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Dental SEOWebinar

SEO For Dentists Tip! Why Your Practice Isn’t Showing Up On Google Maps

By May 12, 2022May 18th, 2022No Comments

You would think that if a patient near your practice searches ‘dentist near me’ that your practices’ Google listing would show up on the first page of the Google map. It just makes sense right? If you’re the closest practice to someone searching for the closest practice, you would expect your listing to show up. Well…. watch this!

Google maps rankings are not as impartial as you might think. Watch this short video recording and see why dental SEO is vitally important to your practice growth.

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dental marketing expert

Adrian Lefler

Vice President of My Social Practice

Adrian is the Vice President at My Social Practice, an agency providing expert SEO support, social media marketing content, and strategy to dental practices.

Adrian has been involved in Google maps SEO for more than 12 years and has helped thousands of companies grow and thrive through digital marketing. Adrian and his wife Emilie have four children and live in Suncrest, Utah.

Watch The Recording

Webinar Transcript

Adrian:
Hey, Adrian, here with My Social Practice and I’m going to just do a quick video about how local SEO rankings work, okay? So there’s an algorithm in Google that takes into account three things, relevance, distance, and prominence. These are the three factors that play into how well a particular listing with rank in an area or not. Relevance has to do with what the Google My Business account. is optimized for compared to the search phrase of the person searching. Distance has to do with where the location of the practice is compared to either the search phrase or where that individual is searching from, I’ll show you some examples of these. And then prominence has to do with the strength of your Google My Business account. Is it linked properly? Is it filled out? Is it linked to your website? Is your website linked to your Google My Business account? Do you have lots of reviews? Do you get lots of reviews on an active kind of schedule? There’s a whole bunch of stuff that goes into prominence in terms of ranking.

Adrian:
Let me unpack this a little bit for you and show you how this works, because it’s really quite interesting. This is a map, a screenshot that I took of my area. Now this circle down here is where I live. I live in a place called Suncrest, which is in Utah, and this down here, this town is Draper. Draper, Utah. When you do a search for dentist in here, you’ll find that the four closest dental practices to my house is a Spangler and Tullis, they share an office, Windsor Marcus, Jeffrey T. Welch, and Matthew Smile Dental. This company right here is a staffing company and Ben Neiber is an orthodontist.

Adrian:
If I get online and I do a search “dentist near me,” you would think that one or all of these four would actually show up. What I did is I got online and I did searches for different phrases, near me searches, dental cleaning near me, dental clinic near me, best dentist near me, dentist near me, dental implants, family dentist, emergency dentist, dental crowns, and I just took a screenshot of the map. That’s what each one of these is. This is just a little screenshot of the map that showed up when I did that search. When you look at that and you start looking at all the listings, the practices that were listed, of those four practices, only one of them shows up one time. Jeffrey T. Welch right here for dentist near me and he doesn’t even have any reviews, so nobody’s going to call his office, for sure.

Adrian:
If you look and see which practice is showing up more than any other practice, there’s this company called Draper Parkway Dental, one, two, three, four, they showed up four out of the eight searches. Well, where’s Draper Parkway Dental. There’s the four that I’m close by, Draper Parkway was three miles further away than the four practices that are right by me. It’s actually 7.6 miles, where the other practices were between four and five miles away. Kind of crazy, right? Why in the world would that practice who’s three miles further away rank on when I search for dentists near me?

Adrian:
Well, this is what local SEO optimization does, is it basically helps a practice that’s farther away rank higher in the search engines. I did a little bit more investigation on this. I ran phrases with geographical terms, so the same searches. Dental clinic in Draper, Utah, which is the city we’re in rather than near me. Family dentistry in Draper, dentist in Draper, best dentist, dental implants in Draper, emergency dentists, dental crowns, veneers. He shows up seven out of the eight times when we use a geographical phrase. When you look at this and then you look at the geographical phrase searches for any of those other four practices, they don’t even show up. None of the four practices that are near me show up on the first page of any of the searches that I did. It’s quite odd how this works. We have 11 times that Draper Parkway Dental shows up and only one time does any of these four practices show up.

Adrian:
Let me show you how this works and why that happens and how you can know where you’re ranking. This is VP Dental. They are in North Carolina, north Raleigh, Carolina, they’re a client of ours, and if you were to go there and … Their practice is right here underneath that little pin, that’s where they’re located. If you were to go there and go about a half a mile west where this lady’s at right here, and you pulled your cell phone out and you searched the word dentist, which is the phrase right here, and then you looked at the Google map, VP Dental shows up second, number two, they’re on the list. But if you go a half a mile northeast and do the same search where this guy’s at, they come up 13th. They’re not ranking in a pattern, in a circular pattern. If they were, then you would rank second a half a mile all the way around your practice, but that’s not what’s happening and that doesn’t happen to anybody.

Adrian:
Here’s how you … What this brings up is a question that, well, what it should bring up for you is a question of, “Well, where am I ranking?” In order for you to figure out where you’re ranking, you’d have to go get in your car, pull your cell phone out, drive a half a mile north, east, south, and west and search dentist, and then search dental implants, and cosmetic dentists, or whatever the phrases are that you want to show up for, and then count down in the map as to where you’re at. What you’ll start finding is you’ll find, “Oh, I rank really well up here, but I don’t rank well over here.” That’s the only way for you to do it because it’s a location based result. The map shifts according to the position of the individual searching.

Adrian:
The way to do this, nobody’s going to go out and drive around town and do that, so we figured out a way to do it that’s a lot easier. We have a piece of software, excuse me, and software, basically what it does is you can put in a latitudinal and a longitudinal point. Then you can tell Google, “Run a search from this latitude and longitudinal point for this phrase.” This grid right here with all these buttons in it is 169 different searches. Right here, right in the dead center where my cursor’s at, this is number two right there. That’s where their practice is located. This is for VP Dental.

Adrian:
We ran a search using the latitude and the longitude of their practice and searched the word “dentist,” counted down and found that they were number two in the Google map. Then we went a half a mile north, a half a mile east, south, and west did the same thing, and then we kept going half a mile and half a mile and half a mile until we build this whole grid. Every single one of these little nodes is a half a mile away from each other. What you get when you do this is you get a pattern. You go, “Oh, cool. All right, so these guys are ranking on the first page about a half a mile north,” and you have to be in the top three listings to be on the first page. That’s called the Google maps three pack. It’s the three listings in the Google map on the front page. That’s where you want to be because 92% of all the searches that are done online, they find a result on the front page, they never go to the second page. So if you’re not on the front page, you’re not anywhere basically.

Adrian:
They’re ranking on the front page in six positions right here, here, here, here, here, and here. But as soon as they go beyond that, they’re not on the front page anymore. You can see down below here that they’re not ranking well below, but they’re ranking a little bit better above, and that’s because they’re in north Raleigh. If you go south, excuse me, I’ve been getting over at cold. I’m not going through puberty. If you go south, you’re going to hit Raleigh, so it’s more dense, there’s more competition there and if you go north, there’s less competition.

Adrian:
These grids will show up differently for every single practice for each keyword. The way that you rank for dentist isn’t the way that you’re going to rank for dental implants. This is their grid for dental implants. They’re not even ranking on the first page if you stood in their practice and searched dental implants. See they’re number nine, right at their own location. I’m standing in their practice and I search dental implants near me, they come up number nine, they’re not even on the front page, so this is obviously a keyword that they’ve not been optimized for.

Adrian:
The question becomes, “Well, how good can it get? What should this grid look like?” It’s different for different practices depending on the competition in your area and the density of the population around you, but here’s what they were ranking. Well, this is actually the phrase that we optimized them for, cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentist, they’re ranking number one, two, or three, there’s only a few positions in here where they’re not on the front page. The whole map they’re covered, they’re optimized. This is the opportunity for this particular practice. They should be able to rank in about a three to four mile radius around their practice for a keyword, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to get cosmetic dentistry phrases to rank for them.

Adrian:
Anyway, I wanted to show you that and unpack it a little bit, because local SEO rankings are super complicated and one of the things that I would be happy to do is run some of these reports for you. If you want, you can hold your camera up to the screen here, and if you open up your camera, it’ll take you to a little page, it’ll ask you for your name and your phone so we can get a hold of you and your email. We’ll give you a call, get the keywords you want us to run, we’ll run the reports, and then we’ll give you a call back and go over them with you. Hopefully that’s helpful and it kind of demystifies a little bit of this local SEO stuff out there. Thanks.