It is yet another step that Google has taken to move the focus away from pure-organic search results to something more personalized. It’s an extremely helpful feature for customers and private practices alike.
GMB listings serve a category known as “no-click searches.” These are searches where a person can gather the information they need without clicking any links. Think of when you search for the closing time of a local business or its address. You don’t want to click on a link and wait for a webpage to load. That’s where a GMB listing comes into play.
There are a lot of different ways that Google is emphasizing the importance of “no-click searches,” and we highly recommend you familiarize yourself with as many as possible. For now, we are going to focus solely on GMB listings, how they work, and how you can use GMB optimization for private practices.
In the past, if your therapy practice was pushing an aggressive SEO campaign, the only real threat you had to face was the growing presence of paid ads. Today, the click-through-rate(CTR) on ads has decreased alongside the CTR for organic results, and instead, more people than ever are performing no click searches. Nearly half of all Google searches are now no click searches.
But that isn’t exactly bad news. As a matter of fact, it’s easier to benefit from the growing prominence of no-click searches than to start from scratch with paid ads. The significant advantage is the GMB listings are still essentially free. You don’t have to pay for ad space or worry about impressions. You simply need to set up your listing and understand how GMB optimization for private practices works.
A strong GMB page is not going to replace an SEO campaign or any serious marketing strategies.
Instead, it’s going to complement your website and empower your existing campaigns. It’s incredible how many businesses still have not taken the time to establish and optimize their GMB page. Perhaps they still don’t understand precisely how it can benefit their private practice or need help executing a marketing vision.
Here are a few ways GMB optimization for private practices can help your business.
We’ve been hearing for years how people online have short attention spans and want their information as quickly as possible. There’s no doubt that this is one reason why Google has placed such a strong emphasis on GMB listings. It’s the same reason they made loading speeds such an important factor and introduced the Google AMP system.
Revealing your company’s valuable information without requiring users to click on any links or view any additional pages is about as fast as it gets. If someone searches your private practice by name, they will instantly see your business name, phone number, email, address, rating, and hours of operation at the top right of their screen.
It may seem like a small convenience, but it can provide a tremendous boost to business. And this isn’t necessarily through website traffic. Instead, it helps previous customers quickly find the information they need about your business without potentially being distracted by similar companies that would appear in the organic listings.
Online reputation is obviously vital to any business. Customers are smarter and more skeptical than ever before. You can rest assured that they will be searching for reviews of your therapy practice before booking any appointments. And when they search for reviews, your GMB page should be the very first thing they see.
GMB listings integrate comments and reviews into a neat section, and a few of these are immediately visible on the search results page. This means that your reputation is easier to see than before because customers do not need to dig through review websites like Yelp! or the BBB. Whether good or bad, it’s impossible to hide anymore.
This also means it’s easier than ever before for a customer to review your business. Google often sends push notifications to users with location data enabled if it believes they have used a local business. Google will ask them to take a moment and review your business.
Google even offers customers incentives and rewards for leaving reviews. Thus, you can rest assured that with a GMB listing, you will get more reviews from customers than ever. And this is good news because reviews are a very significant ranking factor.
Locating and reaching a local business used to be one of the most challenging aspects of choosing a company based on search results. It meant you would have to search through their website for a link that leads to contact information and hopefully, an address. If you were lucky, that address included a picture of a map or a link to a map website.
GMB listings and Google Maps have entirely revolutionized how this system works. Most people rely on Google Maps daily, whether it’s driving to a new business or finding the closest gas station. GMB listings include Google Map data on the primary page. The searcher simply clicks on the address, and it opens up their Google Maps app if they are on their mobile phone.
Is your private practice hidden away in an obscure alley? Is it tucked away in a strip mall between three similar-looking buildings? That’s no longer a reason to worry. Every customer will be able to quickly and easily find your practice thanks to Google Maps as long as you have a Google My Business page.
It’s easy to overlook some marketing tactics when there are so many different strategies and techniques you could focus on. GMB should not be one of those tactics that is overlooked. The time and effort it takes to set up a listing and optimize it will pay tenfold as you continue growing your practice grow for years to come.