Local Search Optimization – Beyond Simple Keywords
When you think of search engine optimization, you probably think of how large and small businesses alike compete to rank for the keywords that will get them the most highly qualified traffic. While it might seem unfair to pit large and small businesses against each other, the truth is there is actually little competition between local business and larger corporations.
Consider how you live your life. When you perform a search online you aren’t looking for some nationwide conglomerate to solve whatever query you’re searching for answers to. You’re looking for local businesses who can help you. It might be a bakery, a doctor’s office, dental office, or plumber. Whatever you need, it’s likely that a local small business will come up in your search results before a large business.
Businesses like Google and Bing are more likely to display these local results because they’re what is relevant to you and where you are. After all, it doesn’t make sense to display results for a business in Tennessee to someone in California. By displaying the most relevant results Google is providing its users with an exceptional experience that keeps them coming back to their search engine.
Here’s how your dental practice can master local SEO and utilize SEO for dentists to grow your practice and your reputation in the community.
What is local search?
Local SEO is a method of getting your dental practice’s website ranked on search engines by listing it in online directories. Local search is effective because it is timely and relevant. When a person performs a local search they are getting the results that are most relevant to their needs.
This form of SEO is incredibly important because it helps small businesses like dental practices fairly compete within their market. They’re not subject to competing with large corporations that are more likely to outrank them in national search results. Learn more about local SEO in this article.
There’s a joke in the SEO community that Google+ was created just because Google knew it could create a social network. And while Google+ is nearly as popular as networks like Facebook, it has its place. This is where you manage your business listing. It includes your address, phone number, hours, links to your website, and additional contact information.
Your listing plays a big part in Google’s search results and is often displayed prominently at the very top of the page. Additionally, if a person is using Google Maps to navigate to your practice, this is the address Google will pull to guide the navigation.
You’re doing yourself and your visitors a service by providing them with up-to-date information that is easily accessible via their phones. In fact, if you were to look at your Google Analytics reports, you might notice many of your organic visits come from Google+.
Yelp is a popular website known for hosting reviews, pictures, and additional information about dental practices, as well as other businesses. People trust Yelp to provide them with clear, up-to-date information that’s non-biased. This means that they look to Yelp for photos of your practice, honest reviews, and much more. While it can seem frustrating to have to maintain another online profile, Yelp plays a very important role in SEO for dentists.
By maintaining your presence on Yelp you are doing yourself, as well as your audience a favor. You can see what people are saying, respond to positive and negative reviews, and make sure that your online reputation is stellar. If it isn’t, we recommend a reputation management program to help boost your online reputation and push negative reviews down.
Make Your Website Mobile Responsive
Your website should be designed to be mobile responsive. This means that regardless of the device a person is visiting from – whether an Android phone, iPhone, tablet, or desktop – your website will not only look good, it will also function as it was intended. This means that your call-to-action buttons will be easy to see, phone numbers will be clickable, and your visitors will move through the funnel your marketing and web design team designed.
Whether a website is mobile responsive or not plays a large part in how high Google and Bing will rank your site. If a website is not responsive, Google has come out and clearly said your website won’t rank as well as competitors who have a responsive website.
With that in mind, it’s crucial that you make sure your website is designed to work on a variety of devices. This tells your visitors that you are concerned about their experience and dedicated to providing them with a website that truly meets their needs regardless of the device they are on.
Whether you’re a new dental practice or established, chances are your goal is to attract new patients. Local search can help you attract patients that are seeking out your services and more likely to convert into patients.