For more than a decade we have performed local SEO for dentists and all types of small businesses around the country. Interestingly, for all the many changes that take place in the world of SEO there are a few constant elements that continue to reap rewards when implemented correctly. I’ll walk you through some SEO initiatives you can start working on today for your business that will improve your local search results.
1. Create individual service pages
This can be a huge difference-maker that many small businesses ignore. Dentists, for example, likely provide a wide variety of services like teeth whitening, tooth extraction, emergency dentistry, and a wide range of other services. Unfortunately, many dentists simply make a single services page and list all their services on this one page with very few details included. The problem with this is that Google wants details and specificity, just like a user does. So if someone searches for a service like “teeth whitening near me” they want to see a page that talks about a local teeth whitening service instead of a general services page or a home page. All the more reason to make detailed, targeted pages for each service.
2. Get serious about your Google My Business profile
Your Google My Business profile is what feeds Google information about your business for map listings and your Knowledge Graph Panel, or the information that shows up in the right column about a business when you search for its brand name. Here’s what ours looks like for Netvantage Marketing.
To control this information, you’ll need to claim and verify ownership through Google My Business. Just log in and follow the simple instructions and you should be good to go.
Once you’re logged in, that’s when you need to get to work to ensure all necessary information is added. Getting this information right will help you rank out in the local three-pack map listings at the top of search results when people search for your products or service. Be sure to do all the following:
- Make sure your name is listed consistently with how you list it on your website and elsewhere.
- Add a link to your website.
- Add high-quality images of your logo, office, staff, and products and services.
- Add accurate hours and update any special hours for holidays or other seasonal events.
- List your business under all relevant business categories.
- Add your business’s service area if you provide services away from your location.
- Create a profile short name so you can more easily link to your Google My Business listing.
- Add a detailed description including all the products and services you provide.
3. Get your business reviews
Most users on Google and other platforms can be swayed by the amount and quality of reviews. When you see map listings show up in Google results, it provides social proof that people are using that business and what the quality of that business is. While you could sit and wait for reviews to show up, it’s a lot easier if you help get the ball rolling. Using a tool like the review link generator tool from Grade.us allows you to generate a link that you can easily share with your customers that automatically opens up a review box for your Google listing. So, whether you’re a dentist or a carpenter, you can easily send along a follow-up email to your happy customers and ask for a review. Making this a part of your standard operating procedures will ensure a steady flow of reviews to your listing and over time improve your rankings.
While there are many more elements that go into local SEO than the ones listed here, all of these items are basically low hanging fruit that the average small business can act on in the short term to improve their local SEO results. So what are you waiting for?
About the author
Kelli Kaufman is an SEO Analyst at Netvantage Marketing, a dental SEO company with offices in Grand Rapids, East Lansing, and Denver. Netvantage has provided SEO services to clients across the country since 2008.
Also published on Medium.