If you are doing your own SEO, or if you have hired an agency to do it, you will want to make sure that you or they are optimizing your site for a new”er” way that people are looking for your practice online.
“Near Me” searches are on the rise – big time, and if you are not ranking for these types of searches, then you could be missing out on potential new patients. Take a look at this Google Trends graph, that shows the increase in searches in the past 3 years for the term “dentist near me”.
So how do you optimize for this terms like this? Dan Leibon did some recent research on this topic and offers some great advice on some of the specific ranking factors for this type of search:
Having a good amount of Google reviews and having local intent in your backlink anchor text are the clear winners here. However it is important to note that these aren’t magic bullets to rank for these terms, but they will certainly help.
What also is interesting is that your practice’s proximity is not necessarily a prominent ranking factor for these searches, see the screenshot below, you will see that on my search Bright Now ranks 2nd above practices that are closer to me:
So, what are you doing to try to be more visible for nearby searches? If you need some help, don’t be shy – let us help you!
Note – this post was originally written by Phil Rozek, we updated it slightly for the dental niche. If you would like a complete audit done on your website, just let us know.
Many practice owners ask us to look at every part of their local presence and show them what’s busted and how to fix it, as well as opportunities they can take advantage of. It’s what I call a local SEO audit. After doing enough audits, you see patterns. Here are the top-8 problems that we find:
Problem 1: Each service / product / treatment or other offering doesn’t have its own in-depth page. If you want to rank for it, have a detailed page on it. Most people fail to do that, partly because it’s work. Either the pages don’t exist, or each page consists of one wispy paragraph, or all the services are mashed together onto one page.
Problem 2: No or few good links. AKA backlinks, or links from relevant other sites to your website. The sites should be relevant to your location or your profession (or both), or they should be some sort of press. Not link farms or directories with “SEO” or “link” or “cheap” in the name, or Blogspot blogs, etc. They should take enough effort to earn that not every competitor and his granny will get the same links you’ve got.
Problem 3: No or few reviews from patients (and no good plan for getting them). Rankings without reviews can be worthless. You’ll want them on Google and on other sites. A good place to start is to get reviews on all or most of the sites that pop up when you search for your business by name.
Problem 4: Inconsistent business info on your local listings – AKA your “citations.” I’m talking about your name, address, phone number, and landing page URL. Those should be consistent from site to site – Yelp, Facebook, YellowPages, BBB, Angie’s List, and lesser-known but super-important sites like ExpressUpdate.com.
Problem 5: An anorexic homepage. Google and would-be patients like something to sink their teeth into. The homepage is the one page on your site that probably everyone will land on or see eventually. That’s where you should have a blurb on each of your main services / offerings (with a link to where visitors can read more). Describe your location and nearby landmarks and how to drive there. You should lay out your USP (Unique Selling Point) – the clearest reason someone should pick you over your competitor. If you’re concerned that “nobody reads,” then break it up with calls-to-action, and maybe photos or videos.
Problem 6: Lousy title tags. Especially the title tag on the landing page of the site (usually the homepage). They usually have way too many keywords (more than 2-3), and are written in a way that turns off would-be customers. Pretend you’re writing the headline to an AdWords ad: make the title tag hard to resist clicking on.
Problem 7: No name / address / phone info on the site. Every page should have your basic business info, resembling the following:
Your practice name
123 Main St.
City, state, ZIP
Problem 8: Over-optimizing the site. Having 10 links on the same page that all read the same, having every link contain your main keyword and your city, having 15 different pages that “target” different cities but are basically clones of each other…you get the idea. If it looks weird to humans, it probably looks weird to search engines.
If you would like to have a full audit done on your website, just click here and we can get it started!