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An in-depth marketing study of the dental market in Los Angeles

I’ve worked with a few large dental clinics where I live in Vancouver, Canada. This includes small practices to chains of clinics operating in the area. It’s a different industry. No one really looks forward to going to the dentist, so we can’t really piss off patients by drip-feeding them with content. There is a special way you win new patients without bombarding them — we’ll get into that later.

What I notice immediately is that you can’t find an in-depth market analysis of the industry, and I always wanted to share what we’ve learned over the years with our clients.

Why Los Angeles? Well, California has the most dentist in the United States. Competition is tight. I picked Los Angeles because it’s the heart of California.

Also, let’s assume https://www.westcoastdental.com is our client because I don’t see them show up anywhere for their primary keywords.

Who are the top dogs in the city?

We can find the top-ranking dental clinics by doing a manual search and by running AWR Cloud. Both will give us the results we need to start this study.

But first, let’s look at some topic clusters by digging in Google Ads:

  1. Teeth whitening – Avg. monthly searches = 12,100
  2. Dental implants – Avg. monthly searches = 6,600
  3. Wisdom teeth removal – Avg. monthly searches = 5,400
  4. Pediatric dentist – Avg. monthly searches = 4,400
  5. Emergency dentist – Avg. monthly searches = 3,600

I am freestyling here, but it looks like these 5 topics are the most searched keywords in the area.

Now I am going to do a simple search and see what comes up, by simply adding “LA” to each keyword topic:

  1. Teeth whitening
    1. Position 1 = Yelp
    2. Position 2 = Groupon
    3. Position 3 = Yelp (again?)
    4. Position 4 = https://midwilshiredentistry.com/
    5. Position 5 = http://smilelabsla.com/
  2. Dental implants
    1. Position 1 = Yelp
    2. Position 2 = Groupon
    3. Position 3 = https://www.sargondentalimplants.com
    4. Position 4 = https://www.beverlyhillsoralsurgerycenter.com
    5. Position 5 = https://www.atlanticdentalgrp.com
  3. Wisdom teeth removal
    1. Position 1 = Yelp
    2. Position 2 = Yelp
    3. Position 3 = Yelp
    4. Position 4 = https://www.droralsurgery.com
    5. Position 5 = https://www.beverlyhillsoralsurgerycenter.com
  4. Pediatric dentist
    1. Position 1 = Yelp
    2. Position 2 = http://smilesla.com/
    3. Position 3 = https://childrensdentalfunzone.com/
    4. Position 4 = http://www.drdanspediatricdentistry.com/
    5. Position 5 = Yelp
  5. Emergency dentist
    1. Position 1 = Yelp
    2. Position 2 = Yelp
    3. Position 3 = https://www.emergencydentistsusa.com
    4. Position 4 = http://drbruceedwardking.com/
    5. Position 5 = https://midwilshiredentistry.com/

Now we’re going to look at AWR Cloud keyword data and see if it matches my manual searches. I am going to look at local pack, map, mobile, and of course, desktop rankings.

Mobile organic:

Organic Mobile Rankings

Desktop maps:

Organic Desktop Maps

Desktop organic:

Organic Desktop Rankings

Remember, we’re just looking at Los Angeles. From what I see, our target website https://www.westcoastdental.com/ is not doing as well as they should. Based on the services West Coast Dental offers, I would imagine the board would like to improve their organic & paid visibility in the area. Now let’s see if West Coast Dental is doing okay if we add “Los Angeles” to each keyword:

SERPbot Local Rankings

Of all the primary keywords that West Coast Dental should be targeting, only 3 are in a top 5 position. For having 20+ locations, these guys need a lot of help to rank in the top spot. I keep seeing two websites come up for localized keywords:





Okay, we’re getting somewhere now — I know who my primary competitors are:

  1. https://www.yelp.com/
  2. https://www.downtowndentalla.com/
  3. https://www.billdorfmandds.com/
  4. https://www.emergencydentistsusa.com/
  5. https://www.opencare.com/
  6. https://www.environdentalla.com/
  7. https://www.losangelesdentalarts.com/
  8. https://www.hooverdentalcenter.co/

We’ll dig into this and try to find out why these websites do so well later. But first, let’s look at who is spending money on advertising.

Who is paying $10+/click

I am sure most of you have enough skin in the game to know that the dental industry is savagely competitive. In most cases, you’ll easily end up paying $10+/click. Let’s look at the 6 gorillas who rank for our primary keywords and find out what they’re advertising for:


Keywords targeted:

  • dental offices in Los Angeles: PPC cost ranges from $9.33-$24.85
  • Los Angeles dental clinics: PPC cost ranges from $3.31-$16.08

(based on our amazing Canadian dollar)


Downtown Dental LA AD

Not very in-depth, is it? This is the only active ad I can track. Could it have something to do with the fact that they just want to get patients and don’t care about low hanging fruits? Or, is it because they want the cream of the crop and put all their ad spend on the main keywords.


Keywords targeted:

  • do all celebrities have veneers: $-
  • beverly hills cosmetic dentist:
  • beverly hills cosmetic dental lab: $11.98-$22.33
  • beverly hills aesthetic dentistry: $12.06-$23.17
  • dental implant: $8.54-$24.77 (why would you misspell this Dr Dorfman)
  • hollywood teeth veneers: $-
  • dental implants west Hollywood: $-
  • cosmetic dentistry woodland hills: $20.08-$43.55

(based on our amazing Canadian dollar)


Dr. Drofman Ads

Okay, now it’s getting interesting. Dr. Dorfman isn’t going after the primary keywords like I thought he would. Instead, he is going after lower volume keywords. Clearly, implants and veneers are the targeted services with Dr. Dorfman.


Keywords targeted:

emergency denture repair: $1.35-$8.42

same day denture repair: $3.49-$23.85

same day denture repair near me: $3.50-$10.56

emergency tooth repair: $2.65-$10.66

can u go to the emergency room for a toothache: $0

dentist for tooth extraction near me: $0

denture repairs while you wait near me: $4.40-$22.14

online denture repair: $3.37-$9.45

one day denture repair: $0

same day partial denture repair: $8.00

where can i get my dentures repaired: $8.00

24 dentist emergency: $8.00

dental denture repair: $2.00


Emergency Dentist Ads

www.emergencydentistsusa.com/ is located in 10 states and dominates emergency dental care. They’re a good example for us to study later on and see why they rank well organically.

I am not going to check Open Care and Yelp because they’re a national brand and don’t just target LA.

Backlink profile and domain authority

Here’s where we start with our first round of recommendations. We need to dig deep and find out why West Coast Dental isn’t ranking as well as it should be.

Domain Comparison Ahrefs

From the looks of it, a domain rating of 40 is pretty good for a local clinic. And 205 different domains linking back to you is almost good enough (we’ll look at their quality later). Let’s compare a few of the other top competitors:

Domain Comparison Ahrefs 2

Alright, it looks like we’ve got some leeway with West Coast Dental. Link building is expensive so maybe they don’t have to spend too much time building high authority links. It depends if their backlink profile is high quality.

Here’s the backlink profile for West Coast Dental:

Google Sheets icon backlink profile

If you’re West Coast Dental, you don’t have to worry. Why? Because we all have access to your backlink profile just like your competitors.

It looks like we’ve got a lot of profile, directory, and press release links. These links are okay but definitely need improvement.

Anchor text profile West Coast Dental

Anchor text profile

You guessed it. Because West Coast Dental’s backlink profile is only on directories, profile pages, and press releases, you’re only going to see branded or naked URL anchors. They’ll need to mix it up more if they want to improve their rankings. Here are some anchor text recommendations:

  • dentist near los angeles
  • best dentist in los angeles
  • dental clinic near los angeles
  • dentist in los angeles CA
  • dentist in los angeles California

Let’s connect these anchors on posts with topics (we’ll recommend topics based on search intent directly from Google):

  • How to find a good dentist in Los Angeles
  • How much does it cost to remove a cavity
  • How do you pick the right dentist for your family
  • What are the best insurance options for dental care

We’ve done the same link building campaign for other hard-to-rank keywords with national campaigns and have done amazingly well. It’s whitehat, and all about answering search intent. Not to mention the added authority from a mixed bag of blogs (not just directories and profile pages).

Content gap analysis

Our advanced tools help bridge the gap between what’s performing, who is doing well nationally, and why their content performs better. Combining this method with a solid link building campaign almost always ensures better visibility online.

The tools we use give us the ability to find new keyword opportunities, do a ranking analysis, determine the content performance score, improve readability, and finally find out what combination of keywords help with ranking for our primary keyword.

Let’s try to find out what we can do for, “los angeles dentist”.

Overall Score

Cognetive SEO content performanceWe then go back to https://www.westcoastdental.com/ to see how we stack up against the top 10 search results above.

West Coast Dental Content ScoreThere you have it, folks. West Coast Dental has a lot of room to improve. Here are our recommendations to perform better for the keyword, “los angeles dentist”:


teeth whitening

dental implants

dental care

dental office

cosmetic dentistry

los angeles ca

los angeles

dentist in los angeles

office staff

dental cleanings

dental health

dental crowns

sedation dentistry

emergency dentistry

oral surgery

dental bridges


dental exams

cosmetic dentist

dental procedure

beverly grove

sepulveda blvd

children’s dental

beautiful smiles

washington dc

restorative dentistry

dream smile

street suite

book an appointment

downtown los angeles

patients of all ages

pediatric dentists

los angeles office

dental bonding

dental professional

dental arts

implant dentistry

school of dentistry

los angeles dentist dr

zoom whitening

natural teeth

achievement award

dentists in la

private practice

sepulveda blvd suite

los angeles cosmetic

los angeles dr

teeth and gum

american academy of cosmetic

six month smiles

west los angeles

cosmetic treatments

academy of cosmetic dentistry

feel comfortable

restorative and cosmetic

dental center

southern california

crowns and bridges

blvd suite

meet dr

teeth cleaning

personalized dental

digital xray

dental checkup

family dentistry

oral health

los angeles dental

angeles dental

porcelain veneers

root canal

los angeles dentists

dentist los angeles

la dental

beverly hills

gum diseases

ca dentist

dental team

santa monica

patient forms

options available

tooth extraction

dental treatment

dentist dr

video testimonials

sleep apnea

wilshire blvd

dental association

book online

century city

cosmetic dental

exams and cleanings

advanced technologies

smile gallery

dental clinics

tooth decay


dental office

office staff

Can you imagine if we do this for every page and all services? Of course, we would still need to understand the target demographic before we even start writing copy. It’s not as easy as simply dumping these keywords on a page. They have to make sense to the target demographic of https://www.westcoastdental.com/. How do we do this? Let me explain.

Market analysis and research

Our agency has been very successful because we start from the ground up. All the tools in the world aren’t going to help you convert visitors into real customers if you don’t know what their pain points are. Here’s how we’ll try to understand the market for West Coast Dental:

  1. Create a survey and book interviews in person. We pick neutral spots like a coffee shop, near a window, dress in casual clothes, and start a natural conversation about what we’re looking for. Our goal is to gather unadulterated answers to help with our copy and business strategy for our client(s).
  2. Use a third party platform to gather intelligence on a national scale. We’ll ask broad questions about their pain points when going to the dentist and use this information to improve the user experience on https://www.westcoastdental.com/.
  3. We’ll run heatmaps, click-data analysis, scroll data, record user sessions and record our findings.
  4. Finally, we’ll run an on-site survey and collect important information from people already interested in visiting West Coast Dental.  

By doing our homework, we can make sure we’re not missing any steps from when a person searches and finds West Coast Dental, clicks on the search results, and lands on a page that addresses their pain points.

Then we’ll go even further. We asked 50 respondents from California to answer 4 simple questions. With these questions we’ll know:

  • Why they visited the dentist
  • What’s the most important factor when choosing a clinic
  • How often they visit the dentist
  • And what the most frustrating aspect of going to the dentist

Here are your survey results:


Blog suggestions

Let’s spend a little time and determine a simple blogging strategy, which can help West Coast Dental get indirect traffic to their website to nurture. They don’t have a blog by the way (in 2019, really?). What I’ll do is focus on two methods:

  1. Search intent (direct from Google)
  2. Look at the competition, what they rank for, and outclass them with better content/media

We’ll just look at one service and see where we can improve it. I am going to pick the parent topic, “cosmetic dental” and see what we can do. A simple search on Google for search intent yields these results:

  • are cosmetic dental expenses tax deductible?
  • what are cosmetic dental procedures?
  • how much is cosmetic dental work?
  • what are cosmetic dental implants?

Do you see? You can build your on-page copy based off of what people ask on Google. It’s a window into what they’re thinking before they act. Why not be there before they decide?

I am going to look at the competition and see what their blogs look like. When I use keyword explorer on Ahrefs for, “cosmetic dental”, it tells me that these sites rank nationally in the United States:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/ss/slideshow-cosmetic-dentistry
  2. https://www.verywellhealth.com/different-types-of-cosmetic-dental-procedures-1059022
  3. https://crest.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/adults/what-is-cosmetic-dentistry-costs-types
  4. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/adult-oral-care/five-types-of-cosmetic-dentistry-procedures-0415
  5. https://aacd.com/patients
  6. https://www.aspendental.com/dental-services/cosmetic-dentistry

I am going to look at number 6 because that’s the first real business. To rank for a tough keyword like, “cosmetic dental”, it means they must be doing something right. Either that or Google is seriously f’ing with us.

Aspen Dental authorityOur numbers indicate a very high domain authority for www.aspendental.com/. Okay, maybe Google isn’t f’ing with us.

Let’s dig in deeper. But hold on a second, because when I look at what they rank for organically, it’s mostly their static service pages. Looks like we’re going to have to look at another blog that’s a little most specific to cosmetic dentistry.

I tried to see if I could find a blog where they specifically talk about cosmetic dentistry and noticed https://www.nycsmiledesign.com.

NYC Smile Design Ahrefs authority

They definitely rank for a lot of cosmetic terms nationally. Here are some of their top pages:

Now we’re talking. Just by looking at these pages, I can tell you without a doubt that based on what I am looking at here, we can easily come up with a better content strategy by focusing on quality content and supplement it with videos and custom photography.

Side note: We don’t publish mediocre content and only put energy into well researched and planned out content strategies where our whole team is involved. Depending on budget, we’ll look to this for every service West Coast Dental offers. We’re confident that at least 4 posts/month will do a lot of magic and bring in a lot of leads we can nurture.

On-site SEO considerations

I could do an in-depth SEO audit of https://www.westcoastdental.com/, but I feel like most of you are on the advance-end of the marketing spectrum. Not to mention, I don’t have access to their website, analytics, and search console. What I’ll do instead is focus on the quick wins and major issues that should be fixed right away.

1.0 Thin content

We have a few pages with thin content. It isn’t a major issue, but I do notice a few pages with less than 500 words on them. I am not saying that there is a magic number of words on a page, but when I look at some of the service pages (emergency dentistry for example) and the questions that people are asking, I am sure they could explain the topic a little better.

2.0 Crawl

I can do a lot more if I have access to the crawl numbers from Google. We’ll just do this with what we have.

First thing I notice is 4 broken pages:

Easy fix.

3.0 Sitemap

Looks like we’ve got two sitemaps:



Not a big deal but I don’t see a reason for two sitemaps. 

4.0 Robots.txt file

Looks like https://www.westcoastdental.com/robotst.txt is pretty thin, don’t you think? Important pages are definitely missing here to control Google’s crawler. I think we can exclude the privacy policy, legal, and privacy practices in the robots.txt file.

5.0 Canonicalization

The canonical tags are NOT being used. Might want to consider using this tag to avoid duplicate content issues. On https://www.westcoastdental.com/ it’s not a massive issue because I don’t notice any content being duplicated anywhere, but it doesn’t hurt to be safe.

6.0 HREFLANG tag

West Coast Dental doesn’t necessarily need this tag, but considering the massive Spanish speaking population in Los Angeles, I would consider translated pages. I notice, “Se Habla  Español” so I am not sure why they wouldn’t have translated pages. It’s fairly easy to do and gives a lot of new possible keywords you’ll rank for.

7.0 Title tags

The title tags are dismal. They were written for SEO purposes only and that’s a huge fail in my book. You must write your title tags to entice a click and make it interesting enough to stand out in a sea of results within SERP. You be the judge:


8.0 Description tags

Same deal with the description tags. They can definitely improve.

9.0 Mobile

The domain https://www.westcoastdental.com/ is technically mobile friendly and loads very fast (it could have something to do with the fact that the website is probably an HTML website). However, West Coast Dental hasn’t done their homework when it comes to mobile user experience. A mobile user should not see the exact same content as a desktop user. I am telling you this based off of anecdotal evidence, but I would test this and find out what we can improve for mobile visitors.

10.0 Google business page

Google my business has greatly improved and to only put up the stock on every my business page is just lazy. Here are some quick suggestions:

  1. Put the picture of the clinic
  2. Put the images of the people who work there
  3. Share a video
  4. Share news and deals if any

Why not take advantage of what you can directly from search?

Final thoughts

When we take on a client, we take everything on. This means we’ll take care of the research, copy, media production (yes, we have a team to do videos and photos), SEO, paid ads, server management, emails, design and development. The reason we like to take over the whole digital marketing strategy is to do a complete job. We won’t rank a web page unless we’re sure it’s worth ranking for.

What I’ve shared with you on this post is a small piece of how we would improve the online visibility for https://www.westcoastdental.com/. We’re going to combine this post with a podcast on the dental industry in LA.


Need help with marketing your dental clinic? Contact us. I am sure we can help you get you more patients.

I know that a lot of dentists also apply dermal fillers for their patients. Check out my advanced marketing strategy for skincare clinics and ranking for Botox on my personal blog