With the current trend of digitization taking over, promoting business on the internet is on every entrepreneur’s mind. And why not? The internet is that one place where businesses do not have to pay any extra money for space and at the same time a far and wide reach among the masses is guaranteed. This far and wide reach is a possibility because of the multiple methods of marketing a business online. These methods include email marketing, social media marketing, PPC ads, etc. The other factor which has a direct impact on your business’s online presence is your search engine ranking. And to improve your search engine ranking, you need to conduct SEO,
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process which makes the content that you upload online rank well on the search engine result page. When it comes to the internet, a major part of the web traffic comes from the search engines. Hence making your search engine ranking better is highly essential to increase your organic traffic. The same can be achieved by creating keyword-rich content, doing regular updates and maximizing your online presence by creating not just a website but also multiple business pages.
Business pages or online profiles are company information pages which you create on online directories. These pages work wonders in enhancing your search engine ranking. Another benefit of these pages is that it helps to enhance your local SEO. Local SEO refers to the area or location-centric SEO which focuses on increasing your business ranking on search engines when a user looks for your business within a select vicinity.
Local SEO is something which works bests for small businesses, especially businesses that provide services only in select localities. A few examples include plumbing firms, dentists, optometrists, etc. One of the many ways to enhance your local SEO is by creating a Google My Business listing. In this article, we will have a look at how you can optimize your Google My Business listings for dental clinics.
Create Your Google My Business Profile
If you do not have a Google My Business account, you first need to create one. But before you do that, conduct a Google search of your dental clinic and check if you already have a Google My Business page. This generally happens when your clinic has been around for some years now. In case your Google My Business page is already listed, all you need to do is claim it and optimize it with the correct and detailed information.
In case you do not have an existing Google My Business page, creating one is pretty simple and something that you can do on your own. If you are tech-savvy and have a social media page, you would know how to make your profile. The process is similar to any other profile creation. You simply need to add your business details and create a profile.
When you are adding your details about the dental clinic, you need to be extra careful as the information has to be accurate. For an existing page, you simply need to verify if the contact details provided is correct or not. It is important that the address and contact number or your NAP(Name, Address, Phone Number) that you put up on your Google My Business profile is the exact same as it is on your website and other listings. This consistency is necessary to boost your SEO value. Also, make sure to mention the correct business hours as a potential patient who searches for the dental clinic will be able to contact you during your working hours only.
The good thing about the Google My Business profile set up is that it gives you a comprehensive list to fill your details. So make use of this and fill in the complete detail about your dental clinic. Also, do not forget to write a good introduction for your dental clinic, which includes some high-ranking keywords.
Do Not Forget to Add Images
The impact that visual imagery has on users is important. This is one important aspect to keep in mind when optimizing the Google My Business listings for dental clinics. Google My Business gives you the option to upload images to enhance the appeal of your listing. Many businesses do not utilize this option, which results in their listing looking empty and incomplete.
In Google My Business listings for dental clinics, you get the option to upload multiple images at a time. So why not add some to bring your clinic to life in front of the potential patients? To start off, you can add basic images of the store interior and the store exterior. While the store interior image will let the patient know about the facilities and the environment of your clinic, the exterior image will help them recognize the clinic when they try to find you through your address. A smart way of adding both these images is by using the 360-degree view that Google My Business allows you to upload. These images give a complete 360-degree view of the entire clinic and enhance the user experience. To get these images clicked, you need to get a Google-approved photographer to click the pictures of your clinic. These photographers can be found through a link provided in Google My Business.
In the above image, you can have a look at a dental clinic’s Google My Business details which appears on the search result page. Apart from making use of the other elements such as “questions and answers” and “reviews”, adding images to your Google My Business page will enhance the impact on the users.
Choose the Right Category
When optimizing your Google My Business listings for dental clinics, it is essential for your local SEO process that the Google My Business page of your dental clinic turns up at the top of the search results. To make that happen, optimizing the Google My Business page with every minute detail is necessary. The common option that people tend to forget about is selecting the right category for their business.
Categories in Google My Business listings refer to the specific business type. These types are bifurcated based on what services or products are included in the business’s offerings. While many businesses ignore selecting a category, others who do select a category often end up choosing the wrong category. This generally happens because there are some standard categories listed by Google which are the only options to choose from.
The businesses that do not rank high even after selecting a category is because of their wrong category selection. So how can you avoid this from happening when optimizing the Google My Business listings for dental clinics? The idea is simple. When you create your Google My Business listing, scan the categories thoroughly. You may come across various options such as dental clinic, dentist, dental services, cosmetic dentist, etc. Do not opt for a very specific category. Choose the one which is more general yet describes your practice. For example, you may be a dentist who provides cosmetic dentistry treatments along with general dentistry treatments but choosing “cosmetic dental” from the category may not be a viable option for you. Why? Because then you will only show up on search engines for cosmetic dental searches and not for general dentist searches made by users.
Ask for Reviews
If you are a dental clinic which already has an online presence, then you might be well aware that online platforms are mediums which provide two-way communication. This two-way communication includes the business promotion done by you and the comments and reviews that the patients have about your dental clinic and treatments. It is the same when it comes to Google My Business listings, but here you also have the liberty to ask for reviews from the patients ethically.
Having reviews for the Google My Business is a good thing, especially when you are planning to work on your local SEO as it helps you to improve your rankings. While reviews tend to come in when your service is good, but at times even happy patients do not put any reviews. Reason? Either it’s not on top of their head, or they are not aware of the reviewing option available on your Google My Business listing. For these reasons, you need to approach your happy patients and ask for their reviews.
So how do you go about asking for reviews from your patients? The key lies in being subtle. Approach the friendly patients that come to your clinic and ask them if they are happy with your treatment and if the treatment was helpful. For the positive response that you receive, humbly ask them to leave a review on your Google My Business listing. An innovative way to ask for reviews is by adding the direct link of the listing review option in your email signature.
Just keep in mind, the online reviews that your dental clinic will receive will have a great impact on the potential patients who may look you up online. This is because people tend to go by the words of existing patients. Also, having more number of reviews on your Google My Business page will give a good impression to the users. Here is one example of such an optimized Google My Business page.
Use the Varied Options Available
Optimizing the Google My Business listings for dental clinics on a basic level is possible when you follow the above-mentioned points. But there are certain options which can be used to enhance the user’s experience when they use the Google My Business listing for dental clinics. These features, though not mandatory, when added can make your Google My Business listing more reliable for the users.
One such feature of Google My Business is called as the Google Posts. These posts are small ads that appear at the end of the business listing section to inform the user about any event or happenings of the business that you want to announce. For a dental clinic, you can add such a post when you have an annual teeth cleanup. This option not only informs about the event to the viewers but also lets them take action on it via a call-to-action button which can easily be added. A similar feature to this is the booking button feature which is a recent addition to Google My Business listings. This feature will enable your potential patients to directly book a dental appointment through your listing. All you need is a scheduling provider that is supported by Google and an integrated scheduling software to keep a track of the appointments coming in. Another nifty feature of Google My Business listings is the “Questions and Answers” section which lets a user send you queries or questions that they might have in their mind regarding your dental clinic.
With the above-mentioned ideas, you can optimize your Google My Business listings for dental clinics. Do keep in mind to complete your Google My Business page with accurate information that is consistent throughout all your online presence. Google My Business is a part of local SEO and to have a more optimized local SEO you need to pay more attention to optimizing it. To lessen this burden, simply hire a company proficient in local SEO to work on your local SEO and Google My Business listings for dental clinics while you do what you are best at, and that is to tackle teeth problems.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.