SEO (search engine optimization) is the foundation of digital dental marketing. However, it is not just about how well your website ranks in general Google search results. It is also about how well your practice ranks on Google Maps.
Why your dental practice needs to be on Google Maps
It is no secret that Google, with 92 percent of the market share, dominates the world of internet search. Furthermore, it has become ingrained into our lives to the point that the company name is commonly used as a verb. Whatever you are looking for – be it information, products, services, or entertainment – the solution is to “Google it.” That is true, even if what you seek is not actually online.
When a query shows local intent, such as a person searching for dental services, Google ensures that its users can find exactly what they want in the physical world. The top results are displayed in a map, complete with reviews, business information, and the option of getting driving directions. This is a great convenience for Google users and a top source of leads for high-ranking dental practices. It is also a big problem for dentists who don’t make the cut, as a steady stream of potential patients is diverted to the competition.
How to get there
If you are looking for a silver bullet that will propel your website to top rankings, even Google can’t help you find it. That is because there’s no simple answer, no single secret ingredient that will put your practice on the map. What you need is a goal, a solid strategy, and a commitment to achieving your marketing goals.
- Original, valuable content – Google wants to provide searchers with the most useful links. Duplicated content tells Google that a website is not offering anything unique. Similarly, thin content with plenty of filler and little substance isn’t likely to make searchers happy. What searchers – and therefore Google – actually want is accurate, in-depth content that is highly relevant to the topic.
- Technical SEO – Some of the most important optimizations involve what you don’t see. Meta tags, loading speed, inbound links, and efficient coding aren’t likely to change how a website appears to the human user. However, they do impact how likely it is that humans will see your site because they are apparent and important to Google.
- Usability – Again, Google wants to make searchers happy. That won’t happen if they are directed to websites that are difficult or impossible to use. Therefore, an intuitive user interface, easy-to-use navigation, accessibility, cross-device compatibility, and error-free functionality are essential.
- Be mindful of E-A-T – This is an acronym which stands for expertise, authority, and trust. Although these attributes signify quality for most websites, they are especially important to those certain sectors. The consequences of bad financial or medical advice could be particularly dire. Therefore, YMYL (your money, your life) websites are held to much higher standards. They use signals such as positive reviews, inbound links from other trusted sites, verifiable credentials, and content author information to indicate your level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
- Shoot for the stars – Online reviews are often considered the modern-day word-of-mouth marketing. You may already know that most people read reviews before choosing a dentist. However, it is not only people looking at your reviews but also Google. They consider the number, frequency, and diversity of reviews as indicators of quality and popularity in a local business.
Google Maps is the most likely place for people to find any local business, including dental practices. And your position in map results matters! Studies show that about half of local searches involve clicks on the Google map. Organic SEO, reputation building, and abundant 5-star reviews are keys to getting your practice there.
About the Author:
Naren Arulrajah, President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, has been a leader in medical marketing for over a decade. Ekwa provides comprehensive marketing solutions for busy dentists, with a team of more than 180 full time professionals, providing web design, hosting, content creation, social media, reputation management, SEO, and more. If you’re looking for ways to boost your marketing results, call 855-598-3320 for a free strategy session with Naren. You may also schedule a session at your convenience with the Senior Director of Marketing – Lila, by clicking https://www.ekwa.com/msm/ or simply send a text to 313-777-8494.