Some experts argue that your Google Places page may be as important as your practice website. While I’m not quite sure it’s that important, there is no doubt that it’s importance to the digital marketing strategy of your practice has increased by an order of magnitude in the past 18 months. I’ll outline 3 basic tips here for leveraging the free Google Places page listing and using it to engage and interact with current and future patients.
1. Claim It!
This sounds so obvious. But trust me, many practices don’t have an “Owner-verified listing”. Find your practice’s listing on Google Places and look in the top-right corned. If you don’t see the “Owner-verified listing” then it’s time to claim the page. If you do see it, but have no idea who claimed it, start talking with your staff. If you are the owner of the practice, you need to be the one to claim this listing.
2. Ask for Reviews
Another simple tip that 95% of practices don’t implement. The only patient who is likely to actively seek out a review site to share their experience is one who has a highly negative experience. Tomorrow, start asking 100% of your patients to share their experience on Google Places. Don’t ask for a positive review. Instead ask them to share their experience. To the patient this feels more genuine and heartfelt.
3. Take Them Seriously
So you started asking for reviews. Great! These are real experiences from your real patients, and you need to treat them as such. When you ask for the review, you should be genuinely interested in the response. Google Places allows you to respond publicly as the owner to reviews. You need to make this a weekly, if not daily, process. Respond to the good and the bad, and when you do get the negative review, be sure to reach out and try to make things right. But always be sure to take the conversation offline, there is nothing worse that arguing with a patient on you places listing.
Don’t sweat. We have you covered. FDG offers everything from consulting on reputation management to full-blown managed services. If you are a current client, contact us today to learn more. If you’re not already a client, schedule your free consultation today.
UPDATE JULY 2012: Google Places is no longer. We’ll be putting together a new post on getting to know Google Plus local shortly.