Over the last few months we’ve been sharing our top tips on using facebook and facebook advertising to help you attract new therapy clients and grow your practice. But did you know there’s another way you can market your therapy practice – for FREE?
It’s using Google My Business.
Have you heard of it? If no, read on! If you have, but you keep putting off setting it up for your therapy practice, then consider this a friendly nudge! (And if you work from home and are concerned about revealing where you live, we show you how you can hide your home address and still promote your practice).
What is Google My Business?
If you’re a local therapy business, setting up a Google My Business page is one of the easiest ways to improve your local SEO amongst the people who matter the most to your business – therapy clients.
If you set up a Google My Business page for your practice, people searching online for therapy services in your area will be more likely to find you. People will be able to see your practice name, location, contact details and online client reviews. They’ll also be able to check out photos of your therapy rooms, your opening times and even book a therapy session with you – all without needing to visit your website (although a great Google My Business page is great for driving more web traffic, too).
What does SEO stand for?
SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’. When we talk about improving your local SEO, we mean trying to ensure you rank highly on search engine results pages when people search for therapists close to where they live or work.
How do I set up a Google My Business page?
First, you have to sign up to Google My Business. Then, you’ll need to complete all the requested details, including giving a confirmed business address.
Once you’ve completed the set-up you then need to apply for verification from Google. You can get someone to set up your Google My Business page instead of doing it yourself, but the verification will still need to come from you. Google will send you a postcard with a code that you’ll need to enter on your page – all very high tech! Verification can take a few days and you’ll be given a number code with which to verify your listing.
For a brilliant step-by-step guide to setting up a Google My Business page, we’d recommend taking a look at Optimisey’s fantastic blog post on the subject.
Are you a therapist working from home?
You may be nervous about providing an address if you practice from home. A way around this is to tick the box ‘I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location’ and selecting a radius around your town, city or postcode. It’s important you don’t tick the box, ‘I also serve customers at my business address’, otherwise it will show your home address. Check out the image below to make sure you tick the right boxes.
Top tips on using Google My Business to promote your therapy practice
Once you’re all set up, you’re ready to start optimising your Google My Business page so it starts attracting suitable therapy clients for your practice. Check out our top six tips below:
1. Check you don’t already have a page
Before setting up a new page, check your practice doesn’t already have a listing. If you create duplicate pages you’ll be penalised by the Google algorithm – bad news for your therapy practice Google search ranking!
2. Note down your page login details
ALWAYS make a note of the name of Google My Business page admin and the login details. If you’re working as part of a larger therapy practice and then leave, someone else will need to be able to access the page.
3. Include all essential business information
Ensure you add all the essential information, for example, your logo, practice opening times, contact details and a full list of therapy services offered.
4. Post regularly
The ability to add posts (like you add to your Facebook page) was introduced to Google My Business pages in 2017. Posting regularly to your page – as well as regularly adding new photos – will improve your practice’s Google search ranking.
Any new page posts appear below the listing on Google Search, so it’s a free way to get more eyeballs on your latest blog or event post, or any special offers on therapy services. Views vary, but we recommend posting twice a week to your Google My Business page.
5. Respond promptly to comments and questions
It’s important to reply to any questions in the comments section of your Google My Business posts as soon as possible. Similarly, spend a minute or so each day checking for any online client reviews and respond accordingly.
If you receive a negative review, we recommend giving a brief reply and offering the client the opportunity to contact you privately. This way, the public see you are responsive to any criticism, but you take the detailed conversation with the complainant offline thereby protecting your brand reputation.
6. How long should a therapist spend on their Google My Business page?
We think a couple of hours each month should cover the essentials. If you don’t have time to set up and manage your page yourself, you can easily outsource to a social media manager or technical VA. Either way, we think the SEO and brand awareness benefits of having a Google My Business page for your therapy practice are well worth the time investment.
Do you have a Google My Business Page for your therapy practice? If so, do you think it’s helped you attract new clients and grow your practice? We’d love to hear from you! Any comments can be shared in the box below or feel free to contact us over on Facebook or Twitter.