Google has new features to help drive leads for your medical practice. Google is working hard on improving Google My Business listings. In fact, they are surveying businesses to determine if owners are willing to pay for the extras. We don’t know how this will come out. But, Google’s search algorithms rule Internet. Thus, PUMC recommends fully populating your Google My Business (GMB) listings.
GMB Listings Drive Leads
Your listing appears in search results and Google maps. It contains basic contact information such as address, phone number and website link. Because you can add details for readers, claiming your listing is important. In addition, updated GMB listings are a plus in your local search rankings. New features include:
- Appointment Link: It isn’t mandatory to have an online booking system to use this link. Simply link this to your website appointment request page. Thus, you help potential patients contact you easily.
- Questions/Answers: More people are getting used to asking quick questions here. Monitor email of the account that owns your listing for question notification. So, this is another easy way to engage.
- Products/Services: If you have all your procedure and product listings on one page, you can add a link on your listing. Now, you can take this another step by creating categories and adding individual procedures and products.
- Feature Posts: This is a great place to add events, specials, gift cards for special occasions, etc. You can also feature key procedures and other information about your practice. In addition, dates can keep your post live until it expires. PUMC recommends adding between one to three posts each week. Depending on the device used in searches, up to three posts can be seen at any one time.
Existing GMB Features
Many of the existing features to drive leads are still available on Google My Business. So, it’s a good idea to continue to enhance these to help drive leads too. While there probably aren’t significant updates to a listing you have previously claimed, now is a good time to check the information.
- Verify basic contact information (phone number, address, name, website link, etc.). This is especially important if you have recently relocated.
- Are your hours correct? Sometimes, hours change by season or during holiday weeks. This is a quick look on mobile and much easier than going to your website. Thus, you should update these as needed.
- Add pictures and/or video to Google Maps to help readers see what you do. Avoid uploading the same picture from different angles, etc. People won’t scroll through many pictures. So, highlight the few things potential patients need to know.
- Update your description summary on your listing. Keep in mind that adding a long name for the practice or doctor can take 1/3 to ¼ of the content that shows in your Knowledge Graph. If you repeat it twice, you lose a lot of space. The text showing is what is read most. In addition, this section pulls the name from your listing anyway. For example: “From Georgia Center for ENT and Facial Plastic Surgery”. Therefore, it is redundant to add it as the first line in the description.
Online Reviews in Google Knowledge Graph
Your online reputation is a primary way that potential patients research you. It can drive leads or take away opportunities. Reviews appear on your Google listing. Therefore, it is important to monitor this area. Here’s what you need to know.
- Google reviews are featured on your Google Knowledge Graph. So, it is easy to see what people say. Responding to all Google reviews is a plus. While people expect a poor review here and there, they want to see how you work toward resolving patient issues.
- Reviews on Google are always at the forefront in searches. Strive to increase your great reviews. Find ways to ask patients to write Google reviews. If you need help, contact us about PUMC’s Global Online Review System. Google’s algorithm varies the review site links that appear from other review sites. Thus, it is good to assess your overall ratings on each review site so you can take action.
- Can you combine listings? If you are in solo practice with no plans to hire another doctor, it is possible to combine your practice and doctor listings into one listing. Strategy becomes important here. Selling your practice or future hires could mean that multiple listings are better for your needs.
Google My Business listings are just one part of your online visibility. However, this is a major area in the Internet world. Google is always testing new features to help drive leads. It’s up to you to populate the new features for your medical practice or spa. If you find it confusing, contact PUMC to help identify your opportunities and best options to bring patients in your door.