If you run or manage a medical practice and have not claimed your Google My Business listing (or if you don’t have one), you are missing out on a ton of potential patients.
Google My Business can give your practice new clients and more exposure in your local area.
Luckily in this guide, I am going to show you how to set up, manage and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing for maximum exposure in Google.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a platform created by Google for you to create and manage your online business profile on Google.
When you search for local businesses, you will oftentimes see the first few results are local businesses:
These listings are Google My Business listings and this is specifically called the Local Pack. Once a GMB profile is approved it is also added to the Google Knowledge Graph and Google Maps.
Getting your medical practice featured in the local pack can give you a large amount of traffic and new patients depending on what type of practice you have.
So, now that you are familiar with what GMB is, let’s get started creating a GMB profile for your medical practice.
What You Will Need
- Website: You will need a website with your own domain to set up a Google My Business profile.
- Address: In order to prove that you do business out of your location, you will need a business address to confirm your medical practice.
- Phone number: Google identifies businesses by phone number so you will need your office phone.
- Logo & Images: To stand out, even more, you should add your logo, images of your building, office and parking lot.
Creating a Google My Business Profile
If you haven’t created a Google My Business then you need to first create a Google My Business listing.
To login or register for Google My Business, you just need to go to business.google.com. Make sure you are logged in to the Google account you want to be connected to the GMB listing.
Click Manage Now and sign in to your work email Google account.
Choose the Add Location button and then select if you are adding a single location or multiple locations. If you have multiple locations, you should read this SEO guide for multi-location medical practices.
Enter your business name to make sure you don’t already have a GMB profile. If your practice isn’t listed, then you can choose ‘create a business with this name’.
Next, you will need to choose the category of your practice. There are hundreds of different categories you can choose from like dentists, medical clinics, and a large number of others.
Don’t worry too much about the category as you can always change it later.
Now you will add your practices exact address. This must be your actual practice’s address as Google will send a postcard to verify the location.
Verifying Your GMB Profile
The last step of the wizard will allow you to add an ATTN for the postcard that they will send.
You will receive the card within 5 business days of creating your Google My Business listing.
When you get the postcard, it will give you a URL and a special code to enter at the URL provided. Once you verify your GMB listing, it will be live in Google and you can start optimizing your profile to increase the visitors and exposure.
Optimizing Your Profile
Congrats! Your Google My Business profile is now live and you can start generating leads and traffic to your website.
In order to increase the amount of exposure that your listing gets, there are a few optimizations we would recommend to increase your ranking.
Fill out your profile
The more information you add about your business, the more your listing will stand out and the better chances you have of ranking higher in Google.
Add a description, services, products (if applicable), profile short name, website URL, hours, and any other information that is allowed in GMB.
Add Logo & Images
Photos make your listing stand out and also allow people to see your practice and what it’s like on the inside.
Submit photos of the exterior, interior and even the staff of your practice and you will see big traffic growth.
To add images to your GMB profile, click the Images tab on the left navigation menu.
Create Google My Business Posts
Google My Business posts are a pretty new functionality of GMB that allow you to post news, events, products or deals and these posts show up right on your GMB profile in Google.
This can increase your listings exposure and website visits so post regular updates about news or events going on.
Its pretty simple to make a post. Just go to your GMB profile’s dashboard and you should see a button to create a post. You can also click posts in the left nav menu.
Click Create post and a dialog box will ask you a few questions about the post. First, you need to chose what kind of post it will be. Here all of the options according to Google:
- What’s new: Provide general information about your business. You can include a photo/video, description, and an action button. For example, a restaurant can make a post to promote a new menu item.
- In some countries, Google My Business may also provide automatically suggested posts based on your 4- or 5-star customer reviews. You’ll see these suggestions when you sign in to Google My Business, or through email notifications.
- Events: Promote an event at your business. Events require a title, start/end dates and time. If there aren’t start or end times, then the system will default to 24 hours on the date it’s posted. These posts may also include a photo, video, description, and an action button. For example, a bookstore may advertise a local author’s book signing or a book club meeting. Events that meet certain criteria may also show on the Overview tab of the Business Profile to make them more prominent to customers.
- Offers: Provide promotional sales or offers from your business. Offers require a title, start/end dates and times. A “View offer” action button is automatically added to the post. You can also include a photo, video, description, coupon code, link, and terms and conditions with the post. For example, a pizza parlor may advertise 20% off large pizzas for a week. Offers appear near the top of the Business Profile on Google Search and Maps. They also appear with all other posts in the Updates tab.
- Products: Emphasize a specific product your business sells. Product posts require a title and photo or video. You can also include a description, price or price range, and an action button. For example, an electronics store may promote a new phone for sale.
To create a general post, select What’s New.
Now you will need to add an image to your post and write out your post. The image should be a minimum of 400px wide by 300px tall and can be JPG or PNG format.
The title can be up to 1500 characters and can be a simple news update or even a detailed blog post about your services.
Lastly, you can add a button or CTA (call to action) to your post to increase conversions (new patients). The options you can choose from are:
- Order Online
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Call Now
So depending on the post and what action you want the visitor to take, make the relevant selection.
Then you will need to add a link that the button will take the user. This should be a page where the user can take action like to fill out a new patient form or join your newsletter.
For example, if you are running a special for a free consultation, you could use the ‘Book’ button and link to your booking (or contact) page.
This will increase the number of bookings and new patients coming into your practice!
Just make a Google My Business posting every 1-2 weeks and you will see great results.
Get More 5-Star Reviews
One of the most important factors to reach the top 3 local pack and rank above any of your competition is to have a great rating.
Google measures the number of reviews and the average reviews to rank listings in the 3-pack.
So you can see how important it is to provide quality service and get as many 5-star reviews from your patients as possible.
But how do you get Google reviews from your patients?
More Reviews with Email Newsletter
It’s a good idea to collect your patient’s email address so you can send them newsletters, announcements, and any other communication. If you already have an email list, you can simply send them an email asking for a good review on Google and then be sure to add the direct link to your GMB profile so they can easily access it.
To get the direct URL, log in to your Google My Business and go to the Home tab. You will see a link to ‘Share your Business Profile’.
This will show a popup with a custom short link you can use to share with your patients and get more reviews.
Regularly send out your newsletter and ask for a review at the bottom.
Offer a Discount for Reviews
Another great way to get more reviews is to offer a free consultation or discount for giving a review. People love free things and are usually willing to take a few minutes to write a review, for something free.
Once the reviews start coming in, make sure to review them on your GMB account page.
You can view all of your reviews in Google My Business by clicking the Reviews tab on the left.
You can even ask your patients to give you a review right in your office when they are signing out. Just have an open laptop that they can sign in and add their review.
Now that the traffic is rolling in, its time to measure the results and keep optimizing ongoing to keep your rankings up.
You can easily check your statistics in the Google My Business area.
Tyler Horvath is an SEO Expert with over 15 years of experience in search engine optimization, popular blog author and Medical SEO expert.