Local SEO: Troubleshooting Common Problems for Higher Local Rankings

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Local SEO is one of the best methods for both new and old businesses to grow their customer base. When done well, it can be a great way to grow your presence in the search engine and ultimately bring in new customers. When done poorly though, it can eat up lots of time for little results. So, it’s definitely important to spend some time planning to create an effective strategy.

Today we’ll look at how to properly do Local SEO, and some actionable steps to improving it right away. This article will focus on Google, Bing, and Yelp, but there are a lot of other directories that will be very similar in their requirements.

Get Listed Accurately! Get Found!

The first step is to make sure you’re signed up on the big three for local SEO. Those are Google My Business, Bing, and Yelp. These are the three most important listings as they are the ones people will use the most when looking for your service. If you’re not signed up on either one here’s how. Being signed up here is the first step, and if you haven’t already you should do so right away.

  • Make sure it’s consistent and accurate!
  • When you start getting your business listed it’s important to make sure your name, address, and phone (shortened to NAP) are correct. It’s very common for business to have these incorrect or inconsistent across various directories, and this can hurt your SEO which ultimately hurts your businesses.

    Make sure it’s consistent and accurate!

    This can be because of moving the business in the past, using an old number, or simply an auto generated entry pulling incorrect info. In any case, it’s important to fix it so that your customers have the correct info, as well as the search engines which rank your website.

    When putting together your NAP, make sure it matches what is on your site. It’s also important to make sure that the NAP on your site is HTML based and crawlable so the search engine crawlers can properly pull the info out of your site.

    Google and other search engines are constantly crawling the web with special software to index each site. This software can only read text on webpages, it can’t do things like look at images. This leads to a common issue in that many sites have their contract info embedded into an image, which the crawlers cannot see. It’s important to have your NAP and other important info in a format that let’s Google and other search engine sites properly index it.

    Overall, the key is to keep it consistently updated. It doesn’t hurt to search your practice from time to time to make sure it’s correct all across the web.

  • Did You Move?
  • Moving can lead to big problems with your NAP if not properly addressed. Many successful dentist practices need to move to a larger location, and with the move comes a long list of to-dos. This is great and a big step for the practice, but don’t forget about the SEO!

    Making part of your moving process updating your NAP. Keep a list of all the websites that list your details, and make a point to go back and update them. If people can’t find you at your new location then it’s hard to bring in new customers.

    It’s also worthwhile to double check the directories and do a quick search on yourself at regular intervals after just to make sure everything is correct.

  • Is Your Office Listed in the Right Category?
  • being listed in the correct category

    Next up, make sure the categories on your account are listed correctly. Nearly every directory listing and local business site gives you the option to label your business, so make sure yours is correctly labeled for dentistry.

    This is important as often people search by category. If you’re not listed correctly then you won’t come up when they’re searching for you. This can lead to lots of missed opportunities.

    It also greatly affects how you appear in Google’s search results. If you tag your business with the wrong category it’s likely you won’t show up for a search for “Dentists near me”, which can lead to a lot of lost patients.

    Looking for more tips that bring in more patients to your practice? Check out this article and find actionable tips you can begin using today!

    Let People Know The In-Office Experience

  • Show-Off! Add Photos
  • Another great way to show off your unique practice is through imagery. Having up to date pictures on your local listings is great to show people the people behind the business.

    Great photos are ones of your office and staff. Make sure they’re friendly and inviting, a nice picture of a smiling staff member is a great addition to your profile. It’s also a great place to post imagery for any sort of specials to let perspective clients know.

    If you’re office celebrates any holidays it’s also a great place to show off the spirit. If you decorate for Christmas, or dress up for halloween, take some pictures and show your patients a fun side!

  • Encourage Your Patients to Tell the World!
  • let people know the in office experience - reviews1

    One of the most important pieces of online social proof for any business is their reviews. Reviews show your visitors the positive experiences that your other patients have had, and are key for helping many people decide where to go. These also effect the order of results for local searches as higher rated businesses will generally appear first.

    A good way to start getting reviews is to simply let your current patients know you’d appreciate them. Signage in your office, especially near the exit, can help let your patients know where to go to give you feedback. It also doesn’t hurt to ask, and verbally remind your patients as they leave how much you’d appreciate a review.

    Once you start getting reviews, it’s also important to respond and thank people for leaving them. This builds a connection with the reviewer, and helps not only build loyalty but show others who might be reading the review how much you care about the patient experience.

    Contact us today to find out how we can get more patients into your dental practice!


    Doing effective local SEO is a great way to boost your business. Your audience is already on Google, Bing, Yelp, and more; so go where they are. A consistent local SEO strategy can pay off dividends for years to come.

    Find out how adding a blog to your website is another great way to drive traffic to your website and ultimately convert those guests into paying patients!