dental practice needs copywriting, SEO, website, or marketing help, call the experts at MDPM Consulting today: 972-781-8861, or email us at