There has never been a more critical time to make use of every small business marketing tool available to promote and sustain your healthcare business. In days past, customers and potential customers could pull out the Yellow Pages to find important information they needed to find and use your practice. Today, they go to Google and enter your business name and then find the information they need there. But, what if it’s not there, either? The impact that has on the viability of your business is immeasurable.
Google My Business (GMB) isn’t an added perk today. It is the first place clients look to find you. If the information isn’t there, they will find your competitors instead. Couple that with the effect of Covid-19 on businesses and you have a recipe for disaster.
Raising your company’s visibility in the online world is critical, now more than ever. There is no charge for Google My Business, plus it’s easy to use. It helps any business manage their presence online and that means increased business. And did we mention it’s free?
Google My Business Basics
The phrase “Google it!” is understood today all over the world. If someone is suffering from a toothache and has no regular dentist, they will probably do an internet search using Google to find one near them. You want your company to come up on the list as close to the top as it can get. But GMB takes this one step farther.
It gives owners a chance to manage how their business looks when it comes up on the Search list and Google Maps. Plus, vital information is right there for customers to find you as easily as possible. They don’t have to go anywhere else to find details like the address, website link, and the business hours. And now with mobile usage the dominant way people are interacting with the internet, they can call you right from your listing, too. With one click.
Now that you know what GMB is, the next logical question is how to get it.
Making It Happen
This is one place where a digital marketing company, like My KPI, comes in. You are probably working lots of hours, maybe even more since trying to recover from the effects of the pandemic. We can take care of the details for you. That involves making sure your information is correct and properly optimized for best display results in the Google search results pages. This is critical and not a place to take shortcuts.
It’s important that your practice is classified in the proper category, the 750-word description is as in depth as possible, there are photos with the listing, and all on-going changes in hours and other details are kept current. It is also critical to make sure you don’t have multiple listings for your business.
Also, your GMB listing is not static, especially in the current Covid world. If you have updated your protocols for keeping your office as safe as possible for patients, this needs to be in your listing. But then, it needs to be changed as newer methods are added or other information is changed.
Below the paid Adwords listings (from PPC efforts) at the top of the search results is the Local 3-pack, and you need to be there. Let say for example, that a person needs a dentist–fast! More than likely they are going to do a Google search for a dentist near them to get help as quickly as possible. So, if you are a local dental professional, your GMB listing needs to be in the first 3 results. If it is, then your page will be shown in Google’s sidebar, local results, AND Google maps, and this person in need of a dentist will see your listing right away.
The goal in creating, updating, and monitoring your listing is to make it as easy as possible for your customers and potential customers to find you in a search and on their GPS. There is no need for them to go anywhere off that search page. If they do, they might get lost in the web and never find their way back, a phenomenon we are all familiar with.
Plus, customers can be escorted via the internet to your office door without ever seeing your website. All it takes is a strong GMB listing and you can land your business in that local 3-pack. This increases your chances of turning everyone who sees your listing into a paying customer/patient. And as an added benefit, your listing will appear on the search results before the organic searches.
Although not technically difficult, your GMB listing can take up way too much of your time, time better used practicing your specialty. My KPI does this routinely and can do that for you. Our goal, too, is to make every effort to have your business show up in the top 3 local results in a Google search for your healthcare specialty. Plus, we can help you maneuver through an unprecedented event like the pandemic and ensure your practice has the best digital presence it can.
Google My Business and the Pandemic
Source: Inc. Magazine
No one could have predicted the effect of a pandemic on business, especially small businesses. And it isn’t over yet. The key is flexibility and the ability to accept what is happening rather than dig in and simply wait for it to be over.
Businesses that have survived–some even thriving–are those who didn’t wait for someone to tell them what to do. They knew they had to take control in whatever ways they could and at least try to keep their doors open. Even if those doors were virtual.
Using Google My Business is invaluable when information has to be conveyed quickly and changed just as quickly. Changes in working hours, transitions from in-person appointments to virtual sessions, up-to-date information on safety protocols both today and next week, all of these things can be done in real time with GMB. From a marketing perspective, your clients can’t wander away simply because they didn’t get any updates from your office.
Google My Business is the best tool for accomplishing this. Internet searches that lead to you can keep your clients close regardless of the pandemic and its aftermath.
Google My Business and Reviews
A whopping 88% of consumers trust online reviews. The confidence is so high that these reviews are seen as a personal recommendation (or not) of a business. But did you know that reviews also help determine where your business falls in search rankings? A high number of Google My Business reviews will help enhance your website’s SEO efforts.
That is reason enough to have a strong GMB listing as you solicit reviews from your clients/patients. Aside from the marketing value, you also want to know both the good and the bad. And when you respond to all reviews, even the bad ones, it increases the trust internet searchers have in your business.
Looking Ahead with Google My Business
Google has reported that 60% of smartphone users contact a business directly from the GMB listing using the “click to call” option. In other words, someone initiated an internet search, was taken to the top GMB results, and after picking one, called that business directly from the listing by touching one icon.
That’s impressive and it’s exactly where your business needs to be. Contact My KPI to get started on creating or fine-tuning your Google My Business listing today!
*Feature image sourced from Search Engine Journal