For local dentists, carefully curating your Google My Business profile is essential to getting found, and ultimately acquiring new patients. The tool is completely free and it can launch your practice to new heights. The influence of mobile phones has affected not only the way we communicate, but also the way we make purchases. 

Google’s VP of Marketing Lisa Gevelber, explains that mobile “near me” searches has grown over 500% over the last two years. 

When a potential patient is searching for dental practices in their neighbourhood, the first thing they will tend to go is check your Google My Business profile. If they don’t see your listings, or it is incomplete or not completely accurate, your chances of acquiring new patients year after year significantly drops. 

Here are a couple tips to optimize your GMB profile!

NAP consistency

Your business Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) must be consistent across all websites, social media platforms, and anywhere else online. Accuracy of your location is especially crucial. Make sure the pin on the map is on your exact business location.  Any discrepancy in these key details will hurt your ability to be found online. NAP consistency is crucial for local SEO ranking, as Google will discredit a dental practice that has entered inconsistent information across multiple platforms. 

Pictures 

Potential patients want to see what your practice looks like, and what their experience might look like. You want to add real photos of your team and actual photos of the facility (not stock photos) that give people no indication of their potential experience. If you have a nice looking practice, why not show it off? According to Google, businesses that have photos receive 35% more click-through to their websites and 42% more requests for driving directions than businesses that have poor quality photos or no photos at all.  The photos need to be personalized, to ensure potential patients can build a connection with them and also instil confidence and trust.  You also want to employ a Google Trusted Photographer to easily create and publish virtual tours. You can find your local trusted pro here

Reviews

A great star rating and tons of positive experiences go a long way in encouraging people to choose your practice. This is a great opportunity to gather feedback for and creating an even better experience for your patients. Responding to these reviews is important as it shows potential patients you really care, take patient feedback seriously, and are also open to changes to the practice to ensure they are well taken care of. Recently, May 12th, 2018, Google made some changes to the engagement level of reviews. Google announced that they are sending email notifications to consumers when a business has posted a response. This not only makes the experience more interactive, but also sets expectations higher for businesses, as consumers will be looking to hear back from you. 

Add Online Booking URL’s to your GMB listing

You want to make it as easy as possible for potential patients to act directly from your GMB profile when they find you. A good idea is to edit your profile, and add in online booking URL’s. Google’s Booking button feature can really help you increase scheduled appointments. 

Go to your GMB and click the URL section and add in the appropriate online booking link. Convenience is everything these days, so go out of your way to make it convenient for patients, as this will launch your practice to new heights. 

Google My Business optimization is extremely important to driving new patients to your practice. Facts prove this as mobile purchase intent, “near me” (local searches) searches have sky-rocketed in the last two years.  Checking this on a regular basis to ensure you stand out will go a long way for your practice. If you can create a great looking and GMB profile, that creates connection, a search user will likely become your next patient.  

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