Local SEO for the future (Search Engine Optimization) is the continuous process of branding and claiming your online presence in the market with the aim of drawing new local clients. As a small business owner, you should understand what local SEO is and what it stands to gain if you don’t begin claiming and optimising your dental practice locally. The basic idea of local SEO is to take advantage of the current demand for services in a specific geographical area by targeting these customers in search engines like Google. It is a simple process, but a vital one. Why is it so important? Because without new customers, your sales will be stagnant or, worse still, fall, leaving you with no profit at all.
In addition to the obvious reason of increased visibility on Google, local SEO also has other benefits. When a customer types in a search query in Google, most search engines will ask the user to narrow down their search by adding more specific keywords, and local SEO can give your dental clinic more of these keywords and thus higher rankings on major search engines like Google. This is because when your website is featured on Google, other major search engines will feature your website on their search results page. The higher your website is on these results pages, the more visible your dental practice will be to your potential customers. And as any experienced local SEO company will tell you, there’s nothing worse than seeing your clinic listed on the search results for a “dentist in [location of your choice]” but seeing none of the clinics listed that could benefit from your service being marketed to them!
Local SEO is more than just listing in Google Places – there are other major search engines like Yahoo and Bing that use local search results to display dentist websites on their search results pages. To truly take advantage of the benefits of local SEO, however, it is necessary to take all efforts to ensure that your website is actually seen by your potential patients. This is done through paid advertisements. Some dental practices have been successful at ensuring their listings get featured on popular websites like Google Health or Yahoo Dental which allows them to take on paid placements in order to achieve improved rankings in the search engine results pages.
One of the biggest mistakes dentists make when it comes to local SEO is taking their eyes off the free places to market on. Free tools like Google Places, which is free to use, can be an invaluable tool for local SEO. By creating a profile for your dental practice on this free site, potential patients are able to learn a bit about your practice and learn about you as a professional. These profiles often include photos of your staff, office, and even listings of the types of services that your dental clinic offers. This type of exposure can be vital to the success of your efforts, and is one of the best ways to ensure that your dental website gets noticed by prospective patients.
Another mistake that many dentists make when it comes to local SEO is linking directly to their website from their social media accounts. The practice may have thousands of followers on Facebook, and even on Twitter, but when it comes to search engine optimization, the practice should be aware that the biggest link-building strategies are not going to help them out very much. In fact, most search engines will consider these links as spam, and will demote the website in ranking. These days, many practitioners are learning that it is more effective to create their own Facebook and Twitter pages and then link them to their website. This is not only effective at creating visibility for the dental practice, but also helps them rank higher in search engines as well. This is better than having a page that simply lists their dental services.
There are other local SEO tips available for dentists that are designed specifically for small businesses. For instance, many dentists use local listings in Google Places, because this service offers instant rankings to websites that show up for searches within a certain area. This is good news, especially when you consider the importance of getting your website seen by potential patients in a particular area. If you want to get more visibility, then you should use proven strategies for local SEO to boost rankings and visibility. Learn more about these proven strategies from an online marketing specialist.