Leveraging Google Places For Healthcare Marketing
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Google is the heavyweight in the corner, the Gorilla at the party. In search engine land it is one of the giants. Why is this important knowledge for you, a struggling Health Practice Manager? Because of your web presence and making it work for you. In order for your web presence to work for you, you need to optimise it to gain the attention of the search engines. SEO as this practice has become known is an interesting and ever changing field.
In order to optimise your site for search words or indeed phrases, you need to ensure that those keywords are mentioned on your site. You also need to ensure that those keywords make sense within the content and context of which you are writing. There is no point stuffing your site with keywords as this may well have the effect of ensuring the search engines ignore you.
Another important element of SEO is links and backlinks, these are connections to and from other sites, linking your web page to your Facebook page and vice versa are typical examples of backlinks. Google have in fact supplied you with several online presences that will allow you to undertake this, Google Places is one of them while Google+ will also assist you when they allow business profiles on the platform.
Looking at Google Places as a driver for your business is a very good idea, because it brings you into the realm of local searching on Google. If A Patient undertakes a search for Hearing Aids near a location on Google and you have a Places profile, you will be displayed prominently on the top right of the return page on a map. How bad is that?
If you ensure that your Google Places profile is attractive and full of information linking back to your site, the prospective Patient will follow it to your main site.
Just to the left is a Google Places Profile of my good friend and customer Paul O’Connor, the proprietor of Crystal Hearing. Myself and Paul set it up quite a while ago. We have not re-visited it since and I need to give him a call on Monday so we can, however I think you can still see the value.
If you search, hearing aids Mullingar Ireland on Google, a map appears on the top right and the only place marker is Pauls. If you click on that place marker it brings you to the profile on the left.
You can relatively easily set up a profile yourself, but I came across a training course recently by Matt Perry AUD, the Host of “Audiology Marketing Now” Web TV Show. The training course can be found by clicking the link to the right.
I reviewed the training course in the last few days and I was singularly impressed with the depth of the course. The course is based on several video modules, each one explanatory and easy to follow, if you follow the course instructions you will take full advantage of Google Places and increase your search rating through excellent SEO implementation.
No matter what you do, set up your profile, if done properly it will help drive potential Patients to you.
I would just like to point out I have no affiliation to Matt Perry, nor have I received any monetary reward. But as i have said before, I am open to offers.
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Thanks for the plug Geoff. We’ve been getting a lot of good feedback on that Places course.
I’ve been reviewing some Google Analytics stats lately – which shows that Places is even more important than I previously realized.
We’re always talking about how to make sure our practices show up when people search for our industry keywords combined with our local keywords. An audiologist in Texas needs to make sure they show up if someone types, “Hearing Aids Dallas, TX”. That’s important.
But, according to the stats I’ve been looking at lately, the vast majority of the time, the searchers don’t use local keywords. Less than 5% of the visitors to my practice site included a local keyword in their search term.
That’s why Google Places is NOW so important to hearing practices. There are only two ways for a local practice to consistently show up on page one of Google for must search terms in our industry, without the use of local keywords – AdWords and Places. AdWords is complex and can drain your coffers if done wrong. Places is free and easy.