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Long before most patients visit a dentist, they try to take a look at a map. They need to know where the office is located, and those that don’t show up rarely get contacted. If you want to literally put your dental office on the map, you need to invest in local search engine optimization (or SEO). SEO is a process that makes sure your business comes up when people search with related keywords on Google. Optimizing your website for search can increase your web and office visits dramatically.

Establishing Your Address

One of the great things about local SEO is that it requires you to use some tools that are already out there and waiting for you. You’ll need to establish your business listing with Google, which will give individuals searching for your business plenty of information. They’ll not only be able to see your practice on their maps, but they’ll even be able to look at your hours of operation and contact information at a glance.

Opening Lines of Communication

Good local SEO does more than just tell your customers about your business—it also tells them how to contact you. This means not only adding things like contact forms but also making sure that your business’ name and phone number are always prominently displayed. Given that the average user will bounce away from a website within just a few seconds if the necessary information isn’t displayed, failure to embrace these principles can cause your patients to look for help elsewhere.

Making Local Connections

A good local strategy will embrace more than just keywords, though—it will embrace making connections with other local businesses. Guest blogs on the sites of a local doctor or a link to a local orthodontist can pay huge dividends in terms of your search ranking as well as your local prominence. A huge part of local SEO is establishing your business as part of the larger community of services used by patients. 

Functioning as an Online Billboard

Finally, embracing a local SEO strategy with a digital marketing company can be seen as the equivalent of putting a billboard up on the internet. You’ll be utilizing strategies that not only point towards your own town (town + keyword) but also strategies that reach out to others in the region. Many individuals looking for dentists might be willing to drive if they know your business is relatively local, so creating a strategy that also focuses on regional availability can help to extend your business’ reach.

Local SEO can put your office on the map both literally and figuratively. A good strategy will allow you to claim a business listing and get you on mapping programs, but it’s also great for helping to establish you as a presence in the minds of your patients. If you’ve got a dentist’s office, you owe it to yourself to look at your current local SEO strategy.

Anica Oaks is a freelance writer who hails from San Francisco. When she’s not writing, she’s enjoying her time outside with her dogs. Anica recommends finding a digital marketing company to help with your SEO needs. Keep up with her on Twitter @anicaoaks.  

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