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Google – You gotta be in it to win it!

If you run a healthcare practice and you want to get more income from new clients please take a few moments to read this article. Its non-technical, straightforward and won’t cost you a penny, but it will generate you more business.

Lets consider a real-world situation…

You go for a run, injure your knee and decide you need to find a physio. What do you do?

Statistically, if you’re like 90% of the population you’ll go online and type something like “physiotherapist leeds” into Google.

On a desktop device (PC or Mac) this is what you will see:

local_search_results

On a mobile device you will see something like this:

local_search_results_mobile_600

In both cases, desktop or mobile, the “Google My Business” section of the search results get amazing prominence. Google is heavily promoting “local search” and is desparate to get local companies (like yours) listed, which is why they’re offering it for free and giving it significant visibility in search results.

Don’t be “put off” by the fact that there are only three “GMB” listings in each set of results listed above:

  1. Often there are more listings and there’s no reason why you can’t be one of the highly prominent few at another level. For example, if our runner lives in Alwoodley, a suburb of Leeds, they might search for “Alwoodley Physio” and if your practice is close to Alwoodley there’s a good chance that you will appear instead of a more distant practice which is more readily linked to Leeds.
  2. More than half of the people that search for services like yours do so on their mobile. With the map and “call” button the mobile GMB results make it super easy for the user to take action and inevitably many users will click on the “More Places” link to get a few more choices.

Where you get listed in the GMB results is very much down to Google’s algorithms, but the following factors are known to play a part:

  • Search phrase relevance – yup, if your practice is called “Leeds Physiotherapy” there’s a good chance you will appear
  • Your website’s existing SEO performance – age, quality score, relevance etc
  • Completeness of the information that you provide when you sign up for Google My Business – did I mention its free!
  • Quality of reviews – lots of legitimate 5* reviews will greatly help your ranking

A few other points to note:

  1. The results you see above were generated in a browser using an ad-blocker. If you aren’t using an ad blocker you would typically see around 4-5 paid ads at the top of the page.
  2. The content above will change based on a whole host of criteria – who you are, where you are, what you’ve searched for previously so if you do the same search and don’t see the same results don’t panic!
  3. The content listed above is the property of Google Inc

 Are there any other benefits?

  • SEO Enhancement (Search Engine Optimisation) – Listing on GMB will enhance your standing with Google and may improve your position in local organic search i.e. the area below the GMB sections in the examples above.

  • Competitive Advantage – Very few practices utilise GMB so this is a simple, no-cost way of standing out from the competition.

  • Get Reviews – Whether we’re on Amazon, booking a hotel or a restaurant reviews play a massive part in our decision making. Positive reviews will differentiate your practice, give peace of mind and actively encourage prospective clients to make contact.

  • Easy To Find You – A GMB listing means you automatically appear on Google Maps, making it super easy for your clients and prospective clients to find you.

Getting Started?

  1. Sign up for a Google account if you don’t already have one
  2. Go to https://www.google.co.uk/business/ if you’re based in the UK and click on “Start Now”
  3. Provide as much information as you can about your practice, including name, location, description, opening hours, internal/external photos, pricing – the more the better!
  4. Google will verify you are who you say are by either calling you or posting a letter to your registered address
  5. Be patient, your listing will appear instantly but ranking in search results will take a little longer depending on the competitiveness of your location/service and the factors listed above

Good luck!

We’d love to hear any success stories once you’re a few months down the track with GMB

Thanks for reading!

Bob
CEO & Co-Founder of WriteUpp

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