How Medical Practices & Practitioners Should Set Up Google My Business

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It's quite usual for the vast group of medical professionals to work at only one area, so here’s an article on how to set up Google My Business so each health practitioner is their own "brand."

Businesses with plenty of front-facing establishments and offices such as hospitals, health facilities and law firms -- might attempt to explore a way or so to know more of the best ways to manage on how prospective clients view them online.

This part gets really complicated when trying to properly handle Google + pages, as there are a lot of best practice solutions and guidelines that you should follow when using the Google My Business product.

Page Types: Understanding the Basics

Before proceeding to anything in Google My Business, make sure that you are ready to learn and understand what’s needed to be done.

Basically, there are three types of pages in Google +. So before going into every page, it is worth remembering in Google history: business pages back then were wholly local. Not even social aspects were included. And all pages nowadays are called “Plus pages”, which makes all of them acceptable, in a social sense.

First Type: The Person Page

This page shows the individual who signed up for a Google account. Doing so gives access to all Google applications and in this case, can begin using Google My Business by creating pages.

Once signed up for a Google account and all ready, a person page should not be used to represent a practitioner’s specialization. However, it is important to understand that this type of page is present because it will always show in drop-down menus when trying to choose which page you’d like to work on. Some have made the mistake of doing work for their business (i.e. YouTube channel creations) on their personal page, not realizing that it is often the default page associated with a Google account.

Using a personal page for business can be quite confusing for some professionals such as lawyers and medical practitioners. More often than not their name shows nearly the same with their brand, or business. If the page is created for a person, then it should only, and always stay that way.

But if you want your name to appear in local search results and have your customers post reviews, a person page is the best way to do it.

Second Type: Local Business Page

This page is made solely for local businesses, and it is like any other area-based listing you’d see across the Internet on sites like Bing, Foursquare, and Yelp. It is a page that appears in local search results, and can get reviews from customers.

In addition,many local business pages necessitate some type of verification to be on the web (usually through a postcard forwarded to the business physical address or a phone call). Verifications validate the information seen on the page, not only to Google itself, but also to the potential customers looking for the business online.

The algorithm that hinders the process of duplicating listings and limits spammers from making bad listings can, at times, be a glaring issue for legal and medical businesses, since the main job of these types is to create what we call business entities  (such as practitioners) at one area.

Third Type: Brand Page

Similar to the local business page, a brand page is usually created to represent a business on the web. Unlike the second type, verification is not necessary and no local information is included on the page.

The good thing about this type of page is that it’s created mostly for multi-location businesses that want to establish their social presence by sharing YouTube videos and updates on Google +. This is a good move when representing a business or brand once, with those locations listed on the page. One example is Best Buy that has a company brand page as a whole yet there are local pages specifically made for their branches in other areas.

Google + Local Business Pages For The Medical Industry

Remember that creating another page is not necessary if a medical practitioner is the only representative for a branded company at a location. The name and profession are enough to be seen on the page.

On the whole, a single local Google + page that shows both the practitioner and the business should be seen as this: [company or brand]: [name of practitioner].

Example: NEUROLOGY: AIDAN KORZAN, M.D.

Naturally, in this occasion one could simply choose to represent a business -- could be the medical practitioner or the brand. In some cases, it can be both represented and all this in one local page.

According to Google best practices, an individual practitioner should make their own dedicated listing if:

?     The medical practitioner has a public-facing role. Keep in mind that other practitioners such as physical therapists and nurses can create their own listing as well.

?     The practitioner can be contacted directly at the verified location during office hours as seen on their listing.

By default, doctors are best required to create only a single page of their own specialization which will include only their name. A prefix or suffix with the name is highly acceptable.

A good example of what a public-facing practitioner’s name should appear on the listing:

SAMANTHA BAKER, M.D.

Name, Address, and Profile (NAP)

In creating a Google My Business profile, consistency is also key. Having the practitioner’s name, address and phone number/s within their Google profile is a must. These are basic information that users look for and having these consistently on all sites, directories and platforms across the web ensures the practitioner’s Google My Business page a good SEO ranking.

Keep all information consistent and up-to-date. Inconsistency in these areas will only lead to confusion among the users. Add to the fact that incomplete and inconsistent business information increases the risk of losing potential clients in the future.

To further complete your Google My Business page, be sure to upload professional-quality photos. You business logo is good too, and so are shots of the premises that is in your listing. 

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