Google My Business or GMB for short, is a free tool available to dental practices to manage their presence across different Google services. For that reason, your dental practice’s GMB listing is an essential part of showing up in Google Maps and Google Search results pages as well as being leveraged as part of your Google Ads local campaign. In addition, Google My Business has some added features that can enhance your dental practices’ GMB listing and helps increase your rank in local searches. To take full advantage of this free tool, take a look at these different ways to optimize your dental practice’s GMB listing in 2021.
Complete Your Dental Office Profile Information
Creating a dental office profile with comprehensive, accurate, and updated information will be your first step to optimizing your GMB page. Therefore, you need to make sure to fill out all the necessary fields to complete your Google My Business Listing including:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Website Category
- Working hours
- Questions and Answers
When you’re done completing all the information that Google asks for, it will be much easier for the potential patients to find and contact your dental practice. Additionally, if you’ll make your listing complete, you’ll have more of a chance to be recognized by Google and rank your practice in the search engine results.
Post Relevant Dental Content on Your Google Posts Section
The Google Posts Section is one of the features of Google My Business Profile that allows you to engage with prospective patients directly in Google search engine results pages (SERPs) and on Google Maps. Through this section, you can post anything related to your dental practice such as your upcoming events, practice announcements, blog articles, promotions, holiday messages, staff announcements and so on. Most people evaluate dental practices online based on their recent posts. So that being said, you need to make sure that you’re only posting relevant, high quality, and useful content on your GMB account.
Choose a Specific and Relevant Dental Category
Your category selection is essential and can help Google decide which searches your local listing belongs to. You have to select from the list of available categories since you can’t create your own category. For most dentists, you will want to set “dentist” or “dental clinic” as your primary category.
You may also add in secondary categories based on the services that you offer, such as:
- Cosmetic Dentist
- Pediatric Dentist
- Dental Hygienist
- Dental Radiology
- Emergency Dental Service
- Teeth Whitening Service
Upload High-resolution Photos of Your Dental Practice & Patients
Certainly, image optimization is the most inexpensive way to get more mileage from your GMB listing. According to Google, businesses with images tend to get 42% more requests for directions to their offices and 35% more clicks to their websites compared to those businesses without photos. You can use high-quality images to give potential patients a glance of what they can expect from your dental practice. For instance, you can add pictures of your business logo, practice team, office, and anything that can effectively showcase your business. Creating a 360-view interactive tour of your practice for potential patients is also a plus.
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GMB Image Specifications
Furthermore, you need to follow the recommended specifications when uploading photos to make sure that it will look best on your Google My Business listing.
- Photos should be In JPG or PNG format
- The size of the images should be in between 10 KB and 5 MB
- The minimum resolution of every photo should be 720 px tall and 720 px wide
- The images should be in high-quality and have no excessive use of filters and no significant alterations.
- Cover photo
This image will be cropped to fit a 16:9 aspect ratio and should not be a photo of your logo. This could be a picture of the exterior of your dental office, your reception area, or photos that would be of interest to patients.
Use a Local Contact Number
Aside from keeping your contact number consistent among your various listings, it’s also essential to use a phone number with your local area code. With that, Google will detect that you’re local. Furthermore, you need to make sure that the phone number you used for your GMB listing is also on your homepage or in any landing pages linked to your Google listing.
Monitor Your Google My Business Q & A section
The Google My Business Question and Answer section are one of the great features for local search on Google. In this section, potential patients may ask a significant question regarding your practice, and you can answer those queries. This feature allows you to hear directly from patients so that you can respond to them immediately. However, if you fail to monitor this section and you’re not responding as your dental practice, it may result in misinformation regarding your practice or staff or worse it can create a negative reputation.
Create FAQs lists
One of the essential things that you need to do besides monitoring your listing for reviews is to be proactive and create a FAQs list to preempt patient’s Google My Business Q and A’s. Your administrative team should identify the questions that patients often ask then include those Questions and Answers on your GMB listing.
Collect, Gather & Respond to Google Reviews
Google reviews from patients are really influential. In fact, practices that have positive and conclusive reviews can gain more trust from their patients and tend to get more engagements from potential patients. In addition, online reviews can also influence search result rankings and click-through-rates to your practice’s website. With that said, you can collect and gather Google reviews to enhance your practice’s GMB listing. Even if you have a great dental practice, potential patients still want to dig into your review section to determine your credibility. Encourage your patients to leave reviews on Google
To collect more online reviews, you can actively encourage your patients to give you a review on Google, or you may include an encouragement on advertising materials you have at your office. But, whatever you do, do NOT incentivize reviews. Google takes this seriously and if detected will take action against your dental practice.
Responding to reviews, especially the negative ones is also a good practice for your dental office. Just make sure to stay calm and keep your cool while dealing with overly rude and unfounded reviews.
Optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing is not a difficult thing to do. In fact, every change, big or small, can definitely have a positive effect on your Search Engine Optimization.
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