Easy Ways To Optimize Google Business Profile for Dentists: A Complete Guide

May 22nd, 2024, 09:00 AM

Optimizing Google Business Profile for dental practices is a crucial — the most crucial — part of doing local SEO for dentists and dental clinics.

Whenever someone searches Google for a dentist near them, the first results they see are going to be three Google Business Profile listings, known as the Google 3-Pack. 

So, if dentists want to have a chance at appearing at the top of Google Search and Google Maps, they must fully optimize their GBP listings.

How To Optimize Google Business Profile for Dentists: Step-by-Step

  1. Claim and Verify Your Google Business Profile
  2. Update Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP)
  3. Select Relevant Google Business Profile Categories
  4. Update Business Hours
  5. Add a Website Link
  6. Add Social Media Links
  7. Add Services
  8. Select Relevant Attributes
  9. Write a Keyword-Rich Business Description
  10. Enable Online Appointment Booking
  11. Enable Messaging
  12. Upload High-Quality Photos and Videos
  13. Utilize Google Business Profile Posts
  14. Stay Active in the Q&A Section
  15. Manage and Get More Reviews

Claim and Verify Your Google Business Profile

The first step towards optimizing a dental practice's Google Business Profile is to claim the GBP listing, if you haven't done so already. You can easily do this by searching for the business on Google Maps and clicking the "Claim this business" button. Then, follow the on-screen prompts to take ownership of the listing.

If you don't see the dental practice already listed on Google Maps, you can add a new Google Business Profile for the dentist.

After claiming or adding the business to Google Maps, you will need to verify it, which is typically done via mail, phone, or video. In some cases, instant verification may be available.

Once all these steps are complete, you'll have full control over the GBP listing and can start optimizing Google Business Profile for the dental practice.

Update Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP)

A business's name, address, and phone number are important ranking factors that Google uses to determine how relevant it is to local searches.

It's important to keep this NAP information accurate and consistent across the web, including on Google Business Profile, your website, and other online directories and review sites.

So, make sure to update the dentist's business name, address, and phone number if there is any outdated information or if it is inconsistent with how it's displayed on other sites.

For example, if the full business name is "Riverside Smiles Dental Center," and that's how it's displayed on the dentist's websites and other listings, the name should be exactly the same on Google Business Profile. In other words, you shouldn't shorten it to something like "Riverside Smiles" or "Riverside Smiles Dental."

Keeping the business information consistent and accurate signals to Google that the business is real and trustworthy, increasing its chances of ranking highly in local searches. Having the exact business name on the GBP listing will also ensure it shows up when people search using the business name.

Select Relevant Google Business Profile Categories

A dentist's Google Business Profile categories are one of the most important ranking factors for Google. They tell the local search algorithm exactly what type of dental services the practice offers, allowing it to show up in all relevant local searches.

The primary category should always be the broadest one that most accurately describes the business. For example, for general dentists, the primary category should probably be "dentist" or "dental clinic." 

For more specialized dental clinics, you should select a more specific category. For instance, if the dental practice only provides cleanings, you would probably want to select "dental hygienist." Or, if the dentist only performs cosmetic procedures, you should select "cosmetic dentist." 

After you've chosen the most accurate primary category, you can add up to 10 additional secondary categories to help describe the dentist's services. These are typically going to be much more specific categories, including ones like "emergency dental service" and "dental implants provider."

Note that you should update these categories whenever anything about the dental practice changes. For instance, if the dentist adds teeth whitening services, add "teeth whitening" as a secondary category.

Update Business Hours

Like the NAP information, Google looks at the consistency and accuracy of a business's hours when determining rankings. 

In fact, "openness," or whether or not a business is currently open at the time someone performs a local search, is even a strong ranking factor for some local searches. This means that if your business hours aren't up to date, you could be missing out on a portion of search traffic when open.

In addition to ensuring that the dental practice's standard business hours are up to date and accurate, make sure to add special hours, such as holiday hours or days when the business will be closed for training or any other reason.

Add a Website Link

Choosing a dentist is an important decision, and many people will want to visit a dental practice's website  to learn more about it before booking an appointment or contacting the clinic.

So, make sure to include a link to the dentist's website in their Google Business Profile. This not only contributes to the completeness and optimization of the dentist's GBP, but can also help improve their website's local SEO.

Add Social Media Links

While social media doesn't directly affect local SEO, linking to any social media the dentist may have can help make their Google Business Profile more complete and optimized, as well as contribute to overall marketing efforts by providing another way to engage customers.

Add Services

In addition to selecting primary and secondary categories that describe their overall services, dentists can add more specific services to their Google Business Profiles to provide potential customers and Google with even more information about their business.

When users search for dental services via the Google Maps application from a mobile device, they will see an additional "Services" section on the Google Business Profile listings they find. 

Clicking on this section shows a list of all the specific services a dentist provides, describing their offerings in far more detail than is possible with the available dental service-related GBP categories.

Select Relevant Attributes

Google Business Profile Attributes appear in the "About" section of a GBP listing and describe aspects of the business not necessarily related to their services.

For example, a dental clinic might select attributes related to accessibility, such as "wheelchair-accessible entrance" and "wheelchair-accessible car park." 

Dentists may also select attributes that could make certain members of the community feel more comfortable visiting them, such as "women-owned," "LGBTQ friendly," or "gender-neutral bathroom."

In addition to providing patients with important information about a dental clinic's amenities and other characteristics, selecting as many relevant attributes as possible may help a dental practice show up in more specific local searches.

 For example, identifying the business as "women-owned" could help it appear in searches for keywords like "women dentists near me."

Write a Keyword-Rich Business Description

Google Business Profile descriptions provide an opportunity to include additional keywords on a dentist's GBP listing — the key is to do so naturally to avoid giving Google the impression that you're keyword stuffing, which can result in spam-related penalties.

Aim to write a helpful, accurate business description and look for opportunities to include relevant keywords, including local keywords, in a seamless way.

For example, if you're writing a business description for a dentist located on Broadway in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, you might write something like: "Located on Broadway, [Business Name] offers compassionate dental care in Capitol Hill, right in the heart of Seattle. Our dental services include routine dental cleanings and checkups, teeth whitening, root canals, dental extractions, and cosmetic dentistry."

This description contains a mix of general dental keywords, location keywords, and geo-modified keywords, all of which can help optimize a dental clinic's Google Business Profile to help it appear in more local searches.

Enable Online Appointment Booking

Google allows certain types of businesses, including healthcare businesses like dentists, to enable appointment booking through their Google Business Profile listings. 

To enable GBP bookings for a dental practice, you'll need to sign up with one of the available third-party providers, and it may take up to a week or so for the feature to appear on your listing.

While having online appointment booking enabled is not a direct ranking factor for Google, it can help dentists convert more leads into patients when they come across their profiles in local search results.

Enable Messaging

Messaging is another Google Business Profile feature that dental clinics can take advantage of to engage their customers, allowing them to ask questions about the business and request appointments. You can even set up automated answers to FAQs through GBP messages.

Like direct booking, having messages turned on or off doesn't directly affect your ranking in local search results, but it can have an indirect impact. 

For instance, responding promptly to Google Business Profile messages can lead to improved customer satisfaction, which can result in more positive reviews, which DO directly impact local search rankings.

Upload High-Quality Photos and Videos

Adding photos and videos to Google Business Profile listings is shown to improve customer engagement and Google recommends doing so to optimize your profile.

Add a mix of photos of the dental practice's team and both the inside and outside of the clinic, and periodically add new photos to keep optimizing the dentist's GBP listing with fresh content.

For videos, you could upload a virtual tour of the office or a promotional video of the dentist talking about their practice and services.

Utilize Google Business Profile Posts

Google Business Profile Posts allow you to showcase special offers or highlight certain aspects of your business.

For example, a dentist might add a post to their GBP listing to promote a 2-for-1 offer on teeth whitening for couples. Or, you might want to take advantage of posts to link to blog articles on the dentist's website, which could help improve local SEO for the site in addition to providing content for the Google Business Profile.

Stay Active in the Q&A Section

The Q&A section on GBP allows anyone to ask a question about the business, and anyone else, including the business itself and the general public, can answer them.

To ensure that potential customers receive the most accurate answers to their questions, monitor the Q&A section and reply to as many questions as possible, providing complete and accurate answers that include relevant keywords, if possible.

Manage and Get More Reviews

As we mentioned earlier, GBP reviews are a direct ranking factor for Google. This means that Google is more likely to rank businesses with a high number of reviews and a better average review score above competitors with fewer positive reviews.

So, in order to optimize Google Business Profile for dentists, it's important to implement strategies for getting more Google reviews. This might include sending follow-up emails to patients, thanking them for their visit and asking them to please leave a review on Google, providing a link to leave the review to make it as easy as possible.

Additionally, dental clinics should monitor their reviews and respond to all of them, both positive and negative, to demonstrate a commitment to excellent service and gather feedback that can be used to improve the business, ultimately helping them get more positive reviews that can boost their rankings down the road.

How To Optimize Google Business Profile for Dental Practices Located within Healthcare Facilities

In some cases, a dentist's office may be located within a larger healthcare facility or somewhere on a big healthcare campus. 

In these cases, all of the best practices for optimizing Google Business Profile for dentists still apply, but you'll need to follow some extra steps to optimize their dental clinic as part of a campus.

We've written a complete guide on how to optimize a campus for local search, but the most important takeaways are that you need to try and distinguish the dental practice as a separate entity from the larger facility or campus, and that you should use Google Business Profile's "Located in" feature.

In order to optimize the dental clinic's GBP listing to distinguish it as a unique entity, ensure the name, address, and phone number are as different from the main campus as possible. For example, you might add floor and office numbers to the address for a dental office located within a larger healthcare office building.

GBP's "Located in" feature simply allows you to specify that a business is located within another property, whether that's a building or a campus.


Optimizing Google Business Profile is crucial for dental practices looking to improve their local SEO and attract more patients performing relevant local searches. 

By following the steps we've outlined in this guide, dentists can ensure that their GBP listing is fully optimized and stands out in local search results.

From claiming and verifying the GBP listing to updating business information, selecting relevant categories, and adding services, there are several easy ways dentists can optimize their GBP listing. Additionally, features like online appointment booking, messaging, and regular updates with posts and photos can further enhance the listing's effectiveness.

By staying active in the Q&A section, managing and encouraging reviews, and optimizing for unique situations such as being located within a healthcare facility, dentists can maximize the impact of their GBP listing and improve their chances of appearing in the Google 3-Pack.

Overall, optimizing Google Business Profile for dental practices is a straightforward yet powerful strategy for improving visibility, attracting new patients, and growing the practice's online presence.

And remember — local SEO is an ongoing process, so it's important to track any dental practice's local rankings with Local Falcon in order to monitor performance, identify trends, and perform competitor analysis. 

Ultimately, Local Falcon allows you to refine your local SEO strategy and implement more effective optimizations, improving your rankings over time and helping you outranking competitors in the highly competitive dental industry in local search.

Try Local Falcon Today

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