A Google My Business profile is kind of like a virtual storefront for your vet practice. It puts you on the digital map and is critical to your practice’s success. Below, we’ll delve into the basics regarding what a Google My Business profile is and how you can polish it up to help lead more pet owners to your doorstep.
So, What’s a Google My Business Profile?
Google My Business, or GMB, gives you your vet practice listing on Google. Think of Google as a giant digital phone book, where pet owners can go to search for vets and find your practice name, phone number, and address. When your practice pops up in someone’s Google search, your Google My Business profile will appear on the right side of the screen. In addition to your name, address, and phone number, your profile will also show your practice’s business hours, a map of directions, client reviews, and maybe even some photos. People will also be able to access your website or click to call and schedule an appointment.
Overall, a GMB profile is an essential tool for every vet practice. Not only does it help pet owners find you on the internet, it can help your practice get into the Local Pack on the first Google search results page, so you’ll reach a larger pool of potential new clients in your area.
What’s the Local Pack?
If a pet owner enters a search query into Google looking for a veterinarian in their town (this is known as local intent), a Local Pack of several veterinary practices in their area will appear at the top of the first search results page. These practice listings are pulled straight from the Google My Business directory, and they made it into the Local Pack because they:
- Are highly relevant to many pet owner search queries
- Are located relatively close to the pet owner making the search query
- Have a strong and active online presence, with Google Reviews, consistent local directory listings, and links to their websites
When a vet practice is in the Local Pack, it’s much more likely to be in the cross hairs of area pet owners and get more calls and appointments than its competitors.
Keeping Your Google My Business Profile Up-to-Date
The only thing that’s more important than having a GMB profile is making sure it’s always up-to-date. An up-to-date profile will be more relevant to local search queries and help your practice rank higher for “veterinarian” in your area. Also, keeping your profile current benefits the pet owners who are looking for you or looking to learn more about your practice. It makes getting important information and contacting you incredibly easy.
Consult these steps to keep your GMB profile fresh and relevant:
Ensure that all of your practice information is consistent with all your other online listings
Your practice name, phone number, address, and website URL all need to be correct in your GMB profile and consistent with any other online listings you have. This means all spelling and formatting are exactly the same across all listings.
If your website has your practice phone number listed as (222) 333-4444 but your GMB profile has it listed as 222-333-4444, you’ll need to edit the number on your website to match the number listed under your GMB profile. Also, you’ll want your address to be consistent all the way down to the abbreviations. For instance, if you have “Avenue” spelled out on your GMB profile but have “Ave.” listed everywhere else, this could potentially hurt how well you rank locally.
Maintaining consistency prevents confusion and makes it easier for pet owners to find you, but it also helps your local ranking in Google search.
Add photos of different aspects of your practice to your Google My Business profile
We recommend adding 3-5 photos from several categories to your GMB profile: the interior of your practice, the exterior of your practice, photos of your team, and photos of your team interacting with patients. All photo file names should include certain keywords and locations to further bolster your local rank. For example, you can name a photo of your lobby “happy-paws-veterinarian-in-avon-in-interior.”
Include a list of your services in your profile
You don’t have to go into detail, but a list of most or all of your vet practice’s services with short descriptions can benefit pet owners and help your local ranking. For pet owners, they can see right away what kind of services you offer and what they entail. For Google search, this information contains valuable keywords that are relevant to search queries. To find out which keywords are most valuable for your vet practice, get in touch with our team so we can share our insights with you.
Add a description of your vet practice
You don’t need to write a novel, but a brief paragraph that describes your practice and includes important keywords/phrases like “veterinarian in [City, State]” and “animal hospital in [City, State]” will help you rank better, and help your chances of getting into the Local Pack. You can even throw in a quick, keyword-rich list of your services into this description for good measure.
Obtain more Google Reviews from satisfied pet owners
Google Reviews play an important role in helping your GMB profile rank higher. If you currently only have a handful of reviews, be sure to reach out to your clients to ask for reviews if they’ve had a good experience. If you’re not sure how to go about requesting Google Reviews, we can help with that, too.
At InTouch, we understand Google on a deeper level so you don’t have to. Our digital marketing aficionados can show you how to use Google My Business and other tools to help you outpace your competitors and experience even greater success in the years to come. Call (800) 493-9003 to get InTouch today.