New Google Features–Reach the Right Patients Sooner
Now more than ever, the quality of your practice’s online presence is the difference between booking an appointment or losing out to the competition. For decades, Google has changed the way patients find businesses (including optometrists). It's important to stay ahead of the curve with the latest Google features and updates to keep your search ranking high.
Why is EyeCarePro so excited about Google changes? Because Google Maps recently introduced new features that truly make the difference between your practice getting found sooner—or not getting found at all.
The first new feature allows users to search for eye doctors based on the hours they’re open. This update is especially important for eye care practices that want to remain competitive and attract new patients who are ready to book with a practice that's open NOW.
Are you open earlier or later than the competition, or on weekends? With Google’s latest business schedule updates, patients can now search for eye doctors who are open late or on Saturdays. It goes without saying that it’s crucial for practices without any active Google Business Profile support to keep their listing up-to-date. That means your profile content should be engaging and relevant, with an emphasis on photos, reviews, and practice news.
Want Your Google Search Rankings Optimized?
The ability to optimize your schedule on Google is a game-changer for practices, especially those with a real-time scheduler on their site. From a sampling of practices, EyeCarePro has seen an average of 34 online form fills a month for practices that use it. The best part? More than 80% of those requests come in after hours. A little bit of Google Business Profile optimization paired with a scheduler can go a long way to help you book appointments 24/7.
Chances are, you’ve probably heard EyeCarePro talk about the importance of Google Reviews for Search Engine Optimization. And for good reason, having great reviews–especially on Google–is a key SEO metric that can improve your search rankings to drive more quality traffic to your site.
It turns out that Google was just getting started. They’ve just taken their penchant for good business reviews to a whole new level by adding a filter on their search results page that effectively filters out businesses with lower Google review scores (yes, that includes eye care practices as well).
What does that mean for a practice like yours? Your Google reviews rating needs to be at a minimum of 4.5+ to not get filtered out of the top-tier of search results. Look at this as a good thing—you’ve likely always known that you need a lot of great reviews to have a great search ranking, and now you know the exact review average to shoot for. The best way to boost the number and quality of Google reviews is with EyeCarePro’s automated Google Reviews and Reputation Management Optimizer. Practices using this optimizer see an average of 20 new reviews per month, with an average score of 4.9!
Remember, you can't stop the folks who want to complain... but you can drown them out by getting many more positive reviews!
Get Filtered Into Results By Insurance
Do you ever question whether you're doing enough to reach potential patients with the right insurance coverage? Another big update Google has made to search results and maps is to display practice insurance information as a filterable option, meaning that patients can easily search for eye care practices based on their specific insurance coverage.
This is great news for practices, as it’s an easy way to significantly increase your chances of attracting new patients that already know they’re covered by the insurance providers you carry. Think of it this way: by ensuring that your insurance information is up-to-date and accurate on your Google Business Profile, you'll be able to tap into a larger customer base who have an insurance provider your local competition may not carry.
At the very least, displaying your practice insurance information clears up one additional objection that prospective patients could have about booking an appointment with you. Plus, the less phone calls your staff have to field about insurance means they, and you, will have more time to do what you do best—providing excellent care to your patients.
Don’t Miss Out On New Patients
Is getting found sooner and booking more appointments one of your practice’s goals? It’s not easy to keep up with all of the latest Google changes, but EyeCarePro can take care of your Google Business Profile optimization and generate more visibility and calls for your practice. It can also help protect your practice from competing optometry offices setting up shop locally and wooing your patients.
Keeping your Google Business Profile up-to-date isn’t just best practice, it also fits in well with EyeCarePro’s philosophy of answering patient questions before they have to ask. The more patients know about your services and unique values, the easier it is to speak to their needs and earn their trust—and business.