A lot of small businesses, dental practices included, have become extremely reliant on Google Places in order to attract consumers. You cannot blame them. With the majority of consumers using the internet to find goods and services, it’s no wonder why retail establishments and service providers have taken their respective businesses online.

However, the recent changes made to Google Places with the launching of Google+ have worried dentists and small business owners alike. But by understanding the new modifications, dentists will find out that they have actually nothing to worry about.

Making Sense of Google+

Because the majority of internet users devotes two-thirds of their surfing time for social media, Google has become more ecstatic to ride this social media wave. Since launching Google+, the social media giant has garnered more than 250 million users. However, this figure still lags behind Facebook’s growth. Because of this, the social media giant has launched Google+ Local. The rationale behind this is that if internet surfers search for local businesses, they’ll be directed to the newly improved Google+ Pages and that this would be more motivation for searchers to become bigger fans of the Google+.

Knowing the Google+ Local Changes

With the new Google+ Local, Google+ has become embedded in these local pages in order to improve the search experience. If in the past, clicking on any of the flags found on the map would take you to a Google Places page, you are instead taken to a Google+ Local page. Other than the much improved user interface and more data which is supplemented with Zagat ratings, the new Google+ Local isn’t exactly a complete overhaul of its predecessor.

So how do you start your Google+ Local experience?

Claim your page. Forego this step if you have already claimed your listing. But if you haven’t yet, now is the best time to do so. Make sure to use targeted keywords when filling up your profile’s description and category type. And make sure to include pictures and your clinic’s phone number.

Maintain your page. This includes updating your listing’s content every now and then, and uploading new pictures from time to time.

Make your own Google+ Business page. Unlike the Google+ Local pages, these pages can use to target individuals that have “plussed” your dental practice.

Ask for reviews. Your ranking in search results improves commensurately according to your customer reviews. For this reason, ask for reviews from your happy patients and encourage them to make reviews for you on Google.

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