How to Leverage Your GBP to Expand Visibility in the Google 3-Pack

Posted By Madilyn Moeller, Friday, February 16, 2024

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By MedShark Digital

For medical practices looking to be competitive online, ranking on the local Google 3-Pack is a vital strategy. From conducting competitive research to appropriately structuring your website, the following tactics will unlock your potential to rank.

How to begin the process? Competitive research

Effective competitive research is fundamental to eventually building out and optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP) with a comprehensive strategy that gets your practice to rank. By analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ businesses, this research helps identify areas of growth and unique strategies that might offer a higher return on investment (ROI).

Starting the competitive research journey can seem daunting, but by following a set of five simple steps, you can appropriately leverage the technique to identify market gaps and plan for the future.

  1. Identify your main competitors by seeing which practices come up when you google your main practice area.
  2. Analyze these competitors’ online presence. What types of content are they leveraging? How does their audience appear to be responding?
  3. Sign up for your competitors’ email lists and make sure to follow their social media accounts. What unique strategies are they leveraging to stay up to date with their audience?
  4. Track your findings, paying particular attention to unique features, strengths and opportunity areas. Include screenshots and relevant links in your tracker.
  5. Check your competitors’ Google Business Profile reviews.

What are Google Reviews? Do they help me rank?

Competitive research is the first step to analyzing your online market and, eventually, optimizing your GBP to stand out on Google search. In doing this research, you may have noticed that some practices with fewer reviews and lower ratings on their GBP are ranking higher on the Google 3-Pack. One answer to this mystery is that their websites have authoritative backlinks and high-quality content. While Google reviews are a critical piece to the puzzle of ranking online, these other factors are equally important. Keep in mind that Google looks at your entire online footprint, and that includes your website.

Authoritative backlinks illustrate to Google that your website is relevant and trustworthy. Every relevant website with a link to your site can be thought of as a point proving the quality of your medical spa website. You can earn more points when the backlink coming into your site is on a trustworthy, authoritative website. In other words, a link from Wikipedia to your site will not hold as much weight as a link from a university or library institution. Competitors who are ranking above you on the Google 3-Pack but who have fewer reviews could be more effectively illustrating their authority through this backlink strategy.

Content plays another key role for ranking in the Google 3-Pack. Optimized, high-quality content helps Google understand the answer that your website provides. Thus, when internet users conduct online search queries, Google knows to provide your website as the best result. To rank on Google Local, your content must convince Google that you are the answer to all potentially relevant search queries.

So, do Google reviews even matter?

All that said, reviews are still a critical piece to the 3-Pack puzzle. A practice with more reviews and higher ratings can quickly prove to Google—and all potential end users—that their practice is popular and trustworthy. Especially in the medical world, trust is key for gaining and keeping patients. Your practice can even go one step further by responding to each of the reviews. By responding, you are showing clients that you legitimately care about their needs and interests and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure the best care possible. (However, medical practices must be careful about the ways they do this.)

So, how can your practice gain more reviews on your GBP? One easy way to begin is by politely but directly asking satisfied customers to share their experience with your practice. In fact, research shows that 70% of customers will leave a review when asked. You can also word your question to prioritize certain keywords for your medical spa. For example, if you really want to rank for “acne treatment,” you might want to word your request, “Would you be able to share your experience on how we helped provide high quality acne treatment?” This way, when the customer leaves the review on your GBP, they will likely use the words “acne treatment,” helping Google understand that you are the best answer for search queries dealing with this issue. You also should include a link to leave reviews across your digital presence. This includes adding the link to your website, email signature and social media profiles. Are you looking to reward all this hard work? Put together a page on your website highlighting your favorite customer reviews.

Other key features on your GBP

With the fundamentals of competitive research and Google reviews in mind, now it is time to dive into the specifics of your GBP. First and foremost, your practice should ensure that all the content on your GBP is accurate. This not only means confirming that your address and listings are updated, but also includes adding images of your actual work environment. Photos that do especially well include staff and team photos as well as before-and-after images of your services. The best way to gain a medical client is by visually showcasing how you can help.

Secondly, your medical spa should leverage Google 360 Virtual Tours. This feature boosts online engagement by providing an interactive experience and opportunity for potential clients to visualize themselves as customers. With only a one-time investment, the tour provides a cost-effective solution to boosting customer confidence and getting your phone to ring with potential client inquiries.

To improve engagement with your online audience, your practice should add its social media accounts to its GBP profile. In the U.S., you can currently add Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, X, TikTok, YouTube and Pinterest to your GBP. The addition of social media profiles to your account provides an additional online touchpoint with your practice and contributes to improved search engine visibility.

Also, you can connect with local clients and potential customers by inputting your service areas. A service area allows you to expand your GBP outside the exact physical address listed. The tool helps you cater to a more expansive region, allowing you to connect with users who might be in your general area of service but are not covered explicitly by the ZIP code listed in your formal address.

Finally, your medical spa can leverage products and services to showcase to Google exactly what it is your practice offers. These tools are easy and clean ways to provide more optimized content to Google and illustrate exactly why your medical spa is the best answer for the search query at hand. They also clearly show clients exactly what you offer.

Tactics to avoid on your GBP

As your medical spa begins to optimize its GBP, you should be careful to avoid breaching Google’s penalty system. Google penalizes websites whose content conflicts with the marketing practices that Google enforces. Google most commonly punishes a website when the search engine flags low-quality content, copyrighted material, overused keywords, spammy links and slow loading times. Additionally, Google will penalize websites that are not optimized for mobile devices, leverage thin content and overuse hyperlinks. Given the various ways your practice could run afoul of Google, it is critical to approach all content development with care and consideration. Proofread, cite your sources, and push out content and materials that you firmly believe will best serve your end user—not just Google’s algorithm.

The last step: Structuring website content for Google

Optimizing your GBP and improving your ranking in the local Google 3-Pack will drive more traffic to your website. The final consideration in this optimization process is, therefore, to design a website structure that is clean and coherent for both Google and your end user. Website structure includes not only how much information is laid out in your site, but also how well each page is connected to each other with internal links. As each website page only has a short amount of time to keep user interest, it is imperative that you provide an easy, fast navigation experience for visitors. Here are a few strategies to keep in mind as you navigate your website:

  1. Use internal links strategically.
  2. Make sure each website page is accessible within only a couple of clicks.
  3. Create an easy-to-follow, dynamic website menu.

Finally, in the modern world, you have about two seconds to keep a website visitor's interest. Leverage branded videos, relevant keywords, and before-and-after photos to clearly relay your expertise to all potential clients. At the end of the day, your goal online—just as it is within your medical spa—is to elevate the user experience.

Any questions? Reach out to MedShark Digital’s medical spa marketing consultants.

MedShark Digital is a marketing agency that specializes in working with cosmetic, medical, and dental practices to build their online visibility and brand. Most importantly, it generates more high-quality leads and patients. It delivers results by combining the more than 25 years of medical and dental marketing knowledge and experience of Bill Fukui with its comprehensive team of accounts managers, designers, programmers, content specialists and community outreach coordinators. MedShark Digital's digital marketing expertise and deep understanding of term paper writing and dental patients gives your practice a competitive edge.

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