If you don’t have a local SEO strategy for your hospital or practice, you’re missing out on a large, high-intent audience. The Google business page – Google Business Profile – is one of the best—free—ways to improve your local SEO ranking and attract new consumers.
People are using Google as an efficient way to get the information they need about local businesses.
Just this morning, I was trying to remember where I’d purchased a specific item. Instead of searching in vain for a long-lost receipt or credit card statement, I went straight to Google. Within moments, I found the business's name and contact information in the right-hand panel of the search engine results page (SERP). The convenience is unmatched.
I not only know the name of the store, their physical location, and when they’ll be open, but I also have a phone number I can call to confirm if they still carry the item I need.
Why am I telling you this?
Your patients are consumers, too, and when they're searching for a healthcare provider or other health services, chances are high they're using Google to do it.
Your Business Profile must appear at the top of the search results page with timely, accurate information that's refreshed regularly to stay competitive.
You can get there, but you’ve got to play by Google's rules. Google favors businesses with relevant keywords, physical locations in proximity to the user, and several pieces of vital information, such as:
Hospitals, health systems, and multilocation medical practices must leverage the new capabilities and advancements of a Google business page to improve local SEO, outrank their competitors, and build trust and credibility. Google Business Profile also makes it easy for businesses to share public health notices, temporary service changes, and announcements in real-time.
In today’s blog post, I share:
Google Business Profile is a free, easy-to-use local listing platform that can single-handedly improve your local SEO ranking. Many people refer to it as a Google business page.
It not only significantly impacts where your business appears in results for local business searches, it also gives searchers immediate access to relevant details about your business.
In 2021, Google renamed Google My Business to Google Business Profile. For those keeping track, this is the fifth name change for their local listings product since its inception in 2005:
However, these changes should not be confused with indecision. Google business page continually analyzes user behavior and optimizes their products to maximize its effectiveness.
This new and improved Google Business Profile tool fully supports larger businesses with multiple locations. New features include the ability to complete several tasks directly from Search or Maps:
Lift your healthcare organization or multilocation practice to the top of SERPs with a Business Profile that expands your reach, builds trust, shares high-quality information, and targets high-intent audiences.
While each physical location will have its own Google business page, larger businesses, and multilocation practices can manage their business groups via Business Profile Manager (f.k.a. dashboard for Google My Business).
A business group is a group of business profiles collectively managed by a single organization. Healthcare organizations can easily apply changes across multiple profiles simultaneously from the Business Profile Manager.
If you want to know the importance of Google business listing for your organization, here are five reasons to create, manage and optimize its Google Business Profile:
Healthcare organizations can help potential patients learn about their business by including several pieces of information on its profile listing, including:
If your business has a robust Google Business Profile, consumers are 2.7 times more likely to consider your business reputable and 70% more likely to visit your physical location.
Here’s a simple guide to creating a Google Business Profile that will be visible in Search and Maps for local patients looking for your products and services. Before you get started, here is a list of requirements:
Ready to improve your local SEO and attract new patients? Follow these steps to set up your Google Business Profile:
Once you claim, update, and verify your Google Business page, it’s essential to actively manage it to ensure your business remains attractive to the Google algorithm.
Here are four key ways to optimize and manage your Google Business Profile:
1. Add posts regularly
Google posts appear alongside your business page in Search and Maps, but the catch is they disappear after seven days. Keep the Google algorithm coming back to your listing and boost local SEO by posting several types of content weekly, such as:
2. Encourage and respond to user reviews
Thank positive reviewers and respond to negative reviews with appreciation and offer resolutions. Replying to customer reviews is an excellent way for brands to build trust, improve organic SEO, and boost search rankings. It also sends an important message to consumers: your company is attentive and prioritizes patient satisfaction.
Google also determines business quality based on the quantity and quality of user reviews. This means listings with several positive customer reviews will be displayed in the SERP more often than listings with few reviews or a significant number of negative reviews.
It’s also important to note that healthcare organizations must maintain HIPAA compliance while responding to all patient reviews. This means, of course, keeping protected health information (PHI) private—even if someone has already revealed it in their review. This includes information such as:
3. Respond to questions and post FAQs
Stay engaged with your patients by answering their questions and post ones you feel are missing in the ‘Questions & answers’ section located toward the middle of your Business Profile.
4. Keep your Business Profile updated
Google Business Profiles are not a set it and forget it tactic. It’s crucial to log into your Business Profile Manager at least once a month to review and edit your information as needed because anyone—yes, anyone—can edit your profile.
This is particularly important for hospitals and multilocation practices. Google Business Profile Manager allows you to manage all of your locations in one place and share accurate and consistent content across all listings.
Keep in mind Google may change your listing information if it discovers conflicting information elsewhere, so it’s important to ensure accuracy and consistency across all consumer touchpoints (e.g., Business Profile, website, social, etc.).
Leverage the immense power of your Google business page to build credibility and trust with your patients, boost local SEO, and outrank your competitors.