Google My Business (GMB) and its predecessors (Google+, Google Local going back 17 years) have played an increasingly critical role in small businesses and especially medical practices to get found online and to convey the latest information. A short list of GMB advantages:
In part, Google My Business profiles provide a trusted reference for search engines to recognize and rank local businesses in competitive search queries (e.g. “Breast Augmentation Atlanta” or “Botox Miami”). At the same time though, GMB profiles provide confirmation and real-time information to searchers about an organization’s details. Don’t we all use GMB results to quickly retrieve a phone number or address of a particular group?
MetaMed Marketing helps practices dominate their local markets online. Clients that share this vision (usually but not always) will want to include full optimization and full utilization of GMB.
Given how vital these Google My business has become, we’re still surprised to occasionally find practices that either have not claimed ownership/control of their GMB profile, or that don’t properly leverage use their GMB to showcase their business. Here are a few of the most common mistakes we come across.
The quickest way to frustrate a consumer is to have them arrive at your establishment expecting it will be open; only to learn it is in fact closed. Some businesses do not operate on a 9-5 schedule, or sometimes something has prevented them from opening. Consider the case of a West Coast Florida practice that recently had to close temporarily for Hurricane Ian. GMB provides an easy way to inform visitors of regular hours or also last-minute changes. This may also include businesses extending seasonal hours for occasional last-minute “must haves.”
Another mistake we’ll find with Google My Business is practices not routinely updating their GMB posts to optimize their GMB listing. This feature in GMB is relatively new so that not all businesses are aware of it. However, it provides a straight-forward way to differentiate and optimize one business over another in local search results.
Everyone seems to understand that positive reviews help online, but are medical practices in competitive markets doing anything to drive patients towards Google reviews which show up in their GMB. There are numerous ways to do this, but it starts with recognizing the correlation of positive reviews showing up in Google My business and improved local search ranking.
Lastly, is the business staying up with latest information in their GMB listing? If the telephone, address, service listing, or hours have changed, a business must stay current in their listing to impress and inform Search Engines and potential patients.
Google My business is quite valuable in digital marketing, but only if used effectively.
Brent Cavender is a co-founder of MetaMed Marketing. He heads up business development and marketing for MetaMed where he is the organization's chief practice educator and primary point of contact.