With Google’s algorithm change in April, Google Maps is “it” when it comes to mobile search. This worldwide mapping application is the trusted source for finding things to do, places to eat, where to get a good haircut, and yes, even a new dentist.

Don’t Just “Show Up”
Just by existing you qualify for a listing on Google Maps. It’s free and easy and you may even already have a listing and be completely unaware of it. But just showing up isn’t good enough these days. You need to show up with a lot of conviction and a dash of panache and it’s completely up to you to make your listing as appealing as possible.

Search yourself and if your practice doesn’t yet “exist”, go to Google Places and add it. It’s just that simple. The hard part is to take advantage of all of the “free” advertising and get results that matter, new patients!

4 Ways Maximize Exposure on Google Maps

Buy an Ad
You’re still visible if you don’t, but it’s kind of like going to a concert and getting lawn seats versus spending the extra money to get some good seats where you can actually see the show. With an ad buy you’ll be pinpointed in a different color from nearby listings and who wants to blend in these days?

Choose Words Wisely
Just like any other print advertising, words matter. They matter a lot. In the case of ads on Google Maps, you get 35 characters to make a major impact. To get the most attention, offer something free or at a discount within that first ad copy such as “Zoom 20% off” or similar coupon-style post.

Keep in mind that punctuation matters too. Using all capital letters is sometimes an annoying turnoff. In the situation of map advertising it’s just easier to spot.

Describe Your Practice in Detail
The more specific you are the better. If you offer a service that not many dentists in your immediate area offer, let it be known. If someone searches specifically for a pediatric dentist or for someone who specializes in dental implants, that’s important traffic-driving information when people are looking for you online.

Encourage Reviews
Online search and social media have joined in a happy union. Well, it’s happy as long as you look the way you want to look because everyone will see it. If you get some poor reviews it can damage you for a long time coming.

Encourage happy patients to post their experiences with you. There are many ways to do this such as holding some sort of a contest. Get rid of that business card jar on your counter top where people can enter to win a free sonic toothbrush. Let it be known that by posting a review, you’ll be entered instead. You already know that patient you just saw owns a coffee shop. You don’t need their business card or contact information because you obviously already have that too. You DO need their happy reviews.

Reviews are the new key to online success. The more people who think you’re amazing, the more new faces you’ll see walk through your door.