Table of Contents
- Why You Need a Strong GBP Listing
- Step One: Have a Google Account
- Step Two: Check if You’re Already Listed
- Step Three: Create a Business Profile Associated with Your Account
- Step Four: Optimize Your Google Business Profile
- Recent Updates & Changes to GBP
- Review Our GBP Optimization Checklist
- The Future of GBP Listings
For the majority of healthcare clinics, attracting local patients is crucial. Patients prefer to receive care close to home, so it’s essential to ensure your clinic appears in local search results. This is where a strong Google Business Profile (GBP) comes into play.
This article will discuss why you need a robust GBP listing and provide step-by-step instructions on optimising it. We will also cover recent changes to GBP and how they can benefit your clinic.
Why You Need a Strong GBP Listing
The good news is that Google has continuously added features to GBP, giving healthcare marketers more tools to engage with potential patients. However, this means that optimizing GBP listings has become a top priority. GBP influences search rankings and is often the first thing potential patients see when searching for a nearby clinic.
GBP lists your clinic’s physical location, tied in with Google Search and Google Maps. It provides essential information about your practice and its location. While having accurate addresses, hours, and contact details is essential, it’s not enough. You must provide additional value with FAQs, healthcare attributes, and positive reviews to capture consumers’ attention.
The best part is that using GBP is free. So, if you’re investing in local SEO, it’s crucial to have a complete and persuasive GBP listing when your clinic pops up in search results.
Now, let’s dive into optimising your Google Business Profile.
Step One: Have a Google Account
To optimise your GBP listing, you need a Google Account. You already have an account if you already use Gmail, YouTube, or any other Google property.
Step Two: Check if You’re Already Listed
Since your clinic has a physical location, there’s a chance that Google has already created a Business Profile listing for you. To check, go to Google Maps and enter your clinic’s name, address, or phone number in the search bar.
If your clinic appears with a red pin and an address listing in the sidebar, Google has already taken care of the address listing for you. Click “Claim this business” next to your address to proceed to the next step.
If there’s no “claim this business” link, someone may have already claimed your listing. If that’s the case, contact them to transfer the claim. If that’s not possible, petition Google for “request ownership of a business profile” by following the instructions provided.
Remember, the purpose of the business profile is to link your account with your clinic and allow you to control the listing.
Step Three: Create a Business Profile Associated with Your Account
If you haven’t started the process from a Maps find, go to the Google Business Profile start page to begin creating your listing from scratch.
You’ll need to provide a business address if you didn’t claim one in the previous step. The address can be your clinic’s physical location or your website link if your clinic operates virtually.
Make sure to enter your true, legal practice/organization name and select the appropriate business category. You can always change or add business categories later if your practice offerings or business model change over time.
For the website step, you can enter your site URL or select options like “I don’t need a website” or “get a free website based on your info.” The latter option allows you to create a small, hosted web page under your GBP’s Business Profile section.
Step Four: Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Once you have a verified account and log back in, you’ll arrive at a dashboard similar to those in platforms like Tumblr or WordPress. The upper right-hand corner displays a gauge indicating the completeness of your listing.
To optimize your GBP, you have various options to add content:
- List and describe your services
- Add listings for amenities, accepted payment types, hours, contact information, etc.
- Upload photos and videos
- Create a menu feature to showcase products or services
Just like local business listings on Google Maps, a media-rich GBP listing with photos and videos tends to be more vibrant and engaging. In the healthcare space, you can add content like your practice logo, photos of the interior and exterior, virtual tours, ads for special promotions, and pictures of your team.
Make sure to include photographs of your practice or team to help potential patients visualize where they will be receiving care. It doesn’t have to be complicated; smartphone photos can tell a story about your practice.
Encourage patients to leave reviews on your GBP listing. You can also flag inappropriate reviews and respond to them. Positive reviews help build trust and credibility for your clinic.
Recent Updates & Changes to GBP
Google has made some recent updates to GBP that you should be aware of.
Manage GBP Profile Directly on Google
Google has made it easier to manage your GBP profile directly from the search results page. Previously, the dashboard was less accessible from a desktop. Now, you can access your GBP in Google Search and Maps.
Creating Compelling GBP Posts
GBP now includes a feature called Posts, which allows you to make short updates similar to social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn. These posts can be used for practice promotion and are ideal for short-term promotions. Make sure to optimize your posts by including location-specific content, compelling images, and a good mix of advertisement and entertainment.
GBP has a “Questions and Answers” feature that allows patients to easily ask questions and get answers from your clinic. Monitor incoming questions and provide timely responses to control the flow of information. Make sure to log in with the account tied to your clinic’s GBP listing when responding to questions.
Review Our GBP Optimization Checklist
Before concluding, review our Google Business Profile optimization checklist to ensure you’ve completed all the necessary steps:
- Verify your listing
- Use a complete USPS-approved address
- Ensure NAP (name, address, phone number) consistency between your website and GBP
- Specify the area or region you serve
- Check all relevant service or product categories
- Write a compelling introduction
- Add optimized photographs
- Implement a review encouragement program and monitor it
- Share timely and relevant posts
- Monitor Q&As and provide answers
After optimizing your GBP listing, continue to interact with it and update it frequently. Add new photographs, share posts, and respond to questions. This shows Google that your practice is active and keeps potential patients engaged.
The Future of GBP Listings
Since Google has shut down other services like Google Places and Google+, GBP has become increasingly relevant. It’s important for healthcare organizations to take full advantage of GBP and its new features. By fully filling out and optimizing your GBP listing, you can grow your visibility and keep patients engaged.
As Google Maps has been a long-standing service, it’s likely to remain in place for a long time. Google Street View is also integrated with GBP, providing storefront images for unclaimed listings. GBP, integrated with Google Maps, has the potential to become one of the most important healthcare marketing tools of the early 21st century.
To reach your patients where they are, GBP needs to be part of your digital marketing strategy.
If you need help optimizing your Google Business Profile listing or want to discuss your local SEO strategy, feel free to contact us at https://localhealthmarketing.com.au/. We’re here to help!