How to Optimise Your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)
A Google Business Profile (GBP) is a business listing platform provided by Google. It gives small businesses the opportunity to communicate key business information to searchers, receive, and respond to, reviews and get a presence on Google Maps and in local search listings. Getting a GBP can really help to improve the visibility of your business on Google, especially for local keyword searches such as “care home near me”.
How to Start a Google Business Profile
If you haven’t got one already, head on over to https://www.google.com/business/ and click “Manage Now”. Add some basic information to start with and go through the verification process, whether it’s by post or a phone call.
How to get the most out of your Google Business Profile for your care home business
Whether you’ve just gone through the verification process or have had one for a while, here are a few tips to help you improve your GBP.
Add your physical address and service areas
Be sure to add your real, physical address of your care home as this will show up on Google Maps and its local listings for geographically related searches. Also, don’t forget to add all the surrounding cities, towns and villages that are close to you in the “Service area” section.
Check name, address and phone number (NAP)
It’s very important to have accurate and consistent NAP information across all your platforms, whether it’s Yell, carehome.co.uk or your Google Business Profile. Is your care home name consistent, are you always using the same, correct address and phone number?
Your business description and category
In your business description, it’s really important to add a clear and concise description about your business, the services you provide (a focus keyword, if you have one) and a mention of the areas you serve. A bit further down the line it’s worth considering adding a little extra something that will help you to differentiate yourself from your competition, like mentioning an “Outstanding” CQC rating. Add the correct business category too, usually either Nursing home or Assisted living facility.
Use the correct url of your website
Please do check that you’re using the correct version of your url, and not an old non-https version.
Getting and responding to reviews
Getting reviews on your GBP for your care home can help its visibility in Google, just as reviews can help secure higher positions on the leading care home review and directory websites, such as carehome.co.uk. Having a process to collect and review stakeholder feedback is a really important part of any business. Leveraging this process and making sure you consistently achieve positive reviews should become a business priority. Don’t forget to reply to any review you get on your GBP too.
Publishing updates on your Google Business Profile
It’s a very good idea to keep your profile fresh and interesting to care seekers by regularly adding posts or updates.
Here are the options you can choose from:
- Add an update. This can be any general communication, like a change to visiting hours or a news item about your care home.
- Add an offer. This where you can showcase any marketing offer you might have on, be sure to link directly to any campaign landing page you have created.
- Add an event. This is very useful for communicating specific upcoming events, like open days.
Be sure to add a relevant, good quality image or photo alongside them too.
Adding professional photos
We’ve talked about the information you can add and how important it is to make sure it’s consistent and accurate but now it’s time to focus on what will really distinguish your profile from the competition. It might be very tempting just to add any old photo you might have, just to have something up on your GBP. Please don’t. The photos on your profile are often the first time a care seeker actually sees your care home, even before they visit your website. It will really help your profile stand out from the crowd if you add some really strong professional photographs of your care home and its amenities.
Try to add a good range of photos too, for example:
- The front facing outlook of your care home and the reception area
- Communal areas and garden
- Bedrooms and other facilities
- Residents, social nights and what it’s like to live there.
Commissioning a suite of professional photographs can help you showcase the key features of your care home, improve brand consistency across all channels and, ultimately, boost bed occupancy rates.
We always spend time helping our clients plan for a photography shoot, in order for them to maximise the business value from each one. It’s what we do.
Get in touch and we’ll talk you through the whole process.