If you’re not familiar, Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that helps local businesses, such as your dental practice, appear when customers search for your practice or practices like yours on Google search. On your GMB page, you can add pertinent information so potential patients can learn more about your practice. These include: a link to your website, hours of operation, address, phone number, photos, and more.
GMB results are then displayed in the Snack Pack which we explain in more detail below. Because GMB is free, you never pay for a higher placement within the snack pack.. Your ranking is based on a complex system that values the merit of your website while considering your location, the search terms used, and services or products offered.
If you’re in an urban or suburban area, it may be tough to get your practice noticed at the top of this list. That’s why we’ve outlined a few key steps below to help you work toward getting featured within the first-page of GMB listings.
The “Snack Pack”
The Google snack pack references the Google map listings that appear directly under pay-per-click (PPC) ads. These are displayed right above organic listings, making it prime real estate at the top of search results.
Though usually only the first three results are shown, many searchers will click “More Places” to get a comprehensive view of results, giving you higher visibility on Google through a popular portal with high traffic.
Having an established business listing with GMB also helps add credibility to your site which translates into higher rankings.
How to Claim your Google My Business Listing
First, you must have a Google Account for your practice. Once you have that set up, go to Google My Business where you’ll be walked through the process of setting up an account.
When setting up your GMB account, make sure the business name and address listed are consistent across your website, GMB listing, and all other online marketing platforms. This consistency adds credibility to your site and helps Google identify your practice. Having this information consistent will directly translate to higher rankings in search engine results.
In the final step, GMB will mail a verification code to your claimed practice address. Once you receive the code and enter it, you will have access to your dashboard. If you are having trouble entering your Google My Business verification code, follow these 3 easy steps from Google: https://support.google.com/business/answer/6161749?hl=en&ref_topic=4854193.
Optimize Your GMB Profile by Adding Pictures
To help prospective patients get a better idea about what to expect at your office, add photos that showcase your practice. Include both interior and exterior pictures, images of your team in the office or at team building events, and before and after photos (pending you have a patient’s permission to post).
Improve Your Online Reputation with Reviews
Good reviews are a great way to build trust among potential patients. In addition to building trust among potential patients, positive reviews build trust with Google. When a patient leaves a review on your GMB profile, it is recognized by Google as a positive signal. The positive impact that the reviews provide for your online presence depends on the amount of reviews you receive and your average star rating (1-5 scale).
Ask happy patients if they’d spare a few minutes to leave a review about your practice – and give them a link where they can easily leave one (don’t make them search for your practice on their own).
One quick way to encourage patients to leave a review on your GMB page is to post a QR code in your office that automatically links and directs patients to your GMB page. You can print it out on a sheet of paper with a headline that says “Happy with your visit? Please leave us a kind review!” and have the QR code displayed underneath.
You can create QR code for your practice here: https://www.qr-code-generator.com/. Simply print the code and then place it in your front office for all patients to quickly scan with their phone. This will send them directly to your page to leave a review.
New Google My Business Features: Product Collections and Booking
Recently, GMB added two new features that can be utilized to further improve your listing, online presence, and overall experience for visitors on your GMB page.
- Product collections: This new feature helps you further showcase and draw attention to the services you offer. Through the products tab in the GMB dashboard, your practice can add information about its various services (e.g. deep cleanings, teeth whitening, dental implants, etc.). This way, viewers can get a quick, at-a-glance overview of your services before arriving to your website to learn more.
- Booking feature: For practices that use software supported by Google’s booking feature, patients will now be able to schedule an appointment directly from your GMB page. This feature does require that you have an account with one of Google’s scheduling providers, but it further simplifies the process of patients making an appointment with your practice. Read more about the new features in this blog about optimizing your GMB profile.
Tying it All Together
The Google Snack Pack makes it easy for searchers to see dental practices nearby, their reviews, and quick, must-know facts. By opting not to claim your GMB listing and profile, you risk having misinformation about your practice and can miss out on ranking higher on search results. But by taking just a few minutes to optimize your profile, you could have a tremendous positive impact on your practice and website traffic.
ProSites helps dental offices optimize their presence across all of today’s top online directories. To learn more about GMB and getting your practice listed on other online directories, call ProSites at (888) 932-3644.
Article written by Angie Lussier and co-authored by Andrew Casellano.
Angie is a veteran of creating digital content to build valuable business to consumer relationships. Beyond being a professional writer for ProSites, she is a photographer, a poet and a grandmother.
Andrew holds a degree in public relations and is passionate about all things Google, staying up-to-date on the latest technology, and expanding his digital footprint as a LinkedIn influencer.