How Local SEO Benefits Your Practice

Local SEO for dentists is one of the best and successfully proven methods for practices to promote their services to patients living nearby. In this guest post, small business evangelist Sarah Saker shows how to leverage local SEO to generate more new patients.

Google presents a fast way to connect with the locals. And, if it’s used properly, your business will be able to reach a wide range of people in a short amount of time. This is especially important in the world of dental practices. It might sound uncommon to those unfamiliar with the world of dental marketing, but local SEO is quickly becoming one of the main tools used to put dental practices on the first page of search engines.

To better explain it, let’s say someone just moved to the town your dental practice is in. As they’re trying to get their affairs in order – looking for new primary care doctors, veterinarians, pharmacies, etc. – well, you can also expect for them to be looking for a new dentist. So, what will this family do? The first thing is hop on Google and search “dentists near me. ”

Upon hitting the search button, a list of several practices is going to appear with names, addresses, phone numbers, and reviews. Nine times out of ten, that patient is going to click on the very first practice that appears on that list. If your dental practice isn’t at least on the first page of suggested local dental practices, you could be in trouble. Almost 35% of all search engine traffic is local and when these searches happen, with 14% of people are looking to visit these places immediately, according to ReviewTrackers. Without local SEO, your business could miss out on a significant amount of leads and web traffic.

Why to Invest in Local SEO

First and foremost, local SEO is a strategy geared towards connecting with your local patients. It’s also more relevant for them when keeping you competitive in the marketplace. As multi-location practices and DSOs continue their growth, some patients shy away from independent practices because they just simply trust the bigger practices. The same goes for new practices working to compete with others in the community that have already established a name for themselves.

Fortunately, the use of local SEO helps you to more effectively compete with the bigger practices that have more time and money. By utilizing local SEO, you have the advantage of leveling the playing field by promoting value and quality in your brand versus bigger practices that rely on brand recognition and management. One of the biggest benefits of local SEO to potential patients is that they will find your website very quickly when doing an online search.

Now, one thing to keep in mind before even thinking about local SEO is the quality of your website. Do you have good content on your website? Is your domain name relevant to your practice? Is your website easy to navigate? All of those things are important things to consider. You don't want to invest in local SEO efforts only to drive potential patients away after visiting your site.

Entrepreneur states that it takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to your site to formulate an opinion about your business. So, you want to take the time out to make sure you have helpful and informative content, your site is user-friendly, and that your domain name is relevant to your practice. If you don’t have a domain name already, using a free domain search tool is a quick way to find relevant and available domain names.

Local SEO Creates More Leads

Lead generation is just as much of a goal for dental practices as it would be for any other type of business. And local SEO will do just that. You need to ensure you’re including specific keywords in your content because the more people read posts from your site, the higher you’ll rank in search engine results. You ultimately want to be No. 1 on the first page but if nothing at all, you want to at least be on the first page.

Local SEO Will Grow Your Practice

Most people looking for dentists are looking for the best dentists in their area. Again, they'll search, "dentists near me. "Because of that, it’s important that your practice develop a strong localized online presence to attract potential patients in the local area. Through local SEO, potential patients can easily find you because, remember, most local searches have intentions of visiting that business immediately.

Connect with Patients in the Area

The key here is making the connection with the people closest to you FIRST. Lots of dental practice feel that they need to target the larger areas first and then move on to the smaller areas. In theory, it sounds good – by targeting the larger communities first, you’ll have a larger number of leads. However, you should actually do the opposite. With local SEO, you want to reach out to the potential customers closest to you. Don't risk putting them on the back burner for the bigger practices to pick off. If you’re able to connect with them first, they won’t have a need to look elsewhere.

Enhance Your Online Reputation

Even those who know little-to-nothing about dental SEO at least know that if you’re not on the first page, you’re not doing something right. Well, that’s because people want immediacy. With localized searches especially, most people will not click on the second page. Local SEO will not only have your practice on the first page, but it will also increase the number of visitors to your website.

So what does increased traffic to your site mean? It means higher conversion rates, which means more visibility on your practice’s reputation and brand, which means more new patients. Try to get creative with your brainstorming to find different ways to increase your online presence so that your practice will be on the first page of search engines!

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