7 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
What is a Google Business Listing?
When patients search for you online, Google has made it possible for them to find the information they’re looking for without actually going to your practice website. Google My Business (GMB) listings, one of the best free marketing tools available today, are business listings that pop up on Google when a local search is performed.
Google describes Google My Business as follows:
“Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. To help customers find your business, and to tell them your story, you can verify your business and edit your business information.”
To maximize the use of GMB as a powerful SEO tool that enables your information to show up even more frequently in Search, you have to optimize it. Practices with an optimized GMB listing get 7 times more clicks and are 2.7 times more likely to be considered reputable.
Here are the top 7 ways to optimize your GMB listing:
Fine Tune Your GMB Profile
Your profile is the first thing potential patients see on your GMB listing when searching for your practice, so the most fundamental yet crucial way to optimize your GMB is to keep your profile current and accurate. Search engines are looking for NAP (practice Name, Address, and Phone number) consistency. This means making sure your practice name matches what’s on your website, your address/location is pinned correctly, your phone number is clickable and easy, and your office hours are kept up to date. GMB is one of the top-ranking factors on Google, and incorrect information has the potential to harm your search ranking. PBHS provides services that clean up any inconsistent information, helping to keep your listing more visible.
Link Your GMB to Your Website Homepage and Scheduling Page
Most of us are busy consumers, searching to find what we need as quickly as possible. That’s why providing links to your practice website homepage and scheduling page on your GMB listing increases the likelihood that potential patients click through to your site rather than moving on to a more convenient and accessible practice website.
In addition to simplifying the search process for your patients, proper links alert Google to reliable, trustworthy pages. Google engages in local crawls and examines not only a page’s content, but also the authority of the included links. Homepages include pertinent information, such as city and services, which prove useful to Google’s algorithm which in turn selects your pages for queries and rank.
Include All Applicable Categories
A small but mighty aspect of the GMB optimization process is selecting the Primary Category of your GMB listing. Subcategories matter too, as they influence the appearance of your listing in local queries, but the Primary Category is what’s visible on your listing.
Locating your competitors’ categories is an excellent way to pick the best category for your GMB listing. Our PBHS SEO strategists have the tools to identify effective categories and experiment with what works best for ranking your practice.
Add Vibrant Pictures
If 90% of information is processed visually, the importance of including eye-catching images is obvious. Which photos are best at converting internet browsers to patients? Google recommends you include at least three exterior photos of your practice and a minimum of 3 interior photos as well as dentist and staff photos. This is also the place to post your logo and office tour videos.
Update All Available Attributes
Imperative in every step of GMB listing optimization is providing all the information a potential patient needs to make a decision about selecting your practice. Marking all applicable attributes to ensure you land in every relevant search is another way to do this. As local searches target specific queries, leverage proper attributes that allow your practice to stand out. The more detailed your listing, the better it will rank and the more likely your ideal patients will find you.
Create a Powerful Description
Appearing front and center alongside your profile is your business description, one of the first things potential patients see. You’ve got only 750 characters (250 of which are displayed without having to be clicked) to let potential patients know who you are and how you can help them. That’s only about two sentences that are visible. Make each word count!
As you create your description, be sure to include keywords that show Google what you’d like to rank for and important information, including your city. This is the place to showcase your practice’s personality and brand, highlighting where you stand out from your competition. For extra tips, check out Google’s guidelines for creating business descriptions.
Respond to Reviews.
Since 87% of consumers read online reviews, reviews are one of the most important features within your GMB listing. Patients can post reviews right there on your listing, making them automatically visible to those searching for you. So, it’s more important than ever to actively monitor and respond to them, especially the good ones.
Key to ensuring you receive reviews consistently is making it easy for your patients to provide them. Our PBHS experts have effective reputation management tools that can help you keep on top of this entire process.
Ready to optimize your Google My Business listing?
Enhance your local search strategy by optimizing your GMB listing. And since anyone can go in and edit your listing, it’s important to optimize it regularly. If you’re busy doing what you love—caring for your patients—allow us to continuously optimize your GMB on your behalf. Contact one of our PBHS specialists today!