Google My Business is a free tool that can help you reach new patients. After an easy setup process, Google My Business reaches hundreds of people who are actively searching for dentists in your area, saving you time, energy, and resources.
Why Google My Business?
There are hundreds of marketing tools and online platforms claiming to help your practice. What makes Google My Business different from the rest?
First, Google My Business is free. Unlike other platforms, there isn’t a secret price tag that pops up once you want to use its more robust features. Whether you want to create a new account or claim an existing listing, Google My Business is free to set up and to use.
Second, Google My Business exists on the world’s largest search platform. More than 1 billion people search on Google every month. Four in five consumers use search engines to find local information, such as business hours or directions to local stores. If you want to show up where people are already looking, Google My Business is your best bet.
Finally, Google My Business communicates credibility to potential patients. In a survey of 500 consumers, more people used Google My Business to find local information about a business than the business’s own website.
Five Ways to Get New Patients With GMB
Here are just a few ways Google My Business can help new patients find your practice:
- Show up in local search
- Present accurate information
- Highlight positive reviews
- Compete with no-click searches
- Rank higher in Google search results
1. Show Up in Local Search
Not everyone opens Google to find local businesses near them. Instead, they may go straight to Google Maps, a website and mobile app that provides maps and directions to users’ destinations.
With a Google My Business listing, you’ll show up on Google Maps. People who are looking for dentists will be able to see how close they are to your practice. They’ll also get links to your website, your phone number, and your address as well as additional information about your practice, such as photos and online reviews.
Google’s Local 3-Pack
In addition to showing up in Google Maps, you will also increase your odds of showing up in a Local 3-Pack in Google search.
People often search for queries that imply a location, such as “dentists near me” or “dentists Grand Rapids MI.” Sometimes, Google highlights local business with a feature that appears directly in the search results called a Local 3-Pack.
This card-like feature shows part of a map as well as three local businesses that may fit the searcher’s query. It also includes interactive buttons such as office hours, directions, phone number, practice specialty, and a link to your website.
Searchers can choose to expand this card to show more businesses, but in general, Google only shows the top three results, which is why it’s called a Local 3-Pack.
One of the biggest benefits of showing up in the Local 3-Pack is that Google sandwiches this card directly between its ads and its organic search results. That means that, excluding ads, businesses included in the Local 3-Pack are the first ones people see on the search results page, increasing the likelihood that they will choose your practice over your lower-ranking competitors.
In fact, 68% of searchers prefer using the results found in the Local 3-Pack to other results also on the search page.
2. Present Accurate Information
People love Google My Business because it is a one-stop shop for basic information about a place of business.
If you’re not staying on top of your website, information can quickly become outdated. Even worse, if you don’t have a website at all, it can be practically impossible for people to find basic information about your dental practice, such as your hours or phone number.
Not presenting your own information with Google My Business also leaves room for your competitors to get away with saying things that simply aren’t true.
For example, a competitor may proudly proclaim they are “the only Grand Rapids dentist offering cosmetic dental services.” You can easily refute that with a Google My Business account by listing “cosmetic dentistry” as one of your practice areas. Better yet, with a GMB listing, you can let your previous patients leave glowing reviews about your exceptional cosmetic dental services.
3. Highlight Positive Reviews
Gone are the days when we relied solely on friends and family to find the next best restaurant, hair salon, or yes, even dentist! Now, consumers turn by and large to online reviews to determine if a business is worth their time and money.
82% of consumers read online reviews for businesses, including dentists. Most read an average of 10 online reviews before they feel comfortable trusting a local business.
With a Google My Business listing, you can begin to gather a collection of Google Reviews from past patients. With starred ratings, new patients can get a quick impression of your practice. Written reviews can add depth to who you are and what you do for patients.
For example, a five-star review with no text might encourage a new patient that you provide a quality service. But a five-star review with a heartfelt thank-you note from someone who was scared of getting a teeth cleaning but had a great experience will encourage a new patient to pick up the phone and make an appointment.
Google My Business and Google Reviews are a package deal. If you want to highlight your positive reviews from past patients, you’ll need a Google My Business account.
4. Compete With No-Click Searches
Today, no-click searches account for 47% of all search queries.
What does that mean? Simply put, Google is answering people’s questions right on their search results page. That way, people don’t have to click on a website to get the information they need.
If your phone number, address, and hours are only on your website, you’re losing to your competition who display this information on their Google My Business pages. Google will automatically pull this information from your GMB when you’re included in a Local 3-Pack, for example.
The goal, of course, is to get someone to click—on your website, your phone number, or directions to your office. Google My Business is your best chance to turn a no-click search into an engaged search.
5. Rank Higher in Google Search Results
Google My Business is an important tool, but it’s just one of many in a digital marketer’s toolbox. That’s why your ranking in Google search results still matters—which means it’s good news that GMB can help boost your ranking!
Google rewards websites that provide high-quality, accurate information to readers with higher rankings on Google search results pages. Conversely, it will lower the rankings of websites that provide inaccurate or incoherent information.
Who does Google trust more than itself? By signing up for a Google My Business account, you’ll create a digital resource full of great, helpful information for readers. Google will see this high-quality information and understand that it’s associated with your website. It won’t be long before your website starts ranking higher in Google search results.
Why Search Ranking Still Matters
Your Google My Business listing won’t show up for every search. For example, a query like “what is a root canal” doesn’t include any local keywords. Google probably won’t show any Google My Business listings; instead, they’ll show pages that include definitions of this term.
That’s why your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy remains essential for your online presence. Even if your Google My Business listing won’t show up, a blog from your website called, “What Is a Root Canal? What to Expect from Root Canal Therapy” likely will.
Someone searching “what is a root canal” may simply click on this blog to answer their question and to learn more about you. However, if they’re unsure if you’re trustworthy, they may just do a new search for your name.
Now, your GMB listing will show up, with all of your glowing reviews, helpful links, and professional photos. With a strong SEO strategy and an informative Google My Business listing, you can help attract new patients no matter how they find you.
Get New Patients With Google My Business
People are already searching for dentists in your area. With Google My Business, you can show up ahead of your competitors in Google Maps, impress with Google Reviews, and make it easy for new patients to schedule an appointment with your practice.
Our dental digital marketers have helped hundreds of dentists improve their online presence, including their Google My Business listing, and get more patients. If you’re ready to take your dental website and GMB listing to the next level, call Practice Maximization today at (888) 309-2348, or contact us online for a free consultation.