Do you remember the last time you invited someone new into your home?
You made sure to give them your correct address, phone number, and a general idea of what to expect. Ahead of their visit, you cleaned up your space and made it look welcoming. After greeting them at the door, you probably gave them a short tour, introduced them to other people or pets, offered them a drink, and pulled out a comfy seat.
Digital marketing isn’t so different.
As a modern-day dental practitioner, your patients form their first impression of you long before they ever walk through your front door, thanks to Google. In this day and age, nearly everyone Googles you before they come in for a visit.
When they search for you on Google, they land on your Google Business Profile (formerly called Google My Business). That’s where they find (or verify) critical information, like your name, location, directions, phone number, hours of operation, services, reviews, and more.
Your Google Business Profile is your patients’ first impression of you, and it’s arguably the most important component of your digital marketing strategy. Best of all—it’s FREE.
So how can you make sure you’re getting the most out of this powerful tool? Here are the six steps you should take to ensure a great first impression that attracts new patients to your office.
1. Own it!
Keep in mind that when Google updated the name of the tool to Google Business Profile, it also got rid of the old My Business application. You can now manage your profile directly via your Search or Maps app.
2. Include essential information.
Add all your business’ essential information, like your phone number, physical address, operating hours, health and safety measures, a short description, and website address.
For the best search results, include rich keywords in your description, and make sure that all your details are listed accurately and consistently. For example, if your office is located on Highway 75, make sure it’s spelled or abbreviated exactly the same way in every place that it appears online (vs. Hwy 75 or Interstate 75 or I-75).
3. Add eye-catching visuals.
Include photos of the outside and inside of your office, as well as images of your doctors and staff, so that patients know what to expect before their first visit. Consider this your patients’ virtual tour.
If you provide aesthetic services, like cosmetic dentistry or orthodontia, consider adding before and after images of patients’ smiles. This allows you to showcase your work with veneers, dentures, straightening, or whitening.*
4. Include offers and details that make you stand out.
If you’re looking to attract new patients, include an offer (for example, $49 for your first exam or one free teeth whitening session for new patients).
Also, think about what information patients might want to see right away when they’re looking for a new dentist. This could include your accepted insurance plans, and whether or not your office is available for emergency appointments or after-hours calls.
At the bottom of any organization’s Google Business Profile, Google includes other suggestions in the “People Also Search For” section. This is valuable real estate, and many businesses don’t realize that they should add their photo there! Think about it; what are you more likely to click on—a business with a custom image, like our client Sleep Center of Littleton, or other sleep centers that just show up as a dot on a map?
5. Request and respond to reviews.
Don’t forget that your reviews show up in your Google Business Profile, so you’ll need to establish a system for requesting new reviews and replying to them as they come in. And yes, you should respond to every review, even (and especially) the negative ones. We offer online review services to help you automate this process!
6. Update frequently.
Your profile actually tells users when you last updated it, so don’t neglect it! Update your profile once a week (ideal), or at least once a month (minimum). This can be as simple as adding a new photo, updating your current offer or accompanying image, or editing your current Covid-19 protocols.
Once you have an up-to-date profile, you’ll be in a great position to start a digital marketing campaign, like SEO or paid advertising.
In summary, don’t neglect the most powerful tool in your digital marketing toolkit—your Google Business Profile. An optimized GBP brings in more business than a neglected one!
*If you include photos of your work, be sure to obtain your patients’ written permission.
This is part 5 of our data and measurement blog series. Click on the articles below to explore more topics in our series.
Part 1: Stop Googling Yourself
Part 2: Dental Practitioner’s Top 4 Questions About Lead Generation
Part 3: The Formula for New Dental Patients: CPA + CPL = $
Part 4: 3 Changes Dental Practitioners Should Expect From Google’s New Analytics Platform