Drive new business with this free tool
Are you looking for a free and effective way to locally promote your healthcare clinic? If so, you may want to consider using Google My Business to bring in more patients. This free social media tool may be one of the best options available to gain visibility in local search results.
Google My Business, also known simply as GMB, is the platform created by Google to drive business listings on their search engine. When someone uses keywords to find a local business – by specific business name or by type of business – Google lists those businesses in the search results. This provides local businesses with a great opportunity to appear in those search results and potentially attract new business. For healthcare clinics, with the correct information on a Google My Business page, it may mean bringing in more patients to your practice.
Unsure of how this works? Do a Google search yourself by entering the keywords, “physical therapy” and entering your zip code. You’ll see three local business listings under a business location map. You can click “View all” to see all of the local listings Google has for that search term.
By entering a specific business name, you will see a Google knowledge panel, which displays the key information on that specific business. For example, enter “PREFERRED Therapy Providers, Inc.” in the Google search bar to see our knowledge panel that includes our location, images, hours of operation, website, posts, map and directions.
How Google My Business Can Bring New Patients to your Clinic
According to this resource, 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information and 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find a local business. That means there are patients in your community who may be looking online for the type of healthcare services you provide. By setting up a complete GMB profile page that includes information about your practice such as hours of operation, services provided, website, customer reviews, and relevant posts, you are effectively marketing your clinic to potential local patients without spending a dime! All it takes are some simple steps to set up the page and a little maintenance to keep your clinic information up-to-date. There’s no doubt that your competitors are taking advantage of this tool, so you don’t want to be left out of this opportunity and lose potential patients to another clinic in your local area.
Referrals and word-of-mouth alone are no longer enough to sustain your practice. You also need clinic exposure on search engines where people go to research a variety of services and products. If you don’t set up a Google My Business page, your business will not show up on Google Maps or in business listings when someone does a search.
Setting up Google My Business
Since Google My Business is a free tool that any business can use, it makes sense to create a profile and set up your page. There are only two requirements to use Google My Business; 1.) You must have a Google email account. Using PREFERRED Therapy Providers as an example, our company uses official business email accounts with our preferredtherapy.com extension for normal business communications. But we also have set up a Gmail account so that we can take advantage of the benefits of using Google My Business as well as other useful business tools such as Google Analytics to monitor website traffic and trends; 2.) You must have a business that has a physical address. You cannot set up a Google My Business page if your business is strictly online.
Once you have established a Google email account, follow these easy steps to sign up for and set up a Google My Business page.
Optimizing your Google My Business page
Here are some simple tips to keep in mind to optimize your Google My Business page:
- Be sure your images are clear and correctly sized.
- Asking your patients to rate your services provides the social proof that many consumers use to make a service or product decision. Be sure to monitor your online reviews and promptly and professionally respond to them.
- Keep your contact information current. If your clinic moves to another location, or if other relevant information about your clinic has changed, be sure to update your Google My Business page.
- Use Google Posts to provide useful content. This can be announcements, offers, events, or even blog posts.
Summing it up
- Google My Business is a free social media tool for any type of business with a physical address.
- This local search tool can bring new patients to your clinic. 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information.
- It’s easy to set up a profile and business page.
- Take advantage of the many features of GMB including adding posts, posting customer reviews, announcements and events in your clinic.
This article is brought to you by PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc. PREFERRED is the nation’s leading payor management services network. Our expertise is working with physical, occupational and speech therapy practices – from single clinics to multiple clinic locations.