The Importance of ‘Near Me’ Searches for Dental SEO

March 6, 2022
A person stolls through a busy city while gazing at the buildings.

When it comes to marketing a dental practice, smartphone optimization is crucial. People spend far more time on mobile devices than on their computers these days, which means they're also conducting their online searches on their phones. When a potential patient searches for a dental practice on a mobile device, the user's location is taken into account, especially with the local pack and Google Map results, making "near me" searches that seek hyperlocal results more common than ever before.

"Near Me" Searches Become the Norm For Finding Dentists

Local searches with the qualification "near me" grew 150 percent in 2017, showing significantly more growth than searches without that term, according to Think With Google. This indicates that when people search for businesses like dental practices, they prefer to view a list of results that are nearest to them, rather than simply retrieving a list of dentists in the same town or county.

Users are seeking even more granular information from types of searches, according to Think With Google data, using terms like "where to buy" and "on sale" in addition to the "near me" qualifier. This information should influence how you approach local SEO for your dental practice. Instead of "dentist near me," people may be searching phrases like, "where to get teeth whitening near me," or "Invisalign promotion near me."

Dentists Near Me: Now Hyperlocal

When prospective patients use their smartphones to look for a dental practice near them, they're often presented with a list of dentists that aren't just in their town, but in the very neighborhood where they're searching. The term we use for this is hyperlocal, and it's not just the future of local search but the future of marketing your business.

To utilize the popular website Nextdoor, users must first enter their address; they are then connected to the appropriate neighborhood based on their address and asked to submit a recommendation before searching for a (hyper-)local business near them—like a dentist.

Nextdoor searches return results that are hyperlocal to the user's chosen neighborhood. When local search resource AdviceLocal created a test account and looked for a business outside of its designated neighborhood, they could not find it in the results—only businesses in the neighborhood were shown.

We believe that hyperlocal marketing and search are critical for dental practices. We're seeing a growing number of online businesses set up in this fashion, from news websites like BubbleLife to food delivery apps. If you haven't done so already, now is the time to claim your business listing on Nextdoor and keep informed about new hyperlocal prospects for your practice.

Facebook Neighborhoods: A New Hyperlocal Concept

Facebook announced in May 2021 that it would be testing its new Facebook Neighborhoods feature in Canada. Facebook Neighborhoods, a potential competitor to Nextdoor, allows neighbors to interact and provide recommendations to each other. Residents will be able to vote for their favorite hyperlocal businesses, services, and places using popular features like polling, which will be integrated into these Neighborhood communities.

Should Facebook Neighborhoods be released in the United States, it will be critical to claim your business listing and make the most of any features offered to promote your dental practice to the surrounding community. Getting in on the ground floor will give you a leg up on other dentists in your area.

Learn More About Local and Hyperlocal Search

Dentalfone can assist you if you're feeling overwhelmed by the trend to hyperlocal and the increasing demands of local search for your dental practice. To learn more about our dental SEO services and how we can help you stay on top of your competition, contact us today.

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