After much anticipation, this week Google opened its social network, Google +, to businesses. Your practice can now establish a Google + Page (similar to a Facebook Business Page).
Why should your practice consider creating a Google + Page? Creating a Google + Page enables your practice to:
– Reach potential patients.
– Stay connected with current patients.
– Make it easier for both patients and non-patients to contact you (and make an appointment!). Your Google + Page will list your phone number, office hours and Website URL. This is a win – win because the more inbound links to your Website, the higher Google will rank your Website so creating a Google + Page will actually help your search ranking!
– Establish your practice as an innovator and leader in the healthcare industry. Studies show that patients view “social” practices as being more innovative and providing more advanced care than “non social” practices.
– Increase your search engine ranking. Google is giving more and more weight to a Website’s social presence when determining page rank. Establishing a Google + Page signals to Google that you are relevant and engaging with users. And as we already mentioned, Google + will increase the number of inbound links to your Website which will also increase page ranking!
– Keep others from claiming your practice’s page. Anyone can create a Google + Business Page, even one for your practice. You can report fraud to Google, but they have a poor response record. The best way to prevent impersonation pages is to create a business page and link to it on your Website and other web properties.
– Over time, being on Google+ will increase patient volume! Reaching new patients, staying connected with current patients (so they remember to come in for their annual checkup…), increasing search engine ranking, etc ,will all lead to increased patient volume.
So, what exactly is Google + and how is it different from Facebook Pages? For a run down on all the details, check out this recent posting by Search Engine Land.
Ready to get started with Google +, but not sure how? Contact Josephine Beeler (firstname.lastname@example.org), HCA’s Social Media Coordinator, for a Google + tool kit which includes step – by – step setup instructions!