We’ve been talking a lot about local SEO for dentists this quarter. We’ve talked about local content, content ideas, Apple Maps vs. Google Maps, organic search vs. paid search, how to show up on Google Maps, and what local SEO is.

We’ve even talked about local SEO on our Marketing Chairside Podcast.

Most of these marketing resources have mentioned the importance of updating your online listings but haven’t discussed it in depth. That’s what we will do today. We’ll discuss your online listings and why they’re essential in optimizing your website for local search.

Recap: Local SEO for Dentists

Local SEO may sound like a jargon term. It’s a marketing term, but it’s not one of those buzzwords dentists can write off. If you want to show up when someone searches for a local dentist, you need to understand local SEO and how to optimize for it. Here’s our definition of local SEO for dentists:

“‘SEO’ stands for search engine optimization. It’s the act of optimizing your website for organic search. Local SEO is the same, except it’s optimizing your website for local organic searches.”

If you need more of a refresher or missed our previous articles, check out What’s Local SEO for Dentists? And The Profound Benefits of Organic Search on Your Dental Practice.

What are Online Listings?

‘Listings’ and ‘citations’ basically mean the same thing. Your listings or citations are other websites that list your business under a particular category. Many times these websites have or are called an online directory. Think of it like a phonebook but online!

Potential patients can visit these websites and find your business listed under “dentist.” Or they can search online for “dentist in Long Island,” and a directory website will show up listing your dental practice as an option in Long Island. These functions have significant local SEO benefits that you may not be aware of.

Listings or citations usually have a profile of your dental practice that includes your practice name, doctor(s) name, physical address, phone number, website link, photos, services offered, and reviews.

The tricky thing about online listings is that even though you haven’t created a profile, you still might have one. Lower-level listing sites pull from larger listing sites to get your information, or information can be added by patients. Unfortunately, you’ll get a black mark on your record if any of this information is inconsistent across the internet. Google and other search engines will see the inconsistency and your reputation will take a hit. The lower practice’s reputation, the lower it’ll rank on search engine result lists. This brings us to our next point; online listings need maintenance.

Online Listings Need Maintenance

It’s frustrating that anyone can add incorrect information about your practice. You work hard on your local SEO so you can show up in local searches, only to find out that there are listings floating around hurting your reputation. We get it. But it doesn’t change the fact that these listings need updating. And after they’re updated, you’ll still need to keep an eye on them to ensure no other changes are made.

We know…”This is starting to sound like a big job!” But fear not. Since lower-level online directories get their information from larger ones, you really only need to keep the larger ones updated, and the smaller directories will follow suit.

Benefits of Listing Management

Listing management is a big part of local SEO! By keeping your listings updated and correct, you’ll reap these benefits:

  • You’ll get a back-link (a link from a reputable website to yours.)
  • Google and other search engines will have multiple resources listing your address, concreting your ‘local’ status.
  • You’ll have a consistent name, address, and phone number online, giving you trustworthy points.
  • It’s another place patients can find you.
  • Listing sites normally have a high domain rating and will appear high on search engine results pages. (And thus, your practice with it!)
  • They’re an extension of your website and social media.
  • It’s another place for online reviews to show potential patients and search engines how great you are.

How to Update Online Listings

Updating your online listings can be time-consuming, but as we’ve said, there are only a few that you need to worry about predominantly. These are Google, Yelp, Healthgrades, Bing, Apple Maps, and Facebook.

Here’s how you can update your online listings and keep track of them going forward.

  1. Head to each website and search for your practice name and your name (as the doctor.)
  2. If you see a profile that you didn’t know about, follow the steps to claim your profile. Sometimes this process can be tedious, but once it’s done, it’s done, and you’re less likely to see changes you didn’t authorize.
  3. Once your profile is claimed, add all the information you’re allowed to add. Take special care to ensure your practice name, doctor’s name, address, and phone number are consistent across all listings. If your practice has a nickname or abbreviation, don’t use it here. Write out the full name. Likewise, write out your full address and keep it exactly the same across all listing sites.
  4. Add your category and ensure it’s the same on all listing sites.
  5. Add photos.
  6. Schedule time each quarter for you or a front desk staff to check these listings and make any necessary changes.

High-Value Listings to Keep an Eye On or Create a Profile

We’ve already talked about the big ones to keep an eye on. But there are more that you may want to consider creating a profile on (or claiming an existing one) due to their popularity.

  • Google Business Profile
  • Yelp
  • Healthgrades
  • Bing
  • Apple Maps
  • Facebook
  • Instagram for Business
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Vitals
  • ZocDoc
  • WebMD
  • Yellow Pages

Pro Impressions Marketing Performs Local SEO for Dentists

We have your back if you don’t want to worry about your online listings. Pro Impressions Marketing offers listing and reputation management as part of our Pro Membership. We’ll review and regularly update your online listings on the major websites and social platforms. And as a cherry on top, we’ll respond to any of the reviews you get on these platforms, too.

Are you interested in dental marketing services with Pro Impressions Marketing? Schedule a strategy online or call (970) 672-1212. We look forward to learning about your practice and helping you get more new patients.