Local search is exactly what it sounds like – the ability for patients to find businesses and service providers in their local area. The rise of local search capabilities stems directly from a shift in consumer habits. Once, it was normal for patients to shop with any provider that met their needs in terms of price and shipping time.
However, today's consumers are using the Internet in different ways
More and more frequently, consumers are using the Internet for research purposes. They're looking up products and service providers in their local area, learning more about them and using that information to shop around their local area. Obviously, that has enormous ramifications for your practice. How do you take advantage of this new trend, though?
There are several ways that you can turn the new local search trend to your advantage, but one of the best (not to mention FREE) is Google Places. Places offers you the means to put more information about your practice online, through actual search results. It allows you to put in a description of your practice, using keywords, as well as a picture of your practice and a location in Google Maps.
Google Places appears first in search results
For example, if your practice was located in Mobile, Alabama and a consumer searched for "teeth cleaning Mobile," then your search results would be displayed at the top of the page. Local results truly are immensely powerful.