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Why Ophthalmologists Need a Google Business Profile

By: DoctorLogic Employee

Formerly known as Google My Business, Google Business Profiles (GBPs) are a great business listing tool that helps connect businesses and consumers. These business listings allow you to provide prospects with the basic information they would need to know when searching for an ophthalmology practice, such as:

Why Ophthalmologists Need a Google Business Profile

When you’re running a business whose patients come primarily from your surrounding area, such as an ophthalmology practice, you need a Google Business Profile (GBP). In fact, a recent Google My Business Insights study found that prospects take an average of 59 actions per month on a company’s GBP, including making phone calls and booking appointments.

Google Business Profiles are free. They don’t take much time to set up and are fairly easy to maintain and keep up-to-date.

What Is a Google Business Profile?

Formerly known as Google My Business, Google Business Profiles (GBPs) are a great business listing tool that helps connect businesses and consumers. These business listings allow you to provide prospects with the basic information they would need to know when searching for an ophthalmology practice, such as:

  • Your practice’s name, address, and contact information
  • Your hours of operation
  • A description of your services
  • Links to your website and social media profiles

  • Photos and updates
  • A link to directions to your practice (provided by Google Maps)

Your GBP will appear in Google Search results when someone searches for your practice or local practices within your geographic area. And as many prospects give strong consideration to a healthcare provider’s proximity when evaluating alternatives, the added visibility a GBP offers is invaluable.

Seven Reasons Ophthalmologists Need a Google Business Profile

Even if you’re not sold on your Google Business Profile being free and easy to maintain, here are seven more reasons why your practice needs an up-to-date GBP today.

Attracting New Patients

Doubtlessly, many of your new patients come from online searches. Complete and accurate GBPs help enhance your position on the search engine ranking page (SERP), meaning it will appear higher in search results. The higher your ophthalmology practice appears in Google Search results, the more visitors you will attract. This is the basis of SEO for ophthalmologists.

An accurate GBP can also be particularly helpful if a competing practice has a similar name. When your profile is up-to-date, it can help you distinguish your practice from the competition.

Maintaining Accurate Information

An up-to-date GBP is also a concise way to convey to prospects the basic information they’re searching for, such as your location, services, hours, and contact information. You can update your GBP at any time, which you should do to avoid alienating prospects who act on out-of-date information. For example, if your office is open for walk-ins on Tuesday, but you change that day to Wednesday without updating your GBP, a prospect may show up to your practice only to be turned away.

In fact, Google may create an empty listing GBP for your business based on available information. You can verify that you own the business, claim it, and update it as you see fit. However, many businesses don’t, leaving the empty profile to represent their organization. An empty listing looks unprofessional and may also convince prospects that your practice is inactive.

Educating Through Photos and Videos

Many people have a fundamental reluctance to go to a doctor’s office or hospital, stemming from past bad experiences, a fear of the unknown, or a combination of the two. To help allay your prospect’s anxiety, you can use your GBP to show that your practice is a warm and welcoming environment. And with GBPs, you can not only say this in the description section, but you can show this through photos and videos.

First-time patients may also not quite be sure what an ophthalmologist does or what special services you offer that set your practice apart. However, you can upload diagram graphics and short explainer videos to your GBP profile to explain in layman’s terms what you do and why it’s important for prospects to visit your practice.

Demonstrating Social Proof

It’s difficult for laypeople to assess the quality of an ophthalmology practice through jargon-filled industry reviews or by comparing services on your website with those of other providers. Prospects rely on reviews from others like them. And GBP allows your patients to review your practice, with each review appearing on your profile. Positive reviews will increase your rankings and help you attract prospects to your practice.

If you don’t claim the empty GBP Google creates, negative reviews will appear and remain unanswered, along with other potentially inaccurate information about your business.

Interacting with Potential and Existing Patients

Along with your social media profile(s), GBPs offer you a vehicle to interact with your patients. You can add short posts about new developments at your practice. You can answer questions in your GBP’s Q&A section. And you can respond to reviews left by patients. By responding to the positive ones with a quick thank you note and responding appropriately to negative ones, you can demonstrate to prospects that you are responsive and give them insight into the kind of care they will receive.

Booking Appointments

You can also offer prospects and patients the ability to easily book appointments on your GBP by enabling the “Book Appointments” feature and linking it to your internal scheduling provider. Your phone number will also be on your GBP, allowing prospects and patients to call you to schedule appointments or to ask questions.

You can also link your GBP to your website’s scheduling feature. Doing so will also make booking appointments easy and help you increase traffic to your website.

Performing Local SEO

One of the biggest benefits of having and maintaining a GBP is its role in local SEO. Local SEO for ophthalmologists involves various tactics to optimize your online digital assets to improve your visibility in local search engine rankings. Not only does GBP increase your visibility in Google Search and Google Maps, but by building a GBP and optimizing it for search, you can dramatically improve your traffic to your website and your practice.

By crafting a GBP filled with clear and accurate information and photos, and videos, you can increase your SERP presence. Google assesses a business’s local SEO in terms of proximity, relevance, and prominence to the searcher. To improve your local SEO ranking, you should include clear descriptions, quality links, activity, and engaging content on your GBP.

Your Google Business Profile is Your Patient’s First Impression

Many prospects will see and click on your GBP before visiting your site. Because of this, you must put the time into creating an engaging GBP if you hope to attract them to your practice. In fact, some of your prospects may book appointments on your GBP without ever visiting your website. By contrast, some prospects may skip over an inactive GBP without up-to-date information or photos and go to your competitor’s practice.

While GBPs are free, optimizing them for search and making sure they reflect your practice as effectively as possible, can be tricky. DoctorLogic can help with both, as well as with a broad range of digital marketing strategies and tactics. But growing your practice starts with understanding that local SEO is key to converting prospects to patients, and that a well-crafted Google Business Profile is an integral part of effective local SEO.