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Use Your Google Business Profile to Draw More Patients

Use Your Google Business Profile to Draw More Patients

A Google Business Profile can be Powerful for Your Physical Therapy Practice

Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and other Rehab Professionals - did you know that your Google Business Profile (GBP) can be a very powerful tool for drawing potential patients to your practice? Google Business Profile optimization is one of the best ways to show well on Google Maps. You may be updating your GBP or Google My Business profile as it was previously known. But there is so much more to a well-polished profile than might initially meet the eye.

Follow these helpful tips to bring business from your business profiles

Add Photos to Your Google Business Profile

There is so much you can do with photos. You may know that uploading pictures to your Google Business Profile is an effective way to help would-be patients get familiar with your practice. Pictures can do even more than just put their mind at ease. Optimizing those photos is an effective SEO strategy as well.

How Do You Use Google Business Profile Photos for SEO?

A picture is worth 1,000 words, right? For all of the things you can say in words, a good image can do even more. Plus many web users will ignore long descriptions. Get their attention with a helpful photo. But the SEO tricks go a level deeper. Do this to get SEO value from your profile pictures.

  • Location, Location, Location:
    Before you capture a bunch of pictures, let your camera append locations. Turn on location settings on your phone. Then make sure your camera app has permission to use locations. This will grab the coordinates, giving Google great local cues. This tactic was made for "Physical Therapists Near Me" searches. Location tagged pictures of your practice prove you are near them. If your photos don't have location tagging, there are ways to go back and add that very important geo information. Our VGM Forbin marketing team can help.
  • Name Appropriately:
    Your phone is libel to name your pictures with some long string of characters. Don't leave these photos with their default names when you upload them. Well-named photos give Google an extra signal about what and where this photo was taken. A descriptive file name makes your profile stronger.
  • Size Photos Appropriately:
    For any image optimization, consider where the pictures will be seen and size them appropriately. Google can take care of some of this for you on your Google Business Profile, but because these GBP strategies closely relate to elements on your site, it's worth taking a moment to get the size right. Small images can appear grainy or not display large enough to show detail. Very large images can load slowly and deliver a poor user experience.

What Photos Should You Add to Your Google Profile?

Google suggests you add photos that give prospective patients a good sense of what to expect when they visit your practice. The pictures help those patients feel confident they've found the correct location, become familiar with your facilities, begin to know your staff, and more. Here are some photos to include?

  • Exterior Photos:
    Pictures of the outside of your practice help patients know they have found the right place when they show up for their first appointment. If you are located within a larger building, include photos from a nearby main road, from in front of the building and from immediately outside your practice. Make sure signage is included in some of these pictures as well. Consider the different directions they might be approaching from. And if another well-known business is nearby, you might take a shot with their building or signage included as well. Also, try to capture elements that would answer common questions. Your wheelchair ramp, designated parking, a covered drop-off and pick-up lane - if you have these, let your pictures show them off.
  • Interior Photos:
    Interior photos should show the areas patients might see during their visit. Let photos introduce patients to your reception area, your offices, your gym space, treatment rooms, counseling spaces and other activity spaces. Having people in your images can make them more inviting and increase engagement, but consider where identifiable characteristics should be excluded. The focus of these interior GBP photos is the space, not the people.
  • Equipment Photos:
    These GBP images can showcase your amenities and equipment.
  • Photos of Therapists and Staff at Work:
    Show your professionals in action. You may want to avoid identifying your patients. To do this, you can take photos from angles that don't show enough of the patients' faces to be identifiable, or you can have models fill in.
  • Photos of Your Team:
    Smiling faces make for the best engagement, and seeing your staff can do a lot to put patients' minds at ease.

What Format Should Your Google Business Profile Photos Be?

Before you take thousands of photos that don't meet Google's guidelines, review their photo guidelines.

  • Photos should be JPG or PNG format
  • Photos should be larger than 10 KB, but smaller than 5 MB
  • Photos should be large enough to be viewed well across device, at least 250 pixels wide by 250 pixels tall. A good size is 720 pixels by 720 pixels.
  • Photos should be clear and well-lit, without significant editing or filters.
  • Photos should accurately represent reality.
  • Photos can be square, horizontal or vertical as long as they otherwise meet these guidelines.

Add Google Business Profile Posts

Did you know that your Google Business Profile can feature posts similarly to how Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social platforms do? Put a little bit of the information you share on your site out into those GBP posts. When you are logged into Google from the account with which you manage your profile, near the bottom of your listing, you’ll see “Add update.” This is a space for you to share a quick excerpt of something from your site along with an image and link back to the full page of content. An enticing post can get prospective patients to the site. From there, let the page guide them to schedule a visit with you.

To instill extra effectiveness, tie these posts to your blog. Each time you publish a new blog post, the same photo and an excerpt or summary can be put out on your Google Business Profile, linking readers back to full blog post. If you add this to your social media calendar, it is easier to make a habit of it. At the same time you're posting to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you can be publishing those posts to your Google profile.

How Do You Make an Effective GBP Post?

  • Keep your description brief. Users will initially see around 10 words of your post. They'll see the full post only if they click the short excerpt. But more users who click are likely to select the call to action instead.
  • Make your first words count. What can the first 2 or 3 words say to begin to pique curiosity? You want to entice them to learn more.
  • The image is your best chance to draw their eye. Choose an image that your audience will relate to. As a general rule, welcoming faces encourage better engagement than inanimate objects.
  • The on-site content to which these users can click needs to be optimized. Make sure it loads quickly, and that the first words and images draw them im.

Ask Questions and Provide Answers

Ask and answer common questions. On any business profile, you can click the “Ask a question” button to get some more specific information. You can imagine, this is handy for patients. Questions can be asked or answered by anyone logged into a Google account.

While you can ask a question of your own profile, This looks best and may work best when you can encourage others to ask meaningful questions. Prompt trusted patients or others familiar with your business to ask questions where the answers highlight your credentials, amenities and other selling points. “How experienced are your occupational therapists?” “Do your physical therapists specialize in sports medicine?” “Does your practice take workers’ compensation patients?” Consider how locations, services, and other searchable words can be mentioned in these questions.

As questions come in, log into your own Google account and respond with thorough, keyword-filled answers. These answers can also showcase your helpful and knowledgeable nature. You're not just answering the question for SEO value. You're giving an example of what they might expect when they call for an appointment.

Ask for Reviews

There’s little more compelling than glowing reviews. If you are confident your practice provides a consistently and overwhelmingly positive experience, you may be comfortable asking every patient for their recommendation. In your to-go materials, include the link to your Google Business Profile along with some prompts to help them remember important details. You may also encourage patients to share photos. This will help you get great, searchable phrases into those reviews. Plus, those details help prospective patients make smart decisions about their therapy.  

What Can You do about Negative Google Reviews?

Most reviews won't be removed by Google, however there are a few reasons Google may consider deleting a review. Does a GBP review that you received match one of the following descriptions?

  • Off-Topic:
    The review doesn’t pertain to an experience at or with this business. This may be posted by someone who has no real knowledge of the business at all.
  • Spam:
    The review is from a bot, a fake account, or contains ads and promotions. These are often intended to promote a completely separate service.
  • Conflict of Interest:
    The review is from someone affiliated with the business or a competitor’s business. An upset employee or ex-employee may leave a review out of spite.
  • Profanity:
    The review contains foul words, has sexually explicit language, or details graphic violence or other illegal activity. While these reviews can be the most upsetting, they are also the reviews most assured to be removed.
  • Bullying or Harassment:
    The review personally attacks someone.
  • Discrimination or Hate Speech:
    The review has harmful language about an individual or group based on identity.
  • Personal Information:
    The review contains personal information such as address or phone number.

How Do You Get Google to Delete a Fake Review?

If you find that a review of your business meets one of the above requirements, you can get Google's attention. They can remove a review that violates Google's guidelines. Beneath the preview of your reviews, click "View all Google reviews", then click the three dots to the right of the offending review. Select "Report review." You'll be asked, "Why are you reporting this review?" Choose the answer that best describes why you would like it removed. You'll get confirmation that they'll look into it. It may take a couple days to get a response.

What Else can You Do to Optimize Business Listings?

While Google Business Profiles are some of the most visible ways to optimize the way your practice is seen, many of these same processes work in other platforms as well. Bing Places for Business includes much of the same functionality. Facebook business profile reviews and images work much the same way. Across the web, there are listing services that will provide free business profiles.

Don’t underestimate how much a search-engine-friendly profile can do for your practice. These tips can make a difference, filling those openings. Need a hand, or want more simple ways to draw more PT patients? See how VGM Forbin helps you optimize your online presence with smart marketing strategies and easy-to-use, great-looking websites.

Contact VGM Forbin Today!

A Google Business Profile can be Powerful for Your Physical Therapy Practice Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and other Rehab Professionals - did you know that your Google Business Profile (GBP) can be a very powerful tool for drawing potential...