Chances are your practice currently has a Google My Business listing. However, if you haven’t fully completed your profile or don’t have key features enabled, you’re missing out.
Google My Business is a snapshot of your business that includes your website, phone number, location and address, and information about the services you provide. It’s critical that you keep it updated to ensure clear communication with your patients and new online visitors.
What are the best Google My Business features for doctors? And how do you list your medical practice on Google? Here’s some advice to help you harness the power of Google My Business to promote your practice.
6 ways to enhance your Google My Business presence
Take your online presence to the next level and get discovered by more prospective patients using search engines. Explore these 6 Google My Business features for doctors.
1. Fill in as much information as possible about your practice
Three out of four patients have reported searching online for information about a doctor, dentist, or medical professional. The majority of those searches are happening on Google. In the United States, Google has just under 88 percent of the search engine market share, according to statcounter.
A Google My Business listing for healthcare practices is valuable real estate. Make sure all the information on your profile is not only accurate, but complete. Every now and then, take the time to update your office hours, services, and photos to stay active. Make sure to also add your business category. Once you choose your main category, Google will prompt you to choose category-specific features, which will make your profile more visible and resourceful for new visitors.
With an optimized Google My Business listing, patients will find you easily, have access to your website, view your photos, services and reviews, and potentially book an appointment. Having a complete Google My Business listing is a simple way to convert potential new patients that discovered your listing while searching online.
2. Allow online appointment booking
Ninety-four percent of people say they would be more likely to choose a new service provider if the business offered online scheduling, according to GetApp. And to provide a positive patient experience, your website isn’t the only place to make sure you have an online appointment booking system.
Google My Business allows patients to make an appointment directly from the search engine listing. Simply link your existing scheduling service — or choose one through Google — to your Google My Business account, and start receiving bookings.
As a bonus, popular Google products — i.e. Google Maps, Calendar, and automatic reminders — are already integrated with the scheduling feature. This helps patients remember their appointment, reducing the number of no-shows for your medical practice. Plus, with Google My Business Insights, you can learn more about your online visitors and where to make adjustments to your online presence.
3. Enable questions and answers
When patients have questions, Google My Business gives them a space to ask them on your listing. It may surprise you that more than 90 percent of Google questions are left unanswered, according to Search Engine Land. Making sure you enable questions, and answering them will help you stand out from other private practices online.
Responding to questions allows you to connect with prospects and ensures that patients receive accurate and reliable information. Your responses will provide a consistent positive patient experience and ensure your medical practice is shown in the best light. You can even add frequently asked questions to your listing and highlight top responses.
4. Request patient reviews
More than just an online directory, patients can review your practice on Google. Reviews are prominently displayed next to your Google My Business listing in Maps and Search.
The reviews within your listing become some of the most critical assets on your Google My Business page. When choosing a healthcare provider, 74 percent of patients told us that they find online reviews very or extremely important. The majority of people (69.3 percent) cited Google as the website they’re most likely to look for reviews of healthcare providers.
Therefore, politely requesting satisfied patients to write reviews can seriously enhance your profile for browsing online visitors. Showcasing reviews builds trust and can accelerate a new online visitor’s decision-making process.
Make it easy for patients to share feedback and tell others about their positive experience. Following patient visits, send them an automated survey to give them an opportunity to share their patient experience. Patients who are asked for feedback are 2.3 times more likely to post a public review. Plus, feedback helps you understand what you’re doing well and identify areas of improvement to satisfy patients.
5. Add photos and videos
People want to see what the interior and exterior of your practice look like, so make it easy for them by adding these assets to your profile. Including photos in your Google My Business listing is good for search engine optimization since Google is advancing image recognition and including images in their queries, according to Wordstream. Plus photos make your profile trustworthy and engaging. With photos, you’re able to show patients what it’s like to visit your office.
Google recommends adding a photo of your logo, a cover photo that best represents your private practice, and other photos that highlight features of your business that help customers make purchase decisions — i.e. staff, products, and services. The search engine also advises including a photo of the exterior of your building, so patients can find your physical location easily. Make sure your backgrounds have good lighting, and you have high-quality pictures that represent your business attributes.
6. Use Google Posts
Engage current and potential patients by using Google Posts. This feature allows you to publish offers, events, products, and services directly onto Google Search and Maps and enhances your online presence.
Posts have a 1,500 character limit and can contain rich text, images, videos, and more. Google also offers Post Insights, so you can see how your content performs. Information is shown in almost real-time, making it easy for quick adjustments.
Having a Google My Business listing is a great start, but don’t stop there. Maximize the value of your listing by taking advantage of all the features provided, including messaging features, Google My Business Insights, and the Google Knowledge Panel.
Enhancing your listing is a time investment, but it can pay off. The easier you make it for patients to learn about your practice and schedule an appointment, the busier your waiting room will be.
What should you do next?
1. Schedule a free PatientPop demo.
2. Measure your online performance using our free scanner.
3. Download our guide on, “How to master local search marketing and get found online.”