For years, it was a bit of a running joke to “Google yourself” and see what posts you could find with your name attached. But for businesses such as healthcare practices, this is a very real thing as you want to manage and cultivate your online presence for an appropriate image.

Negative reviews and comments from online users can sink a practice quickly. One way that Google is helping business owners and office managers with this is the recent Google Business Listing option which allows you to manage your business’s online footprint.

What is a Google My Business listing and how do I get one?

This is a free tool that Google has recently created to give you the benefits of a business social media profile and an online business directory. Such a profile is available for many types of physical businesses including healthcare practices, such as doctor’s offices and clinics.

In order to get your own listing, you must simply verify your business with Google. Once you create your listing, you can begin to use best practices to improve your ranking, just as you would with search engine optimization.

What benefits does Google My Business give me?

One of the best things you get from this type of listing is the ability to appear in local searches. If someone were to do a Google search for “Primary Care Physicians” along with your city name, then you could end up showing as a local business along with pertinent information such as your office hours and contact information, as well as reviews and ratings and even pictures of your practice.

How do I improve my Google ranking?

One of the best things you can do is to keep all of the information updated and accurate. If your business hours are wrong, you can bet that you will lose customers who try to visit you during closed hours. Also, include appropriate keywords that can help put your listing at the top of the rankings for those search words. Also, if you have reviews of your business posted, make sure to comment on them. For positive reviews, thank the customer and don’t take them for granted. But for negative ones, be sure to try to resolve the issues that they may have had to see if they will revise their review to a more positive one.

Google My Business is a new tool that you need to use as soon as possible to get the most out of your Google profile. This listing will help you bring in new business to your healthcare practice and help you stand out from the rest of the local competition.