What’s a Google Tag? Does a Dentist Need One?

If you have a Google Places page, you’ve probably seen “Add a Tag.” My husband and I are both entrepreneurs, so I was inundated with emails and snail mail offering a free tag for 30 days – of course Google wanted my credit card info to get started. Those of you who don’t have a Google Places page need to stop reading and go get one. Then come back and finish reading. I’ll wait…

A Google Tag is a yellow highlight added to a Google Places listing. Last week I wrote about Google Coupons. With a Google Tag, you can choose to highlight your coupon, posts, website, photo, video, reservations link (hotel, airline, restaurant), or menu link (restaurant).

So, that little yellow arrowish thing in front of your competitors’ Google Map listing means that he’s signed up for a tag. But does he need one? Do you?

I’ve waited a while to address Google Tags because I wanted to evaluate what was really going on. Not everything free is valuable. That’s not to imply that Google Tags aren’t valuable. In the right situation, they’re well worth the $25 a month.

Here’s the secret: If your company ranks high on the Google Places map that shows up in a regular Google Search (not just when you click on the Google Places tab), sign up for a Google Tag today.

I recommend highlighting your blog site with your tag, not only because MDPM builds and writes dental blogs, but also because the visitor who clicks on your highlighted blog site will have an opportunity, on your blog, to sign up for your RSS feed, subscribe to your blog, and (hopefully) follow you on Facebook and Twitter. He can also forward any of your blogs he likes to friends and family who may benefit from the information. I guess the point is, your blog is a destination that will allow a potential patient to get in touch and stay in touch with your practice.

Now, if your Google Places listing does not rank high on the maps, you need to invest more energy into the listing. Get patients to write testimonials there. Post updates weekly, or even daily. Load photos and videos, and be sure to include ALL of your contact information, including your blog or website link. Make the most of the Google Places listing, and you will probably see an improvement in its map ranking.