Dental local search marketing isn’t what it used to be.
There was a time when the Holy Grail of search engine optimization was to have the number 1 slot on Google’s search engine results page (SERP). Times have changed, and so have the ranking factors that Google uses.
Even so, dentists still want to appear on the first page of search results. However, successful dentists will be the ones who have multiple listings on that page, even if their practices don’t occupy the top organic (non-paid) search slot. Here’s why.
One recent trend with search is that there really is no such thing as “the” first page of Google anymore. Search engines cater to individual users’ preferences to deliver personalized results. Your practice might well place high in one user’s search results and much lower in another’s. But if you have multiple listings on the page, your practice will still be seen.
The New Model Of Local Search
Without having consistent information on your website as well as on the numerous listing directories online, it is almost impossible for your prospects to find you online. THE most important information, in terms of Google’s search algorithms, are your business NAME, ADDRESS, and PHONE NUMBER (NAP). All dentistry is local, and your NAP is crucial to the success of your local dental marketing.
This simple but vital information is all too often incorrect online – generally due to user error or incorrect listing information from outside sources. Google’s algorithms are very keen on returning good information to users. If a business has NAP inconsistency, it makes it very hard for the algorithm to display the listing.
Your NAP is crucial to success in website search engine optimization (SEO). But other signaling factors are also very important.
Review signals – dentists’ online reviews – are becoming increasingly more important. The relevant review sites include Google, Yelp, and Facebook®, among others. Much of this change in the importance of reviews is actually driven by local search – many times, the business with more and better reviews will get the most online visibility. And speaking of visibility, your Google My Business page is also a ranking factor.
Other important signals for local search are more traditional – referring links and website page keyword optimization, for instance.
Yes, You Can, But Should You?
Staying abreast of the changes in dental search engine optimization and all the ranking factors can be a full-time job. There’s probably no other area of information technology that’s evolving more rapidly. While determined dentists can stay up on those changes, the vast majority of them shouldn’t, and for one simple reason:
Being your own SEO “guru” doesn’t make you a dime.
You make money by seeing patients and solving their dental problems, not by doing keyword searches for your localized dental marketing. Given the average dentist’s case value, it just makes sense to outsource local search responsibility to someone who does it for a living.
SmartBox optimizes and maintains dentists’ websites as an integral part of our industry-leading Patient Attraction System™. We also provide dental review monitoring and review solicitation as part of the full range of essential dental marketing services.
Dental prospects who are ready, willing, and able to make appointments are searching the web right now to find the right dentist. If you want to ensure that your dental practice – whether it’s one location or a dozen – is the obvious choice on those search results, call us at (866) 731-1776, or you can contact us here.