Imagine a dentist who tells patients that oral hygiene only requires brushing their teeth. Of course, this is ridiculous. Multiple practices contribute to a healthy smile.
But some approach digital marketing with this one-dimensional view. There is no one marketing practice (even your engaging dental blog) that will single handedly make business boom. Rather, a combination of factors work together to gain the attention of prospective customers.
Local SEO is one of these factors that increases the visibility of your practice.
Consider the fact that searches with the term “near me” have exploded in use over the past two years. This points to the growing number of people who are turning to Google for help finding a local business.
Showing up on the first page of results is crucial, and local SEO allows you to accomplish this. Getting listed in a dental directory is a great way to improve local SEO. Read on for a look at how local SEO works for your business and best practices to make the most of it.
Local SEO is powerful because it provides the opportunity for your practice to show up on Google Maps, as well as in search results. It is a crucial component in your dental marketing strategy.
But how exactly does it work?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that lets you create a profile with information about your practice. Once you verify your location, you can input details about your business. This information includes phone number, address, hours of operation, and even posts to your profile.
A Local SEO strategy that does not include Google My Business is like a toothbrush with frayed and missing bristles — useless and sad. GMB allows small dentist offices to compete with larger dental franchises and gain visibility on the first page of results. Let’s look at dental SEO at work on the local level.
Dentistry of Old Town Scottsdale has a great Google My Business profile. They appear in maps for the search term “Old Town Scottsdale dentists”.
They also appear at the top of the SERP.
For websites, Google considers an array of factors to determine rankings. Luckily, your GMB profile rank is based on three key factors: relevance, distance, and prominence.
When someone searches a term, Google works to provide the most relevant result possible. If your GMB profile is missing information or in need of updates, Google is less likely to rank it on the first page or display it in a top position on Maps.
It’s no surprise that distance is a factor in determining local search results. If a user includes a location in the search or turns on their location, Google has information to connect them with places nearby. If not, Google will calculate an estimated location and provide results in that vicinity.
The more well known a location is, the more likely it is to appear as a top local search result. How established is your dental practice? If you need to boost prominence, consider accumulating reviews on Google My Business. Web ranking also affects prominence so investing in your site is a must.
Another element that boosts prominences and, in turn, rankings is a citation.
Citations are online mentions of your dental practice. These mentions can appear on dental directories and other online resources. An ideal citation will include your business name, address, and phone number (NAP).
Why is that “NAP” information important? Because search engines like Google use NAP to verify your data. By verifying information from multiple places across the web, a search engine has more confidence in the data they display to a user. That’s why having links to your website, citations, and guests posts on different sites helps build your authority.
Here’s an example citation for a Chicago-based dental practice:
As you know, local SEO is a great path to improving online visibility. One way to strengthen local SEO is to boost the number of citations your practice has. Getting listed in multiple dental directories is a great way to accomplish this.
Here are some dental directories to help you rise in the rankings and increase the number of people discovering your practice.
If you are a member of the American Dental Association, you can list your practice in its dental directory. The ADA is well respected and widely known, which means you can benefit from its high prominence.
Healthgrades appears on the first page of Google for dentist directories, meaning it gets a lot of traffic to the page. The directory is easy to use and features tens of thousands of dentists from all over the country. Users can sort by specialty, availability, reviews, and more.
From the web design to the innovative practice management tools they offer, OpenCare is a modern dental directory. The company is focused on connecting patients with great dentists. As such, they require that you have strong positive online reviews before you can apply to be in the directory.
While not strictly a dental directory, Care Dash is a great place for medical professionals to connect with new patients. According to the website, 1.5 million patients visit CareDash each month to search for medical practitioners. The dentist directory offers listings in every state.
Another top-ranking dental directory on Google, Every Dentist is a prime place to get listed. This directory lists dentists across the United States and in Canada. It also provides information on common dental procedures for patients. Every Dentist offers enhanced listings that display your practice above others in a specific mile radius.
Beyond general dental directories, there are those that are dedicated to specialists in a certain area. The periodontist directory educates people about gum disease and presents qualified periodontists.
This directory places a heavy focus on location. The site displays a map with pinpoints to indicate specific dental office locations. The AAO directory ranks as a top result for the search term “find an orthodontist”. This suggests that they receive a lot of web traffic from those in search of orthodontists across the country.
Local Med was built with dentists in mind and aims to make the user experience as seamless as possible. Their directory is open to general dentists as well as certain specialists. According to the website, Local Med is “ the only online dental scheduling platform that directly integrates into your practice management system”.
Dental Chat is more than just a dental directory. It’s a chatbox tool that you can attach to your website to increase patient engagement. The brand uses innovative AI technology to work as a virtual assistant on your site. In addition to the tool, you receive a listing in Dental Chat’s directory.
Building up your brand online is a continual effort. Accumulating links, managing citations, and executing a comprehensive dental marketing strategy gets results.
With a dental SEO agency at your disposal, you can focus on running your practice while a team of digital marketers builds your brand. A team will secure local citations, manage Google My Business, and maintain the technical aspects of your website.
Contact Markitors to schedule a consultation. We’ll provide a deeper look at how local SEO can help you achieve your marketing goals and bring more patients through the door.