Google Maps uses (probably) hundreds of signals or ranking factors. But in the essence of simplicity, I’ve narrowed those down to these main buckets:

  • Proximity
  • Relevance
  • Credibility
  • Authority



How close is the user to the business location?

At the time of this writing, this is probably too heavily relied upon by Google Maps. Sometimes Google Maps likes to think that every business is a restaurant, and we humans like to just go to places that are nearby.


But in the case of a doctor, a really good doctor, one who is a true authority in their field (like you!), perhaps there’s signals other than proximity that would matter in Google Maps.


Alas, this is the hand you’re playing right now.


So the key for proximity is to find ways to prove your geographic significance to the search engines.

Where are your patients?

Do they take pictures from all over your service area—are those posted to your Google My Business page?

What areas of town are people coming from to get to your practice?

In what areas could patients benefit from seeing more of you?

These are not-so-hypothetical questions to ask. (If it sounds cryptic, it is a little. These are prompts we’ll use when interviewing new customers. It’s a way to tell time without having to say how the watch is made.)



This is typically the easiest concept to grasp for customers so I won’t dwell on it too much. It’s simply: does your website have the information that the patient is looking for and is it written and structured in a way that makes it easy for a robot to read and understand?


The easiest and quickest hits are making sure that the title, description and header tags are written correctly and appropriately in a blend of authenticity and a local-focused style.

  • Is the content well written?
  • Is it easy to understand?
  • Is it formatted so people actually read it?
  • Do people read it?
  • Does it make you chuckle, (or put you to sleep)?
  • Would you forward it to a patient as a resource?

All of these are questions to ask yourself.



Are you where you say you are?

Are there other internet sources of information saying that you are somewhere else?

Are others claiming to be where your business is?

The more consistency your citation (Name, Address, Phone number, Website) appears on the internet —> the more credible you business listing appears

The more credible your business listing appears —> The more likely it is that it’ll be shown with confidence in Google Maps

The more often you are shown in Google Maps —> The more patients you will have the opportunity to serve.




The simplest way to explain this is that on the whole, a big brand will have authority over the little guy. Google favors the Goliaths and you are David.

  • The Goog favors Major Newspapers over little blogs
  • The Goog favors big hospital systems over private practices

Authority matters.

So what we have to do is to show and display your authority when possible.

We need to give David a slick rock and sling.



Bonus for today (and any day you visit this post, but these are things you can do today.):

Here are a list of several edits you can make on your website today, on your own to help these factors

  • Request a review from one person using the Google review link
    Implement address and appointment schema
  • Change your homepage title tag for a single location business to include your City ST Zip
  • Install the Facebook pixel
  • Ensure GA search console is verified
  • Verify your Google My Business listing by phone
  • Check and verify your Apple maps listing
  • Check and verify your Yelp listing

Do it.