Whether you're looking for a new orthopedic specialist or an Italian restaurant, most of us begin our search in the same place: Google—more specifically, with something called Google My Business.
When you type a query into Google, nearby businesses that are relevant to those search terms will automatically populate the top of the screen, complete with contact information, hours of operation and more. This is Google My Business, and it's free, but optimizing your listing actually requires a good bit of know-how and attention. (Another reason working with a full-service marketing agency trumps piecemeal advertising.)
With that said, here's why managing your Google My Business listing is so important.
You Have to Understand the Platform
The whole point of creating a Google My Business listing is to make it easier for new patients to find your clinic and learn what you're all about. In a crowded market with plenty of competitors, getting ranked as the #1 listing can be what sets you apart from the rest. According to Search Engine Land, having a detailed listing makes it twice as likely that consumers will consider your business reputable.
A bare-bones listing includes your clinic's address, hours of operation, website link and phone number. You'll also notice that these listings include the latest Google Reviews posted by existing or past patients.
Google My Business Can be Time Intensive
As simple as it sounds, Google My Business isn't a set-it-and-forget-it thing. For it to be an effective marketing tool, it's something you have to actively manage. The idea is for new patients to be able to find you easily, which means you have to understand basic SEO best practices.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is something marketing agencies specialize in. One side of the coin is optimizing your Google My Business listing with the precise keywords and phrases your target demographic is searching for. It goes without saying that you want whoever's managing your listing to be an SEO expert who's well-versed in digital marketing strategies.
The other piece of the puzzle is being strategic and responsive with your Google Reviews. This is a huge factor as ignoring these very public patient concerns is pretty much guaranteed to deter new patients. The problem is that very few medical professionals have the time to step away from running their practice to sit at their computer and sort through these kinds of marketing demands. Of course, if you don't, it's at your own peril.
A full-service marketing agency is best equipped to manage your Google My Business listing because, well, they're the experts. At Ren Scott Creative, creating customized, quantifiable marketing plans is our bread and butter. Taking these responsibilities off of your shoulders is ultimately going to be what frees up more time for you to focus on patient care.