For local SEO, accessibility is more crucial than ever.
Google’s local search algorithm has seen the most major modification since 2016. The “Vicinity” upgrade, which was implemented in the first week of December 2021, has already had an influence on several dental clinics’ local search engine rankings.
Some dental clinics have already been successful in optimizing their websites and business listings to rank in local packs distant from their actual clinic locations.
The modification to the vicinity could be troublesome for dental clinics that previously took advantage of the lack of focus on exact distance.
Another important change that coincides with this new focus on actual proximity is the display of the map to the right of search results rather than above search results.
The map is now a square rather than a rectangle, too. This narrowing of view could indicate that Google is looking at a smaller geographic area when users search for a dental clinic.
Start with an analysis of what key rankings your dental website might have lost in recent months. You’re likely to discover the loss of more generalized terms that were featured in question box answers, for example.
Or dental content that could benefit from additional keyword optimization, revisit your keyword lists. While, by most accounts, dentists who were keyword stuffing to claim ranking results for areas miles from their clinic will no longer succeed, you can take advantage of new opportunities to refine your local search rankings.
Ensure your Google Business Profile has accurate data Verify every dental clinic location Revise open hours as necessary Add photos to your clinic on a monthly basis Respond to any reviews posted.
Dental clinics that haven’t used keyword stuffing in their listing names but have competitors who have been likely to obtain good results. Those clinics should keep investing in local SEO while adhering to Google’s best practices.
Now some of the big dogs who monopolized local search results despite having a clinic location far away are out of the picture, which holds promise for dentists with great clinic locations.