The goal of any local business, including physical therapists, is to be discovered by new customers who need their services. But in the increasingly competitive digital world, this has become harder and harder to do. Making sure that someone can find you requires a few things. You need to have a strong online presence, you need to regularly perform various online marketing activities, and you need to have a strong Google Business Profile.
But what exactly is a Google Business Profile, and why is it so important for physical therapists to have one included in their marketing strategy? In this guide, we’ll help you with information and tricks to stand out from the crowd with Google Business Profile tips for physical therapists.
What is a Google Business Profile?
A Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is a free tool from Google that provides your business with an online directory listing. The listing includes important information about your business like your name, location, map, contact information, and hours of operation. The profile will also have links to your social media and your website, reviews of your business, commonly asked questions, and areas to upload photos and videos.
A Google Business Profile is what will most commonly appear on the search results page when you are looking for local businesses. It will format as a box on the right side of the search results page and have all of the information included in the profile structured within the box, along with your Google Maps location for easy directions. It may also appear as a pop-out box on Google Maps or within the Map Pack that loads at the top of the search results page when looking for businesses “near you”.
Benefits of a Google Business Profile
Having a Google Business Profile provides endless benefits to physical therapist offices and other local businesses, but here are a few of the top reasons why you should make sure you’ve claimed and filled out your Google Business Profile.
A business with a complete, robust Google Business Profile is going to have much more visibility online and rank higher in local search results. When someone searches for a local business online, more often than not they use Google as their search engine and they look at the Google Business Profiles that load, not the links on the rest of the search results page.
Because of this, having your Google Business Profile optimized for search helps you rank above your competitors and appear at the top of search results pages. The higher you are in the rankings, the more likely you are to get leads and clicks funneling through your Google Business Profile to your website or other platforms.
Makes it Easier to Get More Reviews
Another major advantage to having a Google Business Profile is that you can use it to gather and respond to reviews. Reviews are an important part of your online marketing strategy. They help boost your reputation and make your physical therapy business more legitimate and trustworthy in the eyes of searchers.
Google provides an easy platform to leave a quick star rating or review directly on a Google Business Profile. You can also respond to reviews directly from the platform and use that to improve your reputation and boost your online presence with active responses and respectful comments to all your reviews.
Free and Easy to Set Up
A Google Business Profile is completely free to set up and operate. You never have to pay in order to optimize your profile and add new information to it. That is extremely important and beneficial to your business, as it’s not only the biggest and most powerful online directory, but it also doesn’t cut into your marketing budget to create.
It’s also simple to set up your Google Business Profile and keep it updated. You only need to follow a few simple steps in order to make sure you’ve claimed your physical therapy business and then go back and build out the profile with even more information. That means you can spend most of your time on other marketing tasks and get your profile up and running quickly.
How Physical Therapists Can Set Up a Google Business Profile
Here are the simple steps you need to follow in order to set up your Google Business Profile and get the account ready for the search results page:
- Sign into your business Google account or quickly create a free one
- Once in your business account, go to “Create a Profile”
- Enter the name of your physical therapy business or select form a list of existing names
- Search for your business category and select the right option before clicking “Next”
- Choose whether you have a physical location or not
- Enter your address or position a marker on map to mark your location and click “Next”
- Enter the service area of your business with a zip code or city name
- Enter a phone number and website URL and click “Next”
- Click “Finish” and select a verification option to finalize the account
Optimizing Your Google Business Profile to Attract More Patients
Now that you know what a Google Business Profile looks like and why it matters to your physical therapy business, we can move on to optimizing your account. While just having the basics is better than nothing, it’s even more important to use your free profile as a way to attract patients and become a lead generation tool for your business.
1. Complete Your Profile
As mentioned before, the steps to create your profile are simple and easy. However, the set up process only collected very basic information, so your profile won’t be completely filled out. Make sure you go in and complete the profile with all the categories of information you can possibly fill out, including:
- Phone Number
- Website URL
- Areas of Service
2. Write a Great Business Description
The next step to optimize your profile is to write a great business description. You only have a few characters in which to craft your description, so it should be compelling and authentic while also being to the point without any fluff language. Try to include relevant information in the description, like any keywords you want to rank for or any locations that you operate in.
It’s also important to make sure that you mention what your business does. Your physical therapy office might be known for a technique, a physician, or the quality of your work. Mention any awards you’ve won, healthcare organizations you are affiliated with, or how many years you’ve been in operation. Anything that boosts your credibility online is a good thing to include in your description if you have space for it.
3. Upload Photos and Videos of Your Business
Another important tip for your Google Business Profile is to upload images and videos. If someone comes across a profile that doesn’t have any images, even a logo or photo of the building, it can look suspicious and inauthentic. It may look fake even with reviews or other parts of the profile filled out. We tend to be visual people, so having images is important for Google Business Profile optimization.
The more relevant photos and videos you have, the better. You can get creative and post pictures of your staff, your offices and physical therapy spaces, your equipment, and the interiors and exteriors of your building. You can also post patient photos with permission to showcase how happy your clients are. You could even post videos on your profile as well.
4. Respond to Patient Reviews
Responding to patient reviews is another important part of optimizing your profile. You should be able to thank clients for leaving feedback on your profile even if it is negative. Offer an apology for negative comments, and genuinely listen to the feedback you are given.
5. Post on Google
Just like posting on social media, you can post on Google with information about your business, educational info, and special offers or promotions you are running so that you can capture the attention of potential customers even further.
6. List Services that Your Business Provides
Finally, you should go through and list all of the services that your business provides. Services are categories of care that your physical therapy practice offers, which aren’t the same across every office. Highlight what you are known for or what makes you unique to stand out from your competition.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
At Surefire Local, we work with physical therapists to help boost your business and deliver better results for your clinic. Our all-in-one marketing platform was designed to offer business intelligence and marketing software at a fraction of the cost of other tools and agencies. To learn more about how we can help with Google Business Profile optimization to get more leads, get a demo of the Surefire Local platform today.