Getting top positions on Google Maps for dental searches is the ultimate dream for many dental offices! However, Google has not always been very clear on how to achieve better visibility on Google Maps. Thankfully, Google has become a bit more transparent as to what it takes to gain better visibility on their maps platform and has developed better tools and support to help businesses reach their goals.
Before we jump into tips and strategies that can improve your dental office’s visibility in Google Maps, let’s get a better understanding of how Google determines Google Map positioning.
How Google Determines Local Map Positioning
- Relevance: Relevance refers to how well your local listing matches what a patient is searching for. Adding complete and detailed information about your dental practice can help Google better understand the type of dental practice you are and match your business to relevant search phrases.
- Distance: Distance refers to how far a business is from the location used in a search phrase. For example, if a patient types in “Dentist Seattle WA”, Google will calculate the distance of each dental practice in the entire Seattle area to the center of the city and will highlight the closest and most prominent dental offices. If a patient does not specify a location in their search, Google will do their best to calculate distance based on what’s known about the patient’s location.
- Prominence: Prominence refers to how well-known your dental office is in your community. Some dental offices are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local rankings. This is why you sometimes will see other dental practices appear higher on Google Maps without much information on their page.Additional factors that influence prominence are links to your website from other online sources (like articles and local directories) as well as quality of links. It is also important to note that your website’s position in organic search results is also a factor, so implementing SEO best practices on your website can be a huge help.
Tips on Improving the Presence of your Google My Business Page
Although Google likes to keep their local algorithm a secret for the most part, Google does offer us some general insights on how to best improve the presence of a Google My Business page:
- Share your business location and page with your customers: Sharing your location link and letting your patients know the best way to get in touch with your office is to leave reviews through your Goggle My Business Page. This will help them find and contact your dental practice without any hassle.
- Delighted customers are the best promoters: Ask your customers to share feedback about their dental experience. Reviews are a great way of looking at a business through somebody else’s eye. This can also help influence potential patients in choosing your business over your competitors.
- Manage and respond to reviews: It is important to respond to any negative feedback immediately to show potential patients that you care about your patient’s experience and are willing to make changes to improve your practice. It is equally as important to respond to positive reviews by thanking your current patients.
- Keep your hours accurate: Many dental practices prefer to exclude office hours from their local listings to maximize patient flow. However, competitors who keep their office hours updated may see better map positioning in the long run. If possible, be sure to keep your office hours updated and accurate.
- Share Photos with your customers: Upload photos related to your business on your business page. Adding your own business photos allows you to showcase the products and dental services you offer to patients. Photos can also help differentiate your practice offerings from the competition.
Showcasing Your Dental Practice with Photos
Your dental practice can hire Google Street View professionals to take pictures of the interior and exterior of your business for a fee. However, you can easily make this project very cost effective by taking pictures on your own. Taking photos around your office does not require expensive equipment; pictures of your dental practice can easily be taken by using a digital camera or smartphone. Just make sure you use good lighting to show off your practice in the best possible way!
Google recommends that you upload at least three photos to each photo category when showcasing your business page. Business photo categories include:
Interior Photos of your Dental Practice:
Exterior Photos of your Dental Practice:
Photos of you Working Around your Dental Practice:
Team Photos of your Dental Staff:
Updating Your Google My Business Page
- Updating Business Information: Learn how to edit your business information on your Google My Business page by watching this video tutorial from Google HERE.
- Uploading Photos: Learn how to upload photos to your Google My Business page by watching this video tutorial from Google HERE.
If you do everything you can to keep your business information accurate and updated, stick to SEO best practices on your website, and increase your brand presence within your local community; your practice will be well on its way to gaining more visibility on Google Maps!
For additional support regarding your Google My Business page, contact Google My Business Help.