In this month’s first springy blog, we touched on three areas that we work on with medical, dental, and aesthetic clients to boost their standing in search and, more importantly, to bring in more patients. Part of what we advocated in that blog was buttoning up the practice’s Google My Business page.
But what exactly is Google My Business, and how does it work to boost your business?
Let’s get into the details of Google My Business. This applies to any business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool created by Google to help businesses show up in organic search results. This applies to search and to Google Maps. When your Google My Business account is in good order, it will help patients/clients connect with your practice. It’s completely local, which is perfect for helping patients/clients find you for the kinds of treatments, procedures, and services you specialize in.
All businesses should have a Business Profile with Google. They may simply think of this as a business listing. All that Google requires for a Business Profile is the business name, location, and category. Once Google confirms it is not a duplicate, it will create the Business Profile for that location. This is the same as adding a place to Google Maps.
The problem with simply having a Business Profile with Google is that you don’t get to manage that profile once it’s created. That profile is open to consumers to leave reviews, add photos, ask questions, and even answer questions. This can exist on its own without you, the practice/business owner, even knowing about it.
You need those management and editing capabilities if you want your Business Profile to work for you in search engine optimization and for generating potential clients. To gain that control, you need to open a second account with Google, a Google My Business account.
What does my practice need a Google My Business account?
You can be found online
Whether you’re a dermatologist, dentist, plastic surgeon, attorney, or other practice, potential patients and clients now find you online. Word of mouth may have been the way practices used to get discovered. No longer. Now potential patients and clients are finding practices online. Google My Business gets you in the game.
Let’s say you’re an orthopedic surgeon in Peoria. You have a stellar reputation in the community and with your past patients, but when someone who lives on Pierson Avenue searches online for “Knee Replacement,” he or she won’t know any of that. And if you don’t have a Google My Business account, the odds are stacked against the searcher finding you. But they surely will find another orthopedic surgeon who does have a Google My Business account.
Google My Business accounts also improve your local search engine optimization, which is critical to higher ranking in organic search.
You can keep your customers informed
Your patients and clients need to know the details about your practice. You can’t leave this up to the various online directories or RealSelf or Yelp. If you have a Google My Business account, you provide contact information, business hours, and all the other essential details. You can post updates about new treatments or services you offer or new equipment you’ve added to improve your patient care. You can post special holiday hours or closures (this was especially important during this past year!).
If you’re not in control when you only have a Google Business Profile, your summer hours may be posted where your practice is closed on Fridays, even though that’s not the case the other nine months of the year. There’s no quicker way to damage a potential patient’s/client’s trust than having the wrong hours up during the wrong time of the year. For medical, dental, and aesthetic practices, patients are considering trusting you with surgical procedures and other health issues. If you’re a legal practice, they’re considering trusting you with their potential future legal well-being.
Earn their trust
A Google My Business profile gives your practice credibility online. That’s not just empty talk: research shows that customers are 70 percent more likely to visit businesses with a Google My Business listing. Another study found businesses with complete, robust listings on their Google My Business account were twice as likely to build a feeling of trust from customers.
Trust is key to any purchase decision, but particularly those of our client practices/businesses at Advice Media. Patients are trusting you with their health, appearance, and for law practices their legal future. The trust garnered by a strong Google My Business account solidifies their trust in you.
Plus, your Google My Business account includes reviews. Research has shown that roughly 90 percent of consumers now trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations.
I’m a believer, now what?
Whether or not you know that hit song by The Monkeys, you’ll need to open a Google My Business account. We assume you already have a Business Profile with Google.
To get a Google My Business account, go to google.com/business and click “Manage now,” which will take you through the steps of creating an account.
Ah, but you’re not quite done and ready to be king of Google search and Maps. Simply creating a Google My Business account does not automatically give you access to your Business Profile. You need to “claim” it. To do so, find your Business Profile on Google Maps and then select the “Claim this business” or “Own this Business?” link on the profile. Once the process is completed your Google My Business account is connected with your Business Profile. Now you are in charge and can completely manage your Business Profile.
If your practice/business needs help figuring how to get the most out of Google My Business, we can help. If you’re a client, simply give your Advice Media rep a call and we’ll help get your account right. If you’re not a client, why not? Give us a call at (435) 575-7470 or fill out a contact form and let’s talk.