Finding a new dentist can be one of the more stressful parts of moving to a new city. The relationship between patient and dentist is an intimate one. There probably aren’t many people you would trust enough to put their hands in your mouth with heavy duty equipment in tow. As a result, people are usually more cautious when choosing a dentist than say a new dry cleaner or a place to eat. For the most part, people want to find a dentist they can build a long term relationship with. The first step potential patients are going to take when conducting research on a new dentist is to do a Google search.

Because of this, it is imperative for dentists to take proactive steps to maintain their online reputations. You want your practice to have that coveted spot in the ‘map pack’ and not be relegated below the fold or worse yet on the second page of search results. To help you out we’ve compiled three ways to improve Google local search for your practice.

1. Collect online reviews

According to Moz, review signals, including review quantity, review velocity, and review diversity, make up about 10 percent of the Google local search algorithm. In addition to the bump in SEO rankings, online reviews are important because they can help improve the perception of your practice, and ultimately result in more patients walking through your door. A vast majority of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from their family and friends. Dental practices that neglect to make online reviews a priority are losing out on both potential Google local search benefits and possibly patients who turn to the competition.

2. Make directory listings consistent

In a recent post, Neil Patel provided a number of tips business could use to improve Google local search visibility. Chief among those is ensuring that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all directories. Having this information correct is important because this is what potential patients need to get in contact with you to set an appointment.

3. Create local content

Another way your practice can improve its Google local search standing is creating local content that is optimized for keywords, your location, services offered, and any specialties that might set your practice apart from your competitors. One easy way to do this is to start a blog that discusses local events. But the key is to be consistent. It’s not a good look to start a blog and then only post intermittently. It is a time commitment, but one that could pay dividends in the form of new patients.

Learn how Podium’s platform can improve Google local search

Request a demo of Podium’s software and discover how it can improve your practice’s Google local search process and increase the number of your online reviews by as much as 15x.