Quickly, where is your practice? Did you think of a suburb, a city, or something more broad like a township? Hopefully you were immediately able to give a definite description which matches where most of your patients are coming from. Now think about your web based business directory. Does the location listed there match where you are drawing your patients from?
Put yourself in the shoes and actual location of someone searching on the web for “dentist”. When they search locally they will be entering “dentist, city name”. Do you want them to see your listing? That may seem like a stupid question but it’s really not. Obviously if they are in Des Moines and you are in Kalamazoo you don’t care if they see your listing. If you are on the outskirts of Des Moines in a suburb with another name you may very well want a person who enters the keyword “Des Moines” to see your listing.
This is one area in a local business listing where you can target your audience. Where do most of your patients come from? Is it the suburb you are on the border of or is it from the city? Narrow your local listing to where you actually are or, if on the border, where you want to be associated with. In a local search your directory will show under the local name you have entered. Doing something cute, like NYC for New York City, should never be done. Use the full and proper name. If you do the search engines will display your listing when your ideal, prospective patient is looking for you.
In the next issue we’ll talk about one of the worst things for SEO many inadvertently do which destroys their business listing effectiveness.