In today’s increasingly competitive dental world, it is imperative that you utilize every tool at your disposal to get potential patients to see your website in the sea of competition. Much like you wouldn’t recommend a tooth extraction for a simple cavity, so too can dental websites misuse the dental online marketing tools available to them. One of the most often overlooked tools in the dental marketing arsenal is your Google Business listing. This listing, demonstrated by the picture below, is Google’s mini-page that shows up on both the map listings:
and the knowledge graph:
As you can see, having this listing correctly optimized can mean a major boost to how many people can see your dental practice online. With a well-optimized Google Business listing, you can get the attention and clicks of people without them having seen your website in the search results. An optimized Google Business listing for dentists also has the advantage of being indexed rapidly by Google, so you can ensure that Google always has the most up-to-date information on your location, hours, and reviews.
The Key Parts of Google Business for Dentists
Like any dental procedure, there are a few parts of a good dental Google Business page that work in conjunction to make the whole greater than the sum of any individual piece. When all three of these pieces are put together, you will have a Google Business listing for dentists that is not only eye-catching but strong from an SEO and usability perspective.
What: The Google reviews written by patients for your business. They are 1-5 stars and can be written by anybody with a Google account.
Why: Reviews have been proven to be one of the most effective ways to get customers interested in your dental practice. According to studies, Google Business reviews are trusted by 88% of customers, and due to their prominent position in search results for both desktop search and mobile search, they can contribute to snap decision making. As a dentist, your reviews can be the difference between getting a phone call and someone passing you over.
How: Google doesn’t particularly care how you get your reviews as long as they are both honest and unpaid. For example, you cannot offer your clients a discount if they write you a Google review, as this is a violation of Google’s ToS, and if they find out they will punish you. The easiest way to get them is to just ask. Many clients might be initially reticent, but if you continue to ask them for reviews, eventually they will acquiesce.
In addition, an important note should be made here. If you are getting negative reviews, that is worse than getting no reviews at all. While it is impossible to always get nothing but 5-star reviews, make sure that you respond to the negative reviews and try to assuage your client’s anger. It shows that you are willing to engage with your community and correct your mistakes, even if the mistake was not really yours.
Information and Description of your Dental Practice
What: This piece of the Google Business listing discloses information about your business, such as your location, hours of operation, description, phone number, map, and any other information Google sees fit to pull in.
Why: On the most basic level, you want your information correctly displayed so people know where to find your business. If you don’t have the right number, your customers won’t be able to click to call you. If you have the wrong address, people won’t be able to get directions to your storefront. Also, when you do link building for your website, having the correct address in the correct format is hugely helpful to maintain consistency across your business listings.
How: There is a two-part process for this. The first step is to log in to business.google.com, choose “Manage” on your business listing, and make sure that all your basic information is correct, and if it is not, to edit it using the edit button. The page on which you do this looks like this:
After you are finished editing your basic information, you should scroll to the bottom, click on the Google+ button, and edit your Story. You do this by clicking the “Edit Profile” button, then clicking the “Manage Page” button that comes up afterward. You should find yourself on a page like this:
On this page, if you click the little pencil, you can edit your Dentist Office’s story. This is where you can add a description of your service, including links to service pages on your website. This helps your dental practice website as it gives a link from Google+ to your website, and lets Google know the rough organization of your dental website.
Pictures of your Dental Office, Staff, and Services
What: Pictures of your business’ exterior, interior, work, and staff. Essentially, these are any quality images you have of things related to your practice.
Why: Pictures are an easy way to give your dental practice Google Business page life. As a visual medium, pictures can be viewed quickly and can give your potential dental patient a glimpse of your practice. In addition, there are certain dental SEO optimization tricks that you can do that increase the potency of your pictures.
How: If you’re on the Google Business page, click on “Manage Photos”. From there, you can add photos of you and your team at work, giving you powerful visual optimization for your dental Google Business page. Notice that there are different categories for your images: Interior, Exterior, At Work, Team, and Identity. These categories should each have at least 3 pictures in them, although more is always better.
Why Google Business for Dentists matters
Google Business for Dentists is a very important but under-appreciated tool. With it you can present potential patients with enough information at once that they can choose the best possible dentist. It does not take a lot of effort to be able to make your dental Google Business page stand out among the crowd, and that effort can often pay outsized dividends in calls, clicks, and interest from your chosen location and demographic. If you believe that you might need some help organizing and optimizing your dental Google Business listing, TheeDigital has experts in Dental SEO, but if not, we hope that this guide has helped you achieve success with the often-cryptic Google Business!