How Google has made it easier to attract local business
What’s all the hype about Google My Business?
More importantly…how does it affect you?
First things first, let’s remember why the word “Google” should be in your vocabulary to begin with.
Your practice is a small business. As such, you efforts to generate new patients, and engage, educate, and retain the ones you already have, should be focused on the same things that other small businesses are focused on: showing up online.
Google has many services to help you build your online presence.
While these services are greatly beneficial for business in general, one of the big challenges has previously been figuring out how to use that online presence to attract business from local audiences.
As a healthcare practice, generating local business happens to be right up your alley.
The Google My Business Solution for Local Businesses
With Google My Business you can now create and manage the various business listings for your practice that are spread across the web from one location, making local visibility a lot less of a hassle. That includes Google Search, Google Maps, Google Places, and Google+.
The increased visibility of these popular platforms will make it a LOT easier for patients to find you, especially those searching for nearby practitioners on their mobile phone.
So How Does It Work?
Google My Business does more than just give you a place to list your practice information. There are tools included with the all-in-one platform that can make a huge difference for your online presence, your marketing initiatives, and—thus—the success of your practice.
**Keep in mind that Solutionreach supports customers in building their online presence, with a great emphasis on Google services. This includes things like claiming your Places page, designing your page, populating reviews through your page, understanding what/when/how to post, how to boost SEO, etc.
Optimizing Your Listing
Through the new platform, you can manage services that you previously had to address individually. You can now have one place to update things like:
Hours of operation
Take it a step further and add content that will give patients a better idea of your practice atmosphere. Specifically:
Marketing and internet pros alike will tell you that visual content is much more likely to engage browsers. Since Google will likely display your visual content next to your business listing, take the time to upload the attention grabbers.
The review feature of Google My Business is one of its highlights. You can monitor and respond to reviews from across the web through the dashboard.
Solutionreach does a lot to help you with this feature, so be sure to call your representative and ensure that you’re making the most of the patient reviews that should be showing up on your listing.
Google+ isn’t the most popular of the social media platforms, but it offers a lot of benefits to people that are actively using it. Most importantly, it boosts visibility in Google’s result pages.
Managing social media pages does take time and effort, but it is worth it if you want to build an online presence for your practice.
If you’re not a social media pro, never fear: Solutionreach offers frequent webinars for our customers to teach them tricks for improving their practice.
A special webinar regarding what/how/when/why to post is coming up mid-July. Call your representative or watch for notifications in your dashboard for details!
Google did you a big favor by including this valuable tool with Google My Business. Using the dashboard’s Insights feature, you can monitor things like:
how many times patients find your business in Google search results
how many clicks your result receives
how many driving direction requests have been placed for your practice
It will also let you evaluate driving direction data. You can use this information to understand where patients are coming from, and use that “insight” to optimize your future marketing and advertising tactics to target your most active communities.
If you are already using Google Analytics, that can also be integrated to get a more complete look into your digital footprint. You can include your AdWords Express account to create and track campaigns from Google My Business.
Download the App
You don’t have to be on a desktop to manage all of your business listing information. The Google My Business app gives you most of the same features as the desktop version, including the ability to update business info, share updates on Google+, and monitor your Insights.
Right now, (June 2014) you can only get this app for Android phones. An iOS version is expected to be released soon.
Thank you, Google, for streamlining your (very beneficial) tools that help businesses show up online. Double thank you for making it easier to attract local audiences for small business!
(If you need or want additional help optimizing your listings through Google My Business and you’re a Solutionreach user, call your representatives. That’s what they are here for!
About the author:
Amy LaVange is a professional educator for healthcare providers. She specializes in helping practices reduce inefficiencies and lower costs, so providers and their staff can spend less time worrying about their bottom line and more time caring for their patients. She currently manages communications for Solutionreach, where she consults with their clients and creates educational content to help them establish patient-centered practices by utilizing tools and techniques that allow them to streamline their productivity and improve their patient experience.