This article will help you optimise and manage your dental practice Google My Business listing. It sets out to explain how through optimisation and regular updates you can increase your visibility on Google local search.
You can get started at Google.co.uk/business
What Exactly Is A Google My Business Listing – Does My Dental Practice Need One?
Google My Business is a free easy to use tool that allows potential patients to find you on Google. It does this by creating a personalised Google My Business listing for your dental business.
You can effectively manage your business information published across Google, including Search, Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google+, Google Maps and other Google services by logging into your listing.
It’s a no-brainer to update information such as your practice address, opening hours, business description, special offers and website link. You can share your latest practice news and offers using Google My Business posts. You can update your listing via the web or the free Google My Business mobile app.
Google My Business complements your existing website.
If you previously had a presence on Google Places for Business or Google+ Pages you will find it has been automatically upgraded to Google My Business.
Using Google My Business allows you to interact and stay engaged with new potential clients and existing ones from your mobile, tablet and computer.
This is all for free.
Reasons To Optimise And Manage Your Dental Practice Google My Business Listing
Optimising your presence on Google is important. By optimising your Google My Business listing you are helping more potential clients to find you online.
It should be easy for clients to find your dental products and services. They should have no difficulty in contacting you and finding your location from your listing.
Maintaining your presence on Google My Business is a vital marketing task.
It’s a task where you ensure that Google users are viewing accurate and up to date information about your dental practice.
Take a look at your current listing.
Do you look reputable?
Would you trust your business based on the information displayed in your listing?
Google state you are twice as likely to be considered reputable by potential dental patients if you verify your information. The truth is many dentists will carry out the initial steps to claim their listing, but unfortunately forget to properly verify it. The ones that do verify their listing, often don’t return to update and optimise it later.
Is it time to improve your Google My Business listing?
Here are some key reasons to consider optimising your presence online today.
- It’s part of your online marketing mix. It’s an area you can’t forget about. Ideally, you should improve your exposure to Google users by applying resources to Search engine optimisation (SEO), Search engine marketing (SEM) and Google My Business (GMB)
- You take control of what someone sees when they perform a local search for your dental practice. Make it stand out from the competition.
- You get to engage with people interested in your services by responding to reviews.
- Note the link on your listing that says “Know this place? Answer quick questions”. Google encourages users to answer questions about your business. Get your patients to respond on your behalf so as your listing accurately answers many patient questions.
- You have the opportunity to point potential patients to your website.
- You have the opportunity to correct information such as contact information, website, opening hours and photos.
- You can expand your online presence.
Note the link that says “suggest an edit option” under the phone number in your listing. It’s possible for someone else to edit your listing. Thus you need to log in and make sure this hasn’t happened to you. Sometimes you aren’t notified other Google users have made changes that have gone live.
Google can also make change their changes by finding new information from another directory or citation site. Alternatively, they may make a change they initially found on Google Maps or from a Google user. You may or may not receive notifications about this from Google.
I would encourage you to revisit your Google My Business listing and take the opportunity to optimise it while it’s fresh on your mind. Start by claiming and verifying your business at https://www.google.com/business if you haven’t done so already.
Remember however great your optimisation it isn’t possible to guarantee placement or the order of it on Google Search or Maps.
Updating Your Google My Business Practice Information
Once you have claimed and verified your business, it’s time to make sure Google has the most accurate information. Please note if you manage 10 or more locations of the same dental company, you can upload and edit your data in bulk.
Here are the types of business information that you can update within your Google My Business listing:
Match your name to how it appears on your signage, branding and stationery. Any name change will need to be verified again.
Choose a primary category for your business. If you enter several categories the first one is considered the primary one. Google doesn’t allow you to create your own category.
Enter the complete address for your practice location. If you change your physical address, you’ll need to complete the verification process again.
Apart from adding your normal customer facing hours you can set hours for holiday and special one-off times when you have unusual hours.
You can enter up to 2 more phone numbers in addition to your primary business number.
Add your correct website address.
Post a profile photo, cover photos and additional photos to highlight all aspects of your dental business.
Post the photos on your website to your Google My Business listing. Google is keen for you to display images that represent the reality of your business. They like well lit and focused photos. Avoid excessive use of filters.
As a business with photos, you are likely to receive 42% more requests for driving directions to your dental practice from users on Google. Compared to a listing with no photos your one with photos will receive 35% more clicks through to your website.
Photos should be JPG or PNG and at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall.
Upload videos up to 30 seconds in duration. They should be less than 100MB and the resolution should be 720p or higher.
Take the time to respond to all customer reviews. This shows others that you value their business. Having more 5 star reviews than your competitors is an excellent way to gain trust and enhance your local reputation.
A Brief Description Of Your Business
You have 750 characters to write about your dental practice, how you help your patients and the services you offer. Avoid focusing on promotions and pricing.
Google gives you a free website. You can easily edit it from your computer or mobile.
Tell your potential and existing patients more about your dental practice by adding attributes to your listing. For example, these could be Patient Parking, Same Day Treatment and 0% Finance.
Google My Business Posts
Think of Google My Busines posts as mini ads or social media posts, displayed in Google search in the Knowledge Panel and on Google Maps. You generally see posts more in mobile search.
Use the posts to give people a reason to take note of your practice. For example share your latest news, specials and offers, so they know what’s happening.
You can include website links, call to actions and images in your posts.
Here are some of the types of posts you can make:
- Hosting a dental seminar? This can be set up as an event post with a date and time with a link to a registration page.
- Selling dental products? This can be set up a sale event post.
- Have a new dental service you want to promote? Highlight this with an image and a link to where they can sign up for a free consultation.
- Writing blog posts and want more readers? You can promote all blog posts with a description and a link.
Google sends you a reminder to add a new post.
Who is Going To Make Your Google My Business Listing Changes
It’s likely you don’t want to update your listing personally, thus we recommend delegating this responsibility to someone else in your team.
Running a dental practice is hard work, and you may not have the time to keep your online presence as fresh as you’d like. Thus giving yourself owner access privileges and delegating the updates to managers is a smart move.
Use Insights To Track The Success Of Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business gives you the functionality to study insights and see how Google users are searching for your business.
Check out patient views and actions to discover how you are doing. Insights allow you to review phone calls, clicks listing views and much more.
Specifically, you can see how many people called your dental practice via the number displayed in Google Search And Google Maps.
Using Insights you will learn:
- How many people called your dental practice via the number displayed in Google Search And Google Maps
- How many times people have requested driving directions to your dental practice?
- How many times people have seen your practice information?
- How your potential patients find your listing.
- Where people are coming from. This consequently means you can better target new patients and help bring in new ones.
- Which of your photos are getting the most attention, and how you’re doing compared to other dentists.
Finally for more information visit the Google My Business Help Centre