Have you ever wondered why the practice down the street comes up first when you search for a dentist in your area? Have you spent a ton of money on your online presence, but somehow you’re still not showing up on page one? Google can be a little intimidating for some doctors – it’s like this All Seeing Eye that determines the fate of your dental practice. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

Getting into “The Big 3” – the top three spots on Google – today is the primary goal of any business’ marketing efforts, and is ultimately worth about $10-$20,000. If it came down to cutting a check, we wouldn’t have much to talk about here today. Google can be tricky to simplify, especially when the algorithm is constantly changing and updating. However, there are a few things you can do to help improve your ranking organically to ensure your current and potential patients are able to find you with a quick Google search.

Tip #1: Stop searching for yourself on Google.

The more you Google your practice, and then proceed to NOT click on the link for your website, the more Google will think this is not the result you were looking for, and will eventually stop showing you this result. This doesn’t mean that other people won’t find you in the top of their search results, because your results are customized to your individual browsers searching habits. Ultimately, though, excessive searching for yourself and not clicking the link will cause your ranking to drop because Google determines the result to be unwanted. If you do insist on searching for yourself, even just to check in every now and then, make sure you click on your link to tell Google you’ve found what you were looking for.

Tip #2: Reviews are Google Gold.

Today more than ever, people are relying on reviews to guide them in their decisions. From what we buy, to what we eat, to where we stay on vacation, to where we get our teeth cleaned, most people will look at reviews online before making a decision. If your goal is to rank better on Google, the best thing you can do is get more reviews. A good place to start is by simply asking your friends, family and team members. Your next best resource is of course, your happy patients. While some doctors have no problem asking patients they have rapport with for a review, others are not as comfortable with “self-promotion” and that’s okay too. Social media can be a good tool for soliciting reviews so that you don’t have to ask patients directly, although you may get a better response with a more personal approach.

At PDA | Marketing, we offer a 5 Star Review program that has proven to be one of our most successful. Our experience shows that when reviews are solicited via email, the conversion rate is low at about 8%. What’s different about our 5 Star Review program is the text feature that allows you to ask a patient for a review by texting a request to them directly following their appointment. Because of the ease of use for both your team and the patient, conversion rates skyrocket all the way up to 40-50%. 5 Star Reviews can be easily integrated directly into your website, and includes team training on how to ask patients to participate.

Tip #3: Check your listings.

Aside from your website, you may notice a host of other results that appear when you Google your practice in the form of listings and directories. There are hundreds of online directories out there that will pull your information without having to verify whether or not it is correct. It is important that you have correct listings if you wish to have a good online reputation. If you notice any listings that have incorrect information, it’s important that you contact those listing companies and request an edit, or follow the steps to claim the listing so you can edit it yourself.

PDA | Marketing Group offers Online Reputation Management to help clients navigate the ever-changing online environment. Our team of digital media experts can actively monitor and edit your listings on over 250 directories. Protecting your online identity is paramount to establishing and maintaining the quality of your Google search results.

Tip #4: Optimize your website.

The quality of your website is one of the most important factors Google uses to determine your ranking. “Google Bots” crawl your site checking for original content, keywords to rank you for, and backlinks from other authority sites, including SEO details in the backend. Your website can make or break your Google ranking.

PDA | Marketing Group provides full-service website development and management with ForeverSites™. ForeverSites™ are custom-designed by our team of web developers, graphic designers, and content writers to not only match your practice brand and culture, but to help you show up on the top of Google searches through custom content with relevant keywords, SEO, location targeting and blogging to drive traffic to your site and boost your reputation.

If you’d like a little guidance on your journey toward a better Google ranking, the experts at PDA | Marketing Group would love to share our wisdom and help you grow your practice. Contact us at PDA | Marketing Group today!