Understanding Local SEO

Local SEO for dentistsLocal SEO is especially important for dentists, so we’ll address a number of myths surrounding best practices:

Myth: The best way to succeed with local SEO is to claim your practice’s Google listing.

Reality: Claiming your listing is just one of several important steps in mastering local SEO.

By now you’ve undoubtedly learned to question anyone or anything that says there’s a single best way to do anything in SEO—it just isn’t true. Focusing on a single tactic is SEO poison, especially given search engines’ fondness for changing algorithms. Yes, you should claim your Google listing as soon as possible. This step is particularly important if your practice is active on Google+, and it’s an easy way to improve your visibility, if not your ranking, in Google searches.

Myth: Social media activity doesn’t impact local SEO.

Reality: These days, social media activity impacts everything.

This goes back to the earlier myth that social media and SEO don’t mix, period. Again, we have to make a distinction between a Web search and social search. This is where social search really shines for dentists. Patients want subjective reviews of local dental providers, and the combination of online reviews and their social network’s collective experiences is golden for local SEO. The fact that your dental practice has 500 followers on Facebook may not rocket you to the top of the list for a traditional Web search, but you can bet it will have a favorable impact on your visibility on social media.

You can see why MDPM Consulting emphasizes maintaining an active, engaging presence on various social media platforms. This is also where blogging fits into your dental marketing strategy. On one hand, blogging caters to local SEO by contributing quality content, relevant keywords, and fresh search fodder. When we share these blog posts on Facebook, we’re inviting social media users to like, comment, and share your content—all actions that help make your presence known and felt to existing and prospective patients.

Myth: A positive user experience is nice, but it’s not essential for local SEO.

Reality: A great user experience is essential, and especially for local SEO.

For all its glory and potential, the Internet sometimes makes it easy to forget that a patient need not be physically present in your office to have what qualifies as a user experience. Your target audience will experience your practice by navigating your website, perusing your blog, and checking out links posted on your social media page—and that’s before they even set foot in your waiting room.

Remember, online user experience affects conversion, whether it’s the decision to comment on a status update or pick up the phone for an appointment. Likewise, the face-to-face interaction between dentists, their staff, and their patients will filter back online in the form of reviews, referrals, and further conversions, i.e. signing up for a newsletter or emailing a link to a friend.

Earlier we outlined the importance of high-quality content in dental SEO, and we can revisit it for our discussion of local SEO. Visibility is one of our main objectives with SEO, but we also want to foster connections with the community. One way we accomplish this is by incorporating local events and community-centric news into blog posts. This is a great way to boost awareness and incorporate “local” keywords, such as well-known landmarks and locations, events, and even school names.

Now that you’ve learned how to create a better user experience, let’s look at steps you can take to create a better search engine experience.

As always, we encourage you to call or text MDPM Consulting at 972 – 781 – 8861 with your local SEO questions, or email us at [email protected]