As you might be aware, Google is the most accessed search engine in the world. It’s also the most-used website of any type. Keeping your dental practice relevant and in front of eligible leads means staying up to date with Google’s best practices and utilizing their tools that can help your SEO.
One of the most important tools that Google offers for businesses is the Google Business Profile. As of recently, this online listing was referred to as Google My Business. With the name change comes some new functionality designed to make managing this part of your online presence easier.
Let’s discuss what the updates mean for dental practices and what you should know about getting the most out of your Google Business Profile.
New Name… But What Exactly is a Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses, brands, artists, and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can help customers find you, contact you, and learn more about your dental practice.
It’s the information that pops up on the right-hand panel when you search for a business name on Google. This package of content is designed to quickly connect a user with official information directly from the practice they are seeking.
This Google service has been known as Google My Business until the recent updates. For the rest of this article, we’ll use the new name for reference.
What the Name Change Means for Dental Practices
The change from “Google My Business” to “Google Business Profile” doesn’t require a dental practice to take any action. Your listing will still appear across Google Search and Maps, and you’ll be able to manage your listing in the same way as before.
But some of the new functionalities are designed to help you manage your business listing more directly and intuitively. Above all else, if you haven’t claimed your Google Business Profile listing, now is the time to do so.
How to Claim Your Dental Practice’s Google Business Profile
One of the positives from this transition is the increased access to claim and verify listings. You can claim your business name and Google Business Profile directly through Google Maps or Search.
To verify your business listing, you’ll need to request a verification code and select a verification method. Once you’ve received the code, enter it into the verification form and start customizing your profile to display your practice’s relevant info.
At the very least, make sure the following information is added (and updated when relevant) to your Google Business Profile:
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
- Link to your website
- Social media links
- High-quality photos (including staff)
- Brief description of your practice
- List of services offered
The Benefits of Owning Your Google Business Profile
Creating a Google Business Profile is critical for increasing your visibility on Google. It also allows the opportunity to attract new customers to your business through Google Search and Maps. Whether you are looking to increase your web traffic or foot traffic, a better search engine presence gives you an advantage over competitors.
By controlling how your information and photos are displayed on the right-hand Google panel, you can control how your brand is perceived. This benefits your dental practice because you can:
- Reach new customers: Customers can find your dental practice more easily on Google Search and Maps.
- Stand out from the competition: With a verified and complete business listing, you help build trust and help your dental practice stand out from the competition.
- Monitor what’s being said about your dental practice: You can see and respond to reviews from customers, post photos and updates to show off what’s new at your dental practice, and get insights on how customers are finding and interacting with your business listing.
Direct Communication with Your Patients
A key element of the changes in Google Business Profile is the way you can engage with clients and people interested in your practice. There is now more interaction ability via your Google Business Profile listing.
Google now allows you to carry out meaningful conversations with your customers through Search and Maps with additional call and chat platforms being added. You can message people directly through Google Maps.
With the rollout, you and your team have more simple and direct communication with relevant users. Both those interested in your practice and those you have already serviced.
New Perks for Professionals
Along with increased communication, there are other benefits to business that the new Google Business Profile functionalities offer:
- Manage reviews and Q&As
- Review analytics on inbound calls that came from Google Business Profile
- Show your local inventory and promote nearby store locations
Better for Businesses Big and Small
The name change is influenced by the transition that Google is making which allows Google Business Profile to support larger businesses with multiple locations. This means that dental practices with multiple clinics will be able to manage their locations on the new “Business Profile Manager.”
Larger businesses will also be able to manage individual profiles on Search and Maps in addition to the Business Profile Manager if they choose to do so. This makes it easier to control individual locations across multiple regions. You could, for instance, add a regional promotion to the Google Business Profile for that specific location.
Small businesses will be able to manage their profiles directly through Google Maps and Search. Things are getting simpler for owners of large and small businesses when it comes to controlling the information associated with their brands.
Take Advantage of the Changes
If your dental practice is already active with Google My Business, there’s good news. Practical use of the tool will be easier and more direct with the tweaks associated with the Google Business Profile name change. If you’re not yet using Google Business Profile, it’s never been more intuitive.
Google will be retiring the Google My Business app and title in 2022. You’ll be able to manage your online listing from a laptop or smartphone and directly through Google’s Maps and Search platforms. All this should make it easier for you to communicate with clients and for people to engage with a local dental practice.
You and your marketing team might be busy keeping smiles bright. But there’s a team of experts who work with dental professionals across North America to help practices reach new audiences and stay relevant online. SmileShop Marketing can help keep your Google Business Profile optimized and tune your entire online presence to maximize reach.
Connect with our specialists for a free website audit and more information on how to better engage with your community.