Google Business Profiles (GBPs) are a free and easy way to connect with prospective customers. In fact, 64% of consumers have used GBPs to find local business contact information, making them important to use and keep up-to-date.
This attribute is especially helpful for plastic surgery practices, whose customer bases typically come from their surrounding region. GBPs can help customers searching for local, qualified plastic surgeons find your practice. But when your practice does not have a GBP, or it is out-of-date, prospects will likely choose the practice with a current and engaging GBP. 80% of consumers lose trust in a local business with out-of-date contact info.
In other words, if you don’t take advantage of your free GBP, you could lose out on prospective plastic surgery customers as well as the search engine optimization (SEO) benefits GBPs provide.
What is a Google Business Profile?
A Google Business Profile is a Google business listing that helps companies of all sizes expand their presence across the Google ecosystem, including Google Maps and Google Search. Essentially, GBPs help practices expand their online presence.
A GBP allows a plastic surgeon to list their practice’s name, address, and phone number. The location information is synchronized with Google Maps so that those using that application to navigate can receive directions to your office. Further, it allows you to provide critical information like your operating hours, website, and social media profile links, as well as a brief description of your services.
Further, a GBP allows customers to leave reviews. When a prospect approaches a healthcare provider for the first time, reviews are critical in their decision-making.
Laypeople can’t easily determine whether the industry awards you’ve won on your website translate into expert and affordable care. Instead, they want customers just like them to validate that the quality you promise is the quality you provide.
Now, not all reviews will be positive. However, you can offer responses, such as politely correcting demonstrably false claims in a review. By responding to each review, you can demonstrate the kind of attentiveness and engagement patients expect when they walk through your door for the first time.
You can also post photos and videos of your practice, showcasing your staff and facilities, so people feel comfortable before arriving. There’s also a Google Q&A section, where customers can publicly ask questions about your practice that you can answer. And you can provide short updates (Google Posts) where you can provide customers with updates about your practice.
GBPs are automatically created using basic information Google finds online about every business and practice. However, that information is usually incomplete and often incorrect. You may google your practice and find a GBP already exists for it. You’ll see a link that says, “Own this business?” and by clicking on it, you’ll begin the process of verifying that you are indeed the owner, or an authorized employee, of your practice. Once verified, Google will turn your GBP over to you to manage.
7 Reasons Why Plastic Surgeons Need a Google Business Profile
If you’re still not sold on why you need to take advantage of this free marketing tool, here are seven benefits your practice will see from claiming and updating your GBP.
Attracting New Patients
GBPs provide plastic surgery practices with an excellent opportunity to attract new patients. An optimized GBP improves your practice’s online visibility, helping local prospects find you when they search for you by name or the services you offer. Having an up-to-date GBP is especially helpful when you have a competitor with a similar name nearby. Your GBP can help your practice stand out, improve your search engine ranking, and attract more visitors to your website and office.
Maintaining Accurate Information
Claiming your GBP helps you ensure that information online about your practice is accurate. Many consumers have found themselves driving to a business using a GBP and Google Maps, only to find that that business has changed locations. Businesses and practices lose prospects that way, so it’s imperative you claim your GBP to keep information about you online accurate and current.
Educating Through Photos and Video
When prospects approach any healthcare provider for the first time, they often do so with a certain amount of trepidation. After all, healthcare services, and especially plastic surgery, are not like other services. You can request a refund if a dry cleaning business mistakenly damages your clothes. But if a healthcare provider makes a mistake, the consequences are far greater.
Using photos and videos to humanize your practice can help prospects feel more comfortable about the care you’ll provide. Clean facilities, welcoming staff, and clear explanations of your services are just a few ways you can use photos and videos on your GBP to market your practice effectively.
Demonstrating Social Proof
When your GBP is populated with positive reviews, prospects also feel more comfortable about your practice. They may see reviewers who’ve successfully gotten the same services they seek from you, which can help make the difference between them choosing you or a local competitor.
But reviews do more than allay prospect fears. Positive reviews increase your visibility in Google search engine results pages (SERPs), making it easier for prospects to find your practice when seeking plastic surgery services.
Interacting With Potential and Existing Patients
GBPs also provide you the opportunity to interact with prospects and existing customers. Sometimes, all it takes is a thank you post on a positive review to encourage a past customer to come back to you for future services or refer your practice to their friends. It may seem small, but engaging people positively and quickly on GBPs can drive as much traffic to your website and practice as an expensive digital campaign.
Book Appointments from the SERP
GBPs also make it easy for prospects to connect with you. Not only will they be able to get to your office more efficiently using Google Maps. If they access your GBP using their smartphone, they’ll be able to click the “Call” button or phone number link and dial you automatically. And if you enable the “Book Appointment” feature and synchronize it with your in-house scheduling system, prospects will be able to arrange a consultation with you immediately.
Performing Local SEO
Finally, a GBP will help you perform local SEO more effectively. Local SEO involves improving the online visibility of your business in local search results, which is crucial as 71% of search traffic clicks go to websites located on the first page of Google search results. Local SEO is especially important given that practices typically serve well-defined communities. An accurate and active GBP is essential to boosting any business or practice’s ranking in local search results, making it easier for those in your community to find you.
Creating a Great First Impression With Your GBP
When a prospect searches for your service or your practice’s name, they’ll see your GBP before they click through to your website. So your GBP is your first impression, and you must make a good one. Many businesses and practices that have mastered the art of maintaining an effective GBP receive calls and bookings from prospects who never click through to their website. Conversely, many practices lose prospects to competitors by failing to claim their GBP or use it effectively.
Though this tool is free, it, like any marketing tool, requires some time to master and maintain. If you’re intrigued by how a GBP can help your practice gain new customers and retain existing customers but don’t have the time to explore it yourself, contact us at DoctorLogic. We’ll help you create and maintain a GBP that reflects your practice and helps you increase your customer base.