Having your website appear at the top of Google’s search results is the goal of most dental digital marketing strategies, and being included within Google Maps is part of that strategy. When prospective patients perform local searches for a new dentist, you need to make sure you are listed on the map and as close to the top of the results as possible.
Verify That Your Practice Is Listed
To appear within Google Maps, you should first verify that your practice is listed. If you don’t know if you are listed, search for your practice’s name in Google Maps. If you’re listed, skip to the next step. If not, you will need to set up an account at Google My Business.
Enter your dental business information—name, address, and phone number (NAP)—exactly as it is legally registered and as it appears anywhere else on the internet. There are sections for listing your website, hours of operation, photos, and category as well. Make sure this information is all entered correctly.
But even after you have listed your practice on Google My Business, you might not show up at the top of the Google Map results. Several different factors determine how Google will display your listing.
How and Why Google Displays Listings in Google Maps
Google is all about displaying the most relevant results based on your searches. So if you want to rank for “your town/city name” + “your dental keywords” and you have a lot of local competition, you need to make sure your listing falls within three core areas: how relevant your business is to the search, the distance between the person performing the search and your practice’s location, and the prominence of your listing.
If your practice’s location is relevant to the local search that’s performed, there is a greater likelihood that your business will show up. Google looks at the town/city and state where your listing is registered and compares that to the search query performed. This can be based on a local search term, such as “city/town.” But it can also be based on searches such as “dentist near me,” which leads us to the next determining factor, distance.
This is partly based on the relevance of the search, but it can also be determined by the IP location of the person performing the search query. Google will go through its listing of all dentists in the surrounding area and display results based on the distance from the person performing the search and the dentists within that area.
The dentists who are closest generally get listed more prominently. But that isn’t always the case, especially if you have a lot of local competition, are located in a large city, or service a large geographical area. It also really depends on how prominent your listing is. This is going to be the most important qualification that you have the most control over.
The prominence or popularity of your website and Google listing depend on multiple factors. Your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) must be done properly and within Google’s guidelines. You should also make sure that you have a very good backlink profile and that your link building falls within best practices and Google’s guidelines.
These standard SEO practices will benefit your Google Map and your website in particular. Two of the other most important factors in determining your prominence are local citations and dentist reviews.
Local citations are other website listings that show your NAP. Again, your NAP needs to be consistent across the internet, especially across local citations. There are many websites that provide local citations, such as Yelp, Angie’s List, YP (Yellow Pages online), and any doctor and dentist directory you can find.
Having as many positive and natural dentist reviews as possible is important for your website. Plus, they play a very important part in improving your local listing within Google Maps. It is critical that you obtain these reviews in a natural manner and don’t try to falsify any, since Google has a way of telling the difference.
You should now have a better understanding of what it takes to get listed and improve your listing within Google Maps. If you follow these tips and action items, you should notice an improvement with your dentist business listing over time. Make sure you perform these steps in stages, and try not to get overwhelmed with doing too much at once. Not only will this make your job easier, but it also will appear more natural to Google.
Mr. Kevin Williams, an SEO veteran with more than 20 years of experience, is the CEO and founder of DigitalToothFairy, a digital marketing agency that specializes in creating dentist websites focused on patient growth. He also is the author of the free book How To Supercharge Your Dental Website and Dominate Your Competition. For information about how DigitalToothFairy can help your dentist practice dominate your competition, visit digitaltoothfairy.com, email email@example.com, or call (888) 748-7178.
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