Nowadays, using Google to locate local businesses is the norm. When patients search for a doctor on Google, the top three GMB listings that match their criteria appear. Paid advertisements, one means for healthcare digital marketing , may also appear at the top of the list. To secure a spot in the top three, your listing must contain all the required information to meet Google’s criteria. Since Google is the preferred search engine for 92% of users, optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing is crucial for success.
Google may have already created a GMB page for you, which you should claim and verify so that you have control over the information displayed about your business. However, if your healthcare practice is not appearing in relevant searches in your area, it could be because your GMB listing is not optimized well for categorical or keyword searches.
In case you do not have a GMB listing, you must create one and take ownership, and to be chosen by patients, you must first be seen. Google has designed each section of the business profile with a specific purpose, and each section contains relevant information for Google users, such as prospective clients and healthcare partners. Filling out each section conscientiously will lay a strong foundation for your GMB profile.
Here are some tips to optimize your business’ GMB:
Set Up NAP
Establishing your NAP (name, address, and phone number) is crucial to your online presence. Google verifies the consistency of your NAP across the web to ensure your legitimacy. To avoid confusion, use the same business name on both your website and GMB listing. In the healthcare industry, it’s possible for multiple doctor listings to share the same address, and Google recognizes this and has made accommodations to better serve healthcare providers.
When setting up your GMB listing, you’ll need to choose a category from a predefined list. When selecting categories, focus on describing what your business is, rather than what it does or sells, as Google will assess the relevance of your business listing. Choose specific categories that represent your business well, and if you specialize in a particular field, select the most specific category available. If your ideal category is not available, choose the one that’s closest to what you offer.
Google’s category hierarchy can help you choose the most relevant category; be sure to choose the ones that belong to the same hierarchy to avoid confusion. If you select categories that span different fields, this can affect your online visibility.
Select one primary category and one or two secondary categories instead that describe your business accurately to maximize your chances of appearing in relevant search results. Make sure as well that the categories you choose appear on your business description and linked page and maintain consistency with your NAP information.
When you’re setting up your GMB profile, you’ll come across attributes that describe what your practice offers or does. These attributes are divided into categories such as Accessibility, Amenities, Offerings, and Planning, but the options you get will depend on the category you chose earlier. For instance, a healthcare practice will get “Accepts new patients” as an attribute, while a dental practice can include “Teeth whitening” as an option. Keep an eye out for how attributes are being used in other industries to get an idea of how they can be leveraged for your healthcare practice.
Listing the services offered is a great way to optimize a GMB listing, as it allows providers to use keywords that patients may search for. You can add your list of services either by manually entering them or using a third-party provider. Each service listed should have a brief description and price so that patients can learn more about the practice’s offerings. And aside from updating your website’s URL on your GMB listing, you should also check if your services are listed on any third-party platforms. Accurate service menus across the web help improve Google’s data collection.
Adding unique, high-quality images regularly to your profile not only showcases an active business but also boosts your SERP ranking. Include photos that accurately represent your business. For healthcare practices, a good cover photo could be a picture of your building or staff, while interior shots of your waiting and treatment rooms can help put nervous patients at ease. If you’re a physician, a professional photo of yourself is recommended over flexing poses.
Educational photos and diagrams can also help educate potential patients about your services. If you encounter issues with photos not showing up on your listing, refer to Google’s guidelines or contact customer support for assistance. Upload clear, informative photos at least once a week, too, to attract more visitors to your listing and increase your online visibility.
Reviews demonstrate to Google that your business is popular, increasing your chances of showing up in search results, and lead to higher star ratings, reflecting the true nature of the care you provide when patients leave reviews upon request.
Enhance your business profile by incorporating reviews from both current and past clients, requesting their honest feedback every time. Consistently monitor and respond to reviews, not only to show prospects your accessibility and reliability but also to uncover any areas for improvement within your team.
The “create post” feature allows you to share new offers, upcoming events, and recent updates. You can draft Google Ads directly from your GMB profile and ensure the success of your campaign by using the appropriate keywords. Although these posts may appear lower on the profile compared to other information such as business description, contact information, hours, and reviews, they allow you to showcase your recent activities to the rest of the industry, helping in your digital marketing for B2B efforts.
For any of your digital marketing needs, Legend DigiTech is here to help build your business’ online presence, client reach, and success overall. Reach us today!