20-Point Google My Business Checklist for 2020
In 2014, Google announced its new business - Google My Business. Prior to 2014, it used to be very difficult to outrank large corporations on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Google My Business allows businesses to improve their online engagement and search ranking by creating free online business profiles that are visible and searchable by internet users.
With Google My Business, dentists can share important information about their dental practices. Your current and prospective patients can easily look up your dental practice’s website, location, hours of operations, phone number, reviews, and social media profile - all in one place. 46% of all Google searches are local searches and this Google’s Google My Business feature makes it easy for patients in your local community to look up and find your dental practice.
Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business profile is essential to maintaining your dental practice’s online presence and gaining more reviews. As Google continues to improve the features of Google My Business, it is important that you have a process for ensuring your business profile is optimized and updated.
If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business’ business profile, you can learn how to claim your profile in this article we shared a while ago. After reading that article, you should return to this article to learn the key items you need to stay on top of when you regularly update your Google My Business profile.
The first 10 pointers on this checklist are entries you should put in when you initially set up your Google My Business’ business profile. The next 10 pointers are action steps you should take on a regular basis on your business profile and website. Altogether, these pointers will guide you to optimize your profile.
- Business Name: When claiming your dental practice’s business profile, you should spell out your business name exactly as it is spelled in other branding materials, stationery or signages. If your name isn’t appropriately listed on your profile and you need to change it, you would need to go through verify your business ownership before making that change. It is important that you get it right at the initial registration.
- Category: Categories are used to describe your business. This way, internet users can easily find your practice based on the categories you use. Most dental practices use ‘Dental Clinic’ for the category as this term is one of the most searched keywords for looking up dental practices.
- Service Areas: For this entry, specify the geographical area of your dental practice’s local community.
- Hours of Operation: Specify the hours your dental practice office is open. You can also set and update special hours for holidays or special events.
- Phone Number: Google allows you to enter up to three phone numbers. If your dental practice’s contact number changes at any time, make sure you update this entry.
- Main Website URL: Here, you can enter your website URL to direct internet users to pages on your website where they can schedule appointments.
- Business Description: The business description entry is your opportunity to share your dental practice’s unique offerings, value proposition, and history with your prospective patients. Do not share details about promotions, discounts, or sales in this entry. Instead, focus on clearly describing your dental practice in 750 characters or less.
- Opening Date: By adding the date your dental practice first opened, you can establish your practice’s expertise and authority in the dental industry. This entry is optional and favors practices that have been in existence for a long time.
- Initial Photos/Videos: Include pictures or videos of your dental practice’s interior and exterior space. This gives prospective patients a virtual tour of your practice ahead of their first visits.
- Add Managers: If you have partners, fellow doctors, or office managers at your practice, you could add them as ‘managers’ of your dental practice’s business profile. Managers can make updates to entries like hours of operation or adding more photos to your profile. They can’t make sensitive changes such as profile deletion or the addition of more managers.
We have addressed 10 key areas that you should pay attention to during the initial setup of your Google My Business’ business profile. The next four items on the checklist are action steps that you - or someone on your team - should take on a regular basis. These steps are important for getting the best out of your business profile.
- Respond to Questions: Google My Business’ Questions and Answers feature allows you to increase your dental practice’s online engagement by crowdsourcing questions and answers from your patients and internet users. This means internet users can ask questions about your practice and other internet users can answer these questions. However, it is recommended that you, as the business owner, provide direct and clear answers to the questions people ask about your practice. To stay on top of these questions, you should ensure you review and respond to questions on your business profile on a weekly basis.
- Respond to Reviews: Reviews are one of the most useful features of your Google My Business’ profile. Current patients can leave reviews directly on your business profile. These reviews can be seen by prospective patients and internet users who are considering using your services. The benefits of public online reviews can’t be understated. Reviews are free advertisements that improve your ranking on SERPs, drive online engagement, and increases your current and prospective patients’ trust in your dental practice. It is recommended that you check for new reviews on your business profile on a weekly basis. To maximize your online engagement, you should respond to as many positive or negative reviews as possible.
- Add a New Post: Google My Business allows business owners to share brief updates on their business profiles. These updates could be announcements, news, short-form blog posts, or promotions. You could add pictures to your posts and use this feature as a medium of communicating with current and prospective patients.
- Add New Photos: As you update your business profiles with posts on a weekly basis, you should add new photos to your profile. Regular posts and photo updates help Google’s search algorithm know your business is still active. It also helps to increase your Google search ranking.
- Report Spam Reviews: Unfortunately, your dental practice’s online engagement can be derailed by fake reviews on your business profile. These reviews may be published by bots or humans. Common spam reviews include attempts to redirected internet users to a different or competing business or factually inaccurate reviews. If you come across spam reviews on your business profile, you can flag them as inappropriate by clicking the flag button beside the date the review was published. Additionally, you can respond to these reviews by clearly stating that the reviews are fake and you’re working on removing them from your profile. It is important that you stay on top of fake reviews. Fortunately, fake reviews do not happen often but make sure you look out for them on a monthly basis.
Connect the Doc handles your online reputation so you don’t have to. To learn more about gathering reviews on your Google My Business’ business profile, contact us today.
- Review Insights and Data: Google allows you to review insights and data about your dental practice’s online engagement through your business profile. With Google My Business’ Insights, you can learn how your patients find your business’ listing on Google, the common search queries that led them to your listing and the actions they take on your profile (website visits, requests for direction to your practice and calls to your office using the phone number you provided.) These insights help you understand what online marketing measures are working - or not working - for your practice.
Website Related Maintenence:
The next four action steps you should take to optimize your online engagement through your Google My Business’ business profile involve your website. Google’s algorithms comb through information on your website and use its findings to update your Google My Business’ business profile. It is essential that the information on your website is accurate and up to date.
If your website was created by the Connect the Doc team, your website manager is on top of these details. However, if you have any questions regarding these steps, you can contact your website manager about them. If your website wasn’t created by the Connect the Doc team, you should check in with your website designer and ensure that these steps are taken or you can contact us to create an optimized website for your dental practice.
- Connect Your Social Media Profiles to Your Website: If your dental practice has a social media presence, you may want your social media profiles to be added to your Google My Business’ business profile. This drives traffic to your social media pages and allows prospective patients to engage with your practice’s brand and content. To do this, add links to your social media profiles to your website’s code or drag builder. Be aware that it may take months for Google’s algorithm to make the association and update your business profile. If social media engagement is one of your dental practice’s marketing strategy, you can continue to regularly update your social media profile so you can achieve this outcome.
- Review Your Website’s Meta Descriptions: You should ensure your website’s descriptions and meta-descriptions include your dental practice’s marketing keywords. Usually, your keywords should be consistent with the common search queries for your practice.
- Add Alt-Texts to Images on Your Website: Alt-texts are meta-descriptions that you can add to images published on your website. Visually impaired users, who use screen readers, can read these texts to better understand the images on your webpage. Having alt-texts on your website’s images can improve your search ranking on SERPs and business profile on Google My Business.
- Add a keyword to your Website’s Homepage Title: The keyword you add to your dental practice’s website’s homepage title is called a title tag. The title tag, which can be added to your website’s code or drag builder, improves SEO and Google My Business’ business profile.
Your dental practice’s Google My Business’ business profile is your opening to promote your website to a wide audience and improve your online engagement. To optimize your listing, you should pay attention to the 20 entries and action steps outlined in our checklist.
Summary: 20-point Google My Business Checklist 2020
- Business Name
- Service Areas
- Hours of Operation
- Phone Number
- Main Website URL
- Business Description
- Opening Date
- Initial Photos/Videos
- Add Managers
- Respond to Questions
- Respond to Reviews
- Add a New Post
- Add New Photos
- Report Spam Reviews
- Review Insights and Data
- Connect Your Social Media Profiles to Your Website
- Review Your Website’s Meta Descriptions
- Add Alt-Texts to Images on Your Website
- Add a keyword to your Website’s Homepage Title
At Connect the Doc, we support dentists to achieve desired results by providing a holistic approach to their digital marketing strategies. Contact our team to grow your dental practice’s engagement, searchability, and ranking on Google and learn more about claiming or optimizing your Google My Business’ business profile.