Optimising Your Maps Visibility – How Proximity Impacts Google Maps Rankings

google maps search ranking
20 February 2024 | | Blog, Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation

Ensuring that your dental practice is easily discoverable on Google Maps has become essential. Whether patients are scheduling routine check-ups or have a dental emergency, your visibility in search results has a significant influence on their ability to find and access your services conveniently, ultimately impacting the growth and success of your practice.

Our Dental SEO expert have delved into the critical role of proximity in Google Maps rankings for dental practices and offers actionable insights to enhance your marketing strategy.

Understanding Proximity

Proximity, the physical distance between a user and your dental practice, directly influences your ranking on Google Maps. When someone searches for dental services, the algorithm considers their current location or specified location to provide relevant results. This means that dental practices closer to the user, at that time of the search, are more likely to rank higher in the search results.

Important of Local Intent

Many searches on Google Maps have local intent – meaning users are looking for a dental clinic in a particular area (e.g. “dentist poole”). Whether it’s for an emergency or specific dental treatment, patients often prioritise proximity when choosing a dental practice. Therefore, Google’s algorithm prioritises businesses that are geographically closer to the user’s search intent.

Implications for Map Pack Rankings

The Map Pack displays a map along with the local business within Google’s main search results.

Google search results for "dentist london"

Practices that appear in the Map Pack have higher visibility in search and maps, and are more likely to attract potential patients. Google’s algorithms determine which businesses appear in Map Pack results though proximity plays a significant role in Map Pack rankings, with dental clinics closer to the user’s location having a competitive advantage. To improve your practice’s chance of being featured:

  • Ensure your Google Business listing is claimed and up-to-date with the correct business information (Opening Hours, Address, Website etc)
  • Encourage patients to leave reviews and actively to reply to all, not just negative ones
  • Build citations and links/mentions of your dental practice across the web – get in touch with our SEO experts to find out more about Citation and Link Building.

Balancing Relevance and Proximity

While proximity is crucial, Google also considers relevance and prominence when ranking businesses on Google Maps. Relevance refers to how well a dental practice matches a user’s search query, while prominence relates to its credibility and popularity. However, proximity often serves as a tiebreaker when practices are similar in terms of relevance and prominence. Ensuring your practice is both relevant to user queries and geographically close to their location enhances your chances of appearing at the top of Map search results.

Leveraging Personalisation

Google may personalise search results based on factors such as the user’s device type and search history. For example, if a user frequently searches for dental services in their area, Google may prioritise similar practices in future search results. Alternatively, if a user keeps searching for dental services in the area but has a low click/interaction rate with the dental practices shown, Google could stop showing those particular practices for future searches.

Understanding the impact of proximity on Google Maps rankings is essential for dentists looking to maximise their online visibility. By implementing local SEO strategies and ensuring accurate business listing, you can enhance your presence on Google Maps and attract more patients to your practice. Emphasising the significance of proximity in marketing efforts will not only improve online visibility but also contribute to long-term success.

Ready to elevate your dental practice’s visibility on Google Maps? Contact our Dental Marketing experts today to learn how we can help you reach more patients and grow your practice.

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