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Why it is important to open a Google My Business profile for healthcare facilities
July 25, 2022

Why it is important to open a Google My Business profile for healthcare facilities

If you are the owner of any health center , be it a doctor’s office, a physiotherapy office or a dental clinic , you should have  Google My Business listing .

How to use Google My Business for Medical Studies

What is Google My Business – GMB?

Let’s start by saying that it is a completely free service made available by Google to help companies in their online presence on Google-owned services.

This is the summary information card that appears on the right in search engine results and contains data such as address, contact details, description, website link, photos and reviews .

Furthermore, GMB integrates the functions of Google Maps [ See Itaca Lab data sheet ] , showing your healthcare facility in its results, and allows you to be present in the local pack , the list of the first three activities that appear at the top of the local search results .

Google My Business is, therefore, an essential local SEO tool , designed specifically for searches in a specific geographical area .
Having the GMB profile is very useful for a Doctor’s Office . The complete card in all its items allows you to immediately answer user questions and gain enormous visibility. Therefore, if a patient enters “physiotherapist Bologna” the physiotherapy office with anactive and updated Google My Business account has the opportunity to appear in the main list. Consider that about the65% of users click on the professional profile that appears in Google’s local search results .
Furthermore, combining local SEO with traditional SEO (Medical SEO)  helps to appear first even with respect to competitors geographically closest to the user who does the search, but which in the absence of an effective Google My Business profile profile do not appear in the results.

About 80% of consumers use search engines to find local information.

So, if you are the owner of a Medical Practice – Outpatient Clinic – Health Facility with a physical location, you have a Google account and would like to increase your business, you must have a Google My Business card . You have no excuses: you can create the GMB account yourself and easily. We explain how and why you need to do it now.

Why is it useful to have a Google My Business profile for a doctor’s office?

Everyone knows that search engines use geolocation and IP addresses to ensure a better User Experience . Today it is no longer even necessary to write the location in the search keys to have us return the results of the activities closest to us at that moment .
Most of the users of a healthcare facility come from a neighboring geographic area . As a practice, you should leverage positioning to promote yourself locally and help local patients find you easily.
Far from being a simple summary of your contacts, the Google My Business listing is an opportunity to create engagement with your target audience. In fact, with GMB users can not only contact your center immediately, but also leave a review or ask a question.

This is why it is important to constantly monitor your Google My Business profile and respond promptly to user requests. Good questions, useful for everyone, can be placed at the top of the “Questions and Answers” ​​section and be used to improve the reputation of your practice by paying attention to the needs of your patients.

Users can also ask questions via SMS via the Chat feature , if enabled. Again, make sure you can respond promptly, especially since the response time will be indicated on the profile.

Don’t overlook the reviews . Patients looking for a health service need to establish a relationship of trust with the center and medical staff, above all they need to feel listened to, understood and reassured. Feedback, whether positive or negative, is always an opportunity to be exploited . It is always appreciated to thank patients when they leave a positive review. Similarly, responding to a negative comment , investigating the causes of dissatisfaction and proposing a solution, shows interest in the customer’s needs and decision to solve any problems .
Therefore, have a Google My Business profilecomplete and up-to-date, as well as making you immediately traceable to potential patients, it transmits a message of professionalism and competence, elements that will most likely guide users’ choice towards your medical center rather than another.

How to open a Google My Business account?

To open the Google My Business profile , you need to have a Google account. So if you don’t have one, this will be the first step. In case Google has automatically created a listing of your business or if someone else has done so, simply claim ownership.
On the Google page dedicated to My Business you will find all the steps explained in a simple and detailed way to open your card.

After completing the profile it is important to verify the activity , mainly for three reasons:

  • prevent someone from pretending to be the owner of your center or your business;
  • be able to edit information about your business displayed in Google products;
  • earn twice the chance of being trusted.

Verification consists of receiving a postcard from Google containing a unique verification code to be entered in the Google My Business profile to confirm the address of your business.

Keep in mind that even after successful verification, it may take a few weeks for Google to display your business information.

How to set up Google My Business for doctors’ offices

As a healthcare provider, you should look after your Google My Business listing carefully. In particular, Google gives the possibility to carry out telemedicine functions through one’s own profile and to enter directly into contact with patients.

Please note that Google uses some parameters to display information :

  • Relevance : You must allow Google to clearly understand what your medical center does, so that it will be able to show your listing to those who are looking for you and the services you offer.
  • Distance : If the user does not specify the location, Google uses the information available to them to determine the distance between your doctor’s office and the user to understand whether to show you in their search results.
  • Notoriety : Google rewards My Business cards with positive reviews, with curated and updated profiles, and with interactions between users and the company.

Your Google My Business profile should pay particular attention to some information:

  • contacts, hours, address, directions and contact details ;
  • concise, but simple and exhaustive description of the products and services offered in your medical center, in order to make users understand clearly what you do;
  • “appointment” function to contact you directly;
  • link for virtual assistance of your patients;
  • high quality photos , to allow users to know your property;
  • posts with a maximum length of 1,300 characters, suitable for providing more details or for posting updates and news. It is useful to insert a link to the website or a call to action within the posts .

Pay particular attention to reviews which, as we have seen, are essential for a healthcare facility and can make the difference between choosing your center or choosing another for a potential new client.

Enter as much information as possible and complete all the fields of your Google My Business profile : in this way you will help indexing your listing and strengthen your online reputation.

Website or Google My Business?

Both of them! GMB website and factsheet help improve a doctor’s online reputation and Medical SEO by working together for the same purpose.

It is clear that very small businesses may not have the necessary resources to invest in the creation of a website, which is often expensive in terms of costs and continuous updating. The modest-sized structures operating locally can therefore opt for the GMB card as a solution to be able to stand out alongside the major competitors in search engines.

Furthermore, it must be considered that although Google My Business provides online booking functions, often the most complex healthcare facilities, such as a clinic, cannot rely on such a simple functionality. Online payment options are also beyond GMB’s competences and for this it is necessary to have a management software capable of managing the appointments of various professionals, interacting with the cup and providing online reservations and payments, and a website structured to present the services.

In conclusion, Google My Business today is an essential health marketing tool and a really interesting feature for medical practices in terms of visibility and notoriety . Setting up your own card is a simple operation, which however requires the only effort of constant updating. There is no excuse not to take advantage of it, especially as long as it also has the great advantage of being a free tool . Thanks Google!