Google’s Offerings for Uncertain Times and Lockdowns
Although the way and how often healthcare providers can see their patients, and obtain new patients, has definitely changed, there are online tools, that are advantageous. In fact, if you are thinking about halting your marketing, you may want to think twice.
The messaging to your audience must change, and how you reach them must change. The content must speak to the current state, due to the Covid-19 lockdowns. As many clinics close their doors to in-person consults and moving towards virtual consults, marketing tools are following suit.
Google, has a few tools and suggestions, specific, for healthcare sites, that can help.
1. Add a Virtual Care Attribute
Attributes tell your customers a bit more about your business in detail. For example, if a restaurant has a patio or a kid-friendly menu if a clinic has parking available, etc. It’s important to add relevant attributes to your business profile. Doing this allows you to stand out to your customers, who may be looking for specific things. Attributes can also be highlighted, or appear as “badges” on your business profile on Google Search.
So, if you are a healthcare provider offering virtual care, it’s a very good idea to add “virtual care” as an attribute to your business profile.
While you cannot necessarily change subjective attributes (things that appear due to reviews, such as popularity), you can edit the factual attributes.
2. Add a Virtual Care Link
Did you know that on your business profile, you can include links? You can choose the links to be specific actions you want customers to take when they find your business directly from Google Search or Google Maps.
In Google My Business is where you can edit your profile and add these links. Examples of links people often use (you may recall seeing yourself) include:
- Book an appointment
- Place an order
- Reserve a table
- View your menu or list of services
So during this time, where you may be offering virtual care, a good idea would be to include a link that goes to “Booking an appointment” or “Book A Virtual Care Appointment.”
It’s important to note that third-party links cannot be edited in your Google My Business, they must be your own.
3. Add a Covid-19 Info Link to Your Website
It’s important to consider, especially being a healthcare provider, putting a page on your website that is specific to Covid-19 information. This page can then be used to direct people to what they can do in this time, i.e. direct people to updates on testing, visiting hours, appointments, protocols, etc.
In addition, if you are a healthcare provider, your Google My Business should be specific to healthcare providers. Once your profile is set-up you can include options to add more details to your profile such as telemedicine. This allows your business profile to be further specialized in Google searches. Furthermore, once you verify your account, owners and admin at the practice can engage with patients or potential patients directly from the Google My Business account.
Once you have your Business Profile set-up as a healthcare provider, it’s important to manage it and keep it up to date. This is when you want to ensure you are adding the links and attributes as often as needed (see points 1 and 2).
While these are times of uncertainty for business and practices, you can stay ahead by ensuring that your business is being portrayed accurately on Google by using these tools. You can also ensure you stay relevant and with the times. Remember, it is now that potential patents are searching online more than ever.
For more information on how to ensure your digital marketing, online presence, and Google presence is optimal, please contact us directly. At invigoMEDIA, we are here to help and in this together.