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Anyone who knows a little bit about promoting their website online knows about SEO and the practice of using backlinks. These are those links coming from other places on the web which suggest to Google and other search engines that your dental website is important enough to display to readers. Simply put, the more backlinks connected to your site the more prominently your website will be displayed during a local search by a potential patient.
In your Google Places page and on other local search directories there is also an opportunity to establish backlinks and yes, they are just as important here for SEO here as they are elsewhere; in fact they may be more so. If you’ve claimed your place in the local directories you know that the information you enter is totally under your control. If you put yourself in Google’s shoes you’ll undoubtedly be weary of this self-promotional material. To give your listing a bit of credence search engines therefore look for links as a way of proving you are who you say you are. Called ‘citations’ by many experts, these are links you can put in under the “Web Pages” tab in your local business listing.
Some of the things you may want to put in your local listing might include other directories so search engines can cross reference and validate your existence. These could include Chamber of Commerce links where you are a member, links from professional groups, or almost anywhere your practice can be found. These citations don’t necessarily have to be mini-testimonials for you or your practice but merely proof that you exist. If Google thinks you exist it will shove your listing up in searches by members of your local community.