Getting traffic online, and customers and conversions to their physical business location, is what physician clinics, healthcare practices and businesses are looking for. That’s what healthcare digital marketing aims at.
A Google My Business (GMB) profile significantly raises the visibility and the reputation of your practice or business. But while healthcare practices and physician clinics rush to get themselves listed, they need to ensure they do it well, to prevent their listings from being suspended.
The Horror of Google Suspending Your GMB Listing
Google My Business sometimes suspends listings, citing issues with quality. This normally happens when the algorithm gets updated. This is of course tough, because the business whose listing is suspended stands to lose a lot in terms of conspicuousness, reputation and publicity, which would inevitably result in loss of business. And once suspended, it’s been reported to be quite hard to make Google review the suspension. So in all circumstances, the first priority is to prevent this from happening.
Soft and Hard Suspensions
So let’s look at these kinds of suspensions in detail. You have the soft and hard suspensions. The soft suspension comes with a label saying “suspended” on the Google My Business homepage. You can’t change any of the details. But with a soft suspension, the listing will continue to be in Google search. Users would also be able to navigate to the physical location on Google Maps. What’s scarier is the hard suspension, under which you have your listing removed totally from Google Maps and Google search.
Avoid Fake Reviews
So, let’s look at what not to do to earn yourself a soft or hard suspension. The first thing you need to avoid, though we see this in many business listings, is fake reviews. If you find listings with fake reviews, you’ll eventually see them penalized by Google.Reviews are meant to give a genuine opinion of how a business works. Fake reviews mislead people and Google views them seriously. The best way to earn positive reviews is to offer good service to clients or customers. Don’t make someone churn out positive reviews for you.
Ensure Consistency in Details
The other aspect you need to ensure is that there isn’t any other verified business listed at your address. And you should keep the business address on your site similar to what you have on your GMB listing. Your phone number and address on online citations must be similar to what’s in your GMB listing. Don’t change your GMB profile information unnecessarily.
No Physical Address for Service Area Business
If it’s a service area business you’re running, it’s better not to use a physical address.Why is that? It’s because a service area business is one where the business owner or employee visits customers at their location to serve them. Such a business cannot use a physical address since it negatively interferes with the algorithm. A physical address should only be used if you have clients or customers actually visiting your location.
Keyword stuffing is something Google abhors in content, and it’s the same in your business name. Don’t unnecessarily stuff keywords to the name of your business.
No Forwarding URL for Your Website
Your website shouldn’t use a forwarding URL, which is basically a website URL redirecting to another website. This usually occurs when you change your website after listing your business on Google My Business and listing the website in your profile. But this usually invites a soft suspension rather than a hard one. Google verifies businesses usually with the domain email ID. Modifying this listing could result in a soft suspension being imposed. Google would then require your business license.
Ways to Get Your GMB Listing Reinstated
Though it is hard for businesses to get their GMB listing reinstated, particularly in the case of a hard suspension, legitimate businesses don’t need to worry. To get out of a suspension, Google requires you to offer proof of your legitimate existence, such as the license of your business mandated by your state, any professional licensing that is legally required, electricity or any other utility bills that prove your occupancy as well as rental agreements, if applicable.
Tax identification papers can also help. You also have to show photos of your business’ physical location. The business logo must be visible clearly along with the street address on your door. If applicable, you can provide photos of your business vehicles with your business logos. Videos are also useful.
You can head to Google My Business Help to appeal for reinstatement. This is truly an essential aspect of digital marketing and medical SEO. With the intense competition faced by healthcare practices, a great GMB profile is one of the ways to stand out.