Google-My-Business-doctor-clinic-practice Healthcare

Google My Business for physicians, practices, clinics

The most important step in improving the online presence of your practice or clinic is to sign up for Google My Business. The profile will show up your practice at the top of the search on Google Maps without the necessity to invest in ads. Google has recently made this service available also to healthcare providers (physicians, therapists, clinics) to have the chance to get in touch with potential patients. Create your profile, add your services, information and personalize it. Without this profile, patients will not be able to find you!

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business allows you to place your practice on Google Maps and search results. You can add all the important information to your profile including open hours, contact information, phone number and a link to your website. It’s a must for every healthcare provider to have Google My Business. Registration is for free with an immediate bunch of benefits.

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Google Maps displays all practices registered in Google My Business based on the searched subject. The order of results is sorted by location, relevance and evaluation of practice. Make sure you fill in your profile at least your address, telephone number, open hours and website.

Why is Google My Business so important?

First of all, your practice must be visible on the Internet if your want to get new patients to your practice. Users are increasingly using their smartphones with enabled location for more accurate search. Also, they want to act fast without having to visit your website or dial a phone number. If they can find all the information in one place, they are satisfied. Additionally, it means for them a significant save of time spent on searching, browsing websites and finding the information they need.

In response to this trend, Google has started to include Google My Business businesses into Google Maps and search results. In addition, by registering your practice you have the opportunity to appear among the first results without paid advertising (if your practice is relevant to search term and location). Patients prefer this way of interacting with healthcare providers on the Internet.

Google-My-Business-profile
If you register your practice this is the format how all patients will see your practice. For better search results include the name of your practice and add your specialization such as “Dental clinic Smile” or your name with surname “Dental practice James Dean”. 

Take advantage of all services

Once you have created a profile for your practice, the next step is to verify and fill in all the important information about your practice. Include in your profile as much information as possible to have a higher chance to show up in search results. For example, if patients find your profile in search, they click on your practice profile intending to find more information such as services, contact information, address or references.

Furthermore, if you don’t register to Google My Business your practice won’t display to any patient in the search query. In the case of hospitals or clinics, it is likely they already have a profile. You can ask the previous owner for the credentials or you can claim your business. Also, you can always create a new profile, but you will lose the references. If you change the location of your practice you can just change your address in your profile.

Collect references

In my last article, Online Marketing in healthcare, you can find all the information why it’s truly important to collect references from patients and how patients’ behaviour has changed with the Internet. You will find a link in your profile that you can share with your patients, for example, via email. The better ranking you have, the higher your practice will get in the search. References work as a form of feedback on your practices and services, whether positive or negative. Don’t forget to respond to all references your patients left you! It shows their opinion is important for you and at the same time you are building trust in your practice. Also, you can use references as a form of opportunity to improve what patients’ did not like.

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References are one of the most powerful parts of your profile. Without references, your profile will be like any other. Approximately 50% of patients trust references on the Internet and consider them as important as a physicians’s recommendation. Have at least 6-7 references to be reliable practice for patients. At the same time, they should not be older than 18 months or they are considered obsolete. (NRC, 2019).

Moreover, if you would like to look more credible add a logo, photos of your practice and your team, to your profile. Definitely, you will stand out from your competition. A patient will have an idea of how your practice looks, the atmosphere the practice has, and your type of equipment. You can add up to 10 photos or videos.

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Images help your practice to look real and reliable. Without images, a patient has no idea how could your practice look and might rather choose a practice that has images. Even better, if you time to time shares a post promoting for example discount for dental hygiene or travel vaccination in summer. It’s a great place to reach potential patients.

Lately, Google launched an option to ad so-called short posts (articles) which appear on your profile. Posts are limited to a maximum of 300 words and you can add an image. Also, you can promote an event or special discount for your services with the start and end date of the event. The post has an option to add a personalized call to action button such as find out more, book, get a quote and so on.
Adding posts to your profile allows you to share important or interesting information, promote your services or products with potential patients. The post will be available 7 days before it expires, so you don’t need to worry about it. Google will send you a reminder before your post expires. In case of events, you can set up a longer duration than 7 days till the end of the event. Afterwards, the post will automatically disappear.

In case you don’t know what to share have always in mind things with added value to your patients. It could be information about your practice – a change in open hours, vacation, a new physician joining your team, new equipment, special prices for services or products and so on.

Don’t miss out on the benefits of Google My Business

Make sure you register your practice to Google My Business and fill in all the information on your profile. Haven’t had time to register your practice yet? It’s a free way to appear in Google search results! Don’t forget to keep your profile up-to-date to reflect the current situation. Register now and see the benefits!

Understand the basics

Google My Business allows you to place your practice on Google Maps and search results. You can add all the important information to your profile including open hours, contact information, phone number and a link to your website. Registration is for free with an immediate bunch of benefits.

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