tab32 thanks Tyson Downs of Titan Web Agency for the insights in this post
Welcome to part 2 of a 9 part series entitled An Introduction to Marketing Your Dental Practice Online.
This blog post will be all about Google Business Profile.
Most of the people who look for a dentist do so by searching on Google, whether they do it to find local dentists or to read reviews before booking an appointment. For that reason, every dental practice needs to take advantage of Google Business Profile to ensure that prospective patients have the information they need.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is an online profile designed to help businesses, including dental practices, to manage their online presence on Google, (search engine and Google Maps).
For reference, it was most recently called Google My Business.
When you complete your Google Business Profile, you are using this free Google listing to tell prospective patients about your practice, which services you offer, how to find you, and what your patients think of you (reviews). Google Business Profile is perhaps one of the most important components of local search and local SEO. You can have all your other components of marketing nailed, but if you aren’t handling this, then you are missing out, big time!
We have clients that are getting over 10k views per month to their Google Business Profile, and nearly 200 calls, along with 200+ website visits. The power of a fully optimized Google listing can’t be overstated!
Steps to Create and Optimize Your Google Business Profile
There are four simple steps to follow to set up the Google Business Profile (GBP) for your dental practice and optimize it to ensure patients can find you.
#1: Set Up Your Google Business Profile
To set up your Google Business Profile, you’ll need a Gmail account. If you’d like, you can use a personal Gmail account provided you are comfortable with having that email associated with your business. However, we recommend setting up a Google account and associating it with your domain email address. That way, in the future, if there is any issues with claiming it or ownership, it becomes infinitely easier.
Open your favorite browser and, if you’re logged into your Gmail/Google account be sure it is the Google account you want associated with your Google listing, if not, then sign out and sign back in with the correct account.. Then, go to Google’s Business website and click Sign In in the upper right-hand corner. You’ll be prompted to provide basic information about your business, including your business name, to set up your account.
#2: Provide Information for Your Profile
After you create your account, the next step is to enter the name of your dental practice. Google may retrieve existing contact information they have and ask you to verify it.
You’ll be asked to provide and/or verify additional contact and business information, as follows:
- Business Type: for a dental practice, choose: Local store
- Business category
- Street address
- Contact information
When you enter your information, make sure to do it in the same format that you have used in other listing (if you’ve created other listings). If not, be sure it is the official USPS address.You can use the USPS zip code tool to get the correct address and formatting.
#3: Verify Your Business Listing
To make sure that all business information you have provided is accurate and that you are authorized to ‘claim’ the business, Google asks all business owners to verify their information using one of three methods. (There are other methods, but these 3 are the most common)
- Postcard. Any business can use this method, which involves Google mailing a postcard to the address you provided for your practice. The postcard should arrive within five days. On the card, you’ll find a code that you’ll need to enter where indicated on your Google Business Profile account. If you have not received the postcard within 5 days, you should request a replacement.
- Phone. Not all businesses can verify their information by phone. You can tell if you’re able to use this method because you will see a notification on your GBP verification page. If you choose phone verification, you will receive your code in an automated phone call.
- Email. Like the phone option, email verification is only available to certain businesses. If you have this method available, you’ll receive your code in an automated email sent to the Gmail account you used to create your GBP account. We see this used more when you set up your Google Business Profile using your work email address (domain email)
It’s essential to match your contact information exactly to what you provided when you set up your Google Business Profile. Failure to do so can delay your verification. Businesses that are eligible for phone or email verification get through the process more quickly than those that need to wait for a postcard, but you should have your code in a maximum of two weeks after creating your account.
#4: Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
The fourth step is to optimize your profile with details to clarify the services you provide and help prospective patients decide if your practice is right for them. According to Google, patients are 2.7 times more likely to think of your business as reputable if you have a completed a Google Business Profile, and 70% more likely to book an appointment.
To help you optimize your profile, here are some best practices to follow.
- Upload Photos. Prospective patients are more likely to choose your practice if you include photos of the outside (to make it easy to find your office) and inside (to demonstrate a welcoming environment) of your practice. Be sure to add photos of yourself and your employees and any other images you believe are relevant and compelling. No stock photos! :)
- Add Your Logo. Adding your logo to your GBP page makes the page look professional. It also ensures continuity when people click from your profile to your website to book an appointment or get more information.
- Write a Compelling Description. Write a brief and engaging description of your practice, making sure to include any specialties as well as your mission, and anything that sets your practice apart.
- Enable Messaging. You can turn on messaging in your Google Business Profile to allow prospective patients to message you. Do this only if you are prepared to monitor your messages consistently and respond in a timely manner.
- Appointment URL. You can make it easy for patients to book an appointment with you by including a direct link to your scheduling page.
- Add Attributes. GBP accounts have an array of categories and attributes. You should use these to let patients know about your practice. For example, you might want to indicate if you are a woman-owned or minority-owned practice or let people know if you have staff that is multilingual and can translate for patients who need it.
- Monitor Reviews. Patients can review your practice and reviews will appear on your Google Business Profile. Make sure to monitor and respond to reviews to manage your reputation, and let potential patients know that you are listening and responding to your patients.
- Post Updates & Offers. Finally, consider creating posts to let your patients know about updates to your services and offers. Include a call to action (something along the lines of visit your website, or call now).
Following these best practices will ensure that your Google Business Profile gets across the message you want potential patients to see, gets the most visibility in the search engines, and helps convert visitors to patients.
Google Business Profile Optimization is a Must
Creating and optimizing your Google Business Profile is essential for every dental practice. An optimized profile with images and detailed information about your practice will ensure that prospective patients can find you and choose YOUR business over another. Increased traffic to your site means you’ll need efficient processes, so you don’t miss out on getting new patients booked for appointments. tab32 cloud based dental software offers an online appointment booking tool. Patients can request appointment times directly from your website. All your staff has to do is approve the request and the platform will send out a confirmation text to the patient. You can also choose to have appointments auto-book right onto your schedule without your staff’s involvement.
Appointment scheduling is one of the many things tab32 can help you with! Click here to learn about tab32’s Dental Practice Management software and get a free demo.
Click here to read part 3!
Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenue goals. Prior to starting Titan Web Agency, he freelanced in SEO and Web Design while working in the corporate world. Tyson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the father of 5, and enjoys spending time with his family. Particularly on the baseball field.
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