A few days ago, a dentist contacted me wanting to know about this “google plus thing”, and how they can leverage it to attract new patients. As a consultant, I have spoken to dozens of dentists, that are beyond frustrated of what to do online to attract new patients. Google has thrown another curve at them with Google Plus Local. I’ll explain what you can do, so read on.
If you haven’t noticed, when you type in your location and dentist, you’ll typically seeing a group of listings that are normally below the ads near the top of the first page. This is called the 7-pack, and if your practice is not in this area, you may be dead in the water in the near future.
I know what you’re thinking. “Another online marketing strategy I have to figure out or hire a dental marketing company to”.
Unfortunately, google owns the game, and with google+ they are integrating organic search, paid and now local listings all on the first page. With more people reading online reviews, and checking the location of dental practices, they are making their decision quicker because of these listings.
Google+ Profile & Business Listing
There are 2 things you are going to want to do to optimize for best results. Create your Google+ profile, which is similar to your facebook profile. This is not a business page, it’s your profile page.
Then you’ll want to create and link up your google+ local listing.
The key here is to completely fill out your listing. Make sure to use all the exact information that is on your website (company name, address and phone number).
Also make sure your office hours, as well as any special offers you have are listed in there. The more complete your listing is, the better your chances are to getting in that 7-pack.
Now you want to build out your reviews. This is a tough goal to accomplish as google terms of service states you cannot solicit reviews, but when you have a happy patient in your office, you can ask them if they wouldn’t mind posting their comments on google+ Local.
The only negative is the hoops your patient has to go through to even leave a review. They first have to have a google+ profile. If they don’t, which most people don’t, they have to create a profile, then they can go to your G+ Local page and leave the review.
As a dental marketing consultant, this is a big frustration of mine with google. It makes it extremely difficult for my dental clients to extract reviews from their patients.
In the near future, google will be combining many of these platforms, and “handcuffing” local businesses to play their game, so if you want to attract new patients from the Internet, it’s one game you must play.