How to Use Business Citations to Build Your Practice’s Local Search Presence

How to Use Business Citations to Build Your Practice's Local Search PresenceOver 80% of consumers head to an internet search when they look for a service nearby. Will the potential patients in your neighborhood find your dental practice if they head online, or will they head to your competitor’s practice?

Citations can substantially boost your search engine rankings, making you more likely to appear near the top of a local search. How can you effectively use citations to promote your local search results?

What Are Citations?

A citation is an online reference to your business — linked or not. The best citation is one that includes your business’s name, address, and phone number; however, as Google uses citations to help evaluate the online authority of your business, even a citation with just your practice’s name is helpful with local search.

In addition to higher rankings, citations can also help to establish expertise for your business, showing you’re a valued contributor to the community.

Citations can be found in online Yellow Pages directories, local Chamber of Commerce pages, locally-focused directories, industry-focused directories, blogs, local business association pages, and more.

The top three citation sources for dental practices are,, and YouTube.

Create a Business Listing for Increased Citations

Take the time to create a Google My Business listing. Not only does it help potential patients to have trust in your business, it also helps your business list higher in Google searches related to your business, location, and more.

A Google My Business listing will also help your company show up in Google maps, Google+, and organic searches. Make sure all your listings are up to date and consistent. If you moved locations or changed your number, find any listings with the old information and update them.

Include these elements in your listing:

  • Business name
  • Address and phone number
  • Website URL
  • Description (including relevant keywords)
  • Hours of operation
  • Company contact name and email address
  • Social media links
  • Images associated with your business: your logo, pictures of your team and storefront, etc.

How to Increase Your Citations

Remember, the more places your information shows up, generally, the better your local ranking. But you don’t have to go to great efforts to increase your citations. Many actions that will increase your citations are simply good business practices.

  • Become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce
  • Join local business associations
  • Join industry-related websites and associations
  • Partner with other businesses who will vouch for you as a friend of their business
  • When you’re hiring, post the job opportunities online
  • Offer discounts or coupons online
  • Host an event, and post about it online

Direct Mail Postcards

Be strategic in your implementation of direct mail postcards. Use the same familiar logos you use in any of your citations to increase brand awareness. Send patients to your website to claim a discount, encourage potential patients to connect with you on social media, or coordinate direct mail advertising about an upcoming event with a blog post about the event.

Get Started

Check your online citations right now to make sure all the information about your business is current and contact to discover even more proven methods for attracting new patients.

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