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Local Search - The basics for your dental practice

Posted on 5/13/2016 by Wendy Hensley, Marketing Manager
Dental Marketing Local SearchGoogle's local search is a great way to get found online by people looking for a dentist, or for specific dental services. That's good news but it also means you need to be tailoring your SEO activities in order to be found.

Here are a few of the things Google looks at when determining the listing order of search results.


It's in Google's best interest to always return the most relevant results to the searcher. If you searched for the term "Portland dentist" but got back results for the fastest car repair place in Phoenix you'd be annoyed. Ok, so that's an extreme example, but there's still truth in the scenario. When you search for something, you want to find exactly what you're looking for and if you don't, you'll be annoyed and likely not so happy with Google.

Google constantly combs through sites and ranks their content for relevancy to various search terms. Sites with a high relevancy score to the term being searched will rank higher in the search results page. This why we always say "content is king". Having relevant and rich content that hones in on keywords you're targeting will positively impact your search rankings.

Learn more about how WEO Media can help with your SEO strategy.

A note of caution though, if Google senses that you're overusing or abusing keywords on your site, you could actually be penalized and end up ranking lower over time. It's therefore key, when putting together your dental SEO strategy, that you use your keywords in the most effective and legitimate manner possible.


Google will display results that are closest to the location in the search. If the location isn't specified by the searcher, then Google will calculate distance based on what's known about the searchers location and their results.

The key here for your practice? Make sure your address and physical location are properly setup on Google, and major online directories and review sites.


The prominence rating refers to how well known your business is. For instance, Google will assume that famous museums, landmark hotels, or large stores are well known to people and will therefore feature them prominently in the local search results. Google also gathers information on prominence across the web. For example, if a business has great online reviews, it will be ranked higher than a business without reviews or with poor reviews. Owning your online brand is key to impacting your search results.

A survey conducted by Dimensional Research found that 90% of their respondents claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions while 86% had responded saying that negative reviews impacted their decisions. What people say about your practice online matters. It matters a lot!

Be sure not only to ask for reviews from your patient but that they're being posted to the proper places. Placing testimonials on your site is good for patients going to your site, but if you're coming up in search results, you want Google reviews to help spur your SEO and be readily accessible. That will in turn drive site traffic as well as patient calls.

In summary, it's key that you take into account all of these ranking factors for local search; develop rich content that's relevant and timely, make sure you properly place your business address and local phone number prominently throughout your site, and finally, ask for and monitor your online reviews.

If you have questions about your SEO, online reviews, or online marketing please contact WEO Media at, or you can learn more on our website
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