If you are like most of my colleagues in medicine and dentistry, you are not aware of your Google My Business page.
Here’s a fact. Google loves to promote Google products, meaning, when patients use search terms on a “Google Search”, providers that have taken the time to enrich themselves on a ‘Google My Business” page are rewarded.
The real gem to this tool it is FREE and EASY. I explain it to my medical and dental clients this way. “Google really wants to provide value to its users when they enter search terms so websites that are authenticated, verified by snail mail, and updated with new images inside and outside the office get ranked at the top.” Let me review this more since it is so critical to help your website grow.
Prior to the launch of Google My Business, businesses created a page on Google+, Google’s social network for users to find. However, with the launch of Google My Business in 2014, Google streamlined business listings in order to provide businesses with a one-stop shop to input all of their business information.
However, if you are like most healthcare professionals, you may wonder why it is necessary for you, as a doctor or dentist, to have a listing on Google My Business. Well, the answer is simple…Google My Business makes it easy for patients to find you. Over time, Google has made many changes as to how it displays search results for patients looking for information about health-related conditions, injuries, and treatment.
Google gives preference to healthcare providers located closest to the searcher’s physical location. In order to determine which healthcare provider is closest to the patient looking for healthcare information, Google relies on the data in a verified Google My Business profile for the practice and provider.
This means that if a patient or potential patient types “Seattle dentist” into Google and you have a Google My Business account, your dental practice can appear as a top listing. If, however, you do not have a verified Google My Business profile, chances are, you will not appear in search results.
One important feature of local SEO is Google’s “3-pack.” This means that when a user searches for a type of medical practice, Google shows the top three Google My Business profiles near the user in the form of a map indicating the clinic or office location. It also displays a list of three providers with basic information, such as the name, address, phone, website, and directions.
About 60 percent of patients will click on your profile if you show up in Google’s search results, and your Google My Business page plays a key role in your ranking. Having a verified Google My Business profile for you and your practice is one of the keys to your success online.
Setting up your Google My Business page is fairly simple. All you have to do is click the “Start Now” button on the Google My Business homepage. You will be redirected to a map where you will type in either your business name or address. Once you hit “Search” you will see a list of potential matches. If your healthcare practice is not on the list, simply click on the link at the bottom of the search results to add your practice.
There are certain best practices, called the 3Cs, by following these you can optimize your page. These are:
- Completeness: You should complete every part of your profile. Do not leave any blanks, when filling out your information. This means you need to list your website, phone number, accurate business hours, and business categories. You can and should add multiple photos and videos of your practice and yourself, as well as photos of your awards and recognitions. Add every category that is listed and if you get updated pictures, repopulate them to your My Business Page.
- Correctness: If you list incorrect information, such as a wrong telephone number, incorrect business categories, or a wrong URL, your page will not show up in search results. It is especially important to have the correct address for your practice, as Google will send a verification card to your physical location. If you do not receive this card, you cannot complete your listing through the verification process.
- Consistency: This is key. If Google finds that you have entered inconsistent information, such as mismatched URLs, multiple phone numbers, or different practice names, it won’t put you in the local pack. It is important to know that if you are not in the top two to three results, you are not going to be found by patients.
So, now you know why a listing on Google My Business is critical to the success of your healthcare practice. If all this seems too much, you can contact me at IntellaHealth. I know it is hard to do it all which is why we started a digital marketing company just for healthcare providers.
IntellaHealth can help you list your practice on Google My Business, so that you show up consistently in the “3-pack” in search results. And what’s more, IntellaHealth can help you do this holistically, by integrating all of the different marketing strategies for your healthcare practice, so that your patients have no trouble finding you online.
For more information on how you can hire a digital marketing agency to help grow your healthcare practice through Google My Business and integrated marketing strategies, contact Kristine Grace DDS, MS, MBA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Kristine Grace, Jun-14-2017