What do people do these days when they need a veterinarian, dentist, optometrist or any other local healthcare provider? They head to Google or Google Maps and search ‘veterinarian near me’ and pick one of the top results. In fact, this is so common that Google now assumes you mean ‘near me’ even if you just search ‘veterinarian.’
What does this mean for your practice? It means that you must be ranking highly for local map results if you wish to draw in new customers, clients and patients.
In today’s post, we take a look at what Google says you should do in order to show up in local map results. We’ll also provide some best practices so that you can (hopefully) show up higher than your competition.
Google uses a multitude of factors when determining who shows up at the coveted top spot for local search queries. Moz, the leading expert in SEO, broke down the top factors that go into search engine ranking:
When looking at what Google says, they primarily rank based on relevance, distance and prominence. As is usually the case with Google, exactly what this means was kept vague. That’s why third party companies such as Moz are useful: they help us understand what actually works.
What does Google say about being added to their system? Well, their main recommendation is that people use Google My Business.
Google.com/business is the portal for anyone looking to add their business to Google’s search results. If you aren’t using it, you’re hoping that Google themselves have added your business. While that’s possible, you should skip the wait and use the tool they created. Using this tool will allow you to create a company listing, complete with hours, a linked website and directions.
You can get started right now at Google.com/business. You’ll be presented with a button that will walk you through the entire process of adding your business to Google’s local search results.
According to Google, local results favor relevant business that have complete and accurate information. Why? Having this information allows Google to fully understand what your business is and does. As you go through the Google My Business program, you’ll be able to set up your business on Google.
Make sure that all of the following information is up to date and accurate:
Google also suggests that you managed and respond to reviews regularly. Doing this not only helps engage with your customers directly, but it shows Google that your business is alive and well.
Showing up in Google’s local search results is the best way to grow your business in this day and age. Millions of people around the country depend on Google’s results to find their next doctor, dentist or health care specialist. Put in the time to use Google My Business and watch your customer base grow.