Google My Business is an important tool in any business owner’s toolbox, especially if you’re managing a physical location.
That’s because a practice’s Google My Business profile is what appears when people are searching for that business, or a business like it, on Google Search or in Google Maps.
Let’s first take a look at how to set up a Google My Business Listing, then we’ll dive into the do’s and don’ts for your account.
Google My Business Listing
Thankfully, Google makes it easy to both create and update your Business Profile on their platform.
Simply go to this site, type in your practice name, identify the proper listing, and hit “Manage Now” to confirm you own the business. From there, you’ll have the power to easily create ads, upload a virtual tour of your practice, and ensure business information like hours of operation, address, and contact information is correct.
1. Add as much pertinent information as possible.
The more information you add, the easier it will be for prospective patients to find and contact you. Fill in your listing information until you hit 100%.
2. Respond to reviews.
As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, it’s important to respond to reviews of your practice, whether negative or positive. Doing so on your Google My Business Listing will allow people searching for your practice to read reviews–and your replies–directly in Maps or from Google Search.
3. Download the app.
Google My Business has both Android and iOS apps that allow you to manage your listing on the go! You’ll receive instant alerts when customers leave reviews, be able to send messages, upload photos, post-practice updates, and more.
1. Set it and forget it.
A lot of businesses claim their listing only to never log in to their account again. This is a huge no-no! That’s because any Google user can suggest edits to your listing, and if those changes are inaccurate, your practice could suffer.
2. Exceed 750 characters in the description field.
When writing your practice description, make sure not to exceed 750 characters. Even better, try to keep the most pertinent information in the first 250, as only 250 characters are displayed before they’re cut off in the Knowledge Panel.
3. Fail to respond to patient messages.
Prospective patients can contact your practice directly through your listing, so make sure someone is tasked with responding to these messages. After you set up your listing to receive and respond to SMS messages from potential patients, remember to reply to them and to do so promptly, as your listing will display your average response time.
Ultimately, claiming your practice on Google My Business and managing it effectively can help you:
- Display and control pertinent practice information
- Manage your online reputation
- Interact with prospective patients
- Curate patient photos, videos, and other user-generated content
- Gather insights on how patients get to your site
- Improve your local SEO strategy