As a dentist, you may feel like managing your business listing falls low on the scale of priorities when operating a dental practice. However, setting up, claiming, and verifying your online listing is a vital step in your local SEO strategy… and your local SEO strategy is vital in getting new patients.
Based on market research, the average business is found in 1,009 searches per month, with 84% of these coming from discovery searches on search engines. For example, once a dental practice, or any business, is listed on Google, their chances of appearing in Google’s Local Pack, Google Maps, and general organic rankings are significantly increased.
The best part is that claiming your listing is completely free and can include useful information that your patients typically look for — phone numbers, hours of operation, types of payment accepted, and the dental practice’s address. The two most common and important listings are the ones on Google and Bing, and they play a vital role when it comes to your practices appearing in local searches.
What is local SEO and how does it affect you?
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization), sometimes referred to as local search engine marketing, is an incredibly effective way to promote your practice and services online to potential patients near your office who are searching for a “dentist near me” and/or the specific services you offer. Content and reviews are key factors to incorporate in a local SEO campaign.
Local SEO differs from standard SEO in the sense that the intent is to hyper-target patients near your practice and promote your services to potential patients nearby. Did you know that, according to Google, 46% of searches have a ‘local intent’? For these types of search queries, which typically include a location or ‘near me’ (which aren’t even necessary if searching using Google Maps), users see your listing and will visit the reviews section. If this page is not being managed, it is highly likely you could lose that potential new patient.
How to submit and verify a listing on Google and Bing for local SEO
The sooner you create a listing for your practice on Google and Bing, the faster you’ll start attracting local patients. Best of all, both of these tools are free. It’s easy to create a listing on either of these sites. Let’s take a look at how.
Google My Business
One of the many perks of creating a Google My Business (GMB) account is that your practice can easily be found on Google Search as well as on Google Maps. Your GMB page lets you add the typical information you’d normally see on a directory, such as contact information, address, website URL, directions, and hours of operation. However, it goes one step further, giving account owners the option to add images, specials, and events. It even has an option that allows patients to message you directly and post reviews. Here’s how to get started.
- Log in to the Google account you would like to associate with your practice or create a new account if you don’t have one already.
- Visit google.com/business and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner.
- Enter the name of your practice in the “Business name” field and click “Next”
- Input your practice’s address.
- Select your business category as accurately as possible. For example, orthodontist vs. dentist.
- Add your practice’s phone number and website URL.
- Select the method through which you’d like to verify your listing: phone, postcard, email, instant or bulk verification. You can opt to do this at another time if you prefer.
- Once you’ve been verified, you can start adding additional media to your profile, such as a photo, which areas you serve, hours of operation, any other “perks” your practice offers, such as free wifi in office or a children’s play area, and more.
- While you may edit your profile at any point, try to be as accurate as possible the first time around to avoid people from suggesting edits. Additionally, ensure the information on your GMB profile matches the information you provide on your website to maintain consistency and establish trust with potential and current patients, especially your NAP (name, address, and phone number). For example, if your website lists a suite number for your practice with the full word “suite” spelled out, your GMB listing should do as well instead of “Ste” or a “#” symbol.
Bing Places for Business
Just as with GMB, Bing listings also automatically enable businesses to show up on Bing Maps and Bing searches. The setup process is fairly similar as well. The exposure your practice will get on Bing is substantial, as it is the default search engine for all newer devices that run Windows OS. Here’s how to create a Bing Places for Business listing.
- Create a Microsoft account if you don’t already have one.
- To claim your listing, visit the Bing Places homepage and select “Get started”.
- Enter your practice name, address, and phone number. You can also click on “Search” to see if your practice is already listed. If not, proceed to “Add New Business”.
- Log in using your Microsoft account and password, then continue adding additional information about your practice, such as photos, videos, and any other unique information to set you apart. Be sure to incorporate keywords to boost your local rankings as well.
- Once you are finished adding your practice details, click “Submit” and then you’ll be prompted to verify your listing, which you can do so via a PIN that you’ll receive via mail to your practice’s address, phone, or email.
We can help
If you’d like to learn more about how Conversion Whale’s local SEO services can help boost your online presence and attract more patients, please contact us.