In Part Two of this article series, we look at the impact for dentists due to changes in Google. As a reminder, in Part One, we discovered that Google wants searchers to stay on Google and basically, never leave.
This change is no doubt driven by Google’s increasing desire to boost profits. For example, in 2018, Google’s ad earnings were US$116 billion.
What do the search changes mean for Australian dentists?
We discussed earlier that for more and more Google searches, the ‘answer’ is displayed at the top of the results. But this is not always the case.
For most dental-related searches, people will need to go a little deeper. For example, if someone were searching for who’s the “best dentist in Chatswood” (NSW), Google won’t give a direct answer to this question. It is, after all, highly subjective.
However, what Google will do is give potential clients everything they need to make a decision and get in touch.
For the top ranked practices, Google will immediately show how many reviews the practice has had and the average rating (out of 5 stars) for the reviews.
In one of the newer changes to the search results shown by Google, searchers can filter the search results by:
- Minimum number of stars – the default is ‘4.0 and up’ but there is an option to change that to ‘4.5 and up’.
- WARNING: if the average ranking of your reviews is less than the default (4.0), you’re probably not going to show up in the results!
- Opening hours, eg. ‘open now’, ‘open Monday’ etc. Searchers don’t need to go to your website to check.
From the initial search results, a single click on one of the individual listings will take a potential client to another page (on Google) where they have access to a whole lot of other information about the practice. This includes:
- Phone number
- Website link
- Opening hours, and
- Most importantly, the average rating and contents of any reviews (if the practice has any).
Wow, this sounds a lot like the kind of information people would be wanting to get from your website doesn’t it? Exactly!
And on top of that, they’re getting an independent assessment of what the practice is like. Google just keeps adding more information and services, so searchers never have to leave the site.
To repeat, with this type of information available, for many potential clients, there’s just no need for them to leave Google to decide which practice to call.
What this means for dentists then is a strong need to get your ‘Google House’ in order. Because if it isn’t, Google is effectively standing in between you and new clients.
This subtle change from Google (providing searchers with enough information so they never have to leave Google) can have a dramatic impact on your marketing efforts. In the next article, we’ll have a look at how to boost your presence on Google.
Practice Growth Specialist, Angus Pryor, is a marketer, author and international speaker. Angus is an Amazon number one bestselling author from his recent release ‘The Dental Practice Profit System – 5 Steps To Higher Patients And Higher Profits’. He has written extensively in a range of industry publications including DentistryIQ, Australasian Dental Practice, and ADA’s News Bulletin and has been quoted on ABC, NBC and Fox TV.
Angus Pryor – Founder & CEO