You’ve claimed your Google My Business listing, received your postcard in the mail and verified your listing with the pin number Google provided. You pat yourself on the back, do a quick Google search and see that you’ve immediately moved to the top of the local rankings in your area.
Then, of course, you wake up back in reality. Where you’re listed 34th in Google maps and are nowhere to be found in the three-pack of search results in a regular Google search. Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors that go into earning a top local ranking, but there are still some things that make sense to do beyond filling out the bare minimum of the business information on your listing. The following tips can help you get more out of your local listing.
1. Take your images seriously
I wish I was joking when I said I recently saw a local dentist that was using stock photography in their listing. And it wasn’t the kind of stock photography where you think, “Wow, this kind of seems like stock photography, but maybe they just have really good looking people and professional photographers at this practice all the time…” Nope, these were the kind of stock photos that look like they come with a wallet. Becoming someone’s dentist is supposed to result in a long term relationship, and you’re not going to win over potential patients with fake photos of your office.
Take the time to capture high resolution, well-lit photos of the exterior of your building, your staff, the waiting room, your equipment, everything. Let people see the staff they’re going to meet and deal with when they arrive. Let them get acquainted with what your office looks like and what they should expect. Even if you’re not ranking highly at first, some people are going to see your listing and pictures are your best chance to introduce yourself and start building trust with potential patients.
If you really want to stick out, look at doing a Google virtual tour. Yes, you’ll have to pay for this, but if you really want to show off your facilities this is a really cool way to do it. You can see what one of these tours looks like here.
2. Use a profile shortname
Yes, sometimes Google rolls out features that don’t really serve much of a purpose. However, when Google offered up the ability to create shortnames, these are quite handy. You can customize a short link that you can use to share with patients for things like getting reviews. So, come up with something short and sweet that’s representative of your business and email it out to patients, or give them a handout when they leave the office encouraging them to leave reviews. As you build more reviews, you’ll attract more eyeballs and more clicks when your Google My Business listing shows in search results.
3. Manage your odd hours, dates, and holidays
Too few dentists and other local businesses take advantage of Google My Business’s special hours feature. The truth is when people want to schedule an appointment most of them will search you on Google first. This will almost certainly show the Knowledge Graph listing of your location with your hours. So, rather than make them fish around on your website or pick up the phone, you can always share your special hours in Google My Business by going to the Info page and editing your special hours, which are located right beneath your standard hours.
This is particularly helpful if your practice has variable hours or dates. Open one Saturday per month? No problem, put that on your Google My Business listing and make it easier for your prospective patients to find this information.
Have more questions about local SEO?
Netvantage Marketing has been performing SEO marketing for dentists for more than a decade, we’ve even produced an industry-leading guide to dental SEO. We know the ins and outs and are happy to talk to you about the best ways of optimizing your Google My Business listing, on-site and off-site SEO. Give us a call at 877.204.0234 or fill out our contact form to get in touch.