We’ve driven home the point hard about Google reviews: why they’re essential and how and why to respond to them. Now, it’s time to zoom out a bit to focus on the bigger picture—Your GoogleMyBusiness (GMB) listing. It’s the first thing prospective new patients see and engage with when searching for a local eye doctor or optometric service
Let’s start with the basics. In 2018, Google searches accounted for over 90% of all searches online.
For optometry practices, Google searches account for 60-70% of the visitors to a website. You might be thinking that the big players for driving appointments are Social Media or Yelp. But the data says otherwise. Across our client websites, Facebook and Yelp typically account for less than 1% website traffic.
And the website isn’t even the whole picture. Your practice GMB listing is crucial precisely because prospective new patients will skip visiting the website entirely and just call straight from the GMB instead. Your GMB will be seen literally thousands of times per month, and generate dozens of phone calls to your office.
Think about what business listings used to be in the time of phone books. That’s exactly the role of your GMB today. When no one is using phone books and everyone is searching online—yes, yes, notwithstanding grandpa and other exceptions that prove the rule—it’s your GMB which fulfills this role.
Your Google listing should include:
A Case Study
Here we have a practice whose GMB generated 8650 views, 198 mobile calls. Compare that to the website which had 1270 visitors and generated 144 calls.
Most patients think of eye care as a commoditized service
If they see a large number of positive reviews, engaging imagery, and an ideal location, they will often skip the step of going to the website at all.
The local pack—the top 3 and sometimes 4 results from a local search—is the holy grail for driving new patient appointments.
Having your GMB listing show up in the top three for local searches is based on a complex set of weighted factors which Google tends to tweak on an ongoing basis. This includes factors such as your website content, linking, and domain authority. However, a whopping 40% of this algorithm for ranking locally is dependent on your GMB!
And it’s not enough to simply have a GMB
It needs to be verified, consistent with your website contact details, have lots of positive reviews, and be kept up-to-date. This is what we call Local SEO — employing the best techniques to optimize a local business so that the GMB displays as prominently as possible for as many relevant local searches as possible. Your practice GMB is a core element in this process.
A GMB which is well optimized gets literally thousands of views and hundreds of calls per month. Not having a GMB, or a poorly optimized GMB means that no one is seeing your practice on local searches. That means far FAR fewer new patients in your lane. It’s as simple as that.
At EyeCarePro, we help our clients maximize the SEO value of their GMB by providing full and ongoing optimization. This includes our Google review app, which helps hundreds of practices generate 5-star reviews for better search results and more new patients.
Fill out the form on the right and schedule a GMB strategy session!