What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free business profile that lets you easily connect with existing and potential patients across Google Search and Maps.
Because these profiles are a Google product, a Google My Business listing is a key component of an SEO strategy. Your listing works together along with your website, social media feeds, and other online listings such as Vitals or HealthGrades, to influence your search engine ranking.
Google is striving to deliver the information users are looking for directly in the search result pages before having to click on any one result. So, the more complete and accurate your Google My Business listing is, the higher it will rank in Google search results and maps.
Not only will it help improve your search rankings, but GMB listings that are complete and accurate receive 7x more clicks than those with missing information resulting in increased traffic and patient conversions.
How to Optimize Your Listing
To get the most out of Google My Business, here are some tips to optimize your listing:
1. Create Your Listing
To create your Google My Business listing, you’ll need to verify that you are the rightful owner of the business. For most businesses, you can verify ownership over the phone, via text message, or by requesting and receiving a postcard to your address from Google. Be sure the address that you enter matches the one used by the U.S. Postal Service.
2. Fill Out Every Section of Your Profile
A complete Google My Business listing includes vital information about your practice:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
For certain industries, there may be additional fields to fill out. If your practice has multiple locations, it’s important to claim and complete profiles for each location.
3. Allow Google to publicly display your company information
When setting up your profile, be sure to check the box that enables Google’s algorithm to pull your data. Without this, your listing will not show up in search results.
4. Define your service area
Enter a geographic radius that your practice serves. This helps Google deliver search results to users that are relevant to their location or the location for which they are searching. It also means that the traffic being directed to your site is more qualified, meaning visitors are more likely to convert to patients.
5. Select your business category
Google allows you to choose from a selection of categories or create custom categories that best identify and encompass what your business does. Be sure to choose primary and secondary categories. For example, you may choose “doctor” as your primary category and “obstetrician-gynecologist” as the secondary.
6. Write a short business description
As mentioned above, a description of your business is one of the essential sections of your GMB listing. Keep this section under 750 characters and include relevant keywords if you can. If needed, use bullet points to summarize your service areas.
7. Upload visual content
In addition to text, Google My Business gives you the ability to add hi-resolution images and videos to make your listing more dynamic and engaging. To get the greatest SEO benefits, be sure to tag any visual elements with geotags and keywords in the alt text and captions.
8. Solicit customer reviews and questions
Ask patients to review your practice or business on Google, but make sure that you answer or respond to them all. This not only appears favorable to algorithms, but also to existing and potential patients.
9. Add value with Google Posts
Take your listing a step further by utilizing Google’s post feature to share short updates about your company like upcoming events, links to more comprehensive content on your website, new services you may have added or to announce a new physician has joined your practice.
If creating and managing your Google My Business listing sounds like one more thing that’s going to get buried at the bottom of your to-do list, don’t be afraid to enlist some help. As part of our monthly search engine optimization (SEO) services, the team at TargetMarket will create and optimize your listing. For more information, get in touch today!