Ranking well in Google search results can be a big help for bringing in new patients. The best way to do that is to work on your ranking in local Google Maps.
Here’s why: The organic results are extremely competitive because they cover the entire city. Not only are you competing with every other dentist, but many of the search results are taken up by listing sites like Yelp or the YellowPages. That means showing up in the top ten for your entire city in the organic results can take a lot of work, dedication and a bit of luck.
However, ranking well locally on Google Maps is simple and achievable for almost any dentist. That’s because Google delivers very targeted local results. So when someone searches for a dentist, they are shown the dentists closest to their physical location on the map. That means Google Maps has you competing with the dental offices in your neighborhood and not the entire city.
We ran some tests to see what this means for dentists. When we searched for “Toronto Dentist” we had the following results:
"Toronto Dentist" Search Results by Map Location
In smaller neighborhoods with less than five dentists, having a complete Google My Business profile with no duplicates is enough for most dentists to rank well on the maps … but most dentists have a lot more competition than that!
As you can see on the map there are a few offices in the middle that show up for searches from many different areas. However, the areas are small limiting the draw for new patients. In order to expand the area where new patients are targeted, practices need a strong online presence that includes Facebook and paid advertising, which when combined with a strategic SEO program, will maximize new patient growth each month.
So how do you get on the map? You will need to make sure your dental office has good five-star reviews of the practice. Also, since Google draws from many different websites to create or update their listings, you’ll want to make sure that your name, address, phone number and website address on other citation websites are correct and there are no duplicate listings.
If you have duplicates on other sites, Google might use the wrong information to create a new Google My Business profile – making you compete with yourself, as well as other dentists! When there are two profiles at one address, Google will often choose what they think is the most relevant listing and filter out the secondary listing. If there’s wrong information on the profile, you could lose out on attracting new patients.
That’s where we come in – the first part of every SEO program for our clients includes time to clear away the duplicates and optimize the correct listings.
Let’s get to work on making your dental office rank highly on local Google Maps!