If you’re like most dentists, you work very hard to procure a set of loyal patients who come back to see you time and time again. So much of the dental industry is built on retaining repeat patients, and that’s certainly an important part of the puzzle. However, you need to get people through the door for their first visit before you can count on them coming back. Naturally, attracting new patients to your dental practice is far more difficult than retaining existing ones, but you do need to put some effort into attracting new audience members in order to sustain and grow your business. Fortunately, Google My Business Posts for dentists can lead the way, increasing engagement and visibility online without necessitating a bunch of hoops to jump through.
Intrigued? You should be!
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (or GMB for short) is a free online tool that helps you get your dental practice in front of more potential patients by boosting your presence on several Google channels, including Search and Maps. GMB lets you create a business profile, which can then be seen by people who search for businesses that offer the types of services your dental facility does. When you incorporate strategically thought out keywords into your GMB profile, the search engine will understand what your dental practice is all about and put your brand in front of searchers who are nearby the local community that you serve.
The GMB platform is pretty robust, especially given the fact that it’s completely free of charge and simple to use. It includes a number of useful features that can help patients find your dental practice, such as:
- Reviews. Your online reputation is absolutely critical when it comes to attracting potential new patients. People rely on the testimonials of others who have received services from you when they’re deciding on their next new dentist. GMB showcases your reviews, giving you the ability to display how great your practice is while responding to commenters to show you’re engaged and appreciative of the time people take to review your business.
- Photos. With photos, you can show future patients what your office looks like on the inside. Let them see the equipment you use, show off how clean and inviting your waiting area is, and don’t be afraid to let people see the friendly smiles of the staff members who work for you.
- Category and Description. Your GMB primary category is an incredibly important factor in terms of ranking for particular search terms in your area. It helps Google understand the core of your dental practice so it can send users your way when they’re using relevant search terms. Beyond the singular primary category, there are secondary (additional) categories. These can be useful if you offer services that are more specific than general dentistry. Be sure to cover your bases and include as many secondary categories as are applicable for your unique dental practice.
- Attributes. Attributes are brief little snippets of specific elements your patients might be looking for. They’re just simple statements that give searchers details about your practice in a way that’s easy for searchers and Google Map users to make quick decisions. Attributes are used to surface the right practices for patients who are looking for specific attributes in their searches. For example, they might look for a dental office that has the attribute ‘kid-friendly dentistry’. There are two types of attributes: factual and subjective. Factual attributes are those which can’t be disputed because they’re, well, factual. For instance, you could have a woman-owned or minority-owned dental practice. These terms are not subjective and can’t be quibbled with. Subjective attributes, on the other hand, come directly from how your patients feel about their experiences at your practice. If you want a ‘welcoming atmosphere’ attribute, your staff and the surrounding environment need to actually present a welcoming atmosphere to your patients.
- Q&A. The Question-and-Answer section on GMB offers you a fantastic opportunity to engage with your patients and answer common questions to the masses. Not only can your Q&A section help people find answers to questions that might have been asked by multiple patients time and time again, but this section is also a great place to boost your SEO efforts with keywords and phrases that lend Google more insight into your practice and the types of patients you’re trying to attract.
- Posts. Google Posts present an abundance of opportunities to show photos, add some texts, and conclude with a call to action. Think of them like professional tweets for your dental practice. They offer you the ability to engage with your existing and future patients in a way that gets people excited about sitting in the dentist’s chair. In fact, they’re such a great tool that we’re going to spend some more time talking about Google My Business Posts for dentists.
What Are Google My Business Posts and Why Should Dentists Use Them?
When potential patients perform keyword searches for new dentists in their areas, Google gives them a list of search results. The top three results are called the Local Map Pack (or “Snack Pack”). This section gives bite-sized information about local businesses that fit the searchers’ keyword terms based on what’s found in the companies’ Google My Business profiles.
As a dentist, GMB affords you a great way to connect with future patients who are in search of your services. When people search for dentists near them, how close your practice is to where the searchers physically are will directly affect whether you’re displayed in the Local Pack or not. For instance, if someone in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, CO searches for “dentist near me”, they’ll see different results than someone in the Westwood neighborhood of the same city. For this reason, it’s vital to incorporate a localized strategy into your marketing efforts when you’re trying to attract new patients.
One part of that localized strategy should be to utilize the tools offered to you on GMB to the greatest extent possible, and this includes using Google Posts.
Google Posts are a great way to grow your engagement and boost your online visibility because they offer you a simple-to-use platform in which you can promote the goings-on around your dental practice. With Posts, you can talk to patients about special offers, events, or other things that are going on around your practice. Each post has a section where you can include a short pitch or description, photos, or videos to help boost your practice’s digital relevancy. (Be aware that only the first 80 characters will be displayed in search results, so it’s important to be concise when you create your Posts!)
Strategies for Dentists to Use Google My Business Posts Effectively
Now that you know a little bit more about what Google My Business Posts do and how they can help you attract more patients, let’s talk about how you can incorporate this marketing channel into your everyday outreach.
1. Update Posts
Has something changed at your dental practice? Maybe you’ve moved to a new location or added a great new team member? Perhaps you’ve purchased a fancy new piece of equipment that you want to show off or have increased your service offerings to include something you didn’t offer before.
Use Google My Business Posts to update your audience and attract new patients. Updates help people get to know your practice and feel like they’re part of your business’s family.
2. Event Posts
Is your practice going to host or sponsor an event in the community? Shout it out to the world using Posts! Whether you’re talking about the importance of oral health to a group of school children or bringing your team to a local food bank to distribute food, Posts are a great way for you to show how your dental practice is involved with community efforts.
3. Special Offer Posts
Special offers and limited-time offers may be more common in the retail industry, but that doesn’t mean dentists don’t partake in promos, too. Use Posts to talk about special offers and be sure to include a call-to-action button that gives patients easy access to your contact information or website, a coupon code or link, or anything else they’ll need to transition from a visitor into a paying patient.
4. Product Posts
Let everyone see the latest and greatest products you’ve got in your office right now with a product post. Craft a compelling title and add a photo or video to bring people into your space from their computers or mobile devices.
Don’t forget to tell your patients why you’ve purchased such a product and what kind of benefits it will bring to their oral health regimen when they visit your office. Whether you have a new and improved scheduling software or you’ve recently added a 3D printer for in-office crowns, your patients will love to see what you’re up to.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
Learn how to manage GMB Posts in the same place where you can manage your entire marketing efforts thanks to Surefire Local! Dentists around the country thank us, and we’re sure you’ll love us, too. Schedule your demo today!