Brodie Cornett

Brodie is an SEO Associate and account lead at Sagapixel. He specializes in on-page SEO and content marketing.

The Guide to SEO & PPC Keywords for Orthodontists

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If you’re struggling in driving web traffic to your orthodontic practice, you may need to consider the types of keywords you’re targeting. Knowing the keywords that rank for orthodontists informs your overall digital marketing strategy which improves your rank in Google and helps drive more leads.

This article covers keywords for orthodontists both for organic and paid search and why targeting the right terms is integral for attracting new patients and driving leads.

If you’ve been looking for a digital marketing agency to help your orthodontic practice, click here to schedule a call with someone at Sagapixel.

SEO Keywords for Orthodontists

The best SEO keywords for orthodontic practices to target are those for each service they provide and questions surrounding those offerings.

Any SEO services for orthodontists needs to include adequate keyword research. Without a proper keyword strategy, you won’t know what topics drive traffic or how to produce content which convinces potential patients to convert.

Some general orthodontic keywords you should target for your non-blog pages include:

  • orthodontist [location]
  • orthodontist near me
  • braces near me
  • family ortho
  • orthodontic treatment

Now, you should also build out a list of specific service pages which target the keywords of the treatments your orthodontic practice offers. Terms around braces may be the big one, but what about Invisalign® or Incognito™? Do you offer adult orthodontics?

Additionally, if you wish to attract prospective patients from cities in addition to the one where your office is located, you should build out location-specific pages for each of your services. SEO location pages targeting keywords such as “orthodontist + city” will be necessary for you to outrank orthodontists that just so happen to be located in the cities you are targeting..

Likewise, if your SEO keyword strategy includes producing informational blog content, you might target queries like:

  • types of orthodontic treatment
  • what kinds of braces are there
  • what is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist
  • does invisalign work

Of course, the informational keywords you write blogs for depend on the types of orthodontic services you offer. Ideally, you shouldn’t produce content on topics you don’t offer some sort of service for as blog articles should serve as a means to convince potential patients to choose your practice over your competitors.

Now, any keyword research for orthodontists needs hard confirmation from available data. Basing a strategy on assumptions won’t work. You need the appropriate tools to identify the right keywords to inform and prioritize your strategy.

Google Keyword Planner is one of the better options for finding keywords for orthodontic practices since the data included comes straight from Google itself. That said, there are many third-party tools, both free and paid, which can help with ideation. Of course, the downside with third-party tools is their data is all estimated and shouldn’t be taken at 100% face-value. These tools are best used as a starting point to inform your strategy and which keywords to target.

According to Google Keyword Planner, the top 20 keywords for orthodontists include:

Keyword Avg. Monthly Searches
orthodontist 550000
orthodontist near me 90500
diamondbraces 49500
braces near me 22200
orthodontics near me 22200
orthodontist expert 14800
smile orthodontics 12100
brace dental 12100
family orthodontics 9900
my orthodontist 9900
best orthodontist near me 8100
braces places 5400
orthodontic braces 4400
advance orthodontics 4400
orthodontist exclusive 4400
baileys orthodontics 4400
braces dental near me 4400
orthodontic treatment 3600
mike mew 3600
pediatric orthodontist near me 3600

While this list is a fantastic starting point, the next stage involves understanding which of these keywords are appropriate for your orthodontic practice. Some of the included keywords may be brand-specific which you can target, but it becomes more complicated since you can’t simply start including a competitor’s name in your content without reason.

Furthermore, understanding the intent behind these keywords adds more complexity to your research. Take “orthodontist expert” as an example. Is this someone looking for an orthodontist for treatment or someone looking to become an orthodontist?

Intent is a major part of identifying the best keywords to target for your orthodontic practice.

Matching Intent Through Keyword Research

Something to bear in mind when doing keyword research for orthodontic practices is the intent of the queries you’re looking into.

“Search intent” is an entire topic in its own right, but it’s basically the idea that when someone looks something up, they have a specific idea of what they want to find in the results. This influences the success of web pages based on whether they match that idea or the degree of which they match it.

This intent also plays into what marketer’s often call the “buyer’s journey.” Essentially, potential customers or patients lie somewhere in an abstract funnel of discovering a problem, looking into that issue, finding a solution to it, and making a decision.

For example, someone searching “orthodontist near me” or “orthodontist [city]” is obviously looking for orthodontic services and is most likely ready to convert. They’re “lower” in the buyer’s journey funnel, so this keyword works best for a service page targeting your location.

On the other hand, the keyword “types of orthodontic treatment” is “higher” in the funnel. Someone searching this most likely hasn’t discovered a solution to their problem yet and are looking for answers.

This all means you need the proper insight into search intent to identify appropriate content types and keywords for your orthodontic practice.

Target Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are terms and phrases with more specific intent. Typically, these keywords are longer than 2 or 3 words and target a specific query.

 An example of a long-tail keyword for orthodontists is “what is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist.” While this is a detailed topic, the searcher has a specific question in mind with a specific answer.

The benefits of ranking for long-tail keywords for your orthodontic practice include less competition, higher intent, and support for top-level queries.

Generally, long-tail keywords have less competition. Many sites aim to rank solely for top-level keywords. For orthodontists, this includes “orthodontists” or “braces near me” among many others. Creating content around long-tail keywords allows you to answer specific questions and demonstrate your expertise in your services.

Next, long-tail keywords tend to have higher intent. Someone who looks up “orthodontist” might have an idea of what they’re looking for, but discerning their intent is extremely difficult. However, someone who searches “what kinds of braces are there” is much easier to produce content for since they are clearly looking into their options.

Finally, long-tail keywords help rank a site both on their own and as supporting pieces for top-level queries. Part of a successful SEO strategy involves linking from page-to-page. Long-tail keywords have the chance of ranking for multiple keywords and you can use that to support your top-level service pages to direct traffic to them and drive more leads.

Overall, incorporating long-tail keywords into an SEO strategy for orthodontists is important to ensuring continued traffic growth and lead generation.

PPC Keywords for Orthodontic Services

Like with SEO, if you’re running paid campaigns for your orthodontic practice, you need to know what keywords to target. Generally, you should align your SEO and PPC keywords to give you the best results.

Knowing the right keywords to target in your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns is integral to ensuring you don’t waste money in your marketing efforts. Ideally, you should align your PPC keywords with the content you produce from your SEO strategy. This ensures your orthodontic practice’s website ranks both organically and in the paid ads, allowing you to claim more space in Google’s results page and improving visibility.

With PPC keywords, you actually target the specific terms you want your ads to appear for and bid on placement for them. Generally speaking, there are 5 types of keywords you want to use in your PPC campaigns.

Branded Keywords

Branded keywords are those in your PPC campaigns which use your practice’s name along with modifiers. For example, some branded PPC keywords for orthodontic practices include “[practice name],” “[practice name] orthodontist,” and “[practice name] braces.”

Head Terms

Broad keywords in paid search campaigns are the top-level and general terms you want to drive traffic for. These are typically the most competitive since everyone else in the space will also push for these. Examples of broad PPC keywords for orthodontists include “orthodontist,” “family orthodontics,” and “orthodontic braces.”

Long-Tail Keywords

Like SEO, PPC campaigns can target long-tail keywords which generally have more intent behind them. Bidding on these phrases is beneficial as they tend to have less competition and the chances of someone converting on them is higher. Examples of long-tail PPC keywords for orthodontists include “what is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist” and “do i need to go to the orthodontist for braces.”

Keywords with Transactional Intent

Transactional or commercial keywords are those targeting searchers lower in the buyer’s journey funnel. That is, these target people who are most likely ready to make a decision and convert into a patient. Commercial PPC keywords for orthodontic services include “orthodontist near me,” “orthodontist [location],” and “orthodontists that accept [insurance].”

Competitor Keywords

Competitor PPC keywords are typically the same as branded terms but for your direct competitors instead. The idea behind bidding on these keywords in your paid campaigns is to capture some of the traffic and potential patients going to your competitors.

Now, along with the terms you want to rank for, PPC involves developing a negative keyword list which includes terms you don’t want to appear in the results for.

A negative keyword list for orthodontists most likely includes treatments you don’t offer. For example, if your practice doesn’t offer Incognito™, you may want to include that and related keywords to your negative list.

Summary of Identifying Keywords for Orthodontists

Any SEO or PPC campaign rests on the foundation of adequate keyword research and targeting. This remains true for orthodontists as any other business.

You need to target the right orthodontic keywords to inform both SEO and PPC strategies. Typically, this means building pages around services, locations, and questions about treatments. This means targeting keywords like “orthodontist [location]” or “family orthodontist” for your main site and topics like “types of orthodontic treatment” and “what kinds of braces are there” for a blog.

For PPC, you’ll want to follow the same general guidelines for your orthodontic practice in branded, broad, long-tail, transactional, and competitor terms.

Find a Digital Marketing Agency to Do the Work For Your Orthodontics Practice

This all said, orthodontists are busy running their business and most likely don’t have or don’t want to take the time to also work on digital marketing.

Finding a solid SEO company which also offers PPC management services is a great way to offload the work of finding keywords for your orthodontic practice. This allows you to focus on your business while still improving your rank in Google, driving more new leads and patients to your practice.

Check out some of our other orthodontist marketing articles

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