We all like to get the hands-on tools that are going to better help us in life. A hidden gem that some business owners do not take advantage of is Google my business. It is more than just a simple verification tool for your business to have a spot on Google. It actually has many cool features that are just waiting to be discovered. Of course, in order to get started, we must start with the basics.
Claim your listing on Google my business
First things first, claim your business it’s free. Let Google know you’re here and you’re proud. In order to get started, go onto GMB and set up your account, and give them your information. Google will then send you a postcard via mail. The next step is to enter your verification code from the card. And there you go, it’s quick and easy.
Once you’re set up with Google my Business…
When you’re creating information for you google my business in counseling, its key to make sure your information is comprehensive and up to date. For example, when you’re inputting your website on google my business, it needs to be the same on your website and on GMB, even if there is a slight variation, google may penalize you or not recognize your business.
Google My Business Basics
Here is what GMB absolutely needs:
- Phone Number
Not only is it important to add this information, but it’s crucial to the success of your business, especially if you’re looking to find better ways on how to rank on google for therapists. The information needs to be detailed and most importantly accurate. For example, in your description use as many of the 750 words as possible adding in keywords and information about your niche. As we’ve said previously when we discuss content for service pages and blogs, remember that Google loves content. The more the better. Essentially, the same principle applies to your GMB.
*Pro-tip: The more information you have on GMB the cheaper google my ads will be. So if you’re going the SEO/ Google ads route, Google my business is key for you.
The relationship between Google my Business and SEO for Mental Health Professionals
The strategy of SEO is great for websites. You do the work and clients stream your way after a few months of intensive work. However, while SEO is great for websites, there are more ways to incorporate SEO from your website into Google to come up better. Think of it this way. If I type in therapy near me and your website pops up, I am going to click on this and see what you have to offer me. However, if your website pops up, but someone else does as well with a GMB box, I am more likely to choose their therapy website over yours. So the bottom line is to make a Google my business and make sure you’re ranking for therapy/counseling near me. This will help your local SEO and allow you to begin better engaging with your audience and potential clients.
How to build a solid profile for Google My Business
Build Credibility Through Google Reviews?
This is kind of a controversial topic for the mental health professionals out there reading this. A great way to build credibility with Google is to get some reviews. The more reviews you have the better. However, as mental health professionals, how does one do this? Ethically, most mental health professionals cannot ask our clients for reviews due to their own codes of ethics. So if you can’t get reviews from your clients, then who? Well, the controversial answer and solution are to ask people who know you. Find people who are familiar with your body of work, and who are also trusted mental health professionals, such as colleagues or a mentor who will give you honest reviews. The key is to find someone you trust and knows you well. Likewise, if someone is always referring clients to you, they are a good choice, because they trust you.
The reason we see this as ethical is that when someone knows you and your professional image and can speak highly of you so clients know you’re credible, that is the best review you can receive ethically.
What to do when you receive reviews?
Once you are able to get some reviews. Reply within 24 hours. More responses equal to more potential customers. Google will also see you as trustworthy and rank your business higher. If you have good reviews, respond and thank them. If you have neutral reviews, you may create a happier raving fan by responding.
Unfortunately, there is the possibility of receiving bad reviews as well. If you have bad reviews, it is crucial that you respond. This is an opportunity, not a punishment. You can try to offer an opportunity for feedback or a follow up for this individual. Sometimes, though you may receive bad reviews from clients who cannot be changed. It happens. While you may not be able to change their mind, you can respond, extend a hand to resolve the issue, and then move on. Focus on your raving fans knowing you’ve done all you can.
And, of course, when responding to reviews from a client be careful not to confirm or deny they were seen at your practice. For example saying something like, “Thank you so much for the feedback” acknowledges their response without confirming they were a client.
Additionally, know there will be times when clients feel inclined to leave a review on your GMB and that’s also ok, as long as it was done ethically. No one made them and it only builds your professional image.
Add Key Blog Posts
Here it is again. Blog, blog, blog. It is so good for your SEO. Not only does it lift your website, but it can also lift it through the use of Google my business. Did you know that you could add your blog posts to your GMB page? It is just another way to funnel more SEO traffic into your website. It also presents a good opportunity for potential clients to see your expertise. All you need to do is every time you publish your blog posts, go to GMB, and add new posts. Insert a picture and a description of the blog post, along with the URL of your blog. That’s it!
Build a Beautiful Photo Gallery
Adding photos is another great way to add value to your GMB. Not only are you providing a visual representation of your services, the people, and your business, but you’re also improving your SEO. Two things to consider, to begin with, is to first add photos to your business regularly. This could be one a week or once every few weeks, but keep it consistent. Second, make sure the quality of the photos is on point. Most people don’t want to see blurry unfocused photos, so if this is not your specialty, like a coworker or hire someone.
Best practices for photos on GMB
However, it is not as simple as adding any photo you feel like adding. First, make sure it is relevant to your business. If you’re a physical therapist and you’re showing information about a fast food restaurant google will see your content as non-relevant. It is also important to make sure you’re reviewing the pictures that customers post as well. Ultimately, the pro in this is that Google will see you engaging with your customers. Which is huge for SEO and relevance. However, note that there are times customers may upload unflattering pictures to your Google my business page. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about this because Google does not allow you to take them down. The only way to get around this would be to reach out to the individual to take it down. Otherwise, checking in regularly will be the best way to safeguard this from repeatedly happening.
Lastly, the best way to use photos to help your SEO is to geotag them. This just means adding in your location so Google can find you. Likewise, before you add in any photos, rename them with keywords to help google coordinate the correct clients to you. For example, if you have a photo about EMDR and you’re demonstrating the technique, make sure you’re optimizing the title for EMDR therapy, EMDR therapy near me, EMDR therapist, EMDR therapy in (insert location), and so on.
Talk about who you are and what you do
Adding in quality and a detailed description of your business can also help you rank. Add information such as your niche and your services. Likewise, add in keywords. Yes, you can add keywords into GMB that helps you rank even higher on Google and will boost your SEO. See what keywords are best searched for in your area by using keywords associated with your niche. If you’re unsure where to start, there are a few free resources such as Uber suggest and Google trends.
Keep Google my business up to date
Especially now in midst of a pandemic, it is very important to add information on how people can access your services. If you have a physical location but are providing online services. Make sure this is evident on your website and on your GMB page. Likewise, this is a great time to add such keywords as online therapy, counseling, therapist, counselor, psychologist, and so on to the list of information on your website.
Additionally, if you add or remove services, make sure you’re updating your profile accordingly.
GMB has data updates
Kind of like google analytics, you can see insights on your customers via a section on Google my business. If you want to see how often people are visiting your website or page each month, and what they are viewing. You can also view a performance report that allows you to see insights about your information.
Publish your Google My Business page!
You’ve finally made it! It’s time to get in front of your potential clients and begin doing what you do best. Helping those overcome the barriers that prevent them from living life to the fullest. If you have any additional questions about Google my business, let us know. If you’re an online counseling practice, no worries. We’ve got a great blog by Cory Moss coming up to talk about Google my business and policies surrounding this topic. Until then check out her blog post on common SEO questions.
Begin SEO Services at Simplified SEO Consulting
Are you looking to see how our services blend well with Google My Business? Simplified SEO Consulting in Columbia, MO offers DFY packages, courses, training options, and alumni services. If you have any questions or your question was not answered, please reach out. Our passionate team of SEO experts would be happy to answer your questions, just reach out today! We can also discuss potential services that may work for you, especially if you’re a busy practice owner. To get started follow these three steps to begin ranking better on Google.
- Schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with a member of the Simplified SEO Consulting staff
- Learn more about our SEO packages and training opportunities
- Start doing better keyword research and get your ideal clients
Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting
Simplified SEO Consulting is passionate about providing SEO services for mental health professionals and therapists. Our comprehensive SEO services are included in our Done for You SEO Service packages. Also, we offer alumni packages and al la carte SEO services. Our SEO staff provides several SEO training opportunities. including our “Top of Google” online course and 12 weeks of online video training. We also offer an SEO Strategy package to learn more about SEO and what you can do to rank better on search engines.
Get in touch with Simplified SEO to learn more, or book a free SEO Consultation with our Client Success Specialist or one of our SEO specialists to decide which option is best for your business. We look forward to working with you and your business!
About the Author:
Jasmine Jaquess is currently working towards her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. She has been doing SEO with Simplified for the last few months. Currently, she serves as the Client Success Specialist in new client consultation with Simplified SEO Consulting and is an SEO specialist. She specializes in platforms such as Squarespace and Wix but has learned to love WordPress sites as well. She really enjoys hearing the clients’ goals for their businesses and helping them achieve them.