With most people using Google to find their medical providers, it’s time to consider fine-tuning your SEO (search engine optimization). Local businesses — including local dental practices — require special attention to “pop to the top” of search results among your local customers.
Online business listings and directories are just two opportunities to boost your practice’s online presence, beyond your website and social media. When your professional profile is featured in a local healthcare directory, you gain great credibility — and your search rankings benefit as well.
With each online search option, you great potential to acquire new patients — without any advertising costs. To get you started, here are a few basic tips to improve your local search results ranking.
Local search: What is it?
When we discuss “local search,” we’re focusing on searches within a specific geographic area, the current location of your practice. For most people, proximity to home or work (or their child’s school) is an important factor in choosing a practice.
Whether your prospective patient uses their mobile device or desktop, Google and other search engines will easily identify their location when making the query. Google will provide results based on that limited geographic radius.
How can you optimize your online business listings to reap top results in local searches?
Identify online directories that list your practice
It’s critical that you claim ownership of your profile in all these directories. Google should top your list, as Google gets nearly 90% of the search market every month.
Additional online business directories include Yelp, Bing, WebMD, and Vitals. These are the primary directories that serve as sources for patients in every geographic area. With each listing, patients can learn about your practice, services, and contact details.
It’s very possible your practice is already listed in these directories. You can simply search your practice name, then go to each online directory site, and claim your profile as the business owner.
You will encounter specific steps in editing each online directory. But make time for it, to ensure you place the best information on these pages. These are the messages your prospective patients will see first, and you want your message to be “on target.”
Ensure accuracy and consistency in each listing
After claiming your business profile, edit the listing so it is complete and consistent on all directories.
Look for these points:
- Name, address, phone number – Critical to your patients setting up appointments and finding your location.
- Proper business category selection – Be very specific
- Practice website URL
- Business hours
Update every detail in your listing
Keywords, practice description, and business categories — all these must be updated.
To do this, think about your unique selling points. How is your practice (or you) different from other dentists in your community? What should new patients know?
Keywords are those basic words or phrases people use when searching for information about your specialty and services. Are you a family dentist? Do you treat children? Do you specialise in certain procedures, like dental implants or orthodontics?
Your practice description should include your keywords and your practice’s selling points. Create an engaging description that you can use in all listings. Review your description regularly and update for any changes in your services, staff, or other key details.
Get specific in selecting business categories, using the maximum categories to describe your practice. Get specific in selecting your primary ‘category’ as well. Defining your category as “family dentist” or “orthodontic specialist” is better than simply ‘dentist.’ Give search engines and patients this level of detail.
Secondary categories typically have broader definitions. For example, you can claim “family dentist” and add “medical clinic” as a second category.
Somnowell Marketing can help
The SEO details we’ve described here represent just one aspect of “local SEO.” Our team is experienced in all aspects of online marketing to enhance your standing in Google searches.
We create messages that are “on-brand” with your practice’s marketing message, so your unique selling points stand out. We provide keyword research to maximise your exposure in local online searches. And we thoroughly research your competitors’ SEO to ensure you get top ranking in local searches. Can we help you?