Healthcare is a field that will always have a firm footing in face-to-face interactions—despite the existence of useful tools like telehealth appointments, a great deal of care simply must take place in person. That shouldn’t blind doctors to the fact that online presence is increasingly important to the success of a medical practice. One key (and free!) tool for ensuring that you show up prominently in relevant searches in your area on Google is Google My Business.
Having a basic Google Business Profile is not enough to ensure that your practice shows up when someone nearby is looking for a physician or specialist near them. You need to take control of your profile to optimize your rankings in local searches. With fifty percent of searches on Google originating as local searches, medical offices that don’t do the utmost to improve their visibility in local business and Google Maps search results risk losing out.
What is a Google My Business Page?
Setting up a Business Profile is just the first step of getting your business listed on Google. Literally, it is telling Google your business name, location, and category so they can put you on the map. Once that listing is there, people can start to interact with it, for example by leaving reviews. But if you want to have the ability to manage the information it shows, you need to claim your business by setting up a Google My Business account for the listing.
Taking the time to enhance your Business Profile through Google My Business will boost its visibility and improve its effectiveness in bringing new patients to your practice. Among the steps you can take to add value to your listing are:
Adding relevant details: A basic listing on Google contains very limited information on your business. Your account dashboard allows you to add details such as operating hours, website links, and features of your practice that will help patients understand the unique aspects of the care you provide.
Engage with your audience: A Google My Business account lets you interact with the visitors to your Business Profile. You can respond to reviews, answer questions, or even enable direct messaging. Your account also lets you publish posts to your listing, similar to posting on a Facebook page or other social media business profile.
Gain Insight: The Google My Business dashboard shows you how visitors are finding your listing, what search terms they’re using, and what actions they’re taking there. This can help you refine your content to improve your local search performance.
Why is Google My Business Important?
The content you add to your Business Profile gives the search engine information to grab onto to flag it for potential searchers. To get the best results, you need to make sure that information is up to date, targeted to the audience you want to attract, and refreshed regularly so that the content on your listing is always relevant. The goal is to make your listing as useful as possible to searchers, which will help boost its ranking in the right Google searches.
Some steps are basic, like making sure every part of your Business Profile is filled out and accurate, especially your contact information and hours of operation. Others are a little more complex but no less important, such as using relevant keywords in the material you post (such as answers to questions and responses to reviews) to help your practice rank effectively for location, specialty, and treatment focus. The result is a listing that makes it easier for potential patients to find and connect with your practice.
Among the best actions you can take to optimize your Business Profile’s impact are:
- Backlinking to your website: This step is highly important for SEO, and it points patients directly to the information you’d like them to have about your practice.
- Posting upcoming events: This is a natural way to refresh your profile’s content that adds current interest for visitors.
- Including Covid updates and telehealth information: Put information on the latest developments and access alternatives at your patients’ fingertips.
- Adding map optimization/location details: Make it as easy as possible for in-person visitors to find you by giving them all the information they need to locate and park at your office.
- Listing services and products: Describing exactly what you do is a great opportunity to get top keywords into your profile’s copy organically.
Remember, Google My Business is a FREE resource! Why not take advantage of the benefit it can have for your local online visibility?
Increasing Your Online Impact
If your office isn’t showing up in the top three of local business listings on Google, My Healthcare Marketing can help. We understand both the specialized requirements of healthcare marketing and the SEO strategies that will bring your practice into the online spotlight. We’ll position you for growth and success in the increasingly consumer-minded healthcare market. To find out how My Healthcare Marketing can kickstart your marketing campaign and get you noticed on the map, contact us here.
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