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Ch-ch-ch-changes... Changing your dental practice name online

Google hates inconsistent information. When you change your dental practice name or location this can create confusion. Your dental practice will show up on a number of places on the web regardless of whether you’ve done any marketing in the past so when you make any changes it’s important to update that information around the web.

So when you take over a practice or rebrand, how do you make sure you can still be found online?

Review your website content

Look through your whole website and make sure all old information (about a previous name, dentist or location) has been removed. You might uncover old information on the services or about us page. Nothing beats actually reading through the website, but you can also do a site search to see where the outdated information appears. Just type “site:”, your website address, and the outdated information, for example “site:optiopublishing.com Dr. Molar”. This will show you all the pages of your site with the old information. Note which pages have the old content and make a plan with your web developer to update them as soon as possible.

Claim and update your Google My Business profile

Google My Business is your most important listing online. Outside of your own website, it has the most influence on the search engine results page. Your Google My Business profile can show up in the search results, as well as the map results – so make sure the name, address and phone number on your Google My Business page is 100% accurate.

Search for your listing on Google Maps. You might see more than one listing show up. If you do, claim all of the listings and choose one to update (we’ll tell you how in the next paragraph!). For the listings you don’t update, mark them as duplicate so you only have one Google My Business listing for each practice location.

To update your listing, you must first claim the listing. When you click on the listing in Google Maps a box pops up on the left side with more information. At the bottom of that box it says “Are you the business owner?” Click that box and follow the instructions to claim the listing.

As you see, once you’ve claimed your listing, it’s pretty easy to change the information. However, the changes might take a bit of time to update. Google wants to provide the most up-to-date information possible so they do check the information you put in. Here are the business information quality guidelines to help you stay on Google’s good side: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177

Update the local ecosystem

Moz.com produces the Local Ecosystem. This shows the most important places for your website to be listed. These are the sites that others crawl – so if your information is inaccurate in one of these listings, it will trickle down to less important listings and make it hard for the search engines to tell who you are or where you’re located.

Look at the ecosystem for your country and make sure that your listing is updated with the correct name, address and phone number on the important directories. Many of the best directories require some sort of verification to make sure that you represent the business. This could be a phone call to the business number, claiming the business with an email address that uses your domain name, or through a post card mailed to your physical address. Important directories in the American Local Ecosystem:

  • Acxiom
  • Infogroup
  • Localeze
  • Factual
  • Foursquare
  • Yelp
  • Bing
  • Hotfrog
  • Citysearch
  • Yellowpages
  • Hibu
  • Superpages
  • Yahoo Local

Important directories in the Canadian Local Ecosystem:

  • Yellowpages
  • Factual
  • Industry Canada
  • Foursquare
  • Yelp
  • Bing.com
  • Hotfrog.ca
  • 411.ca
  • Ourbis.ca
  • Weblocal.ca

I know this seems like a lot of work, but it will pay off in the long run when potential patients can easily find your new brand or address.

P.S. Have you found other directories to add to the lists above? Be sure to let us know!

Jean Fraser
Jean Fraser
As the Director of Marketing at Optio Publishing, Jean is fascinated by all things related to internet marketing, including SEO, Google AdWords and Social Media Management. When not at work she can be found tearing up the dance floor.
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