As complicated as it may sound, SEO is basically another name for methods involved with improving sales through the enhancement of online visibility.
In order to enhance the online visibility of your practice, you must show Google that your practice is able to provide value to prospective customers so that it appears at or near the top for relevant search terms. This gets your practice out front so that people searching online will be aware of your existence, and you are not withering away on a lonely island surrounded by thriving competition.
As a practical matter, this may involve tasks like incorporating your city name and ZIP Code within content, using local websites to build links, and garnering more favorable online reviews.
The critical importance of local searches has not always been paramount in the thinking of Google. More recently, Google began acknowledging user intent when noticing that numerous searches contained geographical information.
2004 witnessed the launch of Google Local. This service provides maps and directions, as well as neighborhood listings. The following year, Google created a combination of maps and directions services incorporating satellites and SMS driving instructions. 
The service eventually evolved into enabling prospective patients with smart phones to get directions to local businesses by simply clicking on their Maps app.
By the time 2018 rolled around, local search occupied a central place in Google’s business model. They realized that the ability to search and navigate for local dentists offered great value to prospective patients.
The Benefits of Local SEO For Dentistry
It doesn’t really matter whether you are an auto shop in Albuquerque, a restaurant in Reno, or a dental practice in New Jersey, local SEO plays an essential role in developing new patients and conversions.
In today’s environment of online fulfillment, local businesses and practices are at a disadvantage by simply relying upon the usual methods. Local SEO is here to help you gain an advantage over your competition by delivering targeted traffic to your dental practice.
Investing in local SEO gives you a tremendous opportunity to be found by local prospective patients who are already highly motivated to purchase your services.
Both Google and individuals searching for needed services realize that local concerns are highly valuable. Google has an entire set of local ranking factors it utilizes to help it determine if your practice has geographical relevance to a prospective patient who is searching for the services that you provide.
Recent research has found that proximity is extremely important to local consumers, with over 90% traveling just 15 minutes or less to meet their needs. This alone should indicate the importance of local SEO.
For brick-and-mortar dental practices, a wise investment in local SEO can help in driving more patients to your practice so that you can begin increasing your revenue.
It is a fact of modern life that dental practices now have two storefronts that require management: their physical location and their digital one. Local SEO is what is going to help your digital practice stand out so that you get more patients and revenue.
What is so important about Local SEO for dentists?
Dentists normally focus on their local communities for acquiring new patients. Dentists survey the local area and focus almost exclusively on prospective patients in their close vicinity.
This highlights the importance of Local SEO, because it is wasteful spending to buy marketing to appeal to prospective patients who may live hundreds of miles away. Targeting those local prospects gives you the most bang for your marketing buck.
By optimizing for Local SEO, you are letting the major search engines know that your practice provides services to local patients, which increases your search rank and visibility. Additionally, a focus on Local SEO provides better targeting for individuals who are looking for services right now, which dramatically boosts your conversion rate.
Google also offers handy features that increase opportunities to improve visibility, such as the Maps sidebar. This little feature provides convenient contact information and public reviews, so that prospective patients can easily locate the information they need at a glance.
Optimizing your dental practice on Google, Apple Maps, and more, means that your business is no longer a lonely hyperlink island surrounded by a sea of search results. It brings the visibility of your practice right to prospective patients who are looking for the services that you provide.
Source 1: https://www.mdsdecoded.com/blog/google-local-history/