The new local listings updates are impacting your dental SEO
Google is famous for changing things and this year is no exception to the rule. Some of the changes are more noticeable – like, the logo (no, your eyes are not tricking you, the font is different). Others are a lot less noticeable unless you know what you are looking at. And these changes could affect local listings.
What? What? Where am I?
Here’s what happened: Google did some severe trimming on local listings, or what they call the “7-pack,” reducing the number of visible listings from seven to three. Plus a map is now visible on the search page and everything looks cleaner and crisper.
The idea was to give users a cleaner, more mobile-friendly experience, but it will definitely make being seen more of a challenge. (Though it might be a blessing for those who never ranked in the top seven before: Now when users click on “More Dentists” they get up to 20 listings!)
Addresses, phone numbers and Google+ pages have also been removed, but it is much easier to instantly see how to get to your dental website, get directions, and read reviews…
…and those reviews could be one of your most important assets!
What gets you ranked?
While it may seem on the surface to be a listings disaster, these changes might just give you even MORE of a shot at getting to the top, depending on where they are being searched. Let’s take a look at a couple of things that affect your dental SEO, and ultimately your ranking.
Rotation according to searcher’s IP address
The top placement of local listings top “packs” rely heavily on the searcher’s IP address (the specific address assigned to your computer that allows you to send and retrieve data over Internet connections) and that means that you and the guy next to you in the coffee shop could be getting completely different results for the same search. Those vacillations are super hard to track, so even if your Google ranking report doesn’t show you in the local 3-pack, you may actually be there in some searches – especially if you are in the top 20!
We can say one thing for sure – patient reviews make a big difference. People almost always read reviews before they make a purchase or choose a healthcare provider. And now, reviews are more important than ever.
Google itself says that, “Strong reviews and pictures of your business and products help your business stand out to customers online.”
And they can help you move to the top of the local listings.
All the other stuff
Of course other things help too, like a properly optimized dental website, landing pages that contain your address and other local information, and keeping all of your info the same and meticulously correct across all listings.
If you have any questions about even more ways to help your local listing get in the top 20, or if you are concerned that a listing that used to be at the top is no longer visible, please contact us for help. We can help educate and implement new, digital dental marketing strategies to get you back to the top where you belong.
Find out how to improve your rank with a free dental website SEO analysis. Request yours today.