the importance of local search

the importance of local search
10 February 2012 | | Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation

According to a Piper Jaffray 2008 research paper, 30 percent of all queries contain a city, county or a postcode. With 2.6 billion local searches performed each month, the Internet has now surpassed print yellow pages and newspaper as a primary source for local consumer service information. And the adoption of smart phones will only add to these numbers; 27 percent of all mobile searches are for local information.

These figures make it clear that if your practice is looking to market to and acquire new patients, your website needs to rank for local search, in particular Google Places.

This blog will give you a guide explaining what Google Places is, and a few tips on how to rank well in it!

What is Google Places?

Google Places is a directory which lists your Dental Practice’s name, address, contact details, a positional marker on the map and a link to your website. Google Places also has to option to add pictures, videos and customer reviews. This information will appear above the organic listings when a location based keyword is searched and increase customer visits to your website.

Google Places also offers the ability for business owners to post real time updates to their Place Page. You might want to advertise a teeth whitening or dental implant promotion that you want customers to know right now and this feature lets you communicate that directly to your customers.

To keep track of how your business listing is performing, Google includes a dashboard within Google Places that shows data about how many times people have found your business on Google, what keywords they used to find it and even what areas people have travelled from to visit your business. With the dashboard, you can see how your use of any of these new features affects interest in your business and make more informed decisions about how to be found on Google and interact with your customers.

Ranking tips

  • Claim your listing (you will need a google account)
  • Complete company information, including contact details, phone number, website link and email address
  • complete description (be careful not to spam keywords as this could lead to penalisation)
  • Add relevant categories (private dentist, NHS dentist etc)
  • Add practice images, logo and videos
  • Doing this will ensure that your Places listing will have 100% completion
  • Increase your business citations by adding your listing to Local Business and other relevant directories
  • code your address on your website in the correct hcard microformat

If you follow this steps your practice will start to rank better for local search terms, however the ongoing management of a Google places account is time consuming, and setting up a google places account correctly with no previous experience is quite complicated.

Dental Design, as part of our Classic + and Premier SEO packages, will setup, optimise and manage your Google Places account to  ensure your practice will rank for the local search keywords that will drive traffic to your website and generate appointments. For more information please call 01202677277

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