MMM [SEO] From Search to Success: Mastering Google Maps for New Patient Acquisition

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Welcome to this week's Monday Morning Marketing episode! I'm joined by my good friend, Shane Simmons, and today we're going to explore the untapped potential of your online presence and SEO! We are hashing out the importance of tracking patient traffic and learning the nuts and bolts of an effective Search Engine Optimization campaign. In today's world, Google Maps is such a prominent part of our everyday lives, so we are going to show how YOU can best leverage it. From best practices for Google Maps, to SEO strategies we think are outdated, we're diving in the deep end today. Don't miss this opportunity to make your Google Business listing a valuable tool for growth in the digital age.

Catch my conversation with Shane for some of his best strategies to thrive in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing!

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Episode Transcript (Auto-Generated - Please Excuse Errors)

Michael: Hey Shane. So talk to us about s e O. How can we utilize this, or what advice, suggestions, or methods can you give us that will help us actually attract new patients through

Shane: s E O? Yeah. You know, Michael, this is one of the things that in the marketing landscape, we see so much change year after year, month after month, and new technology come in and, and out and, and everything's always and in flux.

But SEO has always stayed top importance for many dental practices because Google still is one of the main drivers of new patients. And so today what I really want to share with your audience is some of the insights that I've learned from. From people who are plugged into Google on what are some things that you can do to help get more new patients organically, specifically through the Google Maps, uh, or map pack as many people call it.

So it's kind of a brief overview. I won't spend too much time on this, but, you know, and, and your s e o um, you know, you have two different. Areas really. You have your search results, which are like your websites that show up. Mm-hmm. You know, on the first page. And then you also have, especially for local businesses, what we call the Google Map Pack, which is like, you know, if you searched dentists near me right now, you would see, you know, three practices show up with their Google reviews, and then you may see one, you know, ad right above that.

And I'm gonna focus today on that Google Map Pack because it's something that Google is putting more priority on because they control it, right? They own your Google Map listing, whereas they don't own your website, and so they want you to be in engaging with patients and updating that Google business profile.

Just like you would update your website. And so there are a few things that I'm gonna talk about that can really help you, um, show up in that organically and not only show up, but actually get patients from it. Um, the first thing, and this is I think probably the most common way that people associate, using your Google business profile is, You gotta be getting Google reviews.

I don't think there's any, surprise there about that. but not only is it the practice that gets the most reviews or has the most reviews, but there's two other factors here that's gonna determine showing up. One is what we call review velocity. So it's how often are those reviews coming in?

Um, so sometimes. If you see especially like older practices that have 500 Google reviews and you see a practice that has a hundred Google reviews above it, and people will ask us, well, why is the practice that has 500 reviews below the practice that has a hundred? And one of the reasons for that could be the fact that the practice with a hundred got that a hundred much quicker than the practice who got that 500.

So review velocity is a big portion there. That's why we recommend having some sort of. Review automation system in place to where yes, you want your team asking for reviews, but you need to have an automated system in place because that is one of the big factors that Google's looking at and, and ranking you in that map area.

the second thing kind of tied to reviews is, the type of reviews that are left. So, uh, yes, somebody could leave you a five star review, but what we have found is if somebody in that review, mentions like a keyword, for example, that you're trying to rank for, that has an impact on whether or not you're showing up in the maps or not.

So a perfect example of this is if somebody were to leave a review and they just said, great office, amazing doctor, you know, highly recommend. That's a great review. But if that person said, Hey, if you're looking for a dentist in Indianapolis, I highly suggest, you know, Crimson Dental office that has the keywords, dentists in Indianapolis, within that review.

And that's something that Google is taking into consideration when, uh, ranking these different businesses in the Google Map pack. So that's the second thing. And then, I would say the third on this is your Google business profile. We need to treat it like our website. So remember, you know, years ago, uh, it was imperative.

You had to blog, you had to blog every 30 days, um, and, and continually update and update content. And while blogs certainly have value on websites today, It's essentially that is turned into what you need to be doing with your Google business profile, which is adding update posts to that profile every 30, 45, 60 days or so, adding your services to your Google business profile, adding products on your Google business profile.

And the cool thing about this, Michael, is. Google, literally like on a silver platter, hands this to you and says, here are the things that you need to do to optimize your profile to make it as effective as it can be. If you are signed into your Google account and you Google your practice, you'll see your Google business.

pop up and there's like a bunch of different settings at the top now where it says, reviews, performance, all of these different things. Right below that, there's boxes of different things that'll say, you know, add a map, add an update, add a product or service, add a promotion, and they're literally right in front of your face and everybody should go in and be filling those out regularly and updating those regularly.

To show Google that your profile is active, that you're an active business, and ultimately what Google's going to do is see who's most active on those Google business profiles versus those that that aren't active at all. Who's getting reviews, who's not getting reviews, and all of these things together.

Start to impact where you're showing up in those Google search results. So the biggest key takeaway that I could give people in the short amount of time is make sure that your Google business profile is optimized. Make sure you're filling out all the information that Google's really looking for, cuz they're telling you right there in those settings.

And, and make sure that you're, you're getting that updated regularly updating it just like you would regularly update your website.

Michael: Gotcha. Okay. So mainly those three factors have to be, and it all kind of revolves around at least this part right here revolves around the reviews, right?

Like the review velocity, keywords in the review, and then blogs and updates, uh, post every 30 to six, one to two months, right, kind of thing. now when it comes to keywords in the reviews, I guess how can we make sure they are doing that? Or is that just kind of like, we just hope like they're two words.

Shane: That, that's a good question. Some of it is hope, um, right. So some of that is, is hope, but some of it is with some of your patients that maybe you, um, you are closer with and maybe you've, you know, seen over the years you have a really, you know, good relationship with them. Just letting them know like, Hey, you know, this really helps us, if you do leave us a review, if you just mention something about, looking for a dentist in Our city, our location. it helps, us tremendously when you do it that way. So you don't have to, you know, force or make people do it. But if you just ask, you know, if, if that's a way that they could write that review, if they're going to leave you a review, uh, that's a great way to, to do that.

Otherwise, uh, some of that just kind of happens naturally. Now. One thing that you can do is you can reply using some of those keywords as well. Now you don't want to keyword stuff. I'm not saying that. But let's say if somebody left that review of, you know, amazing Office, I had a, a great experience.

I highly recommend. You can reply to that review, which everybody should reply to their reviews and say something like, thank you so much for choosing our, you know, Indianapolis dental practice. Like we can't wait to see you again soon. So you can still reply with a keyword like that in your review, which is also going to be helpful and show relevance to Google.

Michael: Yeah. Okay. I remember working for a practice and. You know how like there's like smaller, not smaller holidays, but like we're not off for like the whole week or two weeks, or even if that was the case, it was more like if we're not shut down for like a couple months, but if we're only off for like a day or two cuz of a holiday or something like that, all they told me was to like, Hey, just update the voicemail.

Right? Just say, Hey, we're closed for the Christmas holiday or whatever. Right? But we never really updated the. The Google business page. Now, if we're off, let's just say like, oh, you know, the doctor's taking a vacation, uh, and then the team decides to take off, although there's no holiday or anything. Or even if there was like one like Labor Day, would it still help to mention on there, like, we gotta adjust it, the timing?

Or is it like, eh, it's just gonna take day, it's more work? Or, or no.

Shane: Yeah. As far as like on the Google Business Profile listing? Yeah.

Michael: Like having to go all the way and

Shane: change it. Yeah, no, I definitely recommend that because a, again, it one, I mean, it's beneficial to people who are doing a search and like next week for example.

Mm-hmm. Um, you know, being, uh, July 4th, uh, and then many offices are taking off. The third and the fifth as well. I'm seeing that. So if you're going to be closed those days, you need to go into your Google business profile and adjust that, uh, accordingly and let, um, Google know that you're gonna be off those days.

And that does two things. One, I mean, it's gonna benefit. somebody who's doing a search maybe on Monday, and maybe they had a, an emergency and they searched dentist near me. And let's say your shows up and it says that you're open and then they call and you're actually not open. You know, that's gonna be frustrating for the patient.

but the second thing is it counts as an update. Uh, you know, Google seeing that you're using that platform to update searchers on, whether you're going to be open or not. And so it has. Two benefits there. And all of those benefits are gonna tie back to, local, you know, SEO results and how you're going to show up.

And one thing I, I wanted to mention too, on all of this is the key in knowing, whether or not the things that you're doing on your Google business profile, like whether or not it's making a difference or not. Everybody should have, you know, tracking set up in, in any of your marketing, because if you don't, you just, you don't know what's really bringing patients in.

You can ask patients, and we always say, you know, ask patients, how did you hear about us? But let's be honest, sometimes it's hard for patients to remember where maybe they first ran into you or how they first, you know, found you online. And so that's where, you know, having call tracking set up and your Google business profile and your website, all of these things, so you can know specifically where all of these patients are coming from.

And with the Google Business profile, this is something that a lot of people get mixed up on because. There's this thing called, you know, NAP consistency, which is name, address, phone number, and, and it being consistent on the web. And a lot of people would never put a tracking number on their Google business page because they wanted that consistency.

Well, now Google offers an option where you can put a tracking number on your Google business profile and still have your primary number, listed on there as well. But anybody who calls from the Google business profile will call the tracking number, and then you would know who called from that. So then you can actually measure, you know, hey, we had, you know, 15 calls in June from our Google business profile, and we've been doing these things that I.

Heard on the Dental Marketer podcast and in July we had, uh, 30 calls, you know, and so you can actually measure that and, and listen to those calls too. So that's something I just wanted to mention that's so important is, is having that call tracking set up so you can actually, you know, get measurable, uh, results from what you're doing.

Michael: Nice. Okay. And now is there any minimal things that don't really move the needle but that have been over-glorified a little bit that you've been seeing?

Shane: Yeah. You know, I think that one of them is, uh, citations or, you know, getting your practice listed on different directories. There's value to it.

So, don't take it as, that's not valuable, but, The fact that you have to build out, 700 different listings, um, it's just, it's just not true. And, and Google's even come out and said that it's more so of being listed on the high authoritative sites, um, the ones that are really strong.

So think of your. Facebooks your Instagrams, you know, your, uh, Yelps, even though I know there's a lot of controversy around Yelp, but at least just having like a profile. Uh, these are things that are important to kind of build that credibility with Google, but some of these sites that are like nobody's ever heard of, and then, you know, people tell you, oh, you need to have a profile on these sites for seo.

It, it really doesn't move the needle anymore, on some of those. So just wanna make sure that. You know, and you can Google this and look up, uh, you know, what are the most authoritative free directory sites and just making sure that you're built out on those, keeping those updated consistently is, is really one of the main things that you can do, especially for, uh, a newer practice right off the bat.

That's something that's really important. Ah,

Michael: so Shannon, I appreciate your time and if anyone has further questions, where can they reach out to you directly?

Shane: Yeah, so they can always, uh, go to our website, crimson media And of course for the, the Dental Marketer, uh, podcast listeners, we always, um, offer, you know, free marketing analysis for their practice.

So you can reach out there and, and get that analysis done. And then you can also, uh, find me in the dental, uh, marketer Facebook group as well, Shane Simmons.

Michael: Awesome. So guys, that's all gonna be in the show notes below. So Shane, I appreciate it. Thank you for being with me on this Monday morning marketing episode.

Thanks, Michael.