Did you know that those looking for information about local businesses primarily rely on search engines?  In fact, 80% of these individuals rely on search engines. The digital revolution is shaping industries of every type including the healthcare space. People will search the web for your services. The question is whether they will find your information.

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Search terms such as “healthcare provider near me” and “healthcare services near me, or “rehab near me,” are continuing to rise in frequency. However, such terms were not used at a high frequency years ago. In short, that many more people are turning to the web for information. The question is how your digital marketing strategy will adjust to the changes. The challenge lies in generating local traffic from those in need of your unique value offering.  The solution is a Google business listing.

Why Your Healthcare Company Needs a Google My Business Listing

In case you had any doubts about which search engine reigns supreme, there should not be any confusion – Google is the leader. About 5.6 billion searches are entered into Google every single day. For perspective, one of Google’s top competitors, Bing, has less than a billion daily searches. The dominance of Google makes it crystal clear that your healthcare company must be visible on the search engine. The best way to do that is with a Google My Business listing.

Google My Business is a platform specifically designed for business owners, empowering them to create and manage their online listing. Create this listing and those who search for “healthcare near me” or “rehab near me” will stand a better chance of finding your website in the search results. In fact, Google lists relevant local results at the top of the SERPs pages beneath the pay-per-click (PPC) ad slots. This is precisely why your healthcare business needs a Google My Business listing.

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The beauty of a Google My Business Listing is it is a no-cost means of boosting SEO. This listing bolsters your site’s online visibility without setting you back a penny. A healthcare site that is displayed on Google Search, and Maps really does make that many more online impressions, ultimately proving easier to find. According to Google’s internal data, an optimized Google My Business listing receives 5 times the number of views than those that have not been claimed by their owners.

The Merits Creating a GMB Listing for Healthcare Companies

Click one of the local search results for “healthcare services” or a similar phrase relevant to your business and you will be taken to a map with more local search. This page also shows a preview of the facility you selected. Here, you can find information about the facility including photos, its website, its star rating and reviews.

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Most business owners and managers are a bit surprised to learn nearly 85% of people online say they trust web-based reviews just as much as personal recommendations. In other words, it is in your interest to monitor your organization’s online reviews. With a Google My Business account, you can view such reviews and respond to them in a timely manner.

You have the power to boost your business’s online reputation by responding to reviews – both good and bad. This is your chance to express gratitude to former clients. If anyone complains about your services, attempt to reach out to them to make things right. Such an outreach helps your company build trust online even before you even speak with potential clients at your facility. Furthermore, taking the time necessary to respond to reviews improves search rankings. Use each positive review as an opportunity to incorporate relevant keywords in your responses. Furthermore, you can reduce the blow of negative reviews by omitting keywords from your response.

Above all, your facility needs a considerable number of reviews. When someone searches for a local business, Google favors companies with high ratings in the search results. People do not want a run of the mill service provider. Rather, they want the best healthcare provider. The higher your star rating and the more reviews you have, the better your chances are of being viewed as worthy of recognition. This is precisely why you should establish a business listing and request that satisfied clients leave reviews. Such online ratings are one of the best ways to improve your local search rankings and generate that much more relevant traffic to your website.

How to Optimize Your Google Business Listing

1. If you or your company does not have a Google account, it is time to sign up for one. If you are on Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs or any other Google platform, a Google account already exists. However, you can always create a separate account for your company’s e-mail and Google profiles.

2. Go to google.com/business. Select “Sign In” or “Start Now”.

3. Once you are signed in, you will be taken to this page:

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4. Here, you need to enter the relevant information about your healthcare business: the name, address and business category. You can also add your facility’s phone number and website. There is also an opportunity to enter keywords to explore the existing categories and pinpoint the best one. Examples include healthcare center, healthcare facility, healthcare service, etc.

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5. Press “Continue” at the bottom of the search box, and you will be provided with a list of potential matches.

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If your facility is listed, select it. However, the name or address of your facility may be slightly incorrect. However, it is possible that what you are looking at is merely an attempted listing for your facility. Someone else may have tried to add it incorrectly. It is also possible that Google has the wrong information. At this point, you must verify your ownership or request ownership.

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Do not discount the potential that you have selected an incorrect listing. Alternatively, someone might have wrongfully taken ownership of your company’s listing. Unfortunately, some businesses do this as a way to gain exposure for their affiliate link by “squatting” on an unclaimed business listing.

6. If you do not see your facility listed in the search results, don’t panic. Choose “None of these match. Keep the information I entered.”

7. At this point, you will be asked to verify the information. Check the box that says “I am authorized to manage this business and I agree to the Terms of Service.”

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8. Google will mail you a verification code so that you can set up your business listing.

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9. The next step is to establish your facility’s profile. Select “All locations” in your Google My Business account. Select the listing you would like to edit.

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This is your opportunity to add your facility’s information in terms of phone number, website, hours of operation, etc. You can also add a profile photo or even set up a virtual tour. You can also connect your AdWords and Business Insights accounts.

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Furthermore, there is an opportunity to establish a website through Google My Business, if desired.

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If you find a Google listing for your business on the web, there is a chance it will exist as a point on the map yet not yet as a business profile. Click “Own this business?” At this point, you are to verify ownership with the use of an official verification code sent to your email.

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Best Practices

It is imperative you keep your Google My Business listing updated. Furthermore, the following will also prove quite important:

    • Verify that your company’s hours of operation and phone number are accurate. If you change either, add the information to your Google My Business listing.
    • Ensure the information on the listing matches that on your website match.
    • Ensure no one has incorrectly added the affiliate link to the unclaimed listing. Furthermore, this is a good time to double-check to ensure no duplicate listings for your company are present.  Duplicates will compromise your search rank.
    • Add images of the facility to bolster creditability and encourage people to read the listing in a comprehensive manner.
    • Encourage locals to leave reviews. Such reviews enhance your company’s search ranking and generate that much more web traffic.

Learn More at Stodzy Internet Marketing

If you are confused, don’t fret. Stodzy is on your side. If your concern is optimizing a Google My Business listing, we can help. Our digital marketing team is here to boost your SEO in every way possible. Reach out to us today at 800-761-1426 for more information about our inbound marketing services

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    Tim Stoddart

    Tim Stoddart is the CEO of Stodzy Internet Marketing. He lives in Nashville with his wife and hit adorable pitbull, Alice. Tim loves to write about digital marketing and personal growth. You can learn more at TimStodz.com

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