Google is one of the internet’s behemoths. It reaches so far into the lives and online activities of everyone that it is literally an online essential for every business now. You may have a great website but if you haven’t properly set up your business identity on Google, you’re missing a lot.
Think of it this way: Your website is like the front door of your practice on the internet. It’s how people enter your environment and get to know more about you. By comparison, your Google identity is like the sign in front of your practice that lets the world speeding by know you are even there.
Your Google identity builds your brand and supports your online reputation. Reputation is built in many ways. Are you easy to find? Conscientious businesses adapt to the ways people are searching for information about them. Is your information complete and up to date? Unreliable businesses are not. Do you have photos and/or videos? People want to get a look at you and get a sense of your values. What do online reviews say about you? 64% of users are likely to check online reviews before going to a business for the first time.
If you haven’t done so already, you need to set up your business identity and claim it on Google. Claiming is the process where you verify with Google that you are the owner of a business that they already know something about (and they do already know things about you).
For example, claiming and verifying your business will allow you to control how your business shows up in Google Maps. You can also do things like manage and respond to online reviews (subject to HIPAA which was discussed in a previous blog post). Here is the link to Google My Business:
To help you with the process, we have found on the web a fairly thorough and complete third-party guide to setting up Google My Business. There’s a lot of information in here, and it’s written for every kind of business. However, by working through it step by step, you’ll get everything set up right and understand what you can do with Google’s My Business service.