Orthodontist Google Map Local Pack Analysis

If you own an orthodontics practice and you are looking to increase your rank in Google local search, contact us at jwojdylo@gmail.com. We have several SEO packages that can not only help you move up in organic search, but also in the local 3 pack.

Google first released local map results in July 2014. In August of 2015, Google narrowed map search results to three spots in hopes of having a more refined search for users. There are several types of businesses that rely heavily on local map rankings for business and Internet traffic. Orthodontists are unique to Google search, because they are one of many types of businesses where the majority of their business comes directly from Google search.

Over the last several years, the way that orthodontists market their services has changed completely. Whether orthodontists are trying to reach adolescents, their parents or older customers, the best way to reach their target audience is to have a strong web presence with a website that ranks high for keywords such as “braces” and “Invisalign.”

Today, customers either find their services online or research word-of-mouth recommendations on the Internet. Either way, millions of people who are looking for orthodontics care will be looking for businesses online to find the services offered, prices, customer reviews, accreditations, and contact information. This is especially true of people that are new to an area because of relocation and are looking for services in their new hometown. This is why ranking in Google search is so important.

Even more important is ranking in Google’s local search, specifically in the top three local map search results (the local 3 pack). This is because businesses who appear in the local 3 pack will appear above organic search rankings and their contact information (directions, phone number and store hours) will appear in the listing, unlike in organic search. Additionally, the location is shown on the map and people are more likely to click on a Google map result for a service. Why? Because the Pigeon algorithm, that determines the Google map rankings, builds upon the importance of maintaining a strong website and therefore people assume the businesses that appear in the local 3 pack are the best businesses for their inquiry.

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However, as we have tested Google’s map results on our own, we have found no stable combination of factors that lead to Google’s search results, which is why it is important to have a well-rounded website. Be sure to include the following on your site:

  1. High Number of Pages – This can be achieved by a company blog where you write about the services you offer or research in the field of orthodontics.
  2. Quality Content – Quality content is the number one way Google ranks sites, so it is important to have a lot of it for your users to access.
  3. Links – Links to other pages and other pages linking back to you. (Never pay for links!)
  4. Reviews/Testimonials – People are more likely to go to a business or use a service if it has been recommended. Ask patients with good experiences to write testimonials for your website!
  5. Videos
  6. Professional Design of Site
  7. Hours of Operation – This should be easy to find on your website.
  8. Contact Information – Phone number and address should be on your front page. You will also want a separate page for feedback and for directions to your business.
  9. Accreditations
  10. Integrate Social Media – This is a great way to stay connected with your clientele!

There are many other factors that go into Google’s rankings, but this is a great start. Because Google’s local search is so valuable for orthodontists, we recommend that you enlist an SEO expert for help developing your website. If you are interested in working with an SEO expert, do not hesitate to contact us at jwojdylo@gmail.com.

Local Search Update

In January 2016 we noticed a disruption in Google’s local map rakings and this problem seems to still be persisting in several search markets that we have tested. Right now there is no consistency in Google’s map results, which we can tell because websites with a better overall web presence should be ranking higher and they are not in every market. It seems that some markets have recovered and that is why we believe Google may be testing markets for local search in order to make the search algorithm better for users.

However, if your business does rely on local map search you could be seeing a significant drop in traffic right now and there is no way to combat it. While it is our professional opinion that the current rankings will not last, here are several problems we are seeing:

We are finding that the local 3 pack is consisting of businesses that are not ranking in organic search, have no link to their website, have little to no reviews and have a poor web presence (see above). Google’s top three map results should be the best local results for each inquiry, but in the image above, where I searched “Miami Orthodontist”, it certainly is not. We have even seen in some cities that there are no map results at all for inquiries.

We will keep you updated with any changes we find in Google’s Local Search.

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