Getting your business name out there is important for the success of your practice, and we understand. With so many tried and true optimization methods, there are several ways with which to attack your online marketing. Paid advertising and social media are two popular methods of promoting your brand, but local visibility still reigns.
Local SEO is a specialized method of attracting potential local customers sustainably. It offers a viable source of constant hot leads that result in clients walking into your office, and with Google being instrumental in this process, one simply can’t overlook a need to optimize a Google My Business listing.
So, Why Local SEO Again?
When consumers are looking for a product or service, a Google search is their starting point. As per Google, 53% of consumers state they always conduct research before pulling the trigger on a purchase. With medical issues, this percentage is even higher as people give a high priority to their health and appearance.
Finding price information, reviews, testimonials, and technical information helps people make their choice. In a world of virtually unlimited options, a Google search narrows the field.
Local SEO is the practice of optimizing your online presence to attract local clients. There is little benefit to building an audience in Maine if your surgical practice is in Miami, FL for example.
You certainly don’t want to miss a client that’s interested in traveling to your location. However, it makes sense that your primary goal is to cover a geographical radius that makes sense for your business. Local SEO makes sure you get the necessary exposure in your locale.
Now, Where Does Google My Business Come Into Play?
Simply put, Google My Business is a multi-faceted online directory that allows you to post a business listing. The directory interfaces with Google Maps for maximum geographical targeting and exposure.
Google My Business offers you leverage in your bid to secure the best presence in the local search results.
A listing on Google’s platform has benefits that can potentially increase your conversion rates. Being a Google service, a business profile on the platform guarantees that you will appear in the search results.
Applying local SEO to your website can take months or even over a year to pay dividends. With a strong Google My Business profile, your listing can be visible in under a week. This gives you immediate visibility while your website gradually climbs the rankings.
If you’re spending money on ads and social media posts, you’ll be happy to know that a Google My Business listing is free. All you have to invest in building your business profile is your time.
Let’s look at some easy ways to optimize your Google My Business Listing for maximum brand exposure.
Start By Completely Populating Your Listing
The more information you share on your business profile, the more Google will have to work with. Feeding the search engine with everything there is to know about your business like your business description will allow users to learn the most about your practice. Here is a list of things you can include in your business listing:
- business name
- business hours
- business address
- phone number
- business description
- business category
Mentioning your business name and business address is intuitive but delving into some of the other inputs is key.
For instance, the business category field can be a helpful competitive research tool. Open Google maps and find your competitors’ listings. By placing your cursor next to your competitor’s primary business category, you can right-click on their listing. Select “View Page Source” and search the text for their primary category using CTRL+F on Windows or CMD+F on Mac.
This will lead you to the part of the code that contains all of your competitor’s categories. It should be noted that you don’t want to category-stuff your listing. Doing competitive research will allow you to arrive at the categories that the top competition is using to optimize their business listing.
Attributes are another way to offer insights that potential customers can benefit from. Business account owners can specify features and services that make their listing relevant for local searches. Attributes can result from user crowd-sourcing as well as your own submissions.
Verify Your Google My Business Listing
Verifying your listing is an essential step for your business account. It gives Google the proof it needs that you are the rightful owner of the business being submitted. This is an important security step that prevents others from falsely claiming your business listing.
The verification process takes up to five days as it requires that Google sends you a postcard through the mail. Although you can open your business listing without verification, you won’t be able to use important features. Unverified accounts lack access to page insights or business reviews on the back end.
Google Maps Integration
Clients need to be able to pinpoint your location on the map so they know how to reach your location. Google Maps is the premier mapping platform available for tagging your location. By integrating with aerial photography, satellite imagery, and street maps, Google offers users an intuitive way to find you.
Your business listing makes your Google Maps location available in the search results. That way, potential customers can visualize how far your practice is from their current location. Google maps will also allow users to navigate to your office whether on foot or in their car.
Small business or not, one thing stands true: never underestimate how vital a good review can be.
Many prospective customers differentiate local businesses based on reviews. Consumers trust online reviews, especially when they are plentiful and positive. Reviews from your customers will only boost the effectiveness of your Google My Business account.
Also, don’t consider your reviews a static list of ratings that piles up over time. Manage your reviews and make sure to respond to them. A Google My Business account with a responsive business owner will show consumers that you care about their opinions.
Furthermore, if there’s a dissatisfied customer, responding extensively and helpfully shows other potential clients that you care. The more positive reviews your business profile accumulated, the higher Google will rank your business.
Updating Your Business Profile
Many business owners view their business account as a ‘set it and forget it’ listing. However, your business is a dynamic entity and should be kept up to date. Business hours may change during the year and your business description may need updating due to new procedures offered.
If you add a second location, including the appropriate Google Maps location will help clients find you. It will also help you reach prospective clients near this new location. Just as you should keep track and respond to reviews, you should update your Google My Business account as soon as changes affect your business.
Tips for Your Surgical Practice
Besides everything discussed above regarding an effective business profile, a surgical practice can benefit from these specialized tips.
Tailoring Your Keywords Accordingly for Google Search
When a consumer conducts a Google search for your business or plastic surgery practice, likely keywords they will use include:
- plastic surgeon near me
- plastic surgery miami
- rhinoplasty cost
- how to remove wrinkles
Spending some time doing keyword research will reveal the exact phrases that are relevant to your specific audience. The insights you obtain from your research will give you a list of keywords to include in your Google My Business listing. Keyword research for relevant searches can help you tap into an audience and gain potential customers!
Choose Appealing Images
Since you can include photos in your listing, you should use this to your advantage. Plastic surgery is a field that deals with people’s appearance and the ability to share results is a powerful tool.
Before and after photos as well as images of your office will help users make up their minds about contacting your office. Images can be up to 5 MB each and should be in JPG or PNG format. The minimum resolution of your images should be 720 px by 720 px and should avoid the use of filters.
Upload enough photos to give your audience a clear idea as to what your practice is all about. You should strive to convey authority, competence, and trustworthiness through your chosen images.
Set Up Your Google My Business Listing Today
The sooner you set up your Google My Business listing, the sooner you will be on your way to climbing Google’s local search results. All of your online marketing efforts, including paid advertising and social media, should work in consort to boost results. Integrating your listing with your website’s SEO efforts is important for creating valuable synergies.
If you do not have a staff member dedicated to implementing your online marketing, creating an effective Google My Business listing can be hard. You may have to do the work yourself and that involves a learning curve that you will need to overcome.
Choosing a knowledgeable consultant to handle your Google My Business listing as well as your website and digital marketing may be a more cost-effective option. A reliable agency with the know-how to achieve top Google search rankings will put your practice ahead of the competition. Stand out from all the local businesses in your field by gaining a prominent position in the Google search results.
A Little About Us
Surgeon’s Advisor is a medical marketing strategies firm that specializes in applying result-driven strategies for its clientele. There is never any up-front payment and you retain ownership of all their work. Just as you strive to communicate your competence to your audience, Surgeon’s Advisor focuses solely on implementing best practices for their clients.
You can request a free consultation by submitting the contact form on their website. If you prefer to call for an appointment, you can reach Surgeon’s Advisor at 305.763.8011. A staff member will be happy to answer your questions and set up a free consultation.