Healthcare is a highly personal industry where success depends on trust, integrity, and top quality clinical care.
Having an online presence is a great way to build credibility. Research shows 76% of consumers look at a business’s online presence before visiting in person. So it’s important for potential clients to be able to find authentic reviews, read your answers to users with questions or complaints, and get basic information like location and hours of operation.
A strong Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) allows you to portray your services in a meaningful way.
Here’s a four-step process for setting up your Google Business Profile.
Step 1. Set up your Google Business account
Follow these steps to start setting up your account:
- Register – If you don’t have a Google account, visit the Google Business portal and click Manage now to register. If you have a Google account, log in with your clinic account. If you use Gmail for your clinic, here’s a four-step process to ensure your Gmail is HIPAA compliant.
- Add clinic details – Once you log in, you’ll have to enter basic information regarding your business. This includes the name, category, and various other details.
- Enter your location – Google will prompt you to enter a location for your clinic. Make sure to enter the exact address and location pin. If your building has multiple businesses in it, make sure you mention the floor number, suite number, and other details that may help users find your clinic.
- Add contact information – This includes your clinic’s complete address, phone numbers, and any other email addresses. Malicious emails are a serious cybersecurity risk and users will be reluctant to open an email if it seems it’s from an inauthentic source. Make sure any email addresses you add sound authentic and convey professionalism. Double-check the information you enter here.
When you’re done, check all your information and click the Finish button to establish your Google Business account.
Step 2. Verify your clinic
Verifying your clinic requires a physical check by Google. This is usually done by requesting a postcard be sent to your location at the address you entered in the last step.
To start the verification process:
- Sign in to your Google Business account.
- Click Verify now. Google shows you a prompt if you aren’t verified yet.
- Select your method of verification. You can verify through text, phone, email, video, or postcard.
Available verification methods depend on a number of factors, including region, business category, public information, volumes, and support hours. Google may ask you to verify with more than one method. However, as a clinic it’s likely you’ll have to use postcard verification in addition to at least one other method.
When you’re verified, Google will send you a notification. If your verification with one method was denied, try another method.
Verifications can take a few weeks, which means your updated business information may take some time to show up on your Google Business Profile.
Step 3. Optimize your Google Business Profile
If you want your clinic to be one of the top search results when users in your area search online, you need to optimize your Google Business Profile. This complements your marketing techniques and is an essential part of local SEO (search engine optimization). It can make the difference between a client visiting your clinic or your competitor.
It’s the same for any type of business. For example, if you were a retailer for medical scrubs based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you’d want your GB Profile optimized so if a user searched for “medical scrubs Tulsa” Google would know to rank your business high in the SERPS (search engine results pages).
A properly optimized profile also helps you gain genuine reviews and ratings. These ratings help make your profile more credible and trustworthy, which is an indirect ranking factor for Google.
Here are a few ways you can optimize your clinic’s Google Business Profile:
- Add media – Adding images and videos to your Google Business Profile gives it more authenticity, gives potential clients an idea of what your clinic is like, and helps people find your physical location. For example, if you have digital signage on your clinic that stands out, adding an image of it may help users easily find you.
- Manage information – Add information like your clinic’s business hours, links for booking online appointments, and other services you offer. If possible, post photos and videos of your services.
- Engage customers – Engaging with your patients online is a good way to provide information to others who may have similar questions. Reply to online reviews (especially negative ones), provide free advice occasionally, and encourage existing patients to leave a review.
- Link to your Google Business Profile – If you have a working website, link back to your Google Business Profile. You can also embed it on your website so your location shows up on your site.
Step 4. Manage your Google Business Profile
Once you’re set up and your Google Business Profile is optimized, make a habit of checking your profile regularly so you can communicate with customers and respond to reviews.
Timely updates are important, and it’s crucial to interact with each review and comment you receive. You also have to make sure all your information remains in sync across various mediums, including your GB Profile, website, and other places where your clinic is registered.
While setting up your clinic’s Google Business Profile is one thing, optimizing and managing it is another.
Make sure your information is always up to date. Try to obtain patient reviews and testimonials on Google to strengthen your profile.
Most importantly, focus your local SEO efforts to further improve your ranking and optimization.