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Hi guys, first time post- let me know if in correct place! Also I've looked around but can't find anything directly touching on the topic.

Without thinking more of it I had originally categorised my first client as both a dentist and dental clinic (they're a general dental practice in southern Spain).

Having read a few other posts, I'm starting to get the feeling this distinction is actually made for autonomous dentists (cat: dentist) and the clinics/practices which they might work for (cat: dental clinic), and therefore in order to 1) follow the rules correctly and 2) not dilute, I should have them categorised as simply a dental clinic (and possibly any specialities they have, although I could equally do this via publishing specialist dentists who work at the clinic?)

My feeling on this is that the term "dentist" is searched doubly, and the proof of this is in our Google Ads conversions. Therefore by optimising 'dental clinic' or similar, I'm possibly losing out on clients.

My big question is whether all these assumptions are correct, and if there is value in solely categorising as a dental clinic.

I also wonder whether this could be contributing to the fact that in branded search from their location they're still coming in second to a physiotherapy clinic of the same name (Clínica Silos) some 500 kilometres away in Madrid!

Hope I'm not over thinking this, and really look forward to any feedback people can offer!

Client website is Dentista en Bormujos | Clínica Silos by the way if in any way it helps.

Regards.

Jack
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hey Jack,

From our own testing we haven't seen a case where adding too many categories lowered the ranking. Of course this is only true if you are adding relevant categories. So for instance, if you are a plumber and you add plumber and electrician as categories, there is a chance that your rankings could be diluted since they are two totally different things.

Is this a sole practitioner? If it is than I think it is perfectly fine to use both categories since they are both a Dentist and a Dental Clinic. I'd say that Dentist would be the better primary category in 99% of cases.

Another tactic to help choose the primary category is to look at the top ranking listings. What are they using?

The only way to find out is to test it out though.
 
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Hey Colan!

There seems to be a real mix of Dentists and Clinics at the top, so no real insight.

In response they are a clinic with a part owner dentist, and other specialists that come in and work according to patient needs - so not a sole practitioner.

Thanks for your quick feedback, I'll test it a little and see what I get.

Regards.

Jack
 

JoshuaMackens

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Definitely go with Dentist as the primary category over Dental Clinic. Colan is right.
 

Tyson Downs

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Definitely go with Dentist as the primary category over Dental Clinic. Colan is right.

Josh, do you look at the categories of those that are ranking high in maps, or do you just automatically go with the primary category as Dentist over Dental Clinic?
 
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For what it's worth, I went with Dentist as primary originally because my Google Ads campaigns showed significantly more searches related to "Dentist" than "Dental Clinic" (almost double), with higher CTRs and conversions too.
 

onebluesummer

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Hey Jack,

From our own testing we haven't seen a case where adding too many categories lowered the ranking. Of course this is only true if you are adding relevant categories. So for instance, if you are a plumber and you add plumber and electrician as categories, there is a chance that your rankings could be diluted since they are two totally different things.

Is this a sole practitioner? If it is than I think it is perfectly fine to use both categories since they are both a Dentist and a Dental Clinic. I'd say that Dentist would be the better primary category in 99% of cases.

Another tactic to help choose the primary category is to look at the top ranking listings. What are they using?

The only way to find out is to test it out though.

This is why I love this forum!

I am going to test a maps listing stuck on page two with four category's down to one and see if it pops us!:D
 

JoshuaMackens

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Josh, do you look at the categories of those that are ranking high in maps, or do you just automatically go with the primary category as Dentist over Dental Clinic?

Great question.

I do look at the categories of those ranking but I use a large sample size. I look at the location I'm trying to rank for and check the categories in this location. I also check the locations of other big cities. I also factor in the keyword search volume. "Dentists" is the most searched term for dentists and it is likely that for "Dentists" Google will naturally rank someone with their primary category as "Dentists" over someone else with "Dental Clinic".

The reason you may be seeing "Dental Clinic" ranking in the maps is that they're ranking despite the fact that their primary category is "Dental Clinic". If they change it to "Dentist" they might jump higher in the rankings.

I think Google heavily pays attention to your categories to detect relevance. Maybe even more so though than your website (in local/maps rankings). For instance, our bankruptcy lawyers dropped 10 spots a few weeks ago overnight. I checked their listing and they had somehow been remanded to "Lawyer" instead of "Bankruptcy Lawyer" which is what we had them as. Changed it back they went right back up. That shows categories are important.

Now, what we didn't test is what would have happened if we added "Bankruptcy Lawyer" as just a secondary category. Would it have made a difference? My hunch is yes, but we didn't test it so we don't know. But I think it makes sense.

Of course, there's always the possibility I'm wrong as well :)
 
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