Local SEO For Dentists May Start With Google…But It Doesn’t End There
At the time of writing this post, any dental practice that has not yet taken control of their Google Local (or Google My Business) presence by verifying their listing is out of touch at best, and soon to be not doing any dentistry at worse.
Local search optimization (Local SEO) for dentists is not expensive, and if done right it can continue to pay significant dividends in the form of new patients, more reviews, and boosted search engine rankings.
The tasks begin with verifying & optimizing local search engine listings on Google, Yahoo, & Bing. A relatively straight-forward process that should be as important to a dentist as instrument and materials sterilization.
This claims process soon progresses to sniffing out any inconsistent or incorrect business name, address, or phone number information across numerous local search sites, internet yellow pages sites, and specialty niche (dental review, dentist search, industry associations…etc.) sites.
Local seo for dentists may start with Google but it sure as shinola doesn’t stop there.
3 Reasons Why Dentists Need Local SEO
Dentists, as all local business owners, can boost their ranking factors in those foundational search engine environs through leveraging their name, address, and phone data by disseminating it through various local search directories, IYP sites (internet yellow pages), and niche dental health portals.
And what is the end result of improved rankings on the search engine results pages?
1. More New Patients
Maybe your dental practice is lucky enough to not need any local seo in order to gain more new patients. And maybe that will continue for your entire career.
And maybe, just maybe you will win the lottery and sell off your high-priced practice to go pursue your lifelong dream to be a race car driver.
By confirming, claiming, or verifying your business listing information (citations) across these local search environments (search engines, IYP sites, data aggregators, niche dental health portals…) you are shoring up your business data.
- Local search portals = Yelp, Local.com…etc.
- IYPs (internet yellow pages) = YP.com, Superpages…etc.
- Specialty portals = Vitals.com, Healthgrades…etc.
To over-simplify things, this foundational local seo step of listing/profile confirmation makes it easier for search engines to correlate your data in the real world.
And it makes it easier for new patients on the search for a local dentist to find you.
Check out this post from Wired.com published earlier this week about a (former) restaurant owner in Virginia that saw a 75% drop in weekend business as a direct result of NOT having a verified (and controlled) Google+ Local (Google Places at the time) listing.
This restaurant owner is now suing Google, claiming that a competing restaurant sabotaged the Google Places listing to drive away the restaurant’s customers, and he argues that Google turns a blind eye to such shenanigans.
Much better to do a little local seo dental housekeeping than to seek litigation.
2. Get More Reviews
After you’ve gone thru the sometimes painstakingly tedious process of claiming your dental practice profiles and listings, you can now put them to work for your dental practice.
Most of these sites, directories, portals or whatever moniker you want to apply, showcase user-generated reviews of the corresponding business.
By informing your incredibly loyal overwhelmingly happy with their dentist existing patients that you have these listings, and would welcome their feedback on these sites, more online reviews can serve up two more benefits for your dental practice.
Amplified digital word of mouth and more new patients…are you noticing a theme here?
3. Monitor Your Online Reputation
A benefit can quickly turn into a detriment from just one unhappy patient. Maybe they had a bad day, maybe you did, or your staff – it doesn’t matter.
It’s like us watching the news at night and arguing about politics. We’re missing the point, and it’s our own fault.
Bad reviews very well may come, as a dentist or a diplomat – the bottom line is, we can’t please everyone no matter what our pursuit or vocation. But does the alternative of not having those controlled local listings mean that bad review wouldn’t happen?
Of course not, you just wouldn’t know about it – much like that restaurant owner in Virginia didn’t know why his weekend business went in the tank.
By controlling these local search listings, your dental practice can actively monitor your digital word of mouth – and proactively deal with the detrimental word of mouth if necessary.
There are a boatload of FREE tools dentists can use to monitor their online reputation, here are just a few:
Local SEO For Dentists Goes Beyond Google For Local Supremacy
Those are 3 pretty good reasons for dentists to invest either some time for the DIY local seo route above and beyond Google, or some money for a trusted citation building, review management, & online reputation monitoring all wrapped up in a sweet tidy little inexpensive bundle service…just so happens you came to the right place.
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