Google has historically been very tight-lipped about any hints on what needs to be done to ensure higher ranking within their search engine. As SEOs, we are forced to read between the lines and infer upon different news releases, twitter posts, etc. One thing is certain though, Google wants you to have a fully built out Google My Business page.
In the last two conferences I’ve attended, one hosted by Google, another which Google was a speaker, both have put a strong emphasis on building out your Google My Business page as part of your ongoing marketing efforts.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a section of a Google search result page which shows business information including name, photos, address, hours of operation, and reviews. An owner of a business can claim their listing and provide Google with the data to display. All data goes through an approval process. Google My Business pages are most typically shown for branded searches. Google also uses the Google My Business data for map search results.
Is Google My Business used by patients?
We took several of our clients call data to determine how many new patients and returning patients use Google My Business as a means to contacting the office.
We found that on average, 61% of new patient calls came from Google My Business versus originating from the website. This is an ever-increasing trend that we have been seeing ever since Google introduced Google My Business in 2014. We also found that calls lasted anywhere from 5% to 62% longer when originating from Google My Business.
These numbers may come as a surprise, but Google wants searchers to find relevant information like phone numbers and hours without having to visit your website. Ensure that your data is accurate, and your Google My Business page is engaging with photos, posts, and accurate and informative content. When a current patient is simply needing driving directions, or a new patient is ready to call for that appointment, you want to make sure it is as easy as possible.
How Google My Business fits into the dental patient’s online journey
Gone are the days where a prospective patient types in “dentist” chooses the first website, reads for a minute and calls the number on the website. Today’s patients are looking for a more personal relationship, great customer service, and a reasonable price. They are willing to spend more for better service and results, but ultimately want to trust who they are working with. They spend more time looking at multiple sites, looking for a reason to choose them.
When they ultimately decide on a practice, they’ll often do a branded search and call the number from Google search result.
What Should A Dental Practice Do to Optimize Their Google My Business Page?
Don’t despair, we’ve already written a whole post dedicated to optimizing your Google My Business page here.
Keep in mind that your Google My Business page can contain photos, reviews, business hours, and about us section, and a direct link to online booking. Because of this, many word of mouth referrals may never even land on your website. Google My Business should be an integral part of any SEO marketing campaign.