5 ways to fully optimise your Google Local Listing

10 July 2015 | | Search Engine Optimisation

According to Google, an estimated 73 percent of all online activity is related to local searches. Customers turn to local search to learn about the local businesses and services available in their area and evaluate them – this includes finding a dental practice.

For practices who want to take advantage of the opportunities presented by these searchers, optimising your Google Local Listing is an excellent way to get started. These listings are featured prominently in local SERPs on the popular search engine and are perfect for attracting attention and bringing in new customers.

1. Fill Out Applicable Information

An estimated 1 in 3 customers will do a local search on a smartphone before visiting. These patients are often looking for valuable, practical information such as the address of the practice, opening hours and whether you offer NHS, private or both services. For your listing to be effective, you need to make sure that you fill in the information completely.

Not only will a thoroughly filled-in listing help to answer the questions of visitors performing local searches, but Google will also rank completed listings higher than those that are incomplete. The search engine giant understands that local users are better served by businesses that give them all the information they need. When they are given the choice between two similar listings with different levels of completeness, they will choose the one that offers more information.

An example of a well optimised Google Local Listing.

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This includes selecting accurate categories for your practice. Google will give you suggestions about where your business may fit and you want to select the ones that describe your dental practice best. Do not be afraid to select narrower, more precise categories than broader categories. These categories will impact where your site is displayed, and you want your site in front of the people who are most likely to be interested in your business. Google also assures business owners that users who search for broader categories will also be shown results from narrower categories:

“Don’t be afraid to choose specific categories instead of broad ones. The important thing is that the categories are accurate and describe your business well. Google’s search algorithm makes sure that users looking for ‘Book Stores’ will see businesses in more specific categories like ‘Used Book Stores,’ ‘Comic Book Stores,’ and ‘Rare Book Stores’ too.”

2. Use Precise Location Information and Keywords

Google+ local listings use Google maps to generate locations and information for customers to help them understand where the business is and if it is close to their current location. Failing to correct any errors in your business location can end up confusing and frustrating these customers.

Google also places value on consistency throughout local listings for businesses. If there are discrepancies between your business listings on different directories, then your business results will rank lower because it can hurt the user experience. Wesley Young studied the impact of various factors on local search performance and found that the consistency of name, address, and phone number (NAP) on local business listings had a 16 percent influence in determining performance.

3. Seek Reviews on Google

Potential patients inherently trust reviews that come from other patients over advertisements that come from the company itself. According to Nielsen, 92 percent of customers say that they trust advertisements and recommendations from third parties more than traditional, paid advertising. Given the prominence of Google local listings on local SERPs, having multiple positive reviews can be incredibly helpful. The feedback will be displayed prominently right by your company name, encouraging people to click.

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Reviews can also impact how well the business is listed on the Google SERP. Google understands the value that customers place on third party reviews and thus when a business has numerous positive reviews, the search engine assumes that this is a company that fulfils customers’ needs and should be featured more prominently.

4. Leverage Your Company Website

Your website URL should be included in your Google+ local listing. Google will use information from the website to improve the search listings that appear on its page. This means your website needs to be easily read by search engines. Include a well-developed About Us page and Home Page that include keywords, the business address and quality content. The addition of rich media content, such as an embedded map that shows the business location also provides tremendous value.

Given the prevalence of local searches and the importance they place in the modern marketplace, taking the time to optimize your local listings page with Google can help you drastically boost your business. By focusing on the above areas, you will help Google to understand your value while also communicating with potential visitors what makes you special. It is this combination that will grow your traffic through local search.

5. Give a Tour

Use Google latest Local Listing feature to show off your beaututful practice. This benefits lots of different tyeps of potentail patienst:

1) Nervous patients – can see the practice is clean, bright, and professional looking

2) Fussy patients – can see if the decor, look and feel of the prcatice is for them

3) Busy patients – can see the outside of the building to ascertain if there is reasonable off-road parking etc -or where you are exactly so they find you with ease.

There are multiple benefits of having this tour for local SEO – this feature really stands out from the crowd.

 

Contact Dental Design on 01202 677277 to discuss your Google Local Listing and online dental marketing.

 

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