A Guide to Local SEO for Dentists
Online visibility is crucial for businesses of all types, especially dental practices. Gone are the days when potential patients relied solely on word-of-mouth referrals or phone directories to find a dentist. Nowadays, people turn to the internet, and more specifically, Google, to locate local businesses.
If your dental practice isn’t on Google Business Profile, you’re likely missing out on many potential patients since it’s not appearing in Google Local or Google Maps search results. In this article, we’ll explore the most effective local SEO strategies for dental practices. We’ll also highlight the importance of being listed on Google Business Profile, explain its impact on Google Local and Maps visibility, and guide you on how to list your practice effectively.
Top Local SEO Strategies for Dental Practices
- Prioritize Target Nearby Areas: Create a list of local areas within a 10-12-mile radius from which you can attract patients. Identify the top 5 locations based on population and proximity to your office. Prioritize optimizing your website for these 5 locations as the primary areas you serve using best SEO practices.
- Create Local Pages: Design high-quality, comprehensive, and informative local pages for each of these five locations. Incorporate them into your website’s navigation bar labeled as “Areas We Serve.” Linking these pages from both the footer and the top navigation emphasizes their importance, guiding Google’s understanding and potentially boosting organic rankings.
- Update Your Google Business Profile: Regularly update your Google Business Profile. Add the selected locations to your service areas. Post content relevant to these areas and frequently add new photos. Ensure all details, including opening hours and special hours, are current. List all treatment options and braces brands you provide under services and brands.
- Geo-targeted Social Media Posts: Increase activity on social media platforms. Post content with geo-specific tags and hashtags on Instagram and Facebook to enhance visibility in searches relevant to your target areas.
- Geo-targeted Google/Facebook Ads: Deploy Google Ads and Instagram/Facebook ads with geographical targeting. Focus on the most crucial locations based on their population and distance from your office. Link these ads to their designated landing pages on your website.
- Get More Patient Reviews: Encourage more reviews from your patients. Prompt them to provide detailed feedback about the treatments they received and their overall experience with your dental practice.
- Get Local Backlinks: Engage with the local communities you cater to. Collaborate with them to secure local backlinks from their websites. If you sponsor any local events or collaborate with entities like schools or other organizations, highlight these activities in blog posts.
- Write About Local Events: Write blog posts about local events in the areas you serve. Even if you’re not actively participating, discussing these events increases your website’s relevance to the locations you cater to.
- N.A.P. Completeness, Consistency, and Accuracy: Make sure your business name, address, phone number, and website URL are on all important local listing websites and that this information is consistent and accurate.
The Importance of Google Maps for Dental Practices
1. Increased Visibility: Google Maps is one of the most widely used navigation and location-based services globally. By listing your dental practice on Google Maps, you’re essentially putting your business on the digital map for millions of users. When someone searches for “dentist near me” or “dental clinic in [your location],” your practice will appear as a potential option.
You will gain more visibility by ranking on Google local results (local 3-pack results) if you have a Google My Business listing that is complete and well-optimized.
2. Trust and Credibility: Being listed on Google Maps adds an element of trust and credibility to your practice. Patients often feel more comfortable choosing a dentist they can find easily on Google Maps because it gives them confidence that the practice is legitimate and established.
3. Better Accessibility: Google Maps not only provides directions to your practice but also offers valuable information like business hours, contact details, and reviews. This accessibility makes it easier for potential patients to reach out to you and learn more about your services.
4. Competitive Advantage: Many of your competitors are likely already listed on Google Maps. If your practice isn’t, you risk losing potential patients to other dental offices that have a more robust online presence. Listing your practice can help level the playing field and give you a competitive advantage.
5. Reviews and Feedback: Google Maps allows patients to leave reviews and ratings for your practice. Positive reviews can boost your reputation and attract more patients, while negative reviews can help you identify areas for improvement.
Did you know that review-related factors are among the top local SEO ranking factors in Google Algorithm? The following diagram shows the importance of different review-related factors and their importance in local rankings. The bigger the boxes, the more prominent the factor is.
Now that you understand why it’s essential to list your dental practice on Google Maps, let’s go through the steps to do it.
How to List Your Dental Practice on Google Maps
1. Create or Claim Your Google My Business Account: Start by visiting the Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business or GMB) website and sign in with your Google account. If your practice is already listed but unclaimed, you can claim it. If not, create a new listing.
Note: If you find that a Google My Business page for your practice name is already being managed by someone else, there are some steps you can take. You can request access to the account from the current owner. If the owner doesn’t respond within ten business days, you can then contact Google My Business to unlock the listing and allow you to claim it.
2. Provide Accurate Information: Fill out all the required information accurately. This includes your practice’s name, address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. Ensure that the information matches what’s on your website and other online listings. GMB will ask you to drag and drop a marker to the exact location of your business, allowing potential patients to see exactly where you are located.
3. Add High-Quality Photos: Upload high-resolution photos of your dental practice, including the exterior, interior, waiting area, and treatment rooms. Make sure you post at least one exterior photo showing your dental practice signage. Visuals can help potential patients get a feel for your office environment. You can also create and add a 360-degree virtual tour for your office. All of these can help improve your local SEO and gain better rankings on Google Maps and local results.
4. Select Relevant Categories: Choose the appropriate categories for your dental practice, such as “Dentist” or “Dental Clinic.” This helps Google understand what services you offer. You can use a tool like Nexunom’s “Comp. Insider” to see what categories are used by other dental practices.
5. Verify Your Listing: Google will send a verification code to ensure it’s a legitimate listing. Follow the instructions to complete the verification process. You’ll have the option of choosing from a call, text, or PIN mailer. Call or text will be the fastest means of verification. If you opt for the mailer option, the mailed PIN should arrive within five business days.
6. Optimize Your Listing: Write a compelling business description, add relevant keywords, and encourage patients to leave reviews. Add treatment options as services, and add your social media links. Regularly update your GMB profile with any changes to your services or hours.
7. Engage with Reviews: Respond promptly and professionally to both positive and negative reviews. People can also ask you questions via the GMB questions feature. Ensure those questions will be answered, too. Engaging with reviews and questions shows potential patients that you care about their feedback and satisfaction.
8. Monitor Insights: Use the GMB dashboard to monitor insights like how many people have seen your listing, clicked on your website, or requested directions. This data can help you refine your online strategy.
Did you know that Review Tool, our review management and review generation tool, has a special reporting page for Google My Business insights? You can connect your GMB listing and see the detailed analysis like the one shown in the image below.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your dental practice is not only listed on Google Maps but also optimized for maximum visibility and effectiveness.
Listing your dental practice on Google Maps is a fundamental step in today’s digital landscape. It enhances your visibility, builds trust, and provides essential information to potential patients. By taking the time to create and maintain an accurate and appealing Google Maps listing, you can attract more patients and grow your dental practice successfully. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with the countless individuals searching for dental services in your area—get your practice on the map today!
You may still have some additional questions, and the experts at Nexunom are here to help. Call us at 844-736-3699, and we will be happy to help you get your dental practice ahead of your competition.