This is the question on dentists’ minds all over the world. Even our clients who are at the top of the Google search rankings for their most desired keyword searches are always interested in added exposure.
Do These 5 Things Now to Improve Your Local Google Ranking for Dental Searches
- Get reviews all over the Web- not just on Google
- Do regularly get reviews on Google too
- Set a goal and track outcomes for achieving new patient reviews weekly
- Update Google My Business with new photos on a regular basis
- Think of Google as another Patient Communication System
Step 1 – Reviews Around The Web
Google can tell when people are talking about you. Online reputation management is important for dental offices, but that starts by making sure that people are leaving reviews about your office on a number of profiles. This can be tricky. If you’re using systems like SolutionReach, PatientConnect, Online Practice Center, or ZocDoc, be sure that they are sending out links to more profiles than just Google. Also know that reviews that land on their corresponding proprietary websites aren’t totally devoid of value. Google sees these reviews and may display them in your Google profile as Reviews from Around the Web.
Note, Google may not really care about Facebook right now or may be having an issue with pulling in that content. At the time of this writing, it seems that Facebook reviews are only showing up for dental offices about 5% off the time. So while it’s still important to get Facebook reviews, it’s probably not as important in the minds of the folks at Google My Business.
Step 2 – Do Regularly Get Reviews On Google
Don’t misunderstand Step 1. You still need Google reviews. This should be your primary place where you send patients to post reviews about your office. Use a system like Online Practice Center to send a text message with a link where people can select a place to post a review and make sure that Google is the first option there. Only send the review request out after having verbally asked the patient for their help in posting an online review.
Step 3 – Set A Goal And Track Outcomes For Achieving New Patient Reviews Weekly
The wise saying “What is measured is improved” is true of success in online reviews. Use Online Practice Center to track your review numbers and overall online reputation.
Then, take that data and the most recent review and add it to the agenda of a weekly morning meeting. You don’t have to share it daily, but week-to-week numbers and reviews will help to keep online reviews on your team’s mind. Remember: they don’t have to ask for 5-star reviews or manipulate the patient in any way other than to ask for their help, ask if they can send a text message, and ask if they will share their feedback with your office in the form of an online review.
You can take it a step further and run a contest to incentivize your team to ask for online reviews by putting a team member’s name in a hat every time a patient they worked with submits a review. Or set goals for weekly review numbers and if the team hits the goal, celebrate as a team in some way.
Step 4 – Update Google My Business With New Photos Regularly
It would really be hard to overdo this.
- Photos of the team and patients having fun.
- Photos of beautiful before and after smiles.
- Photo of changes in seasonal decorations or updated decor.
- Doctors and team in PPE gear or getting a COVID vaccine
All of these would work very well as content posted to your Google My Business profile. Dentists should continuously post photos to Google My Business and it will send the signal to Google that you have a LOT going on. Members of Pro Impressions Marketing Group can send their photos to their account managers and we will update your Google My Business profile for you. Just keep that cell phone camera at the ready and consider setting a goal to send us 5 new photos every month. Whatever you can do consistently, let’s do THAT!
Step 5 – Think Of Google As Another Patient Communication System
All of our dental offices use some sort of patient communication system to keep in touch with patients. We send packages of content to our members who want to participate in our e-newsletter content service so that they can reach out to patients via email. Think of Google My Business as an extension of that kind of system only you’re sending out bite-sized messages.
- “We’re closed today due to snow!”
- “We have an opening tomorrow at 3pm for a hygiene appointment. Anyone?”
- “Check out Chelsey’s new smile! Gorgeous!”
These sound sort of like social media messages, and we actually do post to Google My Business as part of our social media management service. Posts can be:
- COVID-19 updates
- Offers (with an image and a start and end date)
- “What’s New” (photo and text with an optional button
- Events (ex. Promotions, open houses, seminars)
- Products (photo, product name, category such as dental hygiene, a price, and product description, with an optional button that could link to an online store)
Success with these posts or uploaded images depends less on the post itself and more on routinely posting something, so any time you would like to tell patients about something, do it with Google too!
BONUS Step 6 – Run An Ad Campaign
An ad campaign won’t directly impact local rankings directly, but getting exposure in your local community and driving local traffic to the site that will come back later organically will improve local rankings. Of course, the primary drive is to generate leads as well. Targeting your more important keyword searches with a local focus and an adequate budget is key to generating new patient leads in the short term and with a long view for your overall marketing strategy.
Another Reason For Us To Talk!
If you have an idea of what you’d like to post to Google My Business or need help with your online review process, please call us at (970) 672-1212. We’re always happy to help!