Gone are the days of feeling good that everyone in your community can find you because you paid a single fee for an ad in the yellow pages.
Today, you need your dental practice to be visible when people in your area are looking for services like yours. More and more people are using their phones and computers to do this.
The most important change is location specific search results. Your future new patients are looking for a dentist on their mobile devices using Google as their search engine. And – based on where they are physically located at that time, Google will provide the best, most trusted results for their query. That’s right – you will get different results from the exact same search phrase depending on your location.
By understanding these facts, you as a small business owner can leverage your uniqueness in a powerful way. All it takes is four simple steps:
SEO Optimization and Google in Dentistry
Step 1: First and Foremost – Your Website
The first step in improving your local SEO [search engine optimization] has to do with the age, authority, and quality of your website. The longer your website is active, the more trustworthy you become.
Changing domains is a big deal and if you choose a new one, you are essentially starting a new business and developing a new reputation at that point. You can increase the authority of your website by publishing compelling content on a consistent basis.
Make certain your website is usable across all devices and platforms and make sure it is secure. Google’s Chrome browser often won’t display websites without a security certificate. Do you think their search engine would rank secure sites higher than those that aren’t secure?
Step 2: Claim Your Name
The next step in building trust online is claiming your profiles. The latest recommendation is that you use your email associated with your domain when you do this. Most directories are going to ask for your NAP [Name Address Phone] and website data, your business category, a short description, a more lengthy description, business hours, amenities, accessibility, payment methods, and photos.
My advice is to compile this information first, so that the process is as simple as copy and paste. It is vital that everything is formatted identically within the NAP data across all the directories. Lastly, start with the biggest directories first – Google+, Facebook, MapQuest, Acxiom, Yelp, etc. The smaller directories are carrying less weight than they used to.
In the next post, I’ll talk about the last two steps to local SEO domination.