Put Yourself on the Map

Google Maps is the most downloaded app for digital devices in the United States. It was downloaded 10 million times in its first week alone.

If you have not claimed your Google Place page, you potentially are missing out on anyone with Google Maps.

Google Maps allows a potential patient to type in the word “dentist” and have every dentist with a Google Place page show up on the map in relation to their location.

Don’t underestimate the value of this tool. U.S. mobile device users already spend more time online than those on computers.

If you want to succeed, we can help you maximize your local search results, which is what it is called when someone specifies either directly (such as inputting neighborhood, town or city in a Google search) or indirectly (such as GPS with Google maps) the local area to which they want to limit a search.

Your Google Place Page

Go to google.com/local/add. If you don’t have a Google account, create one (it’s easy).

Be prepared because entering your address may show there is already a Google Places page for you!

There are only two reasons for this:

1. Google has already created a page from aggregated data

2. Someone else has claimed the page

If your listing already exists, you can still:

  • Edit the information in the listing

  • Suspend it to stop it from appearing on Google

  • Add your business as a new listing if you realize the business you’re trying to verify isn’t yours

Most of the time, no one has fraudulently claimed your Place page and you can continue to go through the verification and optimization steps. This means you have to ensure all of the data is correct and fill out all the sections.

Creating Your Profile

This is one of the primary tips for success with local listings. Take advantage of every opportunity to supply text, images, categories (keywords) and video too!

Your Place page will have:

  • basic information

  • how to contact you

  • hours of operation

  • payment options

  • categories (keywords)

  • photos and videos

  • additional details

Basic Information

On the right side of the page where you enter your info, Google will show you a map. As you type in the details, it will actually take you directly to the map that matches the data. Use this to ensure everything looks as it should and you are presenting not only the Places image you want, but also the Maps image too. As you add details to your listing/page, you will see them instantly appear in this section.

Fill out everything to best optimize your page, and be sure you check the information against other online directories at such places as Yelp, Yahoo!, SuperPages and more. This is to ensure that the aggregators are

all using the same data and that a potential patient is not being misled by one search engine with flawed information. (You also can visit the Universal Business Listing website to see if all of the directories and sites on the Internet contain accurate data for your business. There are some fees associated with this service, but it can be quite useful and save some time.)

Categories

Tucked discreetly into the basic information area is the remarkably powerful and important categories section. Google Places views categories as the way to categorize your dental practice or to classify it by the use of recognizable and relevant terms. It usually will suggest categories that seem to be a good match. You are obliged to accept one of their options but you also can enter your own if you feel that is best. You can optimize results by adding up to five customized terms.

For example, the site gives you a list of drop-down terms from which you must choose at least one; the rest are up to you. Those remaining four categories should include your keywords used for SEO (search engine

optimization) purposes.

For instance, your dental office generates the drop-down category of “dentists,“ and you elect to have that placed as one of the categories. You can also use “emergency dentistry,” “cosmetic dentistry,” “oral surgeon,” “periodontist” and many more. Make sure; however, these categories are accurate and describe your practice correctly. It is OK if they are very specific, but never include geographical keywords in your categories.

Google’s policies view any geographic terms as a violation and can remove or block your Places page for such an infraction of the rules.

Hours of Operation

It is not surprising to know that all potential clients appreciate if you let them know when you are open! You can choose a single set of hours for each day, or choose two sets of hours (for if your office is closed for lunch).

Payment Options

Potential clients also appreciate knowing the types of payments options available before contacting your office.

Photos and Videos

Once you get into the photos and videos, you have to be ready to use every opportunity available, but also remember to update some of these items regularly too. Having an opportunity to load up to five videos (through an existing YouTube account) is just like having free advertising options. You can make videos about new services, introduce yourself as owner and highlight your staff, showcase products, even include videos of any TV commercials you have made.

The photos give the same option, and we suggest you use all 10 available spots. Failing to upload 10 images means you’re not taking advantage of the free advertising space Google gives you! In addition to these issues, keeping material up to date will help with the Google+ social network as well. This is an entity that responds to updates instantly.

For example, Hotspot, Buzz, Places, and Profiles are all integrated into Google+; any changes made to your Places page will automatically appear across the integrated sites. When you update information often and stay relevant in terms of your industry, aggregators constantly will gather and disperse this new data.

We suggest you also build links into your Places page using videos and images on your website or through articles and blog comments. This way, you are directing people to a page full of relevant data and not paying one penny to do so!

Additional Details

Use this to the fullest extent possible! It gives you up to 10 blank boxes into which you can type anything you feel would benefit your patients. For instance, you can add:

  • Facebook URLs

  • Brand names of services you provide

  • “Twilight” or “Sleep” dentistry

  • Senior Discounts

  • Better Business Bureau approved

  • Other services

It is very important to take advantage of this opportunity simply because it allows you to tell your clients anything you cannot tell them elsewhere in the Places page!

Feel free to look around our website at other topics of interest or click here to see the results we’ve achieved for hundreds of your peers across the country. When you’re ready for the best patient attraction system in the business, contact us at 888.741.1413 or click here.