Winning Dental Local SEO
What is Local SEO
Local SEO is focused on providing search results that are relevant to a searcher based on their current location.
People might be searching for the types of services you provide or the products you sell, but they don’t necessarily have a specific company in mind. A generic query will provide them with local results. They may search for restaurants, vehicle repair shops, barbers, or any variety of results with the intent of getting local results. With you, that means dentists, dental services, and products. Optimizing your site for such queries— “local SEO” — helps the search engines find businesses that can best satisfy the user’s needs, providing them with business names, locations, phone numbers, and other information.
Example A user may search for “best dentist” and see a list of local results, in this case dental offices located in the general vicinity. For physical businesses, having hyper-local visibility translates into increased traffic.
Why Should You Care About Local SEO?
Local SEO is an imperative for any company seeking local business. Just as SEO is important for getting found on the web in general, so local SEO is important for getting found by the local customers who matter to your business.
Brick-and-mortar stores or service businesses must focus on optimizing their search presence in order to attract local customers. Without a strategic and intentional local SEO strategy, a business misses out on the positive impact that local customers will make on the business’s profit and brand recognition. Local SEO is increasingly important as users depend on mobile devices (46% of all search queries are mobile), spoken search queries (e.g., Siri, “Hummingbird”), and individual neighborhoods (Google’s “Pigeon” algorithm).
How to Maximize Local SEO
There are five essential ways that a business can boost its local SEO:
1. A Presence on Google My Business (Google+) A solid local SEO presence depends on a well-optimized Google My Business profile. Make your profile as complete as possible, making sure to select the most-relevant categories, and a consistent NAP.
2. Placement in relevant local directories A business’s presence in high-quality online directories will enhance local SEO. The best local directories are Google (Google+/My Business), Bing, Yahoo!, Yelp, Merchant Circle, Local.com, Foursaquare, Manta, etc. Niche directories and review sites such as Urbanspoon (for restaurants), TripAdvisor (lodging) are also recommended.
3. NAP Consistency NAP is an acronym that stands for “Name, Address and Phone Number”. NAP Consistency occurs when your organization’s Name, Address, and Phone Number are consistently listed with the same spelling and formatting throughout the web. Good SEOs also make sure your web address is written consistently when they’re optimizing listings.
4. NAP Citations Generally speaking, the more citations a business gains, the better its local SEO. “Structured citations” are those found in online directories. Unstructured citations — found in blogs, newspapers, online even listings, job websites, government informational databases, etc. — also boost local rankings.
5. Get Reviewed Getting great reviews is a sure way to improve your business’s local reputation and ranking. The best way to get great reviews is to provide great products and service. 6. Traditional SEO methods. You can enhance your local SEO by maintaining traditional SEO best practices. Local SEO does not replace conventional SEO; it enhances it. Make sure you’re continuing to optimize for site speed, target relevant keywords, create great content, clean up spammy links, and provide the best online resources for your customers.
Best Tools for Local SEO
Moz Local is a great place to start a local SEO project. This semi-free tool will check many of the top local platforms for your business and will identify duplicate listings, inconsistencies in NAP information, and opportunities for improved optimization. Running a check is free, but storing your data will cost you $49 per listing.
BrightLocal is the toolset we have chosen for our Local SEO reporting needs. On top of great reporting, BrightLocal has a suite of local optimization tools for listing optimization, citation building, and helpful review widgets. BrightLocal’s reporting is great for Local SEO because they provide ranking results for Google, Bing and Yahoo – but also for Google+ Local, Bing Local and Yahoo Local specifically. You can also obtain rankings for third party listings, which is a handy benefit for proving local SEO results. Our partnership with Connectivity is another indispensable tool for Local SEO. Creating an enhanced and verified listing in Connectivity is a great way to improve NAP consistency and build well-trusted citations.
Recommended Next Steps
Make sure that your NAP is consistent across your directory listings and social profiles.
If you haven’t done it yet, claim your Google My Business listing. Optimize your account as fully as possible. If you have multiple locations _______?
Find out if you’re listed on Bing, Yahoo!, and Yelp. If you don’t have a complete profile or presence, be sure to claim your business listing and optimize your profile.