The title was meant to wake you up if you own a dental practice and are not on google+ yet.
By the end of this article, my hope is you will head on over ASAP and get set up on google plus, both with your profile AND your business listing, which is called Google+ Local.
As of right now, google owns the game. Most people search on google when they are looking for a local service or business, such as a dental practice.
Because of this, we need to play their game. And part of that is joining Google Plus via a gmail account. It is somewhat straight forward, but can be a little frustrating at first. Just hang in there, because it will be worth it in the end.
I want you to take a look at the image to your right.
See in the red box? That is the prominent “first page” section of google that is for businesses. See how they are ABOVE the organic (natural) rankings?
This is critical for you to grasp, as studies show people click on results that are higher on the page, and these listings are right below the google ads, which most people ignore, as they know they are ads.
Which puts them right in the site line of the visitor, therefore garnering a majority of the clicks.
There are over 200 local ranking factors to consider if you want to rank high in the coveted maps section of the first page of google.
Another critical factor with having your google+ local listing is the ability to get reviews from happy patients. Google is weighing more importance on reviews, and they are most definitely affecting rankings in both the business and natural listings.
As google builds out this entire plan, you’ll soon see how it all integrates, and how important it is to have it all in place going forward.
These reviews are not only important for rankings, but people are taking more time in researching local businesses, including dental practices, and they are definitely reading the reviews.
If you don’t have any, and your competitor does…they win! If you have negative reviews and your competitors have positive ones…they win again!
Notice my client above. He’s got 10 reviews, and nearly a perfect score…and his picture is showing because the authorship has been done correctly. FYI – he is the ONLY google+ local business listing showing a photo.
The power to affect your practice is definitely in the hands of your patients, so hopefully your “in-office” procedures are at the highest level to produce great reviews.
I know this can get confusing, but your profile is more of a personal page, but equally as important to your overall google and search engine marketing strategy. You see…your profile gives you the opportunity to link out to all your web properties like your dental website, blog, facebook, twitter, youtube, linkedin, pinterest, and any other social account you have created.
Google will see all of these links pointing out to your properties and give you a higher ranking in the search results. This is not the only strategy you should use to rank in google, but it’s an important one to say the least.
Your profile also gives you an opportunity to show more of the personal side to you so people can see your likes, interests, family and passions. This brings a “human touch” to you on the Internet. People will see you as real and someone they want to work with.
I don’t want to get too technical in this article, but in future articles I will go in much greater depth on each topic.
What authorship does is allow you to “own your content”. When google sees you author profile linked to your content, they will start building a trust in you as a top notch dentist, and this in turn will help you get your content ranked higher in google, bringing you more traffic to your website, and potential calls to your practice.
This is a client of mine ranked first page google for a great term, and notice his picture is the ONLY one on the page. That is because we have implemented google authorship, and it’s working nicely. When you see an image next to a result, you are more apt to want to click on that result.
Also google, has another link called “More By” which people can click on to consume more of the content of your website. Can you see how powerful this is? And, how given this example, no one is doing it in the dental niche?
In the dental niche, authorship is not being implemented at all (except for my clients 😉 ); which gives you a huge advantage over your local competitors. If you can be first to market with authorship, you will start to own the first page of google with your content.
I’m going to end this article now, but I hope this has opened your eyes to what google is up to with google+, and what you need to do to win over your local market. This was not meant to be a “how to” article; I’ll do that in the near future.