Ranking well in local search is a great way for dentists to bring in new patients and to build up their reputation in the local community. It can often be the most targeted and valuable traffic that one can get organically, so it is worth learning about how to do well in those rankings and to optimize your website for it. A lot of it comes down to simply understanding the Google My Business tool and how it works.
You can set up your Google My Business account directly with Google which will allow you to edit certain information about your business. Try to provide key information including your hours of business, location, etc. There are also a number of things you can do to help your local listing rank better in dentist-related searches in your local area.
Link building is still extremely important when it comes to this. But the key is that the links should be of high quality and from other local sources if possible. They should also appear as natural as possible. It is a good idea to start a little network of complementary businesses in the area to help each other out both online and offline. For example, you can reach out to some doctor’s offices, lab testing sites, pharmacies, etc. in the area and promote each other to patients who likely need all of those services. You can also go to a website like Meetup.com to find local events and see if any of them are looking for or open to sponsors. If you are able to sponsor something, they might put your link or banner on their website. You may also get some good ground coverage through a logo on a t-shirt or something like that at the actual event.
Press releases can also be a good way to gain links and credibility with Google. If you can get on local news sites which are listed on Google news, all the better. See if you can hold an event at your office or try to help out the community in some way and you are more likely to be able to come up with an impactful press release.
Other ways to promote your dentist office with local links is to make the most of the local media whether it be TV, radio, newspapers, etc. Tell them about your area of expertise and what makes you unique in the community. Gaining favor with these groups can lead to great returns. A link back from a trusted site like that can also mean great power for your Google local listings.
Other tips to get quality links back and good recognition are to create an Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread on the subreddit for that and to offer unique and interesting insights into the dentistry business. You can also offer scholarships to local students to earn links on school pages including very trustworthy university websites. Finally, do some competitive intelligence using Majestic to check out where your competition is getting their links from and see if you can score some of the same or similar types of links for yourself.
Beyond links, you should use schema markups properly on your website as these can raise your local listings by several positions alone. This is a very underrated and underutilized tactic, which is good for you. Google offers a free Structured Data Testing Tool which can get you started along with BrightLocal’s Schema Demystified.
The new step in beating your dentist competitors is to get good reviews. The best way to do this is of course to be the best professional you can be and to encourage happy clients to leave reviews for you online with websites like Yelp and Google itself. Having high rankings not only helps with ranking better, but the stars themselves make it more likely that someone will click through if your rating is high (and vice-versa if it is low so make sure you keep up the quality work and customer service).
Local SEO is a very important part of doing well in local niche businesses. For those looking for better dentist SEO, start with the three simple steps above and you are bound to do well.