How to set up and optimise Google My Business/Maps for chiropractors!
A chiropractic case study and tips on Google My Business from Oakville Chiropractic Centre
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is Google’s free tool that helps you to manage and optimise your online presence across Google, including in the search results and Google maps.
You can claim your free business listing here and use this to increase your online exposure, including brining more customer calls and emails to your clinic.
In this post we discuss the many ways you can setup and optimise your Google My Business listing. It is written as a case study thanks to Oakville Chiropractic Centre.
A chiropractic perspective
The Oakville Chiropractic Centre has been lucky enough to own the domain www.oakvillechiropractic.com for nearly 20 years. It was purchased some time in 1999, which gives it great domain age and link history.
In the early 2000s, ranking a website on Google and other search engines was much easier:
- There was less website competition
- The search engine algorithms were less sophisticated (meta tags, content and back links could soar you to number one), and
- There weren’t as many mediums to advertise on.
The Google results were simple, Google AdWords and Organic listings.
What wasn’t there?
Google My Business and Google Reviews.
Marketing tools that have proven to bring in a ton of website traffic, phone calls and map queries.
Almost 20 years later and the Oakville Chiropractic Centre has managed to not only maintain their high organic ranking (in a chiropractor saturated town) but also to get their Google Business listing into the top 3 GMB positions when one searches “chiropractor Oakville” anywhere in Oakville and some surrounding areas (at the time of publishing this post).
This local advertising will bring in quality leads that convert. The best part…IT’S FREE! Your Google Business Profile allows you to connect with existing and potential customers across Google Search and Maps.
How did Oakville Chiropractic Centre do it?
It’s no secret, you can do it too! Be patient and put the time in and you will also see results!
Add or claim your business on Google
Adding or claiming your business on Google requires a verification process. This means you will receive a code in the mail (yes snail mail) that you will need to input to claim ownership.
With that said, it may take a week or two to receive this.
To ensure you minimise the amount of time it takes to receive this code, either make ALL changes before requesting the code or one you receive it.
For step by step details on claiming your listing, watch the video below:
Ensure your listing is filled out entirely
There are many different areas that need to be filled out on your Google Business listing. It is very important to ensure that you fill out as much information as you can. The more information that is populated the better your listing will perform.
- Category: Be sure to choose an accurate category – probably chiropractor! If there isn’t a category that describes your business, select a more general one (health consultant).
- Upload high res imagery: Images not only provide your patients with an idea of what your clinic and staff look like, they also make your listing stand out! Ensure you are uploading high-quality images that show off your professionalism and your space! If you are really proud of your office, have a Google photographer create a 360-view virtual tour of your clinic for your patients. It is said that listings with virtual tours and images generate nearly twice as much interest!
- Consistent information: Make sure that the information you input to your Google Business Profile is consistent with your information listed on other places on the internet. This is known as NAP – Name, Address, Phone. Read more about that here.
- Ensure you are listing phone numbers and street addresses in a consistent way. If you use St. in one location, do not use Street in another. Everything from phone number to full address should be standardised.
- Use a local phone number: Since Google My Business is all about promoting local businesses, it only makes sense to ensure that you are using a local phone number on your listing. The local number that is displayed on your Google Business Profile should link to your website that has the exact same number displayed in the exact same format!
- Accurate business hours: Ensure that your business hours are consistent on the website, Google and any other areas that you have listed your website and hours. If you are only open 10am – 4pm, only list those hours as being open. From a customer service point of view, if you list your business as open 24 hours, and someone calls or actually turns up at your shop front and you aren’t open, that is a bad experience. Search engines may also match up your opening hours from your website with your map listing, so keep them consistent.
- Update all necessary info: As already mentioned, go through the info section of GMB and ensure that any area that you have information to be populated is: Service areas, special hours, URL, services, products, amenities, etc.
Follow Google’s rules
Just like in the real world, you must follow the rules! If you don’t, you may be penalised. Often that means having your website suspended from Google.
In order to ensure this doesn’t happen, understand what the rules are! Click here to learn more about the rules.
Here are some of the main rules to follow:
- Never use an address that isn’t your physical business location
- Do not register several business listings for the same business
- Do not stuff keywords
- Do not redirect a URL always have it go directly to your website
Reviews, reviews, reviews
Every Google Business Profile can be reviewed by its users.
Positive reviews can benefit your listing in a number of ways:
- Reputation and,
Take the time to talk to your happy patients about providing you with a positive review. You will be surprised how many people will happily give you one just by asking.
Another option is putting up signs around the office letting patients know Google Reviews are appreciated.
Oakville Chiropractic grew from about 12 reviews to 52 in approximately 3 months. That could be you!
In terms of AHPRA guidelines, you can’t show testimonials or case studies on your website but you are not excluded from gaining reviews and ratings on Google My Business – you actually don’t own this property and can’t remove reviews anyway.
Get listed on relevant directories with a consistent NAP
Businesses that are working on a local online presence need to ensure they are maintaining a consistent NAP on local directories and citations.
This means looking for a reputable directory that you can list your NAP on. Some directories have a fee associated with getting listed and others are free.
With that said, the Oakville Chiropractic Centre wasn’t putting the focus they once were into Google Business for about 10 months and the rankings slipped to about position 14.
After adding more videos, imagery, submitting their NAP to relevant directories and collecting more reviews, they rose to now sit in the top 3 positions when searching their main keyword “chiropractor Oakville” and watched their numbers (impressions, actions, website clicks, direction requests and phone calls) soar over the last 10 months!
Optimising your Google My Business listing is an essential part of any chiropractic SEO campaign. Just put the time in and your local listing could prove to be an indispensable component of your digital marketing strategy.
Owner and Founder Marshall Thurlow worked as a Chiropractic Assistant for many years. He has also benefited from more than a decade of chiropractic care. He now runs Premier Practice – an Australian based chiropractic marketing agency, providing chiropractic website design, SEO and Google Ads services.