Putting together a brick-and-mortar business like a dental practice is no easy job, but it’s only half the work. You also need to make sure your business is easy to find, both by prospects and search engines. The truth is, nearly all people will look for a product or service online, even if the in-person interaction happens right down the street from their house.

Local online marketing plays a key role in creating a business that is both successful and sustainable. You don’t want to reach the peak of your professional cycle and burn out. You want to build enough momentum push through, even when times are hard.

Here are some key components of local online marketing and insights on how to amplify your digital presence.

 Stand Out with Google My Business

Struggling to get new patients at your dental practice? One of the biggest ways you can stand out from local competition is through your Google My Business profile. Your very first step is to do an internet search on your business and see what comes up – there very well could be a profile that you didn’t even know existed. Ensure that your company’s information is all accurate so it’s easy for people to find and contact you. If necessary, head over to business.google.com to claim your page and make any updates or additions.

Update Online Business Directories

Phone books might be a thing of the past, but online business directories are a crucial resource when it comes to local marketing. Over time, your company information is collected and shared online, even when it’s not necessarily up to date. Bad data can lead to frustration and ultimately a bad user experience, especially when you have no idea it’s out there. Even major search engines like Google and Bing will shun you when there is a repeated case of misinformation. Double check that your business “NAP” (name, address, and phone number) match up exactly across all sites. With all this in mind, it’s extremely important that your business details are updated frequently in online business directories to boost your credibility.

Bonus tip: Contact our professionals online today to learn how your business can rank in the Google “maps” section.

Managing Online Reviews

When you’re in the key stages of development, protecting your business reputation is everything. You might not think of things like Yelp or Facebook when you’re building out your goals and strategy, but these platforms can make or break any business with enough traction. People go to review sites (i.e. Angie’s list and Superpages) all the time when they need help making a decision. Not only should you correct these sites of any errors, but you should work to address any negative feedback. You always want to appear like you’re taking an active role in your business, even if it’s just thanking someone for their 5-star review. Encourage your patients or customers to highlight their positive experience online whenever you get the chance. Or, if bad customer experience goes public, leave clear evidence that you did everything to rectify the situation. Being passive or unresponsive could cause you to lose your next lead, sale, or even loyal customer.

As a local business owner, it’s more important than ever to show up when a potential buyer goes searching for a local practice, product or service. Traditional marketing campaigns simply won’t cut it anymore because of shifting demographics and greater access to information. People today are placing their trust in feedback given online, so it’s time to break free from conventional thinking and do the work to strengthen your presence in the digital community.