Online marketing is absolutely essential for dentists in today’s crowded marketplace. Getting your website (as well as your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media) in front of potential patients is the only way to ensure a consistent supply of new patients. Increasingly, those seeking a dentist will turn to Google first. Google My Business is one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your Google ranking, ensuring that local prospects will see your website.
To maximize the power of your Google My Business page, though, it is important to devote some time and energy to making it the best it can be. Here is what you need to know.
What Is Google My Business?
Simply put, Google My Business ties your dental practice to both Google Search and Google Maps. It is a sort of mini-website that gives a snapshot of your practice and allows prospects to click through to your full website for more information. Google My Business is free to use, and it is far easier to quickly rank a Google My Business page than a full website. Think of Google My Business as a nice smile—it makes an excellent first impression.
Optimizing Google My Business for Your Dental Practice
Fortunately, Google My Business has a simple, step by step process. Work your way through the steps in order, fully completing one before moving on to the next.
- Claim and verify your page: Go to Google My Business and click “Start Now,” then follow the prompts. After you fill out all of the information, Google will send you a postcard with a verification code. Follow the instructions to finish verifying your page.
- Take a NAP: NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. Google likes consistency and will penalize you for any discrepancies it finds. Make sure your NAP is exactly the same across your Google My Business page, website, social media accounts, directory listings, and all other online appearances. Also double-check that your Google My Business page is linked to your website rather than a social media account, as only website links boost your Google ranking.
- Pinpoint your location: You might be tempted to set a broad region as your location to attract more potential patients. However, Google will penalize you for failing to list your exact address.
- Add photos: Post high-quality images to entice prospects. Choose inviting images of the waiting room, the treatment room, the staff, and even your satisfied patients (with their permission).
- Interact via reviews and Q&As
A stunning 84% of consumers trust user reviews just as much as personal recommendations, so Google likes to see a steady flow of reviews. Ask your patients directly to write reviews, and consider giving small incentives to do so. Be sure to read and respond to all reviews, including those that are negative.
The more interaction you have, the better your page will rank, so also take advantage of the Question and Answer feature. Patients can ask simple questions and your answers will help build out your profile, as well as boosting your trustworthiness with prospects.
- Add an appointments link: Remember that people are basically lazy. Adding a direct link to your appointment page can boost your conversions, or the number of prospects who convert to paying patients. If you have a bit more time and energy, you can even take advantage of Google My Business’s new booking feature that eliminates the need for prospects to visit your appointment page at all.
- Write posts: Google My Business allows you to write posts that can help drive patient conversions. Try posting about your events, promotions, and new services.
- Pay attention to your page: Most dentists set up their Google My Business page and then forget about it. Checking in once or twice a week to post, respond to reviews, and make sure the page looks spiffy can launch you to the top of the rankings.
Of course, not all dentists have the time or interest to devote to marketing. If you have been putting off dealing with your Google My Business page, consider hiring an outside company to help. We’ll do what we do best, allowing you to focus on what you do best.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.