[Jargon Buster ] The importance of the metadata in optimizing your dental website

Updated: Jun 1

[Jargon busting post!]

Search engine optimization is the process that every website needs to follow to get noticed (increase visibility) and to get seen before competitors in the Google search results.

This process, when applied to dental website marketing campaigns, can help you occupy the first few slots in the search engine rankings. Every web design and digital marketing expert is familiar with the terms like keywords, metadata, title, H1, H2, tags and so on. But what do they all mean, what is this jargon all about?

A common purpose of all these terms is to structure the content of the web page and optimize it for both the search engine's requirements and the user expectations. So, if you are thinking about how to optimise the dental website content and learn related terms like metadata, here are a few common questions answered.

"What is website metadata?"

Website metadata is the data that introduces the content of a website in concise and crisp language to Google, it's the data that sits behind the information you see on a website.

The metadata comprises page titles and descriptions enriched with keywords. Search engine algorithms, like that of Google, outline the requirements that the title should be up to 60 characters and description up to 160 characters in length.

When you do a Google search it will usually look like this in the results. At arrowed area is the TITLE.

When you open up a webpage this same title will be seen in the browser window here.

The description is a little more complicated as it does not always follow that Google uses your meta description in the search results. The meta description is usually the small amount of text which accompanies the title in the search result… However Google does have a tendency to alter what it shows in this text, so just because you use a particular description on your site does not mean Google will show it! That's Google!

An impressive hypothetical example of title tag and meta description is

"Best Root Canal and Dental Caries Treatment in Houston'.

"Trusted Root Canal and Dental Caries Treatment providers near you in Houston. Find here the best dental care service provided by a reputed dentist in the city."

This example contains most searched important keyword choices like a root canal, dental caries, which are relevant to a dental website. Putting the city/location name helps in leveraging the advantage of local SEO.

"How do I find metadata on a website".

Your web designer should automatically incorporate the meta title and description into your webpages, if you have a content managed site such as WordPress you can usually use this to check the title and description, if you don't know, follow the following instructions.

The process of finding the meta description tag on a website is straightforward. It can be done in easy steps, such as:

  1. Open the browser

  2. Visit the web page

  3. Right click on the part of the web page that is not a hyperlink

  4. You will find the option 'View Source' or 'View Page Source' or 'View Page Info' depending upon the browser

  5. In the first few lines of the code, you will see Meta property, followed by content, title, meta description and so on.

It will look something like this:

"<title>Digital Dental Marketing</title>

<meta name="description" content="Digital dental marketing for dentists. Improve traffic and conversions from your website to help more local people with their dental health. Mark Oborn, your dental marketing expert." /> "

"Creating the best < title>"

The best <title> will be the one that has a high click-through rate. It should be engaging and talking clearly about the solution the individual page is designed to provide. To understand the idea of a good title, take care of these points while drafting it:

  1. Write a compelling title that incites action from the reader

  2. Try to include keyword and city name to the title to make it more relevant (I don't use a city or location in my title as I work worldwide)

  3. Instead of writing generic titles like dental service, consider using service names such as 'Dental implants', 'root canal Treatment'

  4. Most importantly, draft meta name description content within 60 chars.

"Creating the best < description>"

The best meta description is one that provides the most relevant information about the business of the website. It should include most searched keywords, in addition to having other features, such as – call to action, specifications if possible, active voice, and so on.

Keyword stuffing is to be completely avoided in meta description, indeed in all of your optimisation efforts. Most importantly, the description should reflect the content of the website and your brand voice.

"Why do you need to use H1 and H2".

Put merely, H1 is the title Heading of the page. It is the main heading. Its motive is to engage and encourage customers to explore the content further. The main job of H1 and H2 (Sub content of the primary H1 heading) in a web page is to provide a structure to it.

Search engine indexes pages using crawlers that do not read the whole content but crawl through these headings to determine the validity of the website. Thus, it is essential to use H1 and H2, think of them like chapters in a book, giving Google an idea of what the page is about.

Follow my advice above for looking at the page code, you'll then see something looking like this:

<h1>Looking for a Dental Patient Marketing Company?</h1>

If you don't have any H1, you could be missing an optimisation trick. (Remember, you may not know if there is H1 meta data behind the title in your website simply by looking at the browser, it might look great but it may not be telling Google it is a heading)

Some of the crucial roles played by H1 and H2 tags are:

  1. H1 and H2 tags help create reader experience that contributes to engagement

  2. The tags promote easy Understanding of the page content

So, while using the tags in a result-driven manner, one must keep in mind specific points.

Typical usage of 'H' things would be the lines of:

H1 Main Page Heading e.g. Teeth Whitening

H2 Sub heading of main page e.g. What is teeth whitening?

H3 subheading of subheading e.g. Home whitening

H3 subheading of subheading e.g. Surgery whitening

H2 Sub heading of main page e.g. How does teeth whitening work?

H3 subheading of subheading e.g. Teeth whitening trays

H3 subheading of subheading e.g. The peroxide whitening gel

Within each of the headings above you would then have relevant content.

Use H2 tags conservatively, just 4-5 in 2000 words content, for example. Descriptively write H1 and H2 tags to create user convenience and for the better introduction of the following content.

"How to use image metadata."

To let the image be instrumental in driving traffic to the dental website, image metadata plays an important role. Image metadata can be:

Technical – includes camera settings (ISO, aperture, shutter speed), camera brand and model

Descriptive – the name of the image, target keywords, captions

Administrative – copyright, restrictions on reuse, etc.

Image meta data has also been used to help blind people navigate through the site, there site reading software will be able to read the meta data and explain the image to them.

It will look like this in the code:

<img src="images/download-guide.png" alt="free Dental marketing guide">

The img src section tells the web browser which image to use whilst the 'alt' section tells the web browser what that image is about.

So, enriching the 'alt' with keywords and describing the message of the photo in it are two proven ways of using image metadata for meeting SEO objectives of a dental website.


The Internet has become the preferred platform for promoting businesses; even dental health services have not remained untouched by its charismatic reach.

Since all companies these days are listed online, chances of getting lost in the horde are quite bright - That's bad!

Only by having a well optimised dental website can you be sure to stand out from the crowd, rank highly and attract more of the right type of new patient. And one of the ways of doing that is to ensure the correct use of meta data.

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Mark Oborn MBA

Mark is the only person in Digital Dental Marketing to have a Masters Degree in Business (MBA) majoring in marketing & creativity plus have run a dental laboratory for 14 years and been working in dentistry for 23 years as a dental technician.

He's also a Master Practitioner of the communication modelling system, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) as well as being a Master Practitioner of Hypnosis and a Master NLP Coach. Mark understands business, dentistry and communication making him the logical choice to help with your digital dental marketing.


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