“SEO” stands for search engine optimization. It’s the act of optimizing your website for organic search. Local SEO is the same, except it’s optimizing your website for local organic searches.

Here are a few easy examples of local organic search inquiries:

• Cosmetic dentist near me

• TMJ treatment Denver

• Manhattan dental implants

However, it can become more complicated than that. Some local search inquiries look like this:

• Dental implant prices

• TMJ jaw pain treatment

Mouth guard sleep apnea

The above search inquiries are transactional, meaning that the searcher wants to complete an action, like making a dental appointment. In the case of dental services, Google knows that the searcher wants to find someone near them that can solve their problem. So, if you optimize your website for local SEO, you’re more likely to be shown at the top of search results when someone wants to make an appointment in your area.

Takeaway: Local SEO for dentists is the act of revising your website to target local search inquiries.

Why It Matters

Local SEO is important for dentists because dentists get the vast majority of their patients from only a five to ten-mile radius around their office. Local SEO for dentists also helps you show up on Google’s map pack. (P.S. We have a whole blog post about showing up on the map pack.)

According to Google, 76% of people who search on their phone will visit a business within 24 hours, and 28% of those visits result in a purchase. Additionally, 61% of consumers search for local businesses every day.

Considering these stats, we can assume they’re even higher for dentists. When a patient has an issue, they’re not looking for someone two states a way to fix it, they’re not even looking for someone an hour away to fix it. Patients look for dentists near them for help, and if you aren’t showing up when someone performs a local search, you won’t get new patients. Local SEO for dentists is extremely important, and it’s essential if you want to get more new patients.

Google’s View on Local SEO for Dentists

Google focuses on three things when it decides whether or not your dental office will show up when someone performs a search for a local dentist: Relevance, distance, and prominence.


Relevance is how well your business matches what the searcher is looking for. Google’s algorithm is advanced enough to categorize searches based on the words used to decide what type of help they need. Is the searcher looking for a specific website, to find out more about a product or service, information, or to complete an action (like buying)? Next, Google looks at the information on your website and information about your website to determine if you are relevant to the search.


This one is easy. How far are you physically from the person when they’re searching? In the examples above, the searches had location terms. But even if the search doesn’t include a term like “Denver,” Google will calculate how far the searcher is physically from your office to determine distance.


Prominence is the most complicated of the three factors. It refers to how well-known Google considers your business to be. This is why your online reputation, listings, and the quality of your inbound and outbound links are important.

Tips for Improving Local SEO

Local SEO for dentists isn’t easy. But there are some ways you can boost your rankings by optimizing your website and targeting keywords that’ll help Google see your relevance, distance, and prominence in reference to dental searches.

  1. Choose the correct primary Google Business Profile category.
  2. Claim your Google Business Profile.
  3. Use keywords in your title tag.
  4. Complete your Google Business Profile and continue to update it.
  5. Manage your online reputation and keep a high star rating.
  6. Only use quality outbound links. (Link to other experts only, not Wikipedia.)
  7. Put your address on the footer of your website.
  8. Ensure information about you elsewhere online (your listings) are 100% accurate. (Think Yelp, Healthgrades, Yellow Page, and similar sites.)
  9. Have a strategy for the pages on your website to target local keywords in the copy. You want Google to know you are a TMJ dentist in Woburn, MA, so say it in your copy!
  10. Update your website with new pages and blog posts specifically targeting local keywords. This may seem similar to tip #9, but this tip involves continuing to create pages and blog posts regularly.
  11. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
  12. Include your city or region in titles and title tags on your website.
  13. Write content specific to your location. Do you practice in Alaska? Are there any oral health issues that Alaskans face more than people in other areas?
  14. List your business in online local directories.

Schedule a Strategy Call with Pro Impressions Marketing

We understand how challenging it can be to attract the quantity and quality of patients you need to grow your practice. Pro Impressions Marketing specializes in dental marketing that generates more ideal patients with strategies like local SEO for dentists. Schedule a strategy call today to see how we can help your practice thrive. Call (970) 672-1212 or make an appointment online.