How care homes use Google Business Profile to boost enquiries and fill beds

Google Business Profile (GBP) is the single most important source of leads and phone calls within the healthcare sector. But it’s also often the most neglected.

Here’s a genuine review taken from a care home’s GBP listing:

“Worst care home out there in terms of care. They are more concerned with how the home looks than the welfare of the residents in there.”

It’s likely that anyone who searches Google for a care home in that geographic area will see that review on the care home’s Google Business Profile, will not click through to their website, and choose not to consider that care home for a loved one based on that single paragraph of text.

This clearly illustrates how big an influence your GBP listing has on organic searches. 

This is why it’s important to stay on top of how your own GBP listing is helping – or hindering – your marketing efforts.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at why Google Business Profile is so important to care homes, and how it can help you generate enquiries and fill beds. And I’ll give you a couple of quick and easy ideas to improve how you manage your GBP listing, too.

Where are your calls coming from?

When looking for a care home, there are lots of questions people want to ask, and a phone call is the quickest way to get initial enquiries underway. It’s crucial to understand what’s driving these calls – and how you can get more.

So we’ve gone behind the scenes and looked at the call data of a significant number of care homes to see which marketing channels generate their inbound phone enquiries.

As the data from the Spring edition of our care home trends report shows, Google organic is responsible for driving the largest proportion of phone calls into care homes.

Calls by source following a visit to the care home website. Mediahawk care homes Spring 2023 trends data.

Calls by source following a visit to the care home website. Mediahawk care homes Spring 2023 trends data.

As I’ve already explained, GBP has a considerable influence on a prospect’s organic search. Through extensive analysis of the data, we’ve determined that approximately 40% of Google organic calls were actually driven from Google Business profile listings.

Clearly, you need to be paying attention to how your care home is performing in organic search and GBP in particular if you want to ensure a strong pipeline of enquiries and move-ins.

First impressions count

Smartphones make it so easy for consumers to search and get in touch if they have a need for a care home. That’s why it’s crucial to optimise your listing to influence a prospect on that first touchpoint.

The first thing a potential customer will do is type in the term ‘care home’ and the place they want it, for example, ‘care home Sevenoaks’. Your care home will appear on Google maps with your Google review scores, along with competing sites.

Your prospect will then look at all the care homes in the area they have chosen and their Google scores. They’ll identify one or two homes with decent scores that are of interest and then either pick up the phone to call the care home or click through to the website.

The process might seem obvious, but the reason I’ve outlined it is because it highlights three key areas that you can influence and control:

  1. Your Google review score
  2. The number of visits generated by clicks from Google Business Profile
  3. The phone calls you receive

Let’s take a look at each in turn.

1. Your Google review score

The care industry spends a great deal of time worrying about reviews on independent directory listings and sites. In contrast, much less time is spent on their own Google Business Profile listing.

GBP listings and reviews should be actively managed and reported monthly to your board.

A care home listing with anything below four stars will actively put prospects off. You should aim to be above 4.5 stars. It goes without saying that the more positive reviews you have, the greater the benefit will be for your care home.

When calculating an overall rating, GBP takes an average of all the scores. This means if you have a greater number of high scores, your overall rating will be less affected by any negative reviews.

Furthermore, the greater the number of positive scores you have, the more that people will take them seriously in their estimation. For example, a score of 4.5 with 50 reviews looks much better than a score of 4.7 with 2 reviews, due to the weight in numbers.

Negative reviews should be tackled head on, in a timely and professional manner. Do not ignore them.

2. The number of visits generated by clicks from Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile generates up to 10% of all traffic to care home websites. You may not be aware of this, as a click from your GBP listing is aggregated into your organic search traffic data.

To identify precisely how many clicks your listing is responsible for, you need to split out Google Business Profile traffic from your natural search traffic. This is easy to do with UTM tags. You simply need to add the source, medium, and campaign tags to your website URL on your Google Business Profile profile, as below:

Then, when a visitor clicks the ‘Website’ button from your listing, and goes through to your site, you can track and differentiate between a click from organic search results, and a click from your GBP listing.

The values you put into your tags allow you to get different levels of reporting.

3. The phone calls you receive

Tracking phone calls from your Google Business Profile listing enables you to understand your call volumes from this source. You can do this by using a unique static number for each care home profile. This way, you can instantly see how many people call you immediately from the search results page:
Screenshot of a Google Buisness Profile listing for a care home.

And with Mediahawk’s Google Business Profile integration, managing your static numbers is easy – even if you have multiple care home listings. With the integration, you can quickly apply tracking numbers automatically in order to identify calls that arrive via your Google Business Profile.

You can also use your static phone numbers in conjunction with dynamic numbers on your website to get a much deeper level of insight into your calls. By tagging your website URL, you can see when people have clicked the ‘Website’ button on your Google listing, then followed up by calling you from your website. Attribution credit should be given to your Google Business Profile listing in this case because that’s the source that drove the visitor to your website.

What’s more, you can monitor how important Google Business Profile is as a touchpoint during the entire visitor journey. By tracking visits in this way, you can determine at what stages your prospects consider third party reviews in their decision-making process.

Understand more about your inbound calls

Using call tracking for all your marketing sources allows you to measure and compare their impact on your bottom line. By using trackable phone numbers, you can get a clear picture of call volumes, the time and date calls were received, and the length of your calls. Calls can also be recorded so you can analyse and understand the types of enquiries that your care homes are receiving.

Digging deeper into your phone call data, as well as their originating sources, is always an eye-opening activity for marketers. Not only will you likely see that Google Business Profile generates over 40% of all your calls but, combined with clicks from Google Business Profile to your website and subsequent phone calls, you’ll see that it has a significant positive impact on your business bottom line.

It’s easy to make some simple changes to your Google Business Profile listing that make a big difference to your enquiries, move-ins, and overall brand health.

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About the author - Harry Bott

Harry Bott, Director at Mediahawk, has over 20 years of experience helping marketers generate a better response from their marketing. He has enabled businesses to improve their conversion rates through his consultative approach and deep understanding across various sectors, including automotive and care homes.

Boosting occupancy and move-ins - a care home marketer's guide.
Care homes: Boosting occupancy and move-ins

Get the insights you need to increase your care home occupancy levels and deliver a significantly improved ROI.

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