Dental Marketing 101: Google My Business for Dental Practices
If you’re struggling to increase your dental practice’s online visibility, you’re not alone. 63% of businesses consider attracting quality leads and boosting their online visibility to be one of their biggest marketing challenges. However, don’t fret, there is a method to the madness, and it involves claiming and optimizing your dental practice’s Google My Business profile.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool for promoting your dental practice on Google Search and Google Maps. With a Google My Business profile, you can publish your practice’s contact information online, post updates, and connect with your current and prospective patients. Additionally, it helps boost your dental SEO and makes your dental practice searchable online.
At its core, Google My Business is an opportunity for you to improve your patient engagement while increasing your dental practice’s online visibility. It is a directory that shows up only on Google’s search engine results pages. Like most online dental directories, patients can see vital information about your dental practice, share reviews, and click a link to schedule appointments with you.
Why Your Dental Practice Needs A Google My Business Profile
- Promote Your Dental Practice For Free
Google My Business captures the essence of your dental marketing efforts. It is a free tool that markets your dental practice at any time of the day. It helps you attract and engage patients who search for your dental practice online and gives your practice a presence on Google Maps. As great and beautiful as your dental website may be, it may not be easily searchable online if patients don’t already know its URL or if it isn’t well optimized. Your dental practice’s Google My Business profile ensures prospective patients can always find your website.
On your Google My Business profile, prospective patients can read your current patients’ reviews. They can also click a link to visit your dental website and learn more about your practice or schedule an appointment. More so, the reviews your patients share on your profile is searchable online. Whenever prospective patients look up dental-related terms that are included in your online reviews, chances are your reviews will show up in the search results.
- Keep Your Patients Updated
Your Google My Business profile is like a notice board that allows current and prospective patients to keep up with your dental practice. On your profile, you can share your dental practice’s address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation, images, and videos in one place. You can also post updates and address patients’ questions. By giving patients easy access to details about your dental practice, you’ll be improving patient engagement and nudging them closer to scheduling an appointment with you.
- Book More Appointments
Patient acquisition is one of your main dental marketing goals and your dental practice. Your Google My Business profile gets you one step closer to that goal. Regardless of how you typically schedule appointments - over the phone, via your website, or through a third-party scheduling service/tool - you can add an appointment link on your profile as a call to action. If you prefer, your patients can also use Google’s reserve tool to schedule their appointments.
- Improve your dental SEO
Dental SEO refers to a set of actions that make your dental website searchable on search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. If your dental website is optimized for search engines, it shows up whenever your prospective patients look up dental-related terms or keywords on Google. With a Google My Business profile, you can boost the chance of your dental website showing up for your patient’s search queries.
To provide accurate and relevant search results for internet users, Google prioritizes the details published on Google My Business profiles and uses them as sources of information. If your profile is updated and well optimized, Google will show your profile to your ideal patients in response to their search queries. The more patients click your profile and visit your dental website, the higher your website’s ranking on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
How To Set Up Your Dental Practice’s Google My Business Profile
- Claim or add your Google My Business profile
To claim your dental practice’s Google My Business profile, start by checking if a listing appears on Google for your practice. The listing would be on the right side of your screen when you look up your dental practice’s name. If a listing appears, you can claim ownership of it by opening Google Maps, entering your dental practice’s name, selecting the business name that appears, and if it is accurate, click Claim this business.
Suppose someone else has already claimed your business profile: in that case, you can request access to it by visiting Google’s Business page, search for your dental practice’ name, choose the correct name from the list that appears, click Continue, click Request Access, fill the form and click Submit. The current owner will receive a confirmation email informing them to contact you within seven days or approve your ownership transfer request.
Suppose your business doesn’t exist on Google at all: in that case, you can visit the Google My Business homepage, sign up with your business email, click Manage Now, enter your dental practice’s name, category, location, website URL, and verify your profile using a code sent to you via text message, phone call, email or in a postcard. You can also opt to get verified via Google Search Console or by speaking with a Google specialist on a video call.
- Add Your Dental Practice’s Information
If you had to add and verify your business profile, you might have already added most of your dental practice’s information. If you simply claimed your profile, you can add or edit your dental practice’s information by signing into your Google My Business account. Once signed in, click Info, add the necessary details, and click Apply.
- Optimize your Google My Business Profile
Make the most of your dental practice’s Google My Business profile by adding details that matter to your patients. In the About Section under the Info tab, add one or two paragraphs that emphasize your dental practice’s value proposition and include keywords about your practice and service. These keywords are words that your prospective patients will likely search for when looking for new dentists. A Connect the Doc marketing specialist can work with you to conduct an extensive keyword and narrow down a list of applicable keywords for your dental practice.
Be sure to add a link to your scheduling page, service, or tool so your dental patients can easily book appointments through your profile. In the category section: list about one to six categories that apply to your dental practice (e.g., dentist, general dentist, dental clinic, family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, etc.); this ensures your dental practice appears in the search results of a broader, targeted range of search queries. Finally, don’t forget to regularly add your dental practice’s logo, images, videos, and share posts on your profile.
- Encourage patients to leave reviews
Now that your profile is updated and optimized, you can share your business profile review link with your active patients. Encourage them to share their reviews and ask questions on your business profile. To get the review link, log into your Google My Business account, click Home, click Share Review Form, and copy the link. You can share your review link with your patients via email or use Connect the Doc’s automated review tool to automatically ask your patients to share their reviews after each appointment.
- Check your insights and respond to reviews
Regularly, you or someone on your team should be checking your business profile’s insights and responding to reviews. These insights inform you of how patients find and interact with your business profile. You can learn about the keywords that patients typically use to find your business profile, your total profile views, where patients found your profile (Google Search or Google Maps and Desktop or Mobile Browsers), and the actions they took on your business profile.
You can also use the dated timeline of profile views to observe trends and learn about high-traffic periods for your dental marketing. With these trends, you’ll know when to expect spikes in your patients’ search queries or interest in dental healthcare services. You can plan your promotional events or patient communications around specific dates or seasons. Schedule time to manage your profile: check your insights, respond to patients’ reviews, answer their questions, update or edit your practice’s details, update your media, and share posts. Don’t hesitate to take the necessary actions based on your insights.
As a free tool, Google My Business has a high ROI for your dental practice. You should leverage this marketing tool to increase your dental practice’s online visibility, attract more patient leads, improve your dental SEO, and boost your patient acquisition rate. If you need support as you develop and implement your dental marketing strategy, contact a Connect the Doc marketing specialist for a comprehensive dental website audit.