Are Your Local Search Results Flying the Coop or Coming Home to Roost?

Patient Attraction Episode 218

Very few of you are running a nationwide dental practice. That means any web search in which you come up is likely to fall into the category of a “local search.” When we come back, I’m going to tell you why a change to Google’s local search algorithm could help your business. Stay tuned.

– I’m Colin Receveur and it is Friday, Sept. 19.

– Today I want to tell you about a Google change that is helping dentists who have emphasized local search.

– First, let me tell you what local search mean.

– In short, local search means that a person is looking for a product or service in a specific geographically area.

– So going to Wikipedia to find the last time the Indiana University football team made a bowl game is not local search.

– But searching for a “Minneapolis cosmetic dentist” is, because you defined the geographic area and identified a medical provider.

– So Google presents the results in a couple of different ways.

– If you search something like “McDonald’s on Broadway Louisville KY,” then the result will pop up in one box at top of the organic results.

– If you were to search a term like “McDonald’s Louisville KY,” then the results will come back in a cluster at the top of the list, though sometimes farther down the list, with all of the McDonald’s and their relevant information.

– If you were to search “restaurants Louisville KY,” you would get an even bigger list, often at the top but sometimes in the middle of the search results.

– Of course, if you were to just search “restaurants,” then you may or may not get any specific restaurants show up in your results.

– At the end of July, Google changed its local algorithm to return results more like organic searchresults.

– Search engine analysts have been studying the effects for the last several months, and here are a couple of things they have found:

– 1. Directories like Yelp are now ranking higher than they have before.

– That means when someone searches “Minneapolis cosmetic dentist,” any Yelp reviews talking about how great – or poor – a cosmetic dentist you are will likely rank higher than in the past.

– This is one of the reasons we help our clients get their patients to give great reviews online.

– Second, medical providers (which would include dentist) received a small boost in their growth in Google Places results.

– That means when someone queries “Minneapolis cosmetic dentist,” the results are about 2 percent more likely to return the complete listing for a specific dentist or dentists.

– As with most Google tweaks, this one may not be over yet.

– But to increase your chances of being found and ranked highly using local search, you should do these 3 things:

-1. Make sure your Google My Business is up to date, includes photos and targeted keywords.

-2. Get as many Yelp, Bing, Google+, etc. reviews from happy patients as you can.

-3. Use local SEO terms. If you live in a small town, just using the neighborhood may be enough.

– But if you live in a metropolitan area, using the big city name isn’t local enough. You may have to go to area of town, smaller incorporated area or even neighborhood to get good local SEO.

– If you want more ways to increase your local search ranking, you should get my book, “Attract More Patients in the Next Six Months Than in the Last Six Years.” The book is the culmination of all my marketing expertise, and it can be yours for only the $4.97 cost of shipping at

– Have a great weekend, and keep moving forward.


If you’re ready to begin getting the only result that matters from your marketing-more and better patients in your chairs - get started today and schedule your Practice Discovery Session™. They’re free to serious dentists who want to see a Patient Attraction System™ that can double or even triple their practice.