The Ultimate Guide To Dental SEO for 2022 [Malaysia]
SEO For Malaysia Dentists
Being a dental service provider in Malaysia is highly competitive. That said, the competition for sites offering dental services to get ranked on the first page of Google is getting hard as well.
How can you stand out from others in this competitive niche and get visibility for your dental services?
The best solution is to implement SEO and to be more precise local search engine optimization (Local SEO). In this article, we will share some of the basic SEO processes that you can implement right away to your website.
This guide will help you gain an edge over your local competitors. However, I do not guarantee a first-page ranking on Google by following this guide because I don’t know what kind of digital activities your competitors are doing.
Before moving on to the step-by-step Local SEO process, let’s take a look at why you should be investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in the first place.
5 Reasons Malaysian Dentists Should invest in SEO
Reason 1: Google is the new local directory (Yellow Pages)
Are you aware that more and more people using search engines to find local businesses? It is also applicable to dental clinics. Patients are searching for the best dentists to solve their dental problems. According to Google:
- 97% of consumers are actively searching for local businesses using Google search engine
- 40% of mobile searches are accounted for local businesses
- 20% of global search queries on Google are for local businesses
You don’t want to miss the chance to be in front of your potential customers.
Reason 2: SEO is cost-effective
When you make a comparison with other offline and online marketing efforts such as Social Media Marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC), SEO provides the best ROI. It is pretty tricky to nail down ROI. This is because time and money are both investments.
SEO is a long-term investment. When you invest in paid advertising, you get a good ROI when it’s done right. But, the true power of SEO is to grow exponentially compared to paid advertising which produces linear results.
In the long run, investment in SEO will produce the best result compared to other forms of online marketing.
Reason 3: SEO produce quality leads
Traditional “outbound” advertising channels focus on reaching out to a mass amount of consumers without knowing whether they want your services or not. Rather than interrupting your target audience, you should attract them with “inbound” marketing methods.
SEO is one of the best inbound marketing strategies. When you implement SEO, you will focus on attracting potential customers who are actively looking for information related to your products and services.
Plus, it becomes easier for you to translate your leads into paying customers.
Reason 4: High Brand Credibility
People trust any businesses ranked on Google Search Engine, especially the ones on the first page of Google for the searched keywords or phrases. You’re the business competitors are envious about.
When you take a look at Google Ads which are positioned top on search result pages, you assume those brands are getting the best results. Many people have ad-blockers installed on their web browsers because they are annoyed to see more and more ads.
When you get ranked on Google’s first page and get other subpages listed below your main home page, it gives authority and credibility for your business. Take a look at the screenshot below:
Reason 5: SEO is measurable
There are many tools available to measure your online success. SEO can be measured as well. You can easily measure and track the progression of your search rankings and organic traffic. With the right SEO tools, you will be able to identify the keywords that matter to your business.
SEO allows you to make changes and amendments to rank higher as there are so many measurable metrics available to analyze.
When comes to search engine optimization (SEO), there is plenty of information on the Internet. It can be seriously intimidating if you don’t have an experienced in-house SEO or consultant.
And now, you just need to follow these easy things to get search engine visibility and attract the right audience to your website.
We are going to divide SEO into two sections here; On-site SEO and Off-Site Optimization.
On-Site SEO: Basics
The most important elements of SEO start with your own website. You need to get the fundamentals of SEO right before moving on to the next phase of SEO. I won’t be able to cover every single element of on-page optimization here. But, it will be sufficient enough for you to get started.
Before moving on, I would like to remind you not to overdo these SEO methods. Overdoing it will get your site penalized by Google.
Just keep it simple.
Focus on less than five keywords or phrases and optimize your site.
You might be wondering about what keywords to use for your dental website. There are two free keyword tools you can use:
** I use a combination of a few tools to perform keyword research
We won’t dive deep into keyword research here as it’s a big and complicated topic that requires advanced SEO knowledge.
Keywords are specific words or phrases that describe the contents of a website.
SEO is a game of keywords. But, don’t try to overuse them.
As for dentists, you might be looking at keywords like teeth whitening, orthodontics, fillings, crowns, and many more. You can also list your services as keywords as well.
I will teach you how to use Ubersuggest to perform basic keyword research.
- Visit Ubersuggest.com
You will see something like the screenshot below.
Step 1: You can do two things here. Either enter the keywords or domain name. If you’re not sure about the keywords, you can enter the domain of competitors ranking high on search engines. For this guide, we will use “dental clinic” as the keyword.
Step 2: Make sure to change your keyword language to English/Malaysia as it will provide the volume for keywords for Malaysia. If you want to rank for Malay language keywords than you can go for Malay/Malaysia.
So, using Ubersuggest I’ve searched for “dental clinic” keyword and the screenshot below shows the result.
This is the top part of the result omitted by Ubersuggest tool. You can see there is an average of 3,600 searches per month for “dental clinic” keyword in Malaysia. The organic ranking and paid difficulty are low because it’s a generic keyword and we can’t be 100% sure whether the user searching using this keyword is actually looking for dental treatment.
When you scroll down after the first section of the result, you can see “keyword ideas” section. In this section, you can see additional keywords related to your main keywords. If you’re not sure which keywords you should be targeting for your website, you can take a peek at both related and suggested keywords.
You can also check the following in this section:
- List of keywords
- The trend of the keywords to determine whether the search for the particular keyword is increasing or declining
- CPC (cost-per-click) – if you intend to use Google Ads for the keywords
- PD (paid difficulty) – determines the level of competition in the paid search
- SD (SEO difficulty) – determines the level of competition in organic search
These are suggested keywords for your searched keyword. It actually shows the “broad idea” of the intended keyword.
When you click on “Related”, you can see the list of related keywords of the searched keyword. You will get additional keywords related to your dental services in this section when you don’t have an idea on the keywords you should be targeting.
Different keyword tools will consider different factors to determine keyword difficulties.
Let me share with you a bonus tip to get more keywords.
After the Keyword Ideas section, you can see another section, SERP Analysis. In this section, you can see the search page result for the searched keyword.
You can see that Makhota Medical Centre is ranking number 1 for the “dental clinic” keyword. And is followed by IMU Healthcare. Now you know, which website is ranking on top for the “dental clinic” keywords. There is a huge possibility these websites are not only ranking for the “dental clinic” keyword alone but also other keywords as well.
You just need to copy their URL and paste it on the same search bar on top when you searched for the keyword. But, Makhota Medical Centre has various departments and those keywords will show as well. You have to manually sort out the keyword which is related to your business.
If your competitors are already ranking on the Google search engine, you can use their URL instead and get the list of keywords they are ranking for. Using this method will allow you to get a list of relevant keywords and identify the keywords your competitors are already ranking for.
I would suggest using Ubersuggest over Google Ads Keyword Planner. You will get more insight using Ubersuggest as Keyword Planner focuses more on paid ads keywords and you will not get the exact search volume for keywords. You can only check estimated search volume unless you’ve started spending on Google Ads.
For dental practices you can focus on two types of keywords:
- Keywords or phrases with transactional intent
- Keywords or phrases with informational intent
Keywords or phrases with transactional intent are extremely important for your dental services. The people searching for these types of keywords are the ones looking to take action because they want to get their problems solved. For example, keywords like “dentist KL” indicate that the user is looking for a dentist in the Kuala Lumpur area.
These types of transactional keywords are suitable for home page and services page optimization.
Ranking for transactional keywords should be your primary focus as it brings more customers to your doorstep.
So, what about keywords or phrases with informational intent?
Although the keywords do not hold direct transactional value, it can supplement your SEO efforts. These keywords are used to educate your potential customers and position your site as a reliable source for information related to the dental niche.
For example, research intent keywords like “benefits of teeth whitening” can be adapted into an article or blog post. The information produced by your site will get in front of your potential customers and it will lead to sales with the right marketing funnel.
I can’t talk much about the marketing funnel here. But, let me give you a simple explanation of it.
The marketing funnel is all about converting your site visitors to paying customers. It can be applied to any industry including the dental industry.
Now you’re done with your keyword research. Next, you need to optimize your website for those keywords. Apart from optimizing your site, you should optimize your Google My Business Page as well.
As your dental clinic is located in a specific city, you want potential customers from that city to visit your clinic.
You don’t want to miss the customers within your vicinity right?
It is much easier to attract people within your city rather than focusing on the state or nation.
Before moving on to site optimization, let’s optimize your Google My Business Page first.
Google My Business Page
GMB (Google My Business Page) is a free tool offered by Google to manage how your business appears on Google Search and Map.
Do you realize?
When you search for any services like plumbing, restaurants, or even digital marketing agencies, the top part will show the Google Maps results like the screenshot below.
You definitely want to be at the top of this result. I’m staying near to Port Klang, so the result shows dental clinics around the Port Klang area.
So, how to get started with Google My Business Page?
You can click on the following link below and learn how to set up your Google My Business Page.
Google My Business (GMB) Guide for Malaysian Businesses
You can easily follow the guide and create your Google My Business Account, verify it and manage it effectively to appear on top for local search.
We will move on to the on-site optimization that you need to perform on your dental service site.
You want to notify the search engine of what your page is about. The title tag will provide an indication of the pages on your site. You need to add a title tag for each page on your site and it should be 70 characters or less.
The best way to add the title tag is to add brand names and keywords related to that specific page. When you check the source code of your web page you can find the title tag placed on top of the HTML code between <HEAD> </HEAD>
This is one of my favourite on-site optimization elements. It allows you to tell your potential customers what your page is about. Meta description helps to increase CTR (Click-Through-Rate) of search results when done right. Although there is no direct relationship between meta description and search ranking, it acts as a conversion factor.
Have you ever realized that searched keywords are “BOLD” in Google search results? Take a look at the screenshot below.
You have to use both your brand name and primary keywords in the meta description. It’s not for the search engine bots to understand your site but for the humans searching for your services.
If you’re using WordPress CMS for your website, you’re lucky. You can easily add page titles and meta descriptions with free plugins. These are a few plugins you can use if you’re using WordPress:
- SEO By Yoast (I’m using this for Navenpillai.com)
- All In One SEO
If you have the budget to spend on premium plugins I will suggest you either use Yoast SEO Premium or SEOPressor
Other Important On-page SEO Elements
- Header Tags – I always suggest everyone utilize header tags. When you write content for pages you should break it into sections. If you take a look at this article you can see that I’ve used H2 and H3 tags for subheadings like “Title Tag”. I’m not using the H1 tag as it will be used for the title of this article. Header tags help search engines to understand each section of content. On the other hand, your readers can easily scan and digest your content.
- Internal Links – Link building is not about getting links from external sources alone. Internal linking helps search engines to have a deeper understanding of your website. For example, in this article, I have linked other posts on this site like “Guide to Google My Business [2019 Edition]”. You should create contents within your site that can be interlinked with each other to create good site architecture.
- Image Name & ALT Tags – As for dental services, you will be using images to showcase your services. You should include keywords related to your services when naming your images and the alt tag. Let’s say I want to optimize my image for Ubersuggest Keyword Research Tool. If you see the first Ubersuggest Keyword screenshot I’ve used in the Keyword Research section, I’ve used <img src = ” ubersuggest-keyword-research-tool.png” alt=” Ubersuggest Keyword Research Tool”/>. The search engine will include this image in the image search results if someone is searching for Ubersuggest Keyword Research Tool. You can apply the same for the images related to dental services.
These are the essential on-page SEO elements you should focus on while optimizing your site.
I will provide a step-by-step guide in optimizing your homepage and service pages.
The title for Homepage and Service Pages
As a dental service provider, you want to focus on optimizing your “core pages” which will be your homepage and service pages. Those pages should be optimized with keywords your potential patients are actively searching for.
As mentioned earlier in the on-page optimization, you should come up with the best title tag for your homepage.
Put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes. What will be the most obvious keyword or phrase will I use to find a dentist around my area. The most common keyword will be ” Dentist in [your city]”. But, people are not searching exactly the same in every city. Sometimes there might not be any dentist around the patient’s city. So you got to make your keyword research work here. Look at the list of keywords, the volume, and the difficulty level.
So, how do you write the perfect title for your homepage?
For example, you’re a dentist in KL and the name of your clinic is Mohan Dental Surgery. So your homepage title will be [Dentist in KL | Mohan Dental Surgery]. You can also reverse your homepage title as long it has your targeted keyword with the brand name, [Mohan Dental Surgery | Dentist in KL]. And make sure to have your homepage title less than 70 characters.
I have seen businesses cannibalize their homepage title by adding all the keywords. They often have a misconception that having all their keywords in the homepage title will get them ranked on search engines.
Please don’t ever do this!
Meta Description for Homepage and Service Pages
You want to write a unique yet captivating meta description. This is what going to entice users to click your site on the search results page. I have seen a few SEO guides that encourage businesses to include their contact number and location. I will advise you to stay away from it.
Some SEO’s focus on getting the #1 position on the search engine for particular keywords. Your site might be on the top spot but you might not get the clicks you deserve. The site that ranks #2 might get more clicks than you due to a good meta description.
Let’s take a look at an example.
The title tag of this site looks good though it can be improved. As for the meta description, some people might be happy with it but for me, it is poor and requires attention.
- They are not getting right to the point.
- The meta description is hanging halfway which makes it look unprofessional.
This will be a good meta description for the site: [Looking for professional dental services in Klang? Tan Dental Surgery Klang provides the best dental services. Visit us today and get exclusive treatment from our professional dentists.]
So what’s good about the meta description I’ve suggested?
- Added a call to action – “Visit Us Today”
- Included their primary keyword – “dental services in Klang”
- It’s conversational
Content for Homepage
If you want to rank your site on search engines, you need to have sufficient content. Websites with thin contents are long gone from the search result pages. You’ll need at least 800-1000 words for each page to rank well on search engines. If you’re having strong competition, you might want to produce better content than your competitors.
Your homepage should be an ideal landing page for patients looking for dental services. I will list out the most important elements your homepage should have to successfully attract more and more patients.
According to Hubspot, there are 12 crucial elements every Homepage should have
- Headline – The attention span of humans has been reduced to less than 7 seconds. Your headline should tell what your business has to offer. Just keep it clear and simple.
- Sub-Headline – Description of your headline. Use simple yet professional language in explaining what your business offer. Talk about your audience’s problem and avoid talking about yourself.
- Primary Calls-to-Action – You want your visitors to stay longer on your site and get to know more about your offers. This is where your marketing funnel starts to work. Try to include 2-3 calls-to-action (CTAs) above the fold of your site to direct people to different stages of the marketing funnel.
- Relevant Images or Videos – People give more attention to visuals. Use images or short videos (30s to 45s) that indicate your offer.
- Benefits – Potential customers want to know what benefits they will get with your products or services. Provide what your customers want to read and hear.
- Social Proof – You want to position yourself as an authority. Add testimonials from your existing customers. Short videos will work well. If you don’t have the resources just add short quotes.
- Navigation – Provide a clear path to your visitors from the homepage to other pages on your site. The navigation should be positioned at the top. It will be better if a search box is added to the navigation menu.
- Content Offer – To generate qualified leads you need to offer various content in the form of eBooks, guides, or blog posts. Have a section for them on the homepage.
- Secondary Calls-To-Action – The secondary CTA should be added below the fold of your homepage to further persuade visitors who were not interested in your primary offers.
- Features – Other than benefits, you need to list your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in the form of features. It will provide visitors with a better understanding of your products and services.
- Resources – 90% of your visitors won’t be ready to buy your products or use your services. Offer links to resources (this can be your blog section) where they can learn more. It also helps you to position yourself as an authority and thought leader in your industry.
- Success Indicators – Other than testimonials and customer success stories, you can also add awards and recognition to create a good first impression.
Just implement as many elements as possible for your homepage to stand out. It is not about the design alone, it is about the experience your site provides your visitors. And it starts on the homepage.
Let’s move on to the service pages.
Content For Service Pages
I come across one common mistake with service pages. Dental service providers often list all their services on a single page with a small description for each.
For SEO purposes, it is important to have separate service pages. It will create a better chance for you to get ranked on search engines. Your visitors won’t be searching for your brand name, they will be searching for your services instead.
For example, if you provide cosmetic treatment and orthodontic treatment, you need to have separate service pages with subpages for each service because there are sub-services like Dental implants under cosmetic treatment and dental braces under orthodontic treatment.
By having separate pages, it will be relatively easier to optimize those pages for specific keywords. You can use the same 12 crucial elements for your service pages as well.
But you can avoid elements like success indicators as it provides a general impression for your brand.
Most small and medium businesses avoid having a blog on their website.
99% of the business owners I’ve met before asked me ” Why should we have a blog?”
It’s a brilliant question. Most people assume that blogging is a hobby for people to write about things happening in their daily life.
Little do they know blogging has a lot to offer for businesses.
Let’s make a comparison between dentist site A and dentist site B. Dentist site A has everything on their site including the homepage, service pages, about us, contact except for blog.
And dentist site B has an additional blog section on their site. Dentist B is consistently publishing informational content about the industry. The consistent content publishing schedule will take dentist B to the next level due to a few reasons:
- Dentist B has positioned itself as an industry leader by covering important information about their industry.
- They have more content which creates more chances to rank for different keywords which leads to more organic traffic
- Their brand gets recognized. Creating fresh content keeps your brand alive.
On the other hand, dentist A just leaves the site how it is and makes minor changes to the site’s existing contents. There will be limited opportunities to rank for more keywords. People will move on to dentist B as they are helping people in identifying problems and providing solutions to them in the form of fresh content.
So you have to decide whether you want to be dentist A or dentist B?
I don’t see any dental service providers in Malaysia who publish new content regularly. Some of the sites are outdated and last updated in 2015.
If you don’t have the time to focus on blogging, you can hire content marketers or content marketing agencies to take care of it.
Trust me. The investment will be worth it in the long term.
Now we will move on to the off-page optimization initiatives you can apply to your site.
Link Building for Dental Sites
We talked about internal linking earlier in the on-page optimization section where you link one page to another within a website to create organized site architecture.
So how does link building works?
External links or commonly known as “inbound links” is the link that points your site from another site. Link Building (external links) is one of the most important Google ranking factors.
However, you need to be careful with the sites you get links from. Google is extremely particular in this matter as the method has been abused before. You need to make sure to get links from sites related to your niche.
For example, you can get links from medical and oral health-related niche sites.
But, how can you build links to your site?
I will help you get started by providing 3 ideas to build links to your site.
1. Get links from partners
Do you refer your patients to other medical service providers? Maybe a local oral surgeon? Or other dentists who provide services that you’re not offering?
The dentist in your network is where you can start your link-building campaigns.
Link swapping is unethical in the eyes of search engines especially Google. You can perform link sharing by getting high quality content related to your dental service published on other dental sites with a link back to your site.
2. Establish an online presence on dental review sites
This is a bit hard. Most of the review sites only accept dental service providers from the United States. But there are a few paid ones that accept dentists worldwide.
3. Donations & Sponsorships
Offering your services as donations to local events or charities can be a good way to acquire links. You can get your brand published on those sites organizing the events and charities.
On the other hand, you can also sponsor events related to your niche. For example, oral health awareness events.
Offering donations and sponsorship not only helps you to acquire links but also increases your brand awareness.
Build Citations for Your Dental Site
What are citations?
They are commonly known as NAP+W which mentions your business name, address, phone number, and website.
Citations make up 13% of the Google local ranking factor. You can only build citations for the physical location with the city, street address, zip, state, and country.
You need to keep your citation accurate on each citation you build for your clinic. If there is a NAP mismatch with your citation there will be issues with your local search ranking.
Here are some of the top ways to build citations. I won’t be going deep into citations. Will provide you with the basic knowledge to get started.
1. Local Search Engines
You can build citations for local search engines by getting your business information added to the following sites:
2. Local Directories
Local directories are associated with the geographic region and easily get indexed by search engines.
You should focus on getting your business listed on directories handled by humans. This is to avoid spammy directories that can affect your local ranking.
Following are some of the best Malaysian directories to list your dental clinic information:
- Malaysia Directory – One Stop Malaysia
- Yellowpages Malaysia
- StreetDirectory Malaysia
- Business World Malaysia
- New Pages
With strategic SEO planning and implementation, SEO campaigns can be one of the most profitable investments among digital marketing initiatives. For the best results in SEO, you need to get an action plan and implement it consistently.
SEO is a game of consistency.
To summarize this SEO guide for Malaysian Dentists you need to follow these steps:
- Keyword Research
- Keyword Optimization
- Google My Business Listing
- Title Tag
- Meta Description
- Link Building
Follow these fundamental steps to get started and attract more patients to your clinics.
Although I specialize in helping small and medium businesses with their SEO initiatives, I can help dentists to get more patients as well.
But, I only work with one dentist client at a time as I’m focused on providing the best SEO service for that particular client.
If you’d like help with your digital efforts, book me today by sending an email via the contact form!