How to optimise Google my Business for Healthcare Clinics
Why is Google My Business Important for healthcare clinics? Having a well-run GMB is absolutely crucial for any MSK clinic, people searching for services are looking to purchase and the more visible you are, the more patients you’ll see. We’ve actually found that getting top ranking on GMB for new clinics can be more beneficial than running ads, and much much cheaper. If you’d like to see a good example of a well-run GMB you need to look no further than here. This is Josh’s clinic, our lead SEO and now, since starting with us, part-time clinician. His website is pretty SEO friendly too!
FYI, you need to read this article first but we have included a checklist for you to download and use at the end of the article but don’t skip to it because it’s useless without the following information!
You CANNOT buy yourself into a top of Google Maps listings. This is the common “map pack rank’ scam. “Pay us money and we can guarantee you feature in the top 3 results”. No you can’t. There are many things that determine whether you’re at the top of the maps pack, there is no secret underhand way of doing it. It’s all very simple if you know what you’re doing and the only thing is that it’s time consuming. Anyone promising to get you to the top of Google doesn’t know what they’re talking about and if you pay them you’re throwing money down the drain.
Let’s start with the basics.
Google My Business (GMB) is a Google product that allows customers to find local businesses offering services that they’re searching for. You’ve all used it, finding a restaurant, a plumber, a dentist and so on. If done well, the business appears on Google Search and Maps providing information including the business name, telephone number, location, opening hours, pictures and products for sale.
I started with the idea that it’s a tool for the customer because most people see GMB as a tool for businesses to market themselves and that’s why most people fail.
ATOFC Always think of the customer!
So let’s start there. What is the patient going to be searching for? This is where tools like SEM Rush or Ahrefs come in. We need to look at the services you provide and the number of people searching for that service (search volume).
TMJ is a great example:
It’s difficult to rank on normal SEO but much easier on GMB. It also has a huge volume of searches which means you’ll get a LOT of hits.
So the first thing to do is note down the services you provide and then find out the search volumes for each service/condition. Vestibular? Migraines? Bracing? Post Op? Physio Led Pilates? Remember, you’re responding to patient searches so a chiropractor should be targeting sciatica, spine, posture and back whereas a physio more general MSK.
Then there are the top-level searches we all know have high volume. For a physio it’s:
Physio near me
Physio in location
Best physio in location
Physiotherapist near me
Physiotherapist in location
Best physiotherapist in location
For a Chiropractor or other allied health it’s the same, just change the word physio.
(Google will treat Chirochiropractor or Physiophysiotherapist as different terms so be aware of that. You may rank well for physio but not for physiotherapist).
Next, think about your demographic. Where are you based and how far will people travel? Yes, I’m sure you’re the best clinician in the world etc etc but no one’s travelling from Islington to Surrey so be sensible about what you’re trying to achieve. There’s also a big difference between being located in Stroud to Kensington.
Think about the towns, villages, and locations that you know have patients that will want your services.
Questions to ask:
- Where are the wealthiest areas
- Which locations have an age group most suited to your clinic
- Do any locations have a high population density
- What is public transport/driving time like from each location
- Are there any areas that have lots of manual/factory workers
- Is there a competitor that’s really strong in an area that would be difficult to compete with. (Competitors can be different disciplines remember).
We’ve now got your basic information ready to use to build up your GMB.
Let’s get started – Name
The name on your Google my business is the first thing we need to look at. It sounds simple, but it’s not. This is going to be a controversial one… If you’re called Movement Rehab or Motion Physio or something else generic and you’re not established, you’ll want to think again about the name. I know Stroud Physiotherapy is boring but you’ll thank me in 6 months’ time when your SEO is flying and new patients are bursting through the door.
If you’re an established clinic we want to make sure that your main discipline is in the name. Movement + Motion should be Movement and Motion Physiotherapy. Furthermore, we want to make sure that the location name is in the title if possible. Eg Movement and Motion Physiotherapy Stroud.
To give you an example, we advised (told) 😂 a clinic in Kensington to change its name and add Kensington into the title. Here are the results for the past 30 days:
Physio Near me search term
Search results numbers:
The black number is the ranking position, the green is how many places it’s improved in just the last 30 days.
Your name really is important. It also improves click-through rates, a clinic called Stroud Physio will actually get more clicks than James Matthews Physio.
Get the name right and put it onto your GMB! Step 1 complete. Almost…
We’re now going to focus on something really boring but that will make or break your Google listing. NAP. NAP stands for Name Address Phone. Consistent NAP is one of, if not the most significant factor for your local SEO. If you get this wrong, you can kiss goodbye to decent rankings.
We’ll make this easy. Imagine your website is your CV. It tells Google what you do, your services, products and who you are. Your NAP consistency are your references. They tell Google that your listing is correct. Ultimately Google wants customers to have a good experience and if you’re searching for a Chinese Restaurant and you find it on maps and turn up, if it’s not there, or closed, then you’re going to be annoyed.
As such you need to make sure that your NAP is consistent across the web. So how do we go about doing that?
- Choose your name. This has to be the same EVERYWHERE. It can’t be HMDG LTD in one place, HMDG Limited in another and HMDG in another.
- Choose one address that you’ll use everywhere. And I mean to the comma. Eg if you use
1 Wimbledon Street,
Then it MUST be the same everywhere. It can’t be
1 Wimbledon Street
This one has UK in it, missing commas and space in the postcode and a different name..
- Phone number. There are different ways of writing a phone number
So I keep saying ‘everywhere’, what does everywhere mean?
- Your own website
- Google My Business
- Facebook + other social profiles
- Directories eg 192 or Yell
You can check your listing for free here.
Do NOT sign up to SEM Rush for this. If you’re going to spend money we’ll do it cheaper and you’ll get a ton of extras and full SEO. Plus our expertise.
However, that will give you a good idea of what your NAP looks like. It will likely be bad but that’s okay. It can be fixed!
Local Schema Markup
I said that was a bit boring, this is going to be more so. You now need to add local Schema markup to your website. Use Google Structured Data Markup Helper to create your schema markup for clinic. To test if you’ve done it properly use Google’s Google’s Structured Data Testing tool
I won’t go into the ins and outs, it’s important, really important, Google likes it so do it. If you’re struggling then ask your web developer, if they don’t know then hire a decent developer like us because chances are, your entire website is an SEO monstrosity.
Make sure you choose the right sector in which you work and add additional ones as well. We see so many clinics just listed as healthcare. List yourself as a physiotherapist. Then add other, physical therapy clinic, sports massage (massage parlour isn’t the best idea), sports injury clinic, acupuncture if you’re that way inclined. But be honest. ATOFC Google will reward you as well as the customer being happy.
Add a description that’s snappy and to the point. Remember all the stuff we did at the start? Conditions, services, areas etc? Put them all in here.
Simple one but add it.
Phone and Website.
If you’re a single-site clinic then add your homepage, if you have multiple locations then you should have a clinic page for each location on your site and each GMB should point to that page. Add your phone but think about your NAP. I’d also highly recommend not using a mobile number. It has a negative impact in a number of ways. Use someone like Dial 9 and get a forward with a proper local number.
Don’t forget this. If you don’t have a booking tool then send people to your booking page (I’d recommend that anyway as people will be more likely to book on a page with more information.
Fill in from the research we discussed earlier. Don’t put in UK, you’re a local business.
Be really accurate here. They MUST match what’s on your website and this also applies to NAP. They must be consistent so be careful when adding these.
Add products if you have them. An example might be a pack of 5 massage sessions. Think of the customer and what they might want to see. A back pain clinic is a good idea. A course of 30 sessions of spinal nonsense for £5k is not.
Add a logo!! People always forget this. And make sure it matches your website if possible
Add an image of the front of the building. Add staff images and put them in the staff section. Make sure you add videos if you can. The more pictures, the better!
There are some things you need to do regularly.
- Articles. Add articles regularly. It doesn’t have to be every day but letting Google know you’re active is going to help. It’s also great for patients to read. They don’t have to be long posts. They could just be clinic news or highlighting a clinician.DO make sure every few posts are about the things we talked about earlier. Conditions, specialities etc. Regular articles on back pain, neck pain, sciatica etc etc will help your rankings for those keywords.
- Photos. Add photos once every couple of months. It’s good to keep things fresh and again, helps Google know you’re active.
Special tips and tricks.
- Reply to all google reviews. It’s important!
- We’ve saved the best for last! Reviews. Reviews in themselves are important but only to a point.
A review that says “Jim was great” is fine ish but a review that says “Jim is a great physio in Stroud and fixed my back pain” is what we’re aiming for.
Why is this important? Here’s an example. I searched for sciatica Birmingham:
You’ll see that Google scans reviews for the keyword search terms. Eg Back Pain Physio Stroud:
Get the reviews right and have them mention the terms we highlighted at the beginning and you’ll be top of Google pretty quickly!
Hopefully, you’ve implemented schema, optimised your listing, got your NAP fixed but there’s something else that’s really important.
If your website performs badly on Gtmetrix (test it) or similar tools, if you have Google search console errors, if you don’t have conditional pages, if you don’t have your NAP with a map on each page, if your Schema isn’t set up on all pages then it’s going to be tough ranking properly. Google doesn’t like sites that don’t comply with Core Web Vitals and Google wants people searching to have a good experience.
Furthermore, if your website isn’t built to convert properly then you can throw all the traffic at it that you want but it’s not going to help! Fortunately, we do SEO, GMB optimisations and Websites so if you’re struggling with any of this, you know who to call 🙂 Give us a shout if you need any help.
As promised, here’s a quick and simple checklist to download.
If you do everything really really well, you can go a bit mad and have Google My Business coverage like ours 😂: