As a doctor, you want to make yourself readily available and accessible to your patients. One of the most effective ways of doing this is making sure that your clinic is easy to find on search engines like Google.
The first step you want to take is to set up your Google My Business account so that when a relevant search is made, your clinic is made visible to the potential patient.
Why Is Google My Business Important for My Clinic?
Google My Business is a powerful tool that helps with the online presence of local healthcare providers. You can use Google My Business to claim and manage your practice’s information.
This tool helps Google serve the right results to the right audience in the correct geographical location. Here are some reasons why Google My Business for healthcare is important for your clinic:
Relevance and Dominance of Google
With over 12.7 billion search queries in April 2020, Google is by far the most dominant search engine. If you are aiming to increase your exposure and awareness, your clinic needs targeted visibility on Google.
Google My Business for healthcare highlights your clinic’s features, attracts potential patients, and lets you engage with them. If Google has enough details about your clinic, they can match you better with patients that are:
- Searching in your area
- Looking for the type of services you offer
- Asking specific health questions that you can provide answers to
Boosts Local Ranking
Having an optimised and verified Google My Business puts you at the top of search results, which can indirectly help your website rank by sending signals to Google, driving traffic to your website, and providing social proof through reviews and patient feedback.
According to Google, local results are based on these three factors:
- Relevance – How well a listing matches the searcher’s intent
- Distance – Searchers are paired with verified businesses in close proximity
- Prominence – How well-known the business is
Aside from these factors, Google’s algorithm for ranking business profiles also considers activity and quality of information. A higher rank in local results means increased visibility and engagement with your clinic.
Converts More Patients
A regular Google My Business profile may not offer much in terms of converting users to patients. However, an optimised Google My Business profile can work wonders for your clinic and increase your conversion rates.
An optimised Google My Business profile allows potential patients to do the following:
- Discover your clinic using keyword searches
- Visit your website
- Research your treatments or services
- Call your clinic
- Request a quote
- Schedule an appointment
- View and contribute to frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What Should Be on My Clinic’s Google My Business Listing?
Once you have created a Google My Business profile for your clinic, be sure to fill out the following information thoroughly:
Consistent Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP)
It is crucial to have a consistent NAP on your Google My Business profile that matches your website. Make sure that your clinic’s name also matches your signage and other listings across the web.
If Google sees inconsistencies in your NAP, it may result in lower search rankings. Use a physical address because Google does not allow P.O. boxes to be listed as addresses. If possible, the phone numbers displayed should be local.
Your Google My Business page should include updated opening and closing hours. Potential patients will find this valuable information to know what times they can call or visit you. Also, indicate your regular and holiday hours.
Adding a consistent URL on your Google My Business page is as important as a consistent NAP. The URL listed should be your website and not a landing page or social media account.
Consistency is key here as Google can view you as untrustworthy, especially if you have multiple URLs across the web.
About You Section
Draft a few concise sentences about you and your practice on your Google My Business page. Avoid stuffing the description with keywords; one or two good keywords will do. These keywords will help Google and your potential patients easily understand what you do.
Google lets you choose categories that your clinic fits in. For instance, when a patient searches for keywords like “plastic surgeon”, categories help you appear in search results.
Categories are a must in optimising your Google My Business profile. You can choose up to five categories, but you need to ensure that they are relevant enough. If possible, you can pick a combination of broad and specific listings.
Try to avoid choosing plurals of categories you have already listed. For example, if you select the category “eye surgeon,” then do not use “eye surgeons.” You should also avoid listing services instead of business type. If you listed “hand surgery” instead of “hand surgeon,” Google will penalise your page.
Products and Services
If your offerings are not made clear in your business name, adding products and services would be helpful. Filling out this section adds content to your page, which helps it rank for more relevant searches.
Include the name and description. When the user clicks on the product or service, the full description will show up. Google may also link to your products and services from the category section.
How Do I Optimise My Clinic’s Google My Business Listing?
Add Relevant Posts
Relevant posts about announcements and events can be added to your Google My Business page. You can create these posts in the Google My Business dashboard. Once done, they show up on the “Updates” section toward the bottom of your profile.
You can optimise posts in your Google My Business profile by doing the following:
- Posting regularly. Some types of posts expire every seven days.
- Using event posts for marketing campaigns with a timeline. You can select a date range that allows the posts to stay live for the duration of that timeline.
- Including links and call-to-action (CTA) in every post.
Get Patients’ Feedback
Reviews are a key ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. The first three local results in Google searches are usually those with solid star ratings and multiple reviews.
These tips will help you optimise your Google My Business page with reviews:
- Start getting feedback from your long-time patients.
- Encourage patients that their feedback can help other patients make informed decisions.
- Add a “Feedback” page on your website.
- Respond to your patients’ feedback.
Use the Questions and Answers Feature
Using the Q&A section of your Google My Business profile, you can highlight your best features and ensure accurate information. You can provide both the inquiry and the reply by answering the most frequently asked questions your clinic gets.
Add Photos to Your GMB
Adding photos to your Google My Business ensures the quality of your profile. It shows Google that your profile is active and up-to-date, which can improve your ranking.
Google also reported that 42% of users are more likely to request driving directions to a business if its profile has photos, while 35% of users are more likely to click through its website.
Here are some ways to optimise your Google My Business page with photos:
- Upload at least one new image every week.
- Use your clinic’s logo for your thumbnail photo.
- Choose a cover photo that best represents your clinic or practice.
- Refer to Google’s photo guidelines for specifications of general images. Make sure to include staff photos, interior and exterior views, and happy customers.
- Do not upload stock photos on your page.
- Choose quality images with clear depictions.
Link to Appointments
Potential patients will find it useful if you add an appointment link to your Google My Business profile. This link takes them directly to your website’s online scheduling page. It allows patients to make an appointment from the same place they found you.