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As we see it there are mainly two approaches to SEO for your practice - local and national SEO. The aim of both is to select target search keywords and for google to determine your site is more relevant to those keywords than your competitors. Getting on the first page for google.co.uk requires alot more time and money than being ranked in the top 10 local dentists. Usually the time and effort put in to rank nationally is also time wasted as patients are unlikely to travel from London to Glasgow for orthodontics for example. Ranking well in local search requires less resources and delivers local traffic to your site.
Affordable Dental Implants target national SEO and then funnell that traffic to local areas through our onsite search capabilities. Registering on our site allows you to target patients nationally for free and gives you time to focus your SEO efforts locally. The first step of your local SEO campaign is to set up a google places account for your clinic. This post shows the best practice in setting up a google places account.
1. Set up or claim your google places account. If you do not already have one, open up a google account. You can do this in your own name or in the name of your business. It will be easier to open an account in the name of your business. Once you have a google accounts log in and create a free places account at . Click “Add new business” to claim your listing. It may be the case that your practice already has a google places listing. If this is the case look for the “business owner?” link and follow the instructions to claim your place.
2. Complete you google places profile. Obviously, be sure that the information is accurate. The information you give here will affect the search results you show up in so it is best to bear optimisation in mind when you are completing this. Here are some things to bear in mind:
- When completing the business description it is important to give a concise description of the services you provide at your clinic. To improve your ranking in search results include keywords that patients will search for in your business description. Dental Implants or teeth whitening are examples of two popular keywords that dental patients will search for. Be careful not to stuff too many keywords into the description and keep in natural.
- You can select up to five categories. You should try to select as many as possible that describe the services you provide at your clinic. Examples of some categories would be teeth whitening service, dentist, emergency dental service. Again to make the most of these categories, bear in mind the services you provide but also the services that potential patients will search for on the internet.
- Make your profile as complete as possible. Google prefer profiles that provide more information than those that are scant on detail. Take the time to fill in your profile with as much information as possible. Be sure to add your opening hours, include some photos of the clinic and your staff, add links to your social media sites, payment options etc. Try not to leave any sections blank here.
3. Verify your google places page. Google requires you to confirm you are operating from the address you claim in your profile. The verification process is sometimes via telephone but is usually through a postcard that google will send to your registered address which can take up to three weeks. The postcard contains a code which you use to activate your profile.
Now that you have set up your places account, you will begin to show up on google map and other local searches. As dental SEO is competitive your practice will be not be ranked highly on search results. Citations and other off page SEO will be required to improve your ranking. We will discuss tactics to improve the local SEO for your clinic in future posts.