A few months ago, Google separated Google Places for Business and Google+ pages. Google replaced Google Places for Business with Google My Business, helping businesses get found regardless of whether consumers are using Google Search, Google Maps or Google+.
Here’s answers to some of the most common questions we’ve heard from healthcare marketers about the change and what it means for their hospitals.
What if I had a Google Places or Google+ Account?
Google My Business is the new way manage your hospital or health system’s local listings pages with Google. This means that if you used either Google Places for Business or Google+ previously, you still have access to your business account.
What if I didn’t have a Google Places or Goggle+ account?
If you didn’t use Google’s local listings for your healthcare organization, please don’t wait any longer! The fact is, Google now processes on average over 40,000 search queries every second. You need accurate hospital information to show up in Google’s results when potential patients search for your facilities.
Is Google My Business still free?
Even as fancy as Google makes Google My Business sound, it’s still a free service to use. Now of course you may be using it along with Google AdWords and pay-per-click advertisements – and those will never be free – but Google My Business is truly free. So other than your time, it costs you nothing to ensure your healthcare location is out there for your health consumers to find. Why would you not take advantage of something that’s free?
What’s the big deal with Google My Business?
You may be reading this and saying great, it’s free, but what can it actually DO for my healthcare organization? Well, Google My Business is pretty much a lifeline to any potential prospect that uses Google to look up your website, address or phone number. And you need your organization’s information to be accurately displayed in those listings!
Here’s an example of an effective Google My Listing:
A well-designed Google My Business listing includes:
- Business Name
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
- Photos of building
- Link to website
Google My Business does more than just ensure your customers have the right information at the right time, it also means they can find you no matter what device their using – their phones, tablets or desktops. The listing even includes a telephone icon on smartphones so your patients and potential patients can call you within seconds of that Google search.
Additionally, pieces from Google+ are attached to your listing and allows your customers to add their own ratings and reviews. If your listings have comments, be sure to take the time to respond to customer feedback. Hopefully it’s all positive feedback, but in the unfortunate event that it’s not, you now have an opportunity to respond and handle those situations as needed.
Ok, you sold me. How do I get started?
If you’re thinking this all sounds wonderful but I have no idea where I should begin, Geonetric can help. Our team would love to chat more with you on how Google My Business can benefit your healthcare system. Even if you have started down this path but are finding the task of managing multiple facility listings overwhelming, give us a call. Creating and maintaining accurate local listings is vital for today’s healthcare organizations and our team will make sure your listings are open for business on Google!