What the Google Business Changes Mean for You

Filed under: Marketing, Media

In the world of internet marketing, the only constant is change.

Take for example, Google My Business (GMB). Originally released as Google Places in 2014, it was rebranded as Google My Business, and has just recently evolved into Google Business Profile. Name changes are fine, but what does it mean for your dental practice, and can potential patients still find you?

“Dentists Near Me”

With a market share of over 90%, Google is the dominant search engine people use to find …pretty much everything. Approximately 68% of online activity begins with a search engine, which would include the ever-important hunt for “dentists near me.”

How do you make sure those looking see your practice when they type in those words? Easy.

Search results are broken into three sections. At the top is pay-per-click advertising where people have paid to rank based on specific keywords searched. The bottom listings are organic results, usually based on keyword search engine optimization (SEO). However, that important middle section is called Places, showing listings on the left and a map off to the side with little red location icons.

Those Google Business Places listings are free for anyone with a business page profile. If you don’t have a Google Business Profile, set one up via step-by-step instructions provided. Once you claim and manage your profile on Google Maps, your practice will show up on local searches and you’ll place above those with organic SEO results.

If you’ve been using the GMB app to manage your listing, you’ve probably already received a notice that it’s no longer available, redirecting you to Google Maps.

Making Google Business Work for You

Landing a good spot on internet searches is great, but there are other ways to make sure Google Business is working for you as well.

Even if you established your profile back when you opened, be sure to monitor and update it regularly. Are your hours and contact info current and accurate? The business description should contain your services, relevant keywords like “sedation dentistry,” and any unique value proposition your offer your patients. Check for typos and keep in mind that only the first 250 characters show on searches.

Add images and photos to identify your practice, such as logo, interior and exterior shots, or other branding visuals. Check all important business attributes in the Google options provided, like free Wi-Fi or handicap accessibility.

It’s also wise to update your page regularly to stay on Google’s good side, also known as algorithms. A few ways to do this are:

  • Post regularly. This could include events, special hours, COVID policies, etc.
  • Ask for reviews. Follow up with happy patients and ask them to leave feedback.
  • Respond to reviews. Reply but be sure to respect HIPAA guidelines when doing so.
  • Update regularly.

In Closing

Swimming with the tides of change will always be more productive for your internet marketing presence rather than fighting them, and RAMP, The Dentist’s Marketing Company will make sure your business is current and successful. To learn more about our services and receive a free consultation, contact us today.