On May 30 Google announced they are doing away with Google Places and rolling out Google+ Local as the newest incarnation in a new socially communicable and locally identifiable cross-section of neighborhood small businesses.
Google Places was one of the most important places on the webternet to have your practice info listed.
This place now exists as Google+ Local; here are 4 more Google Places optimization tips for dentists and 1 for Google+ Local.
Good news is all of these tips, and even the ones we so serendipitously posted on May 30th, still apply.
5. Get a Google+ Business Page right now!
We’ve noticed Google+ isn’t quite the happening social network out there for dentists, but that time is over.
No more waiting until your overpriced underworked consultant gets around to understanding local seo for dentists.
The smart dentists are already on Google+…the next group of digital dental marketing mavens with their ears to the street are currently driving to Google+ in droves.
FYI: Google+ is Google’s social network, Google+ Local is now the local search and customer review environment formerly known as Google Places – among other things.
And…Google+ Local pages are indexed in search results!
Business owners (dentists) need a Google+ Business page in order to manage their Google+ Local page. In time Google will be merging these 2 listings into one locally identifiable, socially communicable, search engine snapshot of local businesses (yes, even dental practices).
6. Devote a website page to patient testimonials
Task your webmaster or dental website marketing company with this one, just compile testimonials or reviews you have accumulated over the years and pick a dozen – or 3.
Just get them on your website!
Aside from the obvious peer-to-peer picture of what it’s like to experience dentistry by your hand, testimonials are now front and center in way many more ways than your website. The age of dentists benefiting from online reviews has been here for years – do you think it’s going anywhere?
IMPORTANT: Mention to your webmaster or website rep that you NEED this testimonial page of your site to include microfromatted review, author, and location tags. Even this seemingly expensive but really simple addition shouldn’t entail any increase to any monthly fee, nor should it require any substantial upfront investment – like under $500.
Read more about microformats and rich snippets directly from Google.
7. Upload hand-written testimonials as images
This is an easy way to showcase what patients say about their dental experience within the Google+ Local ecosystem, in a unique way.
Say for instance you have a 3-year-old child that drew you a picture in crayon to say thank you for not scaring them; or maybe an 86-year-old Grandmother that just has the nicest penmanship.
By uploading an image of that patient testimonial, you are not only showcasing what the person has to say, you are also communicating the spirit in which it was intended.
People viewing your Google+ Local page (local people searching for a dentist on Google) can read how great you are in a completely different unique format.
8. Post Offers
This one kind of goes without saying, the idea being if you give people browsing the page (locals looking for a dentist) a little bit of a push or incentive, then the amount of new patients acquired through Google+ Local becomes exponentially greater – especially if you have the tools in place to actually track impressions,
Wait – Google has that for you, all still in your familiar Places dashboard, for now at least. This will certainly be changing as Google rolls the whirling dervish of dupe listings, suspended profiles, and mismanaged accounts into the new Google+ Local environment.
9. Post images to specific offers
OK, maybe this is an addendum to number 8 – but it could also be one of those simple competitively advantageous attributes added to your Google+ Local page that makes the difference between dental appointment decision and delay, or worse – departure.
10. Expand review acquisition strategy to 3rd party sites
There is a slew of local review and doctor review websites out there, it seems more dental-centric review sites are popping up every month.
Will they all survive when the social dental bubble bursts – no, but what if the bubble never bursts?
What if dental health communications actually catch up with consumer communication habits and develop into a hyperlocal digital health care info sharing environment?
No need for a crystal ball, having your practice information on as many (properly vetted) beneficial local review websites should never be a bad thing…unless your dental digital word of mouth is not something you are looking to amplify!
BONUS TIP: We can’t really call this one a tip, call it whatever you want – just proceed with caution!
As we mentioned in part 1 of this digital dental marketing diatribe, as Google puts it: Businesses with multiple specializations, such as law firms and doctors, should not create multiple listings to cover all of their specialties. You may create one listing per practitioner, and one listing for the hospital or clinic at large.
One listing for the practice, one listing for EACH practitioner! WooHoo…let the Google+ Local domination begin for the largest group practices in your area!!
No, the sky isn’t falling that bad…but what are you doing to make Google+ Local tops on your priority list?
Click the link for more info on how Google buying Zagat impacts your dental practice.
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