(This article is a 3 minute read)
THREE THINGS YOU’LL GET FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1. How your dental practice can appear in local search results
2. Why this isn’t as good a market as you might think
3. How to see your site the way Google does
Someone has just moved into your suburb. They need a local family dentist, being a complete stranger to the area. They whip out their mobile phone and Google “local dentist”. How do you use mobile marketing to make sure they find you?
Before I go on to explain how you can make sure they do find you, I should point out: this is a small audience to target. Of all the people who live in your town or suburb, those who don't already have a dentist are a tiny audience. Those who are so unfamiliar with the area they have to Google you is a micro audience.
No matter where you are, be it Newtown or New York, the number of new people in town looking for a dentist is miniscule. And they're probably emergency patients. Which is fine, but not always the best start to a long-term relationship. A much bigger audience is the number of people curious about all your other services.
Still, there is a market there, and if you want to reach them, you need to be sure the bridge between them and you is solid. And that bridge is your presence on Google.
So for Google (or any search engine) to know where you are, they first need to know that you exist at all. And if your website doesn't have many other websites linking to it, Google may not know you exist.
To find out if you’re in the Google index, do this simple exercise. Open a search page and type site:your-practice-web-address.com, and see what comes up. For example, if I type in site:yourblogposts.com, I see this:
What you see on this results page is what Google has in its index. If you don't see anything, you need to submit your site to Google. The process of doing that is pretty simple. It's even easier if you have a WordPress site (which will automatically create a site map for you to submit).
You can find more details about how to submit your site at Google’s search console page.
Another way you can let Google know the location of your business is to locate your business on Google Maps. This helps the search giant know you're a local business.
Google’s Add My Business website is where you start. Click on the link in that last sentence. You'll go through the easy steps to adding your business to Google Maps. It will be even quicker if you have already verified your site through the Search Console.
The good news is, those two simple steps will set you up for being visible to Google. They'll help your site start appearing in relevant search results.The bad news is, those two simple steps are also available to any of your competitors. So even though you will be visible in search results, you won't be the only dentist visible in those results. But at least you will be visible, which will be a good start.