A Google Business Profile is an essential component of a successful local search strategy for therapists.
The Importance of Local Search
A Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business) lets Google know where you provide your services. This is critical for “Near Me” and location-based searches. Therapists that have a profile on Google My Business will often appear in more than one of the following search results:
- Google Map
- Local 3-Pack
- Organic Search
What is Local Search?
Local search reflects search queries that are specific to a geographic area. For “near me” searches, Google presents results based on the searcher’s current location. To show up in “near me” and location-based searches, make it easy for Google to understand your location.
I recently optimized a client’s Google My Business profile and their private practice website for local search. They now appear in multiple search results for the phrase: columbus ohio holistic therapy.
3 Tips to Optimize Google My Business
1. Confirm Name, Address, & Phone
2. Address Your Ideal Client
3. Select the Correct Categories
Tip #1: Confirm Your NAP
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. It should be the same for all of your online profiles. If the NAP for your private practice is inconsistent, Google won’t trust your data which can have a negative affect on your search results.
Track Your NAP
Confirm that your NAP is consistent for all of your online profiles. Create a list that includes how your Name, Address, and Phone Number are displayed for your:
- Google My Business
- Social Media Accounts
- Online Directories (Psychology Today, Yelp, etc.)
Common NAP Issue
I’ve often seen social media accounts that have added a tagline to the name of their practice. For example,
- Savvy Counseling = Name of Practice
- Empowering Families = Tagline
- Savvy Counseling – Empowering Families = Social Media Account Name
If you want to highlight the tagline for your private practice, include it in the bio of your social media account not in the name of your business. Learn more NAP best practices.
Tip #2: Address Your Ideal Client
Avoid using jargon and technical terminology in your copy. Instead, focus on your ideal client. Assure prospective clients that you understand their needs and know how you can help them.
PROFILE A: Focused on Therapy Practice
Savvy Counseling’s expert therapists offer in-person sessions in Portland, OR. Our therapists are trained in CBT, DBT, and Microcurrent Neurofeedback modalities. All of are staff are licensed as LCSWs or LMFTs. We specialize in working with teens and their families. More
PROFILE B: Focused on Ideal Client
Does your teen struggle with depression or anxiety? Do they often appear moody and withdrawn? Parenting a teen is hard, we’re here to help. In a safe and compassionate environment, our therapists work with teens to develop practical coping skills. More
Business Description Overview
Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business – GMB) allows up to 750 characters in the business description for each profile. However, only the first 250 characters appear. Selecting More expands to display the full description. Be strategic in your copy and prioritize the first 250 characters.
Incorporate keywords in your Google profile. Use terms that represent the services you offer and the local area you serve. Create a keyword-rich business description and improve your ranking in Google’s search results.
Tip #3: Select the Correct Categories
Categories help Google determine which listings match a specific search query. Below is a report from Insights that shows how people found a Google profile:
Nearly 85% found the profile using a Discovery search.
Primary Business Profile Category
Similar to the NAP, your online profiles should assign consistent categories to your practice. For example, what do your social media accounts indicate as your category? They should match what appears in your Google profile.
Category Examples by Channel
- Facebook – Mental Health Service, Psychologist, Therapist, etc.
- Instagram – Mental Health Service, Psychologist, Therapist, etc.
- LinkedIn – Mental Health Care, Individual & Family Services, etc.
Note: Pinterest doesn’t have an option to select a category. Instead, include keywords in your business profile description to represent your categories.
Additional Profile Categories
Select additional categories, as appropriate to identify the services you offer. Each Google profile listing can have a total of 10 categories (1 primary and 9 additional categories).
This profile has Mental health service as the primary category and 5 additional categories selected.
A Google Business Profile is a free tool to manage how a business shows up in search results. For more information, access the Profile Help Resources.
Learn How to Optimize Your Profile
Sign up for the Google Business Profile Optimization Course for video tutorials, step-by-step instructions, checklist, tips, and more.