People searching for a new dentist, orthodontist, or dental specialist want to find someone nearby. The reality is that most people are dealing with an abundance of conflicting priorities at any given time. As a result, finding a great practice in their area saves on travel time and can even help reduce stress levels.
That’s why having a website that caters to local search terms is important. Because people first look towards local options for dental needs, search queries like “dentist in Seattle” instead of simply “dentist” are commonly performed. Search engine algorithms are well-tuned for this tendency and, accordingly, favor websites that are relevant for local searches.
In this post, I’ll cover ways in which you can make your website more relevant for local search queries and, thus, work towards improving organic search rankings and ultimately boosting traffic to your website.
Title tags help search engines understand the main theme of a given web page. A page’s title tag shows up in search results for that page and at the top of your browser, as in the following examples for separate Sesame website pages:
Social networks also often use the title tag as the headline when your content from a page is shared on a social platform.
Including the physical location of your practice in title tags will help to illustrate to potential site visitors and the search engines where you are located, which will aid with getting more relevant site visitors AND should help with your search rankings.
Let’s say, for example, you’re a dental practice called “ABC Dental” located in Seattle. A relevant title tag would be:
Dentist in Seattle, WA | ABC Dental
If you have dedicated service pages you can do something similar. Here’s an example:
Teeth Whitening in Seattle, WA | ABC Dental
Both examples are geared towards better local search relevancy.
Headings on Your Homepage + Important Services Pages
After the title tag, the heading on a given page is likely the 2nd most important topic indicator for site visitors and search engines. The heading should succinctly describe the theme of a given webpage’s content.
So, it also makes sense to have your practice’s location featured prominently in your heading. For example, an effective homepage headline could be:
“General and Pediatric Dentist in Miami, Florida”
Don’t try and get overly creative. Keeping page headlines simple and informative is the best option. Doing so appeals to site visitors trying to understand how you can support their needs and search engine bots trying to effectively index your website pages.
Include Your Location in a Page’s Body Content
Both search engines and site visitors often need to see a message multiple times before they grasp it.
That’s why it’s important to also mention your location at applicable points throughout the content on a page. By repeating the location you improve the likelihood that it will be remembered by both visitors and the search engine bots responsible for indexation.
Still, don’t just stuff your location in as many sentences as possible. The location should only be included in places where it supports and enhances your copy. Otherwise, visitors may get annoyed and leave your site due to the spammy messaging. Also, search engine crawlers could (unlikely, but possible) even penalize you for keyword stuffing, dropping you from prominent positioning in relevant search results to many results pages deeper.
By making title tags, web page headlines, and site content relevant for your practice’s location you stand a good chance of improving the visibility of your website in search results and of attracting more interest from prospective local patients.
If you have any questions on creating effective local content or you’re in need of SEO support please feel free to contact the Sesame team!
—Mike Fitterer, Sr. Marketing Manager II, Sesame Communications