Rank Your Dental Practice Higher on Google
There are a lot of great dentists out there that remain a “best kept secret” in their area because potential patients have a hard time finding them online when searching for a new dentist. In this video we look at different factors Google looks at when deciding which dental practices to show at the top of the page and what you can do to increase the online visibility of your practice.
How easily can new patients find your practice?
One of the biggest challenges we see at RevUp Dental is that there are a lot of really great dental practices out there with great dentists, with amazing staff, and they deliver amazing dental care, but because their marketing isn’t up to par, they remain kind of like a “best kept secret” in their area. They’re the best dental practice, with the best dentist, and the best dental team that unfortunately most people in that area have never heard about, and probably never will. It doesn’t matter how good you are if nobody knows you exist.
One of the best ways to get your practice noticed is by spending a few minutes updating your Google My Business listing, and I’m going to show you how to do that. Your Google My Business listing tells Google important information about your dental practice such as where you’re located, your hours of operation, and what kind of dental services you offer.
What is Google My Business?
So first off, what exactly is Google My Business? This is essentially a business listing that tells Google important information about your dental practice such as where you’re located, your hours of operation, and what kind of dental services you offer. When a potential patient goes on Google and types in something like “Dentist in Dundas Ontario” you’ll often notice the search results feature a map where Google recommends 3 dentists in the area for them to check out. This is called the local map pack.
If you’re one of the three recommended dentists on the map pack, you’re going to see a noticeable increase in new patient inquiries as most people will simply call one of those three dentists. There may be dozens, or even hundreds of dentists in your city, so how do you get to be one of the three dentists listed on the map pack? Who gets listed on the map pack is based on many different factors but in today’s video I’m going to show you a few key ways to optimize your Google My Business listing to significantly increase the chance that you show up in one of those 3 positions.
How to Access Your Google My Business
The first thing you need to do is login to your Google My Business profile. You can do this by going to google.com/business and logging in with your Google account. If you never setup your Google My Business listing then it’s very likely this was probably done for you already by your current or previous web developer or marketing company so get in touch with them to find out.
If they didn’t setup this profile either it’s also possible that Google automatically created the profile using information it found from other business directories. If this is the case then when you Google your business name on the listing you should see a button that says Claim this business
If you click that button and follow the verification instructions you can take control of your business profile. This usually involves them giving you an automated call to your business number with a PIN that you have to enter in or if that’s not possible they may send a post card to your business address with a PIN instead. Once you enter that PIN you can verify that you own the business.
Updating Your Profile for NAP Consistency
Once you’re inside Google My Business the first thing you want to do is update the information under Info. In order to rank better on Google local search it’s important that you have something called NAP consistency. NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number. You want to make sure that you have the exact same name, address, and phone number on every online listing that mentions your practice, from Facebook, to RateMDs, Yellowpages, etc.
Often what we see when we start working with a new dentist is that on Google My Business their practice name is called ABC Dental, but on Yellowpages that same practice is listed as ABC Dentistry, and on Facebook it says Dr. John Smith, and then on their website it says something completely different again. This can confuse Google’s algorithm and makes them uncertain whether this is the same business or completely different businesses. This is especially problematic since many dental offices have very similar names to other offices in their area.
Whatever Name, Address, and Phone Number you set on Google My Business should be the EXACT SAME name, address, and phone number you use on your website, your Facebook page, and any other listing for your business on the internet.
Make Sure Your Info is Accurate
Next, you want to optimize the Services section. Something like 95% of dentists that we work with, when we check this section, it’s completely empty. This sections helps Google better understand what services you actually offer. You can list things like Children’s Dentistry, Dental Emergencies, Root Canals, Invisalign, etc.
You don’t need to list every single little thing that you do, but you do want to at least mention the primary services you offer whether it’s crowns, dental implants, veneers, etc. Somewhere between 10-15 different services is a good place to start.
In the description for each service you want to talk a little bit about how you do the service, if you have any special equipment, maybe the experience of the dentist, or any reason why a potential patient should pick your dental practice over the many others in the area.
When a potential patient in your area searches for something like “Invisalign near me” or “best Invisalign dentist in <your city>” if you have mentioned Invisalign in the services then it increases the chance Google may recommend you and show your practice on the map pack.
Add Photos and Videos
Next, you want to make sure you have photos on your listing. You want a nice array of images like pictures of your practice, inside, outside, pictures of you and your team, any company events, so for example if you took your team out to lunch a few months ago to celebrate someone’s birthday or if you attended any training events or seminars. These are all great images to put up.
If you have a video of your dental practice or any patient testimonial videos, you can upload them to the photos section as well. This shows Google that your business is active and engaged. If your Google My Business profile hasn’t been updated in years, you have no photos, no description, no services, then Google isn’t really sure whether you’re even still in business and they are not going to want to recommend you to anyone.
Focus on Getting More Google Reviews
The next thing to look at is the Reviews section. One of your primary aims as a dental practice needs to be getting more Google reviews than every other dental practice in your area. Google reviews are the gold standard of reviews on the internet and they help increase your rankings.
Always make sure to ask your patients to leave reviews. At RevUp Dental we use a review management system that makes it easy for office staff to request reviews from patients and makes it easy for patients to leave reviews with a single click. There are a lot of solutions out there that can do that like BirdEye, Trustpilot, Demand Force, etc, and we highly recommend using one of them to make it easy both for your staff and your patients.
As far as Google My Business is concerned, you want to make sure you respond to the reviews, and not just the bad ones, but also the good ones too. Again, Google likes to see that you are active and engaged and communicating with your patients. They are a lot more likely to recommend your practice in the map pack if they see that you are actively responding to reviews.
Create some Posts
The last thing we’re going to look at is Posts. This section is great for putting out updates on your practice. If your practice has any closures or special holiday hours, if you’ve had any special events recently, if you’re doing a new promotion or event, these are all great things to put up in the Posts section.
Again this shows Google that your business is active and engaged, which are the types of businesses Google wants to recommend to people. You don’t have to post something here everyday or even every week, just an occasional update to show Google that your business still has a pulse.
So I hope you found this useful. These changes and improvements can be done in less than an hour and could significantly increase how often you show up on the local map pack. Having a strong visibility on local search could drive a lot more new patients to your practice.
It’s important to remember that Google has no way to objectively determine whether one dentist is better than another… clinically. You could operate a fantastic dental practice with an amazing team of people who deliver the ultimate level of dental care… but none of that really matters if nobody knows about it.