Looking for solutions to drive more patients to your veterinary office? Google My Business (GMB) is the answer. According to marketing statistics, 87% of customers used Google to choose a business in 2022, and 86% used Google Maps to locate local businesses.
In other words, optimizing your presence on Google is essential to find new patients.
When you register for a free GMB account, you’ll instantly show up when pet owners search for local businesses—along with your hours, location, reviews, and website. GMB can also boost your local search engine rankings, helping you stand out in a sea of local businesses.
Here’s how to grow your practice with Google My Business.
Listing your vet office on Google My Business is a simple (and effective) way to upgrade your local marketing strategy to boost visibility and brand awareness.
To help people find your vet office on Google Search and Maps, you’ll need to create a free Business Profile for your brick-and-mortar vet office location. Here’s how.
- Sign into Google. Sign into your Google account or create one. If you’re creating a new account, be sure to sign up with your business email domain.
- Create a profile. Enter the name of your business. Then, search for your business category and enter the location of your vet clinic.
- Choose your service area. Next, you’ll be able to set your service area based on the cities, postal codes, and other areas that you serve. You can add up to 20 service areas.
- Enter your business details. Enter your phone number and website URL so local pet owners can easily reach out to ask questions or schedule an appointment.
- Verify your business. Review your information and then request verification by clicking the red banner at the top of the page.
Ultimately, the verification process helps Google ensure your information is accurate to your business and that only you, the business owner, can access your account.
After you’ve verified your account, you’ll be able to update your listing with in-depth business details, such as contact information and services.
Once you’ve successfully registered and verified your GMB account, it’s time to fill out your profile. Instead of leaving blank form fields and hoping local pet owners will find your vet office, you need to complete your profile with accurate information to drive business and keep your appointment book full.
The details in your Business Profile not only help Google rank you higher in search results but also increases engagement.
For the best results, you should fill in your business name, address, phone number, website, and business hours as soon as possible. From there, you should fill out your category, any veterinary products and services that you offer, and frequently asked questions and answers.
When it comes to GMB, typos not only damage your credibility and professionalism; they can also prevent potential customers from reaching your business.
To optimize your information, make sure your business name is identical to the one you use on your website and exterior signage. Avoid adding a location name or keywords to your business name to optimize your listing.
Next, check that both your business name and address match any other listings on the web. For example, if you’re using “street” on your website, avoid using “st” on your GMB profile. Google’s algorithm considers these inconsistencies when addressing your credibility and search rankings, so you’ll want to be as meticulous as possible.
When potential customers find your business through Google, the first thing they’ll see is the brief description under your business name. Unfortunately, this editorial summary is written by Google to ensure consistency, and you won’t be able to change it.
The good news? You have complete control over your “from the business” section in your GMB account dashboard. This section appears lower in your GMB profile, typically under the reviews section.
Your description can be a huge asset to your Google My Business profile because it allows you to contribute content directly to Google.
The business description allows for up to 750 characters. Here, you can highlight your expertise and experience in the veterinary industry, talk about your staff and services, or mention the towns and cities where you provide service. The more information you provide, the better.
Instead of filling your business name and description with keywords, you’ll want to use relevant attributes to drive pet owners to your business. After selecting a category, Google will populate a list of attributes to describe your business.
Attributes are features that potential customers seek out, like “free Wi-Fi” or “restrooms.”
Attributes aren’t specific to the Google My Business platform. However, unlike other platforms like Yelp, Google’s attributes can be very granular. Vet clinics can help patients prepare for their visit with attributes like “appointments recommended” and “accepting new patients.”
Uploading photos can help grow your online presence and show potential customers what to expect. Anyone can upload photos to your Business Profile, but uploading your own photos can help your profile look its best.
At the same time, regular photo uploads show customers (and Google) that you’re active and that your profile is up-to-date, which boosts your search rankings.
According to data from Google, customers are 42% more likely to request driving directions if a business has photos and 35% more likely to click through to its website.
To increase engagement, be sure to follow Google’s photo outlines for specifications. In general, you should focus on uploading high-quality, professional pictures of your interior and exterior, waiting room, front desk, and staff.
Make sure to avoid stock photos, as well as any pictures with filters or branding, as these pictures may take a toll on your search rankings.
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