If your dental practice is struggling to get noticed in the online world then the first place you should turn is Google My Business. When it comes to localised SEO and business visibility, Google My Business (GMB) is a real tour de force. In fact, many SEO strategies begin with GMB because if done right, it can drastically improve your chances of getting noticed online.
The problem for many businesses including dental clinics is that even though this tool is completely free it’s often woefully underused. With this in mind, here are 5 Google My Business tips that will help you to gain more patient enquiries or leads.
Tip #1 – Leave no stone unturned
As already mentioned, GMB is a great tool for optimising your business for local search results but only if it’s fully optimised. As you create your business profile, Google will ask several questions about your dental practice including your contact information and opening hours. It’s important that you fill out every category. The reason for this is two-fold.
Firstly, you don’t want a potential patient looking for your website or contact number and not being able to find it. Believe it or not, some practices fail to include simple things like links to dental websites from their GMB pages. That’s likely to be pretty catastrophic in terms of potential dental patients looking to find out more about your services and treatments online.
The second reason is that Google My Business has recently introduced a business description option that gives you 750 characters in which to sell your story. Doing so adds both kudos and depth to any business listings. Don’t forget it’s also a chance to add relative keywords so that potential dental patients can better find you.
As a top tip – Only the first 250 characters are viewed in your business listings panel until the visitor hits the ‘see more’ button. For this reason, it’s important to make those first few sentences count.
In essence, if you want to achieve maximum optimisation and therefore maximum exposure, ensure that you answer every section of your profile in full and leave no stone unturned. Remember, the more information you supply here, the more likely you will be found in the local search results.
Google My Business Tips #2 – Create content
Many local businesses fall into the trap of painstakingly filling out their GMB listing and then doing nothing with it. As an online tool, you really want it to work for you so you need to keep it fresh.
The best way to do that is to add and update content. Utilise the Google Posts section to add blog-like posts to your business listings. One case study, for instance, suggests a strong correlation between business listings that have continually updated content and improved local search results.
In addition, Google My Business also allows you to add relevant content in the form of pictures and video. These can be uploaded in the form of guided tours of your dental clinic or ‘meet the team’ pictures, similar to those that you might have seen on competitors’ dental websites. Not only are they a great way for potential dental patients to get to know and trust you but they also provide a further opportunity for localised optimisation.
Tip #3 – Take advantage of booking features
Another relatively new feature of GMB is the booking feature. Although this won’t directly be responsible for improving your position in the local search results it does allow potential customers/ dental patients to book an appointment or consultation directly from your GMB listing. This is a huge convenience for a visitor actively looking to take action and is something you as a dentist could take real advantage of. It’s designed to integrate with most scheduling software so there shouldn’t be any confusion or accidental double-bookings.
In essence, it eliminates unnecessary steps in the scheduling process and it could encourage people to actively book appointments through you rather than through your direct competitors.
Google My Business Tips #4 – Stay communicative
Just like on dental websites or any websites for that matter, it’s always better to reply to genuine comments you have. When you do, it tells people that you are listening and are engaging/approachable. This in turn helps you to gain some valuable trust points. So how does the GMB platform do this?
It allows you to communicate with potential patients via something known as ‘business messaging’. This is where users can ask questions directly about your business which you or other people can reply to.
As a top tip – it’s good to pay close attention to queries, questions and comments on your business messaging platform so that you can reply promptly when necessary. Doing so will not only give your business extra kudos but also may help you to stand out from your competitors.
Tip #5 – Treat it as a working tool
As mentioned earlier, Google My Business is a great aid to help businesses get found in the local search results. Yet the one trap many businesses including dental practices fall into is that they treat it as a ‘set it and forget it’ tool.
If we had to suggest that you follow just one of our Google My Business tips it’s that you should treat it as a working tool.
Those who take the time to continually tweak, improve and add to their Google business listings will be better optimised and therefore, stand a higher chance of appearing in the Google Local Business Pack. The Google Pack consists of the top 3 most relevant local businesses to a searcher’s query and this is really where you want to be. Get it right and you’ll be head and shoulders above your competitors’ dental websites who like you, are also looking to grow a local and loyal patient base.
So there you have it, 5 Google My Business tips for dental practices!
If you would like to improve your online presence using Google My Business or indeed other areas of SEO, then contact the team at Mediboost. As Australia’s #1 online marketing agency for patient growth, we work with dentists just like you every day to help them increase their patient footfall.
Call us at 1300 163 058 for a strategy consultation today and let us show you what we can do.