by Jamie Phillilps, DC 
Why is it important to dominate Google, or any of the search engines, today? The latest statistics answer that question. There are over one billion local searches being done every day and local Internet search is going up by 50 percent per year. 
This is big news! In fact, it is now estimated that 85 percent of adults in the United States usethe Internet when they want to learn about something and before they purchase aproduct or service. In other words, there are a lot of people out there searching and thistrend is going to continue. 
So, as a chiropractor, how are you doing on Google? Don’t know? In order for you to find out, type in the name of your city, followed by a keyword, e.g., “Miami chiropractor,” and then start searching through the results to see where you show up. This is a good starting point because it lets you know where you have to go. 
The number of practicing chiropractors will increase 20 percent over the next ten years according to the projections of The Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that the competition for the same patients is going to get even tougher. That’s why it is going to be important for you to start getting your head around this thing called “Internet marketing,” and get really good at it. Otherwise, you are going to be at a tremendous disadvantage. 
There are three ways that your website can show up on the front page of the searchengines. The first is the local search or Google maps (or Yahoo maps or Yahoo local). The next is the organic search, which is the regular search results or the results that come right underneath that little “7-pack” of addresses and map locations. The third way to get on the front page of Google and the other search engines is through sponsoredads or pay-per-click ads. It’s basically paying to get on that first page. It’s similar to paying to be in the phone book.
How can you get your business listed in the local maps? Let’s take a look at Googlemaps and a search for “Miami chiropractor.” The first thing you’ll see after you search isthe Google maps. This is called the “7-pack” or the “Lucky 7.” Each one of the pins represents one chiropractor. So, for Miami chiropractor, these seven lucky doctors are able to be on the top of the first page. Google calls these “local business listings.”Notice that it gives the website, the phone number, and a thing called “reviews.” Reviews are very important to Google. All other things being equal, the one with the most reviews wins! Optimizing your local business listing is essential if you want to beon the front page of Google maps.
In order to optimize your local business listing you will need a google account.Once you have created your account you can “claim your business.” If you are unfamiliar with how to do this, Chiropractic Masters, has put together a free 10-part video course, Ten Essentials of Chiropractic Internet Marketing.
These videos talk about the 10 essential aspects of chiropractic internet marketing, and they walk you through, step by step, how to sign upfor various accounts. One of the videos will teach you how to claim your businesslisting. 
Once you have claimed your listing, there are three vital areas you will want to focus onto optimize your listing — the description of your business, the reviews, and the webpages or citations. 
The description of your business: This is where you want to put some keywords that arerelated to chiropractic as well as “yourcity” chiropractor as part of the description. Don’t skimp on the description! The more information you give google, the better. Make it long and detailed. 
Reviews: Google gathers reviews from all over the internet so start asking your patientsto give you reviews on various sites including the Google maps site. Some popular review sites are city search, yelp, dex knows, and insider pages. The more reviews you have, the more valuable you look to Google because people are writing about you, local people are writing things about you and reviewing you. To be honest, it doesn’t even matter if you have a lot of bad reviews. Obviously, it’s not all that great for the business, but to Google reviews are reviews, and the more there are, the better. 
Web pages: Google looks for one more thing and that is the number of webpages that mention you. These can be pages from your own website, but they can also be pages across the internet that mention you along with your address and phone number. A great way to get citations is to apply to local directories. The more you add, the more important you look to Google, and the more “authority” you have. It takes time for Google to find them, but once it does, Google will add them to your business listing. 
To summarize: You want to begin your domination of the front page by getting into and moving up in the 7-pack. To do this you need to be working on these three sections for Google maps: reviews, citations, and the detail section. 
In future articles I will be covering the other two ways to get on and begin to dominatethe front page of Google, organic search and pay-per-click advertising. 
Dr. Jamie Phillips, is a chiropractic internet marketer with Chiropractic Masters, a firm that helps chiropractors dominate the internet in their towns. Besides offering free essential chiropractic marketing video courses. She and her team offer a “we do it for you” service so chiropractors can focus on what they do best, treat their patients.