If you haven’t claimed your dental practice’s Google Business listing, you should do it now. Not only is the listing free, but it will help you get found online! (And whether you claim your listing or not, chances are it already exists. It’s just waiting for you to liven it up.)
In this blog, you’ll learn:
- How to claim ownership of your free Google Business profile listing – the one that shows up on the right column in Google Search result when you search for your practice’s name and city
- How to acquire your business’ listing if someone else “owns” it
- How to complete your listing so that it’s accurate and well optimized for search
- How to ask patients for Google reviews in your office – they’re super important for SEO!
Why claim your Google Business listing?
Google is a global search engine with local marketing capabilities – one of which is free, Google Business. You may have heard about Google Local, which is now part of Google Business. Every business can have a listing that describes their services, products, owners, company, and also has client/patient reviews, the business’ contact information including website link. In addition, Google Business has an area where you can provide weekly special offers or announcements (we use it to feature blogs).
In addition, you can see how many people saw and clicked on your listing through the administrative panel.
How to Claim Your Listing
Verification options differ from person to person. You might be able to verify by phone, the number of the business, or by snail mail. Google will mail you a postcard with a code on it. You’ll log back into Google business and follow the steps to verify with your code. Google says the postcard can take up to two weeks to arrive, but I’ve found that it arrives in fewer than 5 days, in most cases. Tell whoever checks the office mailbox to keep an eye out for a standard-sized postcard from Google. You’ll need to verify as soon as you receive it.
This video shows how any business owner – including a dentist – can claim a Google Business listing.
How to Acquire a Claimed Listing
If you try to claim your listing, but someone else has already claimed it, don’t get frustrated. Perhaps another company owner inadvertently claimed your business listing, or if you purchased your dental practice, the previous owner may not have transferred the listing to you. There is a process for gaining ownership of your Google Business listing, and it’s not difficult.
This video explains the steps to take if you need to claim a Google Business listing that’s owned by someone else:
Completing the transfer can take up to 7 days. After the time has elapsed, simply log into Google Business and the business should appear as your property unless the current owner rejected your request. In this case, you’ll need to submit a dispute. Most often, the current owner ignores the request, so in 7 days you should have ownership by default.
How to Complete Your Dental Practice’s Google Business Listing
This provides an overview of what’s inside the other areas of your business profile.
Visit this page every seven days or more frequently to publish a special offer, blog post, or link to a page on your website. The instructions are easy to follow. You can even add a picture!
In this section, complete as much of the requested information as possible. The more you fill out, the better SEO your listing will have. Be specific. Don’t cut and paste from your website. Write original text, use quality photos, and don’t forget to add videos.
This is where you’ll see analytics that pertain specifically to your Google Business listing. You’ll learn how many times your listing came up in search and much more.
Okay, you need to be intentional in asking patients for Google Reviews. Here’s a blog I wrote about Google Reviews for dentists’ offices. If you get a negative review, don’t be afraid to respond, but do so with kindness. You might even work with a writer (at Identwrite) to come up with a good response. However, responding to ALL reviews, positive and negative, will help your practice’s potential for ranking in the Google Maps 3-pack, featured on page-one results.
Patients can message you (by text) directly from your Google Business listing, if you turn on the capability.
I cannot stress enough that photos are important! Videos, as well. Your logo, images of the exterior and interior of your dental office, the team, your photo are imperative. Also consider adding pictures from team outings, patients with team members, before-and-after case photos, and pictures of technology you use in the office. Images come up in search, providing another way for patients to find you online!
Obviously, this is where you’ll add your services. Each service can have sub-services, so go let’s say you enter Cosmetic Dentistry as a main service, sub-services would be Veneers, Whitening, etc.
Add your URL.
This is where you can provide access to your Google Business administration. For instance, team members or marketing agencies may need access. You can always revoke access as the business owner.
Lastly, if you want to add a link from your website to your Google Business profile, read this blog.
If you struggle to claim and complete the Google Business listing for your dental practice, or you simply don’t have time to spare, contact me. I’m Shauna Duty, owner of Identiwrite Creative, and I’ll be happy to answer your questions by text, email, or phone. Identiwrite designs, builds, and optimizes websites; our dental copywriters write blogs and articles; we also create effective online marketing plans that help dentists get more new patients.