Thereâ€™s one simple way to automatically increase your practiceâ€™s online visibility: verify your business to show up in Googleâ€™s local search results.
Why is local search so important?
In order to understand why itâ€™s important, you have to first understand the real way to win the online search game.
In short, the more chances you give someone to see your practice as a result in search, the better. If a Google results page is a piece of real estate, you want to increase your share of that real estate.
Previously, we discussed ways to improve your organic result with SEO, and most recently, how you can use Googleâ€™s PPC platform to reach your ideal patient. Getting verified as a local business is just one more tool for getting there.
Thatâ€™s not the only reason local search is important though.
Thereâ€™s a very tangible benefit of appearing in local search.
If someone is Googling your practice or looking for a dentist in your area, odds are good they want to know your location. They want to find your practice, either because theyâ€™re coming in for an appointment and they forget how to get to your location, or theyâ€™re thinking of coming in as a new patient and theyâ€™ve never been to your practice before.
They could go to your website and click around until they find your address and then Google it to get directions, but thatâ€™s adding a few extra unnecessary steps. Google recognized this inconvenience and knows people want quick and easy directions to local businesses, so theyâ€™ve placed emphasis on local results.
Ideally, when someone Googles your practice, or â€śdentist in [your town]â€ť, you want to show up front and center, in whatâ€™s called the â€ślocal pack.â€ť
Youâ€™ve probably seen the local pack before when you do a search. It appears directly below pay-per-click ads, and is accompanied by a map pinned with the local results for the relevant search terms.
In order to show up in the local pack, you need to first verify your practice as a local business through Google.
Google has a help page that can walk you through the process, but the first step is to register a Google + page for your practice.
After registering, you choose how to verify your practiceâ€™s name, address, phone number and any other relevant information like business hours and other contact details.
Unless youâ€™re already using Googleâ€™s web tools, youâ€™ll probably need to verify your practice through their post card option.
Thereâ€™s another option to get your practice verified:
ProSites offers local search verification for Google (as well as Bing and Yahoo) as a part of its SEO services. If youâ€™re not interested in spending time digging through Googleâ€™s requirements for verification, we can take care of it for you.
Click here to take a look at our SEO services and how we can help you increase the likelihood of being found on all the major search engines.