“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.” So says a one-star care home review on Google My Business.
Google My Business (GMB) is the single most important source of leads and phone calls within the healthcare sector. It’s also often the most neglected.
Stick around… I’m going to explain why Google My Business is so important to you as a care home marketer to help fill beds. I’m also going to give you a couple of quick and easy ideas to improve how you manage your listing to successfully generate more enquiries.
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. The sources are broken down as follows:
Google My Business is responsible for driving the largest proportion of phone calls into care homes.
First impressions count
Smartphones make it so easy for consumers to search and get in touch if they suddenly have a need for a care home. This means it 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 do the following:
Look at all the care homes in the area they have chosen and their Google scores. They’ll identify one or two homes that look of interest with decent scores and then either:
- Pick up the phone to call the care home and / or
- Click through to the website
The process might seem obvious, but the reason I’ve outlined is because it highlights three key areas that you can influence and control:
- Your Google review score
- The number of visits generated by clicks from Google My Business
- 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 My Business listing.
Google My Business listings and review should be actively managed and reported on monthly to your board.
A care home listing with anything below 4 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 home. Google My Business uses averages, so more high scores mean that the overall score will be less affected by a negative review. Furthermore, the more positive scores you have, the more people will take them seriously in their estimation. 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.
Don’t forget: A review is for life, not just for Christmas. Negative reviews should be tackled head on, in a timely and professional manner. Do not ignore them.
There’s so much more to actively managing your reviews, and it’s something I’m incredibly fanatical about! Get in touch – I’ll take a look at your business and give you plenty of actionable tips for your listing.
2. The number of visits generated by clicks from Google My Business
Google My Business generates up to 10% of all traffic to care home websites. Many marketers aren’t aware of this because a click from your listing is considered organic traffic.
To identify precisely how many clicks your listing is responsible for, you need to split out Google My Business traffic from 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 My Business 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 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 My Business 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:
Use this in conjunction with a dynamic phone number 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 My Business listing in this case because that’s the source that drove that visitor to your website.
What’s more, you can monitor how important Google My Business 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 importance to your lead generation and management. Tracking numbers show you call volumes, time and date 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.
Your inbound call volumes will amaze you. Not only will you see that Google My Business generates over 40% of all your calls but, combined with clicks from Google My Business to your website and subsequent phone calls, you’ll see that it’s head and shoulders above all other sources in its importance to the health of your business.
It’s easy to make some simple changes to your Google My Business listing that have a positive impact on your enquiries and overall brand health.
Get in touch, and I can explain in depth how to put the appropriate tools in place for managing Google My Business. I’ll conduct a no-obligation free response audit of your website before we meet online and give you a series of personalised recommendations.