Local SEO for Doctors & Dentists Websites

Local SEO for Doctors & Dental Websites $699/mon

SEO starts with your local SEO. Applies to dentists, physicians, surgeons & healthcare practices. Important tips to get started. 

Every day in US too many dentists and doctors struggle every day to fill their calendar with patients. They have a great location, dedicated professional medical staff, proper equipment, many hard earned certifications and qualifications. They also have a nice looking Website. However what they lack is a sophisticated online marketing software and expertise. This applies to medical spas, surgeons, urgent care , primary care, mental health and dozens of healthcare practices, complete list is here. There are 4 Important aspects to understand how your medical marketing impacts your practice’s online marketing strategy:

Table of Contents:

1) Local SEO VS Organic SEO for Doctors
2) Example of dental local SEO
3) Example of medical local SEO
4) 4 Good Examples of Local SEO for Dentists and Doctors Practices
5) Promoting Your Medical Practice Getting Listed In Important Directories
6) Should I add my medical practice or dental practice on dozens of irrelevant “directories” and manage the listings?
7) Listings Management for Doctors & Dentists
8) Adding Google posts every week will also increase your local SEO
9) Local Search Engine Optimization
10) Content Marketing and Building Backlinks
11) Online Reviews
12) Free Medical Marketing Using Google Local Listing
13) Steps to create your Google local listing for your medical practice.

14) Details of GMB (Google My Business) Optimization

1) Local SEO VS Organic SEO for Doctors

Google search is extremely powerful and most important factor for your dental and medical practice’s success. Patientgain.com’s data shows that 78 percent of your online success is tied to Google as a company. Google Search for doctors is equally important. Let’s face it – patients go to Google Search to look for healthcare related services. When a patient searches for a dental or medical service – for example below :

2) Example of dental local SEO:

a patient is searching for “family dentist near me” the patient is located in Toledo OH. The top area is the Google Ads, The next area is Google Maps, the Google Listings, Google Reviews are displayed, and also link to websites. This is called Local SEO. Organic results are further down on the page. Your medical practice should show for these results for at least top 12 keywords. The more the better. Also each keyword has a different conversion rate and probability to convert. This data about conversion rate and probability to convert for each type of healthcare practice (dental, doctors, hospitals) is the secret sauce to your success. This makes the difference between high conversion and low conversion websites. It is also a highly guarded secret by online healthcare marketing experts

3) Example of medical local SEO:

a patient is searching for “DOT physicals near me” the patient is located in suburbs of So. Philadelphia. The top area is the Google Ads, The next area is Google Maps, the Google Listings, Google Reviews are displayed, and also link to websites. This is called Local SEO. Organic results are further down on the page. Your medical practice should show for these results for at least top 12 keywords.

This is a process and cannot simply be accomplished quickly. To read more details about SEO for Dentists and Doctors, learn more. To read more about online advertising for dentists and doctors, learn more.

There are over 200 directories for medical practices. Most of them have no to marginal impact on your practice. The most important business listings are 1. Google Business Page  2.  Facebook Business Page  3. Yelp Business Page.  4. Apple maps, and 5) Healthgrades and few other healthcare specific directories are also important. As a practice manager, you need to make sure that your listings are accurate and that you are posting on Google Business Page and Facebook Business Page regularly. There are several benefits of focusing on local SEO for medical practices 1) Brand awareness – you are now visible in local searches and directories  2) Increased searchability – as local SEO results are displayed on top of organic search results, hence increasing searchability of your medical practice.

The figure below outlines results from a Google Search.

4) 4 Good Examples of Local SEO for Dentists and Doctors Practices 

Local Dental SEO Example 1 : Patient Searching for “family dentist toledo oh”

Local Dental SEO Example 1 :  Patient Searching for “family dentist toledo oh”
Local Dental SEO Example 1 :  Patient Searching for “family dentist toledo oh”

Local Medspa SEO Example 2 : Potential client Searching for “med spa lake zurich il”

Local Medspa SEO Example 2 :  Potential client Searching for “med spa lake zurich il”
Local Medspa SEO Example 2 :  Potential client Searching for “med spa lake zurich il”

Local Medical SEO Example 3 : Mobile Patient Searching for “primary care near me”, patient is located in Victorville CA

Local Medical SEO Example 3 :  Mobile Patient Searching for “primary care near me”, patient is located in Victorville CA
Local Medical SEO Example 3 :  Mobile Patient Searching for “primary care near me”, patient is located in Victorville CA

Local Sleep Clinic SEO Example 4 : Patient Searching for “sleep apnea clinic near me”

Local Sleep Clinic SEO Example 4 :  Patient Searching for “sleep apnea clinic near me”
Local Sleep Clinic SEO Example 4 :  Patient Searching for “sleep apnea clinic near me”

5) Promoting Your Medical Practice Getting Listed In Important Directories

Your website is not the only place where the name of your business should be found. You need to create business listings on several essential websites with direct links back to your site. The most important directories to create a business listing on are:

As these listings are created, you would want to “manage” them also. It is not enough to just create them once.

6) Should I add my medical practice or dental practice on dozens of irrelevant “directories” and manage the listings?

We do not recommend listing your medical practice or dental practice in dozens of low-value and irrelevant directories., For example if you have medical practice or dental practice and you are listed on deep-frog, pink-pages, and many other directories like these, they will create more issues for your practice than any value from “back-links”. Also useless backlinks hurt your medical practice or dental practice, rather than help you. Only list your medical practice or dental practice on high value and reputable directories.

7) Listings Management for Doctors & Dentists

Strategy 1: Tier 1 websites must have accurate and correct information about you and your practice. This means 1) Google my business & Google maps 2) Facebook. 3) Yelp 4) Apple maps 5) Bing + Yahoo. These are so important that as a practice owner, or the digital marketing company of a practice, you should create am manage them. No need to out source to anyone else.

Strategy 2: Tier 2 websites should have accurate and correct information about you and your practice. This means 1) Healthgrades 2) WebMD 3) Vitals, and few more. These are less important, but they are still important, as they provide good back-link SEO benefits.

Strategy 3: Tier 3 websites. These sites are typically low value, high headache websites. These include hundreds of websites like pink pages, yelloo pages, white frog pages, etc. PatientGain recommends using Moz for business listings, check the pricing. We have used this tool and we recommend for those customers who would prefer to see consistent listings across multiple websites.

8) Adding Google posts every week will also increase your local SEO

In the example below, you will see that Google’s search algorithm also reads your posts. And based on content of the posts, it displays your local listing. We tested it. So you should add Google posts every week.

Adding Google posts every week will also increase your local SEO
Adding Google posts every week will also increase your local SEO

9) Local Search Engine Optimization

Many people today, when searching for services online, will use “near me” in their search phrase. For example, instead of searching for an “urgent care center,” they will search for an “urgent care center near me.” An “urgent care center” search may provide results that include definitions of urgent care centers. In contrast, an “urgent care center near me” search indicates a search engine that you are looking for businesses. In many search engines, when they provide results, there is often a “Map Pack” at the top where they list the three most relevant businesses in an area the user is searching in. Theses results are generally shown above organic search results. Appearing in the “Map Pack” should be the number one goal for your most important keywords. Many users do not look past the map results and will explore those results first before looking at organic results. If you can capture their attention there, they could skip looking at your competitors all together! To increase your local search engine optimization, your content needs to mention where you are located as well as the surrounding areas. Including your address, directions, and significant landmarks go a long way to improving your local SEO. 

10) Content Marketing and Building Backlinks

Generally, the more content you have on your website, the better. However, you should not just cut and paste fluff to boost your overall word count. Your content needs to be:

  • Unique
  • Relevant
  • Informative
  • Useful
  • Authoritative

Search engines will scan your website for these factors, and the way people visit your site will also tell search engines how useful your website is to their users. If someone spends 20 seconds on your website before moving on and then spends 5 minutes on another website, the latter site is going to appear to be more relevant. Another factor that helps in content marketing is how often you update your website. You should be regularly and incrementally updating your site with new, expanded, and fresh content.  

Backlinks are other websites that link to your website. Previously, if you could get as many links as possible, it made your website look very important. However, search engines now consider the quality of those backlinks. Five backlinks from established, well-respected websites are going to be immensely more valuable than 500 backlinks from websites that get almost no traffic and haven’t been updated in months or years. You can not always control who links to your website. If a website with a bad reputation links to your medical practice, you can disavow those links and protect your SEO rankings.  

11) Online Reviews

Online reviews are not only critical for your search results but often can make or break a medical practice when acquiring new patients. Search engines are also starting to provide search results based on the reviews businesses receive. So if you offer immigration physicals and have reviews that specifically mention this service, that will help your overall organic rankings. Unhappy patients are very motivated to leave a negative review, so it is essential to try to encourage and make it as easy as possible to leave a review for your business. Sometimes it is as simple as asking them for one by emailing them a request. Generally, the fewer clicks someone has to make to leave a review, the more likely they are to leave one.  

12) Free Medical Marketing Using Google Local Listing 

Let’s face it. Google dominates search. So most people don’t get past google’s first page of search results. It is essential to take advantage of this free resource from Google

There are 8 specific steps that you should follow and complete. In the example figure below, you will see that a patient is searching for a specific service in Bloomington IL. There are many factors responsible for this specific Google Local SEO listing appearing no 1. Among these factors, these are the most important ones: But also keep in mind, if your website does not have a good quality score, the Google Local SEO will be negatively impacted. Basically a good website and good Google local business listing for your medical practice, they go hand-in-hand.

1) Completeness of the business information

2) Number of images present and uploaded to the business information profile

3) Correlation score of the business information profile and the actual website of this medical practice

13) Steps to create your Google local listing for your medical practice.

Step 1: Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and login using your Google Email 

Step 2: If you already have a business listing for your medical practice, then go to step 3 – Else you will need to first click on the left panel “Home” – Fill out important information about your medical practice, like name, address and phone. 

Step 3: Click on 3rd tab “Info” This is where you add most of the information about your medical practice. For example, open hours, website, services and many more fields.

Step 4: Click on 7th tab “Photos” This is where you add images, photos and pictures. There are several areas within the category. We recommend at least 25 images should be added here. 

Step 5: Additional areas include: You would want to visit all of these subcategories and manage them, at least once a week. 
A. Posts
B. Reviews
C. Products
D. Services 

14) Details of GMB (Google My Business) Optimization

A Google My Business Profile is becoming an increasingly important part of the medical marketing strategy of a medical practice. A medical practice without a Google Business Profile might as well be a business without a phone number or physical address. That is how important it is to have one and have it optimized to be competitive with other practices. An optimized Google My Business Profile can dramatically improve local SEO for a medical practice. There are several ways a medical practice can improve how effective their Google Business Profile can be in promoting their business. There are several areas of a profile that many providers underutilize or do not have adequately optimized. Below are some improvements they can undertake.

Google Posts Help A Medical Practice Stand Out

An essential part of a Google Business Profile that many healthcare businesses do not use effectively is Google Posts. This allows a medical practice to communicate directly to current and potential patients from the search results page on Google. For many medical practices, it is their first chance to communicate directly with patients before they visit their website. A practice that actively uses Google Posts will stand out in search results and show current and potential patients that a practice is active and knowledgeable and can showcase its services. These things can help a potential patient choose a medical practice over a competitor. Businesses as a whole are using Google Posts with more regularity from only 17% in 2018 to now likely over 60%. There are several ways Google Posts can be used to benefit a medical practice.  

Share Updates 

If a medical practice is offering a new service, or product, or holding an event, it can be shared on a Google Post. It does not need to be a long post. Just contain the most relevant details. A medical practice could copy and paste the blurb they used for a post on any other of their social media profiles. There will not be a penalty if it is copied from somewhere else; just be sure to adjust it if you tag other people in a post. If a tweet tags the Department of Health and Human Services on Twitter (@HHSGov), that will not be linked in a Google Post, and it may be better to write out the entire name instead. Google Posts allow a medical practice to keep their target audience up to date on what is going on with them, and depending on what is posted, it may be the final thing to convince them to make an appointment at that practice.  

Google Posts Should Include Photos or Videos

Much like Facebook and Twitter, Google Posts with videos or photos will have higher engagement rates than posts without them. Potential patients feel much more comfortable making their health care decisions if they can see the faces of the people treating them. They also like to see the facility where they will be treated, including the waiting room and examination rooms. The more familiar they are with a medical practice, the easier it will be for them to make an appointment. Most medical practices will not show pictures or videos of their patients, as this would violate HIPAA unless a patient has given explicit written permission to share their image. However, medical practices can share videos and photos of their staff throughout the year when they have things to share, such as personal accomplishments or milestones. Some medical practices, like a medical spa, may have various products to showcase. These make good Google Posts as well.  

Be An Authority On Healthcare To A Target Audience 

Patients do not want to see a doctor or provider who thinks they know what they are doing but are not confident about their medical skills. They want a provider who is an expert in their field of medicine. This expertise and authority must be shared across social media channels, including Google Posts. Providers and doctors should share their knowledge on medical topics with current and potential patients. Short statements about good health tips can generally be put into posts, such as reminding people to hydrate and wear sunscreen on summer days. A blog post might be a better format for longer articles about health, like the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion. From there, the title of the blog and link to the article can be shared on a Google Post.  

People often engage more with articles that provide some sort of list or rankings. Buzzfeed has been very successful and gets a lot of engagement because they know people like these lists. Ask a provider or doctor to put together a blog post like this, also known as a listicle. Listicles are irresistible to most readers. For example, an urgent care doctor could write “Top 5 Sports To Get A Sprained Ankle,” which will list the sports and then make recommendations on what to do with a sprained ankle and when it needs to be seen by a doctor. A primary care doctor could write, “Top 3 Places To Get Tick Bites,” where they would list different environments, how to look for ticks, and then talk about the signs of Lyme disease. These kinds of blog articles shared on Google Posts can get good engagement.  

When Something Good Happens in A Medical Practice

Google posts do not have to be all about health topics, symptoms look for, and announcements about new services. They can also be friendly and fun and not be directly about healthcare. Patients will respond well to “Behind the Scenes” moments, bios about staff members, or updates in their lives. For example, if a staff member has adopted a new puppy into their life, that is an enjoyable thing to share with patients. If the puppy comes in for a visit, there could be additional pictures of doctors and staff posing with it. These heartwarming moments will add personality and a face to the people who are treating patients. 

Medical practices can post feel-good stories about their patients, but they need explicit written permission. Without this permission, a practice is violating its HIPAA protections. A practice should never post anything about a patient without their permission. Even a picture of the waiting room filled with patients is against HIPPA rules and should not be published unless a practice has permission from everyone in that picture. However, if they can get permission, a patient testimonial with an image or video can be a powerful marketing tool for a medical practice. These should be shared on Google Posts and can make a difference in convincing someone to make an appointment.  

Include A Call To Action in Google Posts

A call to action, also known as a CTA, are compelling messages letting a patient know what they should do next. Generally, these are short phrases or sentences that are at the end of a post. Some standard calls to action for medical practices include:

  • Make an appointment here
  • Call now
  • Click to learn more
  • Get more information at

Generally, these calls to action include a link for a patient to explore more or a phone number to call. These links could be to blog posts, content pages for services, or an online appointment scheduler. Using a compelling call to action can push potential patients off search results pages and onto a medical practice website and, ultimately, become a regular patients. A medical practice should experiment with which calls to action perform best with which target audience and which message they want to convey. Not all calls to action will be effective with every target audience.  

The Rest of A Medical Practice’s Google Business Profile Needs To Be Optimized

Simply creating a Google Business Profile and starting to use Google Posts is not using it as effectively as a medical practice could be. Other aspects of a Google Business Profile should be optimized to get the most out of it. Below are some areas that require attention. Remember that outside users can submit updates to Google if they think the information is incorrect. So, medical practice is well served to keep tabs on their profiles to ensure no wrong information is automatically updated. 

The Info Section Of A Medical Practice Needs To Be Filled Out

a. Categories 

This is one of the most essential sections of a Google Business Profile. The most critical information is listed here and needs to be 100% accurate. First, a medical practice needs to place itself into a category. As of 2021, almost 4,000 categories are available for businesses to select. A medical practice can select one primary category and nine other secondary categories. The primary category should best describe the business, and the secondary categories should highlight some of the services available at that location. For example, an Urgent Care Center would select “Urgent Care Center” as their primary category but would also select “STD Testing Service,” “Laboratory,” and “X-ray Lab” as some secondary categories.  

b. Address, Hours of Operation, Phone Numbers

Next, the address on a Google Business Profile must be accurate. While this may seem pretty straightforward, a medical practice can make its profile less effective by not paying attention to this spot. The address must match the address listed on a medical practice’s website. This address must include any suite or office numbers. Also, consider mentioning if the practice is inside a larger complex, like a medical center, mall, or building. Another part of this section that must be accurate is the hours of operation. These also should match the website. If there are special hours for holidays, inclement weather, or other unusual events, special hours can be set for specific days. This will automatically update a Google Business Profile on the day in question and then revert to regular hours afterward. It will also denote that those hours are “special hours” and highlight that they are not the usual hours of the practice. Finally, the phone number should be the main phone number of the practice. Additional phone numbers, like a fax or patient coordination number, can be added as well.  

c. Links Available to Medical Practices

The following section differs from other businesses on Google, but medical practices can list special links on their Google Business Profile that are available directly from a search result page. In addition to their site’s URL, they can list links to let a patient go directly to an appointment page, telemedicine or virtual care page, and information about COVID-19. Medical practices may have 3rd party vendors to handle their online appointments or telemedicine services, so these links allow a patient to go directly to those pages, skipping a few clicks need on a medical practice’s home page. This will lead to higher conversions for a medical practice.

d. Services and Attributes 

The next part of the info section for a Google Business Profile is where a medical practice can list its services. This is where a medical practice can list what services they offer their patients, along with a small blurb about what that service is. This part of a Google Business profile can be challenging to keep up to date. Google will often suggest what to add or delete based on what they think a medical practice provides. This may require a medical practice to regularly go in there and update this section for it to “stick” and be published appropriately. Unfortunately, this issue is somewhat consistent across all Google Business Profiles, so an owner should not feel frustrated that they are doing something wrong, resulting in unpublished updates.  

The final section on the info page is the “Attributes.” The attributes available for a medical practice will differ from those available for other businesses, like restaurants or auto repair garages. At the moment, a medical practice can denote:

  • If they identify as being owned by a minority part of the population
  • The level of wheelchair accessibility
  • Amenities, such as a restroom and gender-neutral restroom
  • LGBTQ+ and transgender friendly
  • COVID-19 testing availability
  • Drive through medical care
  • Whether appointments or referrals are needed
  • If there is additional language assistance available

These special attributes will be denoted on a Google Business Profile in search results and help Google display results if a potential patient is specifically looking for something like this. The highlighted attribute may help a potential patient pick a medical practice over another. 

The experts at PatientGain.com are available to help you create a high-performance healthcare website and help you optimize your Google Business Profile. Contact us today, and let us show you what we have done for other practices across the country! 

Local SEO for Doctors & Dental Websites
Local SEO for Doctors & Dental Websites

Local SEO for Doctors & Dental Websites $699/mon

SEO starts with your local SEO. Applies to dentists, physicians, surgeons & healthcare practices. Important tips to get started.