One of the primary objectives of having a website and blog as a doctor is to gain exposure to potential patients. Local SEO is the strategy you’re going for, and Google My Business (GMB) is an important (and free) component of this.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a tool that Google offers business owners and yes, doctors, manage a local online presence across all of Google and the Google resources.
By establishing a verified profile, you will then appear in Google Maps and Google’s Local Search. This includes some of the essential information for patients to be able to find you (i.e., address, phone, hours, reviews, etc…).
Can Google My Business Take The Place Of A Website?
No! Google My Business is an excellent complement to your website, but it can’t replace it for several reasons.
Never Build Your House On A Rented Lot
What I mean by this is that you never want to rely entirely on something you don’t own.
If Google someday decides to discontinue GMB and that’s what you’ve relied on entirely for people to find you, then you would be back to square one, and years behind everyone else.
On the contrary, a website is something you personally own.
People Look For The Website Link
When people look at a GMB profile, the website link is often one of the first things they look at and click through.
This not only helps drive more people to your website, but it also adds an extra sense of credibility to you.
GMB profiles that don’t have a website are generally not validated in people’s mind.
Put yourself in the patient’s shoes. Which of these profile are you most likely to click on?
How To Create A Google My Business Listing As A Doctor
The very first step is to do a quick search on yourself to see if show up. If you do, see if you need to claim your GMB profile.
If you’ve been practicing for a long time, sometimes Google has already detected that you’re there and you just need to claim the profile.
If you don’t see your information already on the list, go ahead and create a new business with your name and fill in all the information.
Should a listing already exist, it will notify you.
Did someone other than you already claimed the listing; you’ll want to follow these steps.
Verifying Your Google My Business Listing
After you’ve completed all of the information requested by Google, you’ll need to verify the listing.
You may see a couple of options, but the easiest way to do this is to verify by mail. This proves to Google that you do receive mail at your address.
Google will then send you a postcard with a verification code that you can then enter into your GMB account. This typically takes about 5 business days to arrive.
Once you have verified your profile, you can start using it.
An Important Component For Local SEO
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting GMB set up as a doctor. If you want to grow your practice, Local SEO is your best strategy since almost 80% of patients uses Google to find their doctors.
Google My Business is an incredible and free tool every doctor should be using.