It’s that time of year. You're planning for 2017 and looking to make your dollar go further in the coming year. I know many of you are asking the question, “How can I market best online while using a limited budget?”
No matter what size your budget is in 2017, I believe you must pay close attention to your online directories. When your patients, their families, or you search for your business an impressive number of listings pop up from Google Maps, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Superpages and much more.
Neglecting your online directories can negatively affect your hospital or clinic’s reputation online. Next time you Google your facility ask yourself these questions when examining your directory listings:
- Is the location and contact information correct?
- Can a visitor easily see what services we offer from that listing?
- Do I have any unanswered reviews – positive or negative?
- Are there enough current photos to accurately portray our hospital or clinic?
- Finally, is my listing verified so that only I can edit it?
Another reason to show some love to your online directories is their exponential growth and relevance to search engines such as Google and Yelp. Over the past few months, we’ve seen Google Maps release subtle updates to their online directory including better advertising options and new notifications regarding your listing.
As of last month, Google was testing a new messaging pilot program that could allow businesses to chat directly with their customers through a Google listing.
Looking forward, these search giants will facilitate the continued growth we’ll see in online directories in 2017. Get on the ball this year, and treat these prevalent listings as if they are your own physical storefront.
We recommend taking the following steps.
- Make your listing feel welcoming.
- Bring the online searchers in through attentive photos.
- Respond to customers as soon as they give you feedback.
If you have questions, share them as comments. I’m happy to answer them.