Top 10 List of Google Places Optimization Tips for Dentists – Part 1

No attempting to be humorous intro, and not even any whiff of self-important digital dental marketing sarcasm.

We’ll get right down to the nitty Google Places gritty with this most dentally afflicted of local seo blog posts.

Outlined below are what we determine to be (through much reading of other people’s local seo stuff, ingesting industry Google Places optimization news, and experiencing the highs & lows ourselves through more empirical methods) ten actionable insights to boost your dental practice Google Places rankings.

This of course, is assuming your listing(s) are correctly categorized, confirmed, and consolidated. And that’s a big assumption.

1. Build Out the Entire Profile

Shoot for 100% completeness; while it may not directly have a quantitative impact on your ranking, it sure doesn’t hurt it at all.

Up to 10 photos are allowed, and up to 5 videos are allowed – use every single listing attribute to its fullest.

This is a foundational step in developing an informative and engaging Google Places listing.

Check out this rich little snippet right from the Google Places Quality Guidelines:

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.

This one can go either way in our experience, so best to err on the side of caution and reach for a lifeline when confronted with a multi-doctor practice, especially with multiple locations – and considering all of the doctors actually want their own Places listing…some do, some just want the practice listed.

Start with the practice listing – confirm & consolidate (if needed) that first, then build off individual doctor listings if you want to play that way. Just don’t think you’re going to corner the Google Places market in your little locale by setting up every doc with a listing.

2. Set up a review acquisition strategy – and follow through!

Getting 5 or more reviews will garnish your Google Places listing with those oh so eye attracting calming, and credibility communicating star-studded influence.

Gold Stars for Good Dentists in Google Places

What’s missing?

Bonus tip: add testimonials to your website in hReview microformat and get extra gold stars added to your listing in the search engine results pages – ask your webmaster or website administrator. (THIS IS A MUST FOR BEST OF BREED DENTAL LISTINGS!)

3. Establish 100% completeness in other local search & local review profiles such as:

– Kudzu
– Yellowbook
– Superpages
– Insiderpages
– Manta

Having these listings immediately increases your digital exposure, adds incoming links to your website, and allows local consumers the opportunity to hear what other local residents say…how great of a dentist you are, and how friendly and comforting your staff is!

A continual local citation building strategy should be running concurrently with your review acquisition strategy…Check out this cool citation finding tool from these local seo experts in the Great White North.

Local Reviews in Google Places

Local Review Sites in Google Places

Local Review Sites in Google Places

4. Post a link from your Google Places profile using the ‘Post’ feature.

The goal is to get the prospective patient to click from your Google Places profile over to your website…or landing page, newsletter signup, special offers…etc.

Google Places Posts

Use this post feature to connect with and engage prospective patients searching for a dentist in the area.

Bonus Tip: use Google’s URL shortener so you can track clicks from your Places Posts!

5. Showcase ‘Best Ever’ reviews with another eye-catching Gold Medal icon!

For this one, patients need to directly access your Places profile using this link to ‘rate’ their latest dental experience – or

Google Places Gold Medal Reviews

You can embed these links within your online review acquisition strategy communications, but it’s best to explain the process to your most vocal digital word of mouth supporters!

All they need to do is search for your practice from their Google Places dashboard (signed in under their Google Account), choose the ‘Gold Medal – Best Ever’ option, and ipso facto White Goodman style…your Places profile is now graced with gilded medallion of trust and local dental patient approval!

Tune in next week for not only our final installment of Dental Social Media Success – Phase 3: Identify, Analyze, & Adapt – but also part 2 of the top 10 Google Places optimization tips for dentists.

But for now…got any other interesting Google Places optimization tips to share?

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+Chris Barnard is the Managing Partner at Social Dental Network, a boutique digital marketing agency consistently generating tangible return on investment for dentists across North America & the U.K.


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