Google Places: A Game Changer in Search Results for Plastic Surgeons
While attention to SEO is as important as always for ensuring good search results there is another tool every Plastic Surgeon needs to consider. Formerly called Local Search, Google has rebranded that service as Google Places. For simplicity of use and immediate measurability Google Places may well be the single most important tool for effective web marketing on a local level.
Google Places is a search type all to itself and found on the left-hand column with other search categories on a Google search page.
The current order is Everything (a general Google search), Images, Videos, News, Shopping, and then Places. Links aren’t only visible by clicking on “Places” however. When a user makes a generalized search that Google sees as location-specific, Google Places for that area show up in the normal search pane.
This change from local search to Google Places makes such listings have a more prominent place in search results. Many Plastic Surgeon practices are noticing they are showing up further down the search results page in spite of employing excellent SEO tactics. The reason is simple; the odds are other plastic surgeons in their same local area are using Google Places effectively. If you generally were on the first page of a Google search that was local in nature, your practice may now be turning up on page two or three.
Features of Google Places
Inexpensive Advertising: For only $25 per month your listing will be highlighted on Google.com and Google Maps with a feature called “tags”. These are basically yellow markers that highlight various aspects of your practice. While these tags won’t make your listing appear any higher in a search result than normal, they do set you apart from other local plastic surgeons that are not advertising through Google Places.
Business Photos: If you are in certain selected cities Google will also provide a virtual photo shoot of your business at no charge.
Real-time Advertising Update: Promotions that you want to have immediacy can be placed as a tag quickly through Google Places. Without even clicking on your link, someone doing a search will see the special you are advertising. Coupons and specially formatted ads for mobile phones can be placed there as well.
Personalized Analytics: A personalized dashboard in Google Places reveals a number of important things about people who have found you through Google: the total number of people who found you via Google, keywords used to find you and the area in which people searching for you live, and a number of other useful tidbits of information.
Without a doubt, Google Places will be a game changer in search results for your practice once implemented. It’s simple to use, inexpensive to maximize its power, and will give you the kind of immediate results everyone hopes for in web marketing but seldom realizes.
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