Google My Business: An Easy Walkthrough for Therapists

Google My Business is one of the most important digital marketing tools you can use to bring more clients to your therapy practice. In this webinar replay, Rebecca Gill brings over twenty years of digital marketing and SEO expertise to this deep dive into setting up Google My Business for mental health professionals.

You’ll learn to:

  • Set up a Google My Business account
  • Create a profile that will attract new clients
  • Engage with existing clients through reviews

Webinar Transcript

Speakers:  Rebecca Gill, Ani King

Ani King 0:03
And the recording starts automatically.

Ani King 0:06
That’s good.

Ani King 0:08
I have my printed out checklist of things. Looks like we’ve got some folks coming in now. Let a couple more people get in here. And then we’ll talk about how to ask questions and so on.

Rebecca Gill 0:27
Okay.

Ani King 1:29
I was mute for that wasn’t I,

Ani King 1:32
folks who are just starting to come in, go ahead and get settled. We’ll get started in a couple of minutes. In the meantime, as as you are getting settled, if you have any questions that come up throughout the webinar, you can just hit the chat button or the raise hand button. And once we’ve got a few more people in and get started, I’ll introduce myself and our guest today, and then we’ll get started.

Ani King 2:41
All right, I think we’re ready to go. Everyone. Thanks so much for joining us today. I am Ani King. I’m the COO with allcounselors.com. And in just a minute, I’m going to introduce Rebecca Gill, who is an SEO and marketing expert of the highest caliber, and she’s going to help us understand better how Google My Business can really help you with getting more clients in the door for your practices. As you’re coming in just a reminder that if you have any questions while we’re going through this, you can hit the chat button, or you can hit the raise hand button. And we’ll be happy to answer those questions live as we’re talking.

Ani King 3:17
I’d like to also make sure to thank our sponsor, integrativelifecenter.com they do a wonderful job in working with folks who are working towards recovery from addiction. And I would definitely recommend that you check them out. Again, that’s integrativelifecenter.com. Rebecca, I think we just give one more second. We’ve got a couple folks coming in then and then I’d love to have you tell us a little bit about yourself and what we’re going to talk about today.

Rebecca Gill 3:43
Okay, excellent.

Ani King 3:47
Awesome. All right. Actually, I think we’re I think we’re good to get started.

Rebecca Gill 3:51
Okay, well, everyone, thanks so much for joining us today. My name is Rebecca Gill. I founded a digital agency back in 2009. And have been running that sense doing website design and search engine optimization with clients. I’m also an educator of SEO for end users, like yourself as well as agencies and other consultants. My background is with sales and marketing, which I have about 20 years of that and on the side, I am also an alpaca owner and I own an alpaca farm that is a local business. So kind of a blend. And I will be using that knowledge when we talk today about Google My Business because from the SEO side of me and the agency side, we’re worldwide but my alpaca farm is locally focused like you all are. So that really keeps me very tied into the local market which definitely helps with Google My Business. And I will tell you that with Google My Business I have always had a love hate relationship with it. So if you currently have a profile and you are not in love with it, you are not alone. I have the same feeling However it is really it’s a must have in today’s world, it really dominates a lot of search. And I’ll show you as we get started, why you know how that is and why it’s important. And I’m glad you’re here today, because as you know, you are a local business and you serve clients locally, it is imperative for your business to be able to have, you know, Google My Business. So we’ve got to have it, we need to embrace it and love it. And I’m hoping today, when we’re done, you’ll love it a little bit more than you did when you came in today and feel a lot more comfortable with it. You’re muted, Ani.

Ani King 5:35
I’m going to keep doing this.

Ani King 5:38
So just to kick us off, could you help us understand a little bit about why Google My Business can help clinicians have you know, any licensure any type in any location, get more clients into their practice?

Rebecca Gill 5:51
Absolutely. So in and I’m going to show you this, but so when you know, Google has its search wit, you know, it’s it’s a search engine, it has a big index of content, which just means it’s like a big database of content. And it basically breaks that out in between between national activity like across the United States. And then local, being local to a specific city or area could even be a few blocks. And so it breaks up the search between those two. And it knows that when I’m looking for like a marriage counselor, that is a local type of search, it’ll educate me with some information, but it’s really going to push people towards the utilization of its maps, and that local activity. And so that is what you know, Google My Business does, it feeds all of that data and feeds all that information. So it’s really critical to being able to show up in the map, and I’ll show you that, as well as it just gives Google a better understanding of who you are and what you do.

Rebecca Gill 6:50
Google is driven now by artificial intelligence, and it’s a lot smarter than I was when I started doing SEO 15 years ago. And you know, the more we can give Google data points, to better understand who we are and what we do, the better, you know, better it will serve us. And when I say serve us, that means it will know how to match you up with prospective clients that are looking for your services. And I will tell you, you know, I’m a mom, I have a son who has ADHD. And you know, I’ve been in the situation of looking for someone to diagnose him, and then someone to treat him and an ongoing basis. And I really struggled in our local area, because there wasn’t a lot of information, I ended up going to the local hospital to the, you know, the department head to say, could you please help me, I’m not finding the information that I want. And he had to actually guide me and the providers that I went to the one didn’t even have a website or Google My Business or anything, you know, I had to go off of the hospitals recommendation. And that’s kind of as a, you know, the patient or the patient’s family, the loved one, it’s frustrating. And we want to take as much of that frustration away as we can and give them easy ways to find you. And that’s really what we’re trying to do today is just make sure that, you know, you know how Google My Business works, why it matters, and then the details that you should be filling out inside the profile, as well as like just what stuff you can ignore, because some of it, you can just ignore. And I’ll walk through all of that today.

Ani King 8:21
Awesome, thank you for walking through that. You know, I definitely relate to the experience of trying to find somebody in the mental health profession to get help with things and not always being able to find someone just through Google or having to go through different backchannels. So I think that that’s definitely an important takeaway here of the easier it is for someone to find you and know what services you offer, the easier it is for them to become a client if it’s a good fit. One of the things you said that I thought was really interesting, as you mentioned that, you know, folks didn’t have a website. So I’m curious, for folks who are going to be setting this up, do they need to have a website to use Google My Business?

Ani King 9:06
They do not no, you know, Google is Google understands that not every profession, not every business is going to have a website, it tries to be flexible with that, It even gives you the ability to kind of set a website up inside of the tool, which I’m not a real fan of I you know, you really need to control your own domain, you don’t need to have your website set inside Google have Google control that, you know, be a be a master of your of your domain and your home and, you know, own that property. And you know, so that you can control it and not be relying on Google. It’s the same thing with like Facebook, you know, people have always said, Oh, no, I don’t need a website, I have a Facebook page. No, no, Facebook owns the page. Facebook lets you use that page right now. And if something happens, we know that Facebook could boot you right off of it and then you have no presence whatsoever. So I do feel like a website is always a good idea. Even if it’s Just a simple one page website that you control and Oh, so yeah, so to answer your question, it was a long winded answer. But to answer your question, you do not have to have a website, you know, to have a Google My Business profile.

Ani King 10:13
Awesome. And I think my one follow up question, and then I’ll let you do your thing is, do you know if Google give gives any preference to people who have a website for their practice versus people who don’t?

Rebecca Gill 10:27
So it is going to give preference because it has a better understanding of what you do. And I can show you some examples of that, too. So don’t let Don’t let us lose thought of that. Because that’s a good, that’s a good question. And that’s a good way to kind of just show you ways that you can amplify your profile. And you know, really what matters, you know, to that. So, let’s dig in. So we can start to show some examples. And this is all by the way, there’s no slides or anything. Today, I’m walking you through examples online, as well as going right inside Google My Business and looking at those settings. So first, let’s just start like what happens when I go to Google and I’ve put in a marriage counselor, notice that I didn’t have

Ani King 11:04
real quick, can I just have you increase your screen size a little bit? for anybody who is on smaller screens?

Rebecca Gill 11:11
Yeah, how is that?

Ani King 11:12
That’s great. And if anybody’s having trouble seeing or you have any questions, again, feel free to hit that chat button, hit the q&a button, raise your hand, and we’ll be sure to help you

Rebecca Gill 11:22
Please. Yeah, just cut me off if that happens. Okay. So notice I’m coming into to Google and I just put marriage counselor, I did not tell I didn’t say near me. I didn’t say where I was located or anything else. And just in case, you guys are wondering, as you see the maps pop up, I am in northern Michigan, right? Let’s see, what am I like right around the pinky. So I’m like northern northern lower Michigan. So Google doesn’t need me to actually put in the fact that I’m in northern Michigan, Google already knows that based on the technology that I’m using. And it doesn’t also need me to put in the city or anything else. Because it knows if I’m looking for a marriage counselor, I’m going to most likely want something close to me, right, as opposed to a search where it really wouldn’t matter. I mean, maybe I’m trying to think, I mean, I could maybe be looking for some shoes and the shoes could be close to the shoes could be from Zappos, right? For each different type of search, Google tries to do its best to make a good decision for the human. And in that case, it says, Okay, well, my human would want a counselor close by. So they really don’t need to put in any type of geographical information, don’t even need to put near me even though I suggest it because I know they want somebody local.

Rebecca Gill 12:32
So this portion of the screen right here is the ads, you know, people are paying for the ads. And right underneath that, the next thing that we’re going to see is content being driven from Google My Business and the map information. And that makes for local searches, it extremely important that your Google My Business profile is good, because it’s dominating the screen there. You know, Google also has a lot of clutter these days. You know, when I first started doing SEO, you know, so, so long ago, the screen was so bare, and it was so beautiful, you know, from a marketing standpoint, because it was easier to us to control it. But now Google puts like all of this stuff on so you have to fight through the clutter. And one of the ways to fight through the clutter is to make sure your profile is strong. And so the map shows up first, and then underneath it, Google starts to go some crazy stuff like this.

Rebecca Gill 13:24
And then we’ve got people also asked, which is common questions it knows that people inquire about, then we start to see more listings, these listings could be local, or they could be national. And at this point, I don’t even you don’t have to worry about any of that. I wanted you to know that from a real estate standpoint of the search engine results page that the you know, human searchers See, your most valuable content is right here. And this is all coming from Google My Business. And that’s why it’s so important.

Rebecca Gill 13:56
Now, if I were to search for pathways, the path to Partnership, which is a local company, and I use their name to search, which I did right here, notice that this box comes up on the right, in addition to like these, the other information, this box comes up, this box is also coming from Google My Business, you know, so and it’s associated with the the search specific for the brand, or the company or the name. And it’s called a knowledge panel. But that’s coming from Google My Business. So if you search for your name, your company name or you know, however, and nothing comes up there, it’s either because your profile is not filled out enough or you don’t have a profile, and Google’s not connected all those dots. And so the more we love on our profile, the more information we give to the search engine, you know, the more it can utilize us in results. And that’s what we really want.

Rebecca Gill 14:50
So a couple of things I want to point out here. So when Google’s going to display these results, it takes a couple of core data points. There’s a lot of other little things, but really, there’s only a few core information, you know, pieces that Google cares about. First one, what did I search for? I searched for a marriage counselor. Next data point is where am I physically at like me the searcher? And then where is the therapist physically at? Like, how close are we together? Right? Because it would prefer to show me people closer to me than people an hour away for me. But then the other thing that that’s going it’s going to use for the data is how many reviews do people have, because reviews are super important in Google My Business, and we’ll talk about reviews later. You know, because it is in depending on what type of practice you have, it can be challenging for you to get reviews from your patients or your patients loved ones because of what you do. And we’ll talk we’ll talk about that later. But the one data point I want you to take away is, is the reviews do matter. And you see the people that are showing here have reviews, right, they’ve got 118. And typically, Google’s gonna want more reviews, the better but also positive reviews. And it kind of takes it into account.

Rebecca Gill 16:11
So now notice that right here, in this result, you see this information showing up. And I searched for marriage counselor. And Google has actually highlighted and bolded relationship, because the artificial intelligence in Google knows relationship and marriage kind of go together, right. And it’s actually pulling this this company, right or it’s coming. My default is company, by the way. And I apologize for saying that, because it’s not really what you are, I’ve just been doing this so long. But this profile actually mentions that relationship and a review. And so Google is not only just looking at the data points of, Oh, you know, you’re located close, I think that’s what you do. And you’ve got some reviews, it actually goes to look at the reviews and the words, people are saying, to see if it wants to match that up. And here’s another point, as we were talking about, like the website, if I talk on my website about specifically that I have I do marriage counseling, Google’s artificial intelligence actually kind of does that path, it goes all the way to the website and says, Okay, see, marriage counseling, or counselor or you know, relationship, whatever mentioned on the website, and it starts to connect all of those pieces of information, so that it can present the human with the best results. And, you know, again, there’s a lot of things going on. But it is just a few core pieces of information that truly matter. And that’s the distance between you and the searcher, the reviews that you have, and then the language that you’re using within your profile, and within your website. And you know, kind of blends all of that together. So that’s, you know, how Google makes that those kind of decisions.

Rebecca Gill 17:52
So I don’t have a therapy profile to show you because I can’t actually show you any clients, when I go to Google My Business, but what I can do when we’re doing training is I can show you my business profile. And you know, kind of like this, I’ll use that for the setup. Real quick, though, before we jump into that if you are on here, and you don’t have a profile setup, all you do is go to google.com/business. And that will take you to the right place and where to set up a Google My Business profile. Because that’s like, the first question is like, if I don’t have one, where do I go? Google tries to make it easy for you. And that’s where you’re going to go to set up.

Rebecca Gill 18:31
But for today’s training, we’re going to use a company called web savvy marketing, which is the agency that I’ve owned for over 10 years. And this is my little knowledge panel that shows up towards the right when you search for my name. And you can see that it gives the key information like how many reviews Do I have the stars, links to my website, a phone number, the hours of when we close? If there’s any questions and answers that could be associated with it. And then like it starts to show reviews, right? Right front and center, which if you’re looking for someone who does what I do, and you come in here, and you search for my name, and this shows up and it says oh, I highly recommend her services if she is a true experienced expert or anyone’s website is in good hands right with her, that gives the human a good warm and fuzzy about me and that’s what Google wants you it wants to create that positive experience. So those reviews not only help you rank inside that little box, it also helps convert the people that see your profile online and go, you know what, you know, she has good reviews, I feel like I can trust her. So but you know, it’s it’s a double when they become very powerful. Also notice that it has my company description down here, which is something that I’ve put in my profile, and then some posts that appear and we’re gonna again we’re going to go through these settings but I wanted to show this the output so as we go through the settings, we can kind of try to mash that stuff up together. And if I need to flip back and forth between those, just let me know. And I’m happy to do that because I want to make sure everything’s you know, sinking in.

Ani King 20:08
Thanks so much, Rebecca, just to reminder to everyone that if you have any questions, you can raise your hand down at the bottom of your, your zoom screen, or you can hit the chat button. And we’ll be happy to answer that question. And just a quick answer. This is not a cu webinar, this is just a learn how to get your own practice out there. So still valuable, maybe just not in the same way.

Rebecca Gill 20:33
Okay, is this big enough for people? Or should I keep zooming in?

Ani King 20:37
That’s probably good, right? This is good. I’ve also dropped the link, so that you can get to Google My Business to set up your account in the chat. So go ahead and save that. And we have a question from Barbara, neither of us work for Google or Google My Business in any way. This is just a service that we have found is extremely important and extremely valuable as you’re doing digital marketing. And now that we are especially in a time period where telehealth is really important, making sure that you are accessible to potential clients is an even bigger deal as people are looking are looking for help.

Ani King 21:17
Yeah, absolutely. I don’t work for Google, I’ve, you know, been working with Google’s property and search for a really, really long time. And you know, you I don’t know how companies can exist today without having some type of presence online. Because human nature is to go vet people, it’s to go find people online, vet them, you know, as a provider before they ever reach out. And when your digital marketing is done, right? It’s your salesperson, right? It’s putting information out for people to be able to find to feel comfortable with you. So when they do call to pick up that phone to make an appointment with you. And to see if you’re taking new patients, they already are bought into you, like they already feel have a comfort level with you. And they want to engage with you and from, you know, a revenue standpoint, that’s pretty powerful. Because they don’t, they’re not coming in as suspect as they would be otherwise, because they’ve been able to find information for you. Younger generations extremely important. If you are trying to service, you know, older teens or 20-something. They’ve heavily rely on the web and technology. And they would be highly suspect if they couldn’t find anything about you online, because that’s the world in which they’ve, you know, they’ve been brought up. But so when we come into

Ani King 22:38
just real quick, sorry to interrupt. We’ve got a question from Nancy, just asking if we can quickly explain what search engine optimization is.

Rebecca Gill 22:45
Absolutely. So Nancy search engine optimization is this process of making sure the things that you do online, make it very easy for the search engines to understand who you are, what you do, and then use like your website in search results. And it’s basically saying, okay, so if I were to come in here and search for like the marriage counselor, and if I’m doing things right, search engine optimization, takes me from, you know, maybe page seven, which is way down the path where no one would ever find my results. And it brings me up into this first page, and tries to position me as high as possible so that I get the most views by people who are searching for my services in my offering. And you know, at the heart of it, it’s just trying to make the search engines easy. It’s just, it’s just understanding kind of what they do. And, and giving them the data points that they need to help send people our way. And we don’t expect you as as counselors or therapists to be experts in search engine optimization, but we you should know what it is. And you should know that people do search for for what you have and that you like Google My Business or you know, having information on your website about what your you know, what you offer and your specialties. It all kind of goes together and helping people find you.

Ani King 24:15
And a quick follow up question to that one, which I, I think will probably have a longer answer than we can dig into that into today is can you pay to raise your number which Nancy, I believe means just to kind of raise your ranking?

Rebecca Gill 24:28
Gotcha. So what so Nancy, there’s two different types of search, there’s the search, or excuse me two different types of search results. There’s the ads, which are right here, these are driven by what’s called pay per click, and that’s you paying Google money to show up in this section. That is completely different than the organic results of this. You know, that this little map or anything down here. Even actually anything like right here to all of us what’s called organic and that means it’s happening naturally. Because of what Google finds on your website, and you know, decides that you are a value, that has nothing to do with any ad spend, it’s just, you’ve done a good job at, you know, helping the search engines find your content and knowing how to use it. So two different completely different types of things. My specialty has always been the free, I’m always about like doing the free things, because I refuse to pay people money, when I think that you can go the other route. And you know, from a local standpoint, it used to be really, you know, there’s a lot of tricks and things we had to go through to show up in search. before Google, my business showed up. But then once it showed up, and we’ve got this map, and it’s there’s a profiles, it’s so much easier to get yourself, you know, displaying on search, and having people actually, you know, have a fine, easy time to find you.

Ani King 25:50
Thanks so much for that.

Rebecca Gill 25:52
Okay. So when we go into Google My Business, there’s first this, notice that there’s navigation on the left, and this is after I have a profile setup, I can’t really go in and start creating a profile. Because Google will stop me because I can’t validate it, right, there’s a process that goes through, what I will tell you and I should have started here is if you don’t have a profile, you’re going to, you know, you’re going to create a Google account, if you don’t already have one. And you’re going to set up a profile, it is free to have a profile. And Google will want to validate you by sending you a postcard to whatever address that you’re using, you know, for your listing, which is most likely a physical office that you go to, and you typically would see patients in a non COVID basis. And it’s don’t be intimidated by the postcard request, it takes, you know, like a normal, non COVID timeframe, like five days to get to you. And there’s a little number and you’re just going to come back to the that gives you a website address that you type in, up here, you come back, you put the number in, and it says okay, you’re all good to go. And then you your your profile is going to be active. So that is a process that you go through. And then once you go through that setup process of just and it’s really it’s like, what is your business name? What is your address, what is your phone number. And that’s like, really what it takes to get started. Not much else besides that, and the postcard goes out. And once you validate that postcard with your like four digit code that it gives you now we see this, and what we see this, this is just like kind of the homepage with lead with navigation and options on the left.

Rebecca Gill 27:25
I typically don’t really pay much attention in here, because I especially with set up, that’s all you know, on the left hand side that we’re going to get to so this is kind of like once you have your profile, it’s an overview, how many views have people seen within my profile? What was my last review? What do I look like? You can actually click over here and say, Okay, what do I actually look like on on search or on the maps? And so how do I share my profile with my clients to ask for review. And that’s what this homepage is, we’ll come back to this because I want to get into the actual setting up of the information.

Rebecca Gill 28:00
So when you first have your profile, the biggest and most important section is the info section. And you come in here, and it’s going to have information about your address and, and things such as that. But I will tell you, you know, the word you’re going to trip yourself up the most or where you can do yourself the most favor is by having a right category. And that’s what this is right here. So when I come in here, and keep in mind, this is for my business, right? Google wants to know, like who I am, what do I do, and notice that you have a primary category. And then you have additional categories. And so the primary one is the most important, you want this to be exactly like as close to what you do as possible. And then any kind of ancillary or no additional categories that Google offers that might match up to you. Those would be right here. And on your you’re going to put a list of those in the chat that we pulled out for them.

Ani King 29:05
Right. And so one of the things to kind of keep in mind that I think Rebecca is going to cover is that primary category really is the most important thing. And so making sure that that matches up extremely closely with the services you offer, that’s not always going to be the same thing as looking for something that matches your credential. So it’s okay for you focus solely on marriage, counseling therapy, you know, if you work very specifically in addiction and recovery services, taking the time to find what is the most appropriate primary category is going to really serve you a lot there.And I will

Rebecca Gill 29:46
and you can start typing things in and it will start bringing up things that match right and so then you can select and then go on to the next one and keep walking through that and I went through this morning and Create and found a list of any that, you know might be applicable to what I think. So Ani could give you this list and so you can have it readily available. And so once you have it in the chat in just a second, okay. And once you have these, you’re just going to go again, put your most important one in the primary, and then you’ve got your additional categories, you don’t have to have additional categories if nothing else applies, if only one applies to you only put one in, right if more apply, put more in. But you don’t have to feel like you have to fill these up at all. Because this is this is what Google you know, in addition to like what it does find a new website. And if you have one and things like that this is like the most important data point, because you’re telling Google exactly what you do.

Rebecca Gill 30:45
Next, there’s what is called service areas. And service areas are for people who actually like go out to customers location, say like a plumber. So a plumber would have a service area, because they may go into like a tri state area or you know, something like that. But for most people with what you do, you would actually ignore this section entirely. Because it really doesn’t apply to you because patients come to you or you’d be doing telehealth services. The next one data field is your hours and hours. Okay, so this is really important. Because when you’re looking at Google My Business, and you do a search, look at this one right here says it’s open now. So when I did that search, it’s saying, hey, it’s open now. And it’s open to 530. Here’s the phone number, like go ahead and call. So it’s trying to encourage me to call and Google knows these, these opening hours, because I’m telling it in my Google My Business profile, right. And so that’s where it’s pulling it from. And it will actually I’ve noticed, if so say, you know, there’s there’s 10 available listings for that marriage counselor in my area. And three, say that they’re open right now and five, say that they’re closed, Google wants to give preferential treatment to those three that are currently open. Because so you know, I’m just gonna, it’s gonna serve the human better, they can pick up the phone and call me. Right. So you know, think about that, like, as in you’re doing your hours. If you have standard hours, don’t skip over this, definitely fill those out, because those will be beneficial to you. I will help you show

Ani King 32:24
real quick. And since we’re focused a little bit on location, we definitely already had a couple of questions about whether or not you need to have a physical address listed. And that’s sort of like we had talked about before, you know, for folks who have moved to solely providing telehealth, who definitely don’t want to put down you know, their physical address, is that an issue? How would you suggest that that should be handled,

Rebecca Gill 32:49
so you do not have to have your physical address showing, you’re going to have to tell Google your physical address to prove out that you are a real human, and that you actually do physically live in the area that you say that you live in, right, or that you service in the area that you save it is service, and Google is going to send you a postcard to that area. But you do not have to have that address showing on online, you know, in the Dr. Address area, you can say please don’t show like there’s an option to say please don’t show. So you don’t feel like you have to write and don’t let that don’t let that stop you from from creating a profile. Now, alternatively, say you’re listed or you say like I’m in Traverse City, and I want which is like Northern Michigan and say, I want to be able to show up in Google My Business in Detroit. Right? Can I set up a fake address in Detroit and fake this out to get telehealth, you know, patients down there? And the answer is no, you’ll get in really big trouble if you try to create fake addresses, like, you know, UPS boxes and things like that, to fake out the search engines, Google has very little tolerance on any type of activity like that. So it’s definitely you know, don’t do that if you have to, like, like, like your Telecom, like, if you have to question what you’re going to do, and you have to think about whether or not it’s right or wrong, it’s probably not right, or excuse me, it’s probably not, you know, it’s not the right thing to do. So like, just don’t do that.

Ani King 34:11
Now, this is actually really relevant to a question we have that just came in, which is, if you are licensed in a number of different states, you know, do you have advice for how to make sure that you can show up in those searches?

Rebecca Gill 34:26
So yeah, so that’s actually that’s more of an SEO thing. And it’s outside the scope of this. Like I can’t quickly it’s it’s a it’s a search engine optimization technique. And it would be technical, and it’s much more in depth than I can go into at this time. But it is possible, right, given to try to, you know, educate the search engines about that. I’d like to answer it, I just will confuse everybody.

Ani King 34:54
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a great question. And it is something that you know, maybe Come up for more clinicians. So that’s something we’ve got on our list to do a little bit of research into and, you know, present that information to y’all at a future date, too.

Rebecca Gill 35:07
Yep. Okay, so I have my phone number, obviously, we want to have a phone number there where people can reach you. And this should if you have a website, and you have a phone number on your website, this, this should match up. This right here, this is just like, what is a short address that people can reach me and I actually created this, Google will actually suggest something to you, if you don’t have anything and you go into edit it with a little pencil, Google will make suggestions to you. But you can try to, you know, keep it short, you don’t have there’s you’re going to learn that you there’s some things you have control over and some things you’re going to put in. And Google’s gonna say, No, I don’t think so. This is a better, this is a better option for you. It’s like a parent. So it’s definitely set this up so that you have a you know, a shorter URL, this guy right here, the globe, not very, you know, informative. What this is, this is just what is your website, if you have a website, remember you don’t have to have one. But if you have one, just put that in. And then this is appointments, if you have, again, you don’t have to have it. But if there’s a page on your website, or you have software or a program that you’re using, that allows potential patients or current patients to go set appointments up online, or even request appointments, do you like a contact form, that’s the link that you would put right here. And this for me just goes to my my contact page on my website that has a form and you know, my phone number and things like that. So the next one is probably we have products and we have services now in Google My Business, I don’t think you would have many products. So, you know, for the most part, you can just ignore this one. But services, you might have different services. services could be you know, maybe you specialize in ADHD. Maybe you specialize in adolescent you know, mental health or marriage counseling, or family counseling, or, you know, there’s there’s a lot of different things that could be there could be the modalities that you have, or trying to think of the other options, it’s really good,

Ani King 37:09
I was gonna say, if you’re doing anything like EMDR, or brainspotting, or something that is very specific. People do search for that. And so when you can list those modalities and areas of specialty in your services, that does increase your chance of people finding you, especially if they’re looking for somebody who specializes in EMDR, because they’re looking at doing trauma processing. So the more time you can kind of spend even just ahead of time listing out what are the things that you do, it’ll really help you fill this section out.

Rebecca Gill 37:42
Correct. And notice that these there’s a there’s the bolded. And then there’s not bolded. The bolded means it comes from the category at the top, right. And then the unmolded are things that I just free typed in, like these are things that I do, I do website audits, you know, I do on page search engine optimization, so you can put in anything you want there. And again, you just want it’s it’s it’s what you do, but I would tell you to do think about two things, you have the clinical and the professional phrases for things. And then you might have also the normal person like the mom who’s you know, looking for something. So I might have my own search phrases, they can mean the same thing. They can just be different ways to say something. So as you’re filling your profile out, like with these descriptions, and things, keep those in mind, right, because, you know, normal humans that are going to be your patients might not know, everything that you do. So like I you know, I maybe there’s a special phrase for marriage counselor, right. But I would search for marriage counselor, because that’s what I would think that I would need. And I wouldn’t necessarily know the advanced option. So if you have any special information, like I’m a woman lead business, any health and safety things, fancy things, service options, you can add them in here, I’m not sure if a lot of these would apply to you. The big thing though, is this description. Not only does this help search engines in the search engine know more about you, it also shows up in my profile right here for the humans to read. So you’re putting that in for the search engine in the human. So again, make sure it describes who you are and what you do. But also make sure it is in human friendly language for patients. Right so that they can easily digest it and and understand you know what that means? So this is just my open

Ani King 39:43
real quick. I’m going to interrupt again. And we had a question asking about, you know, how would you indicate in a Google My Business profile, you know, if you take a specific type of insurance, like Medicaid or Medicare would doing that in your description area be the best way to do that, or?

Rebecca Gill 40:02
That is an excellent question, whoever asked that, that is an excellent question. Thank you. So you could put it in your description. But what I would tell you a better place to do it is in this guy called an FAQ, this question and answer, you can actually answer ask your own questions. And one would be, what type of insurance do you take? And so you post that question, and then you come right back in and you answer it, you know, I accept or bla bla bla bla bla, and you answer that question, and that people are going to want to know that right? That was one of the first questions I asked, you know, like, what do you specialize in? What type of insurance do you do you take? Are you accepting new patients, that could be a great FAQ and Ani, I will tell you as a takeaway, like a worksheet is to come up with all the questions that might be really good for there, and then send that out to people not to give you more work, I that would be a great thing for attendees or any you know, anybody that that is, you know, in the membership.

Rebecca Gill 41:04
Okay, so notice that I have my services here, right. But I also, if you look over to the left, have my services right here. So they’re kind of in both spaces. And so this is kind of cool, because even though I saw the shortlist of my category remember it was bolded. And then website audits, notice that there’s actually language here. So I can come in and type in 300 characters of a description. Now, you know, it’s, how much does the does the humans really see this, I don’t think they see it really at all. However, I do think that Google is using this to match it up to the searches. So take the time to come in. And if you say like that you do marriage counseling, put a little description of what that means. I you know, however, I can’t come up with ’em for your, you know, your industry, I just don’t know enough about it. But, you know, create that take the time to do that on every single one, you can put a price if you have to, or if you want to, but you don’t have to. Right, it could be free. It could be fixed. You know, per hour, it could be from and up. I, I typically when I’m filling this out for clients, I don’t put any price in, it’s more important that there’s the service. And then there’s the description. Okay, and so you just notice that they’re all of these. And again, I can create anything that I want. Like I could come in here and say that I am the star of you know, the the rainbow kids or anything I want, because it’s completely freeform. So make it your own and make it again for the humans and matching up to things that they might search for.

Rebecca Gill 42:41
Okay, so this website guy right here, you’re gonna think that is a link to the woods where you put a link over to your website. No, that is Google trying to get you to create a website on their platform. And again, I’m going to tell you don’t do that own your destiny, right, don’t let Google Own your destiny, we utilize their tools, but we do not rely on their tools. So I’m just going to tell you just don’t do it. Don’t do it.

Ani King 43:08
And just just so folks know, we do have a webinar replay available for members that walks through setting up a one page website, and just some of the components to think about. So if you currently do not have a website and are starting to think, you know, maybe it’s a good idea to set one up, you know, we’d love to help you out with that.

Rebecca Gill 43:27
Okay, so this tab right over here is called reviews. And this is so you can come in and see any reviews that people have left, you can expand them out. You can leave like clients and patients can leave short reviews, or they can leave, you know, kind of pretty long reviews. And if you want you could come and reply. So I could come in to Michael from Kirk in Las Vegas and reply to this, which was kind of funny, he left this review for me, probably five months after it’s not five months, like five years after we work together. Like I totally forgotten what I had done for him. And it was but you know, it’s just sweet. So I want to come in here and say it was a pleasure working with you, you know, something like that, you know, you can do that. I typically don’t do that.

Ani King 44:11
I was gonna say Do you mind if I jump in here real quick, just because I know that reviews when you are working in mental health can be really tricky. And in fact, there are I don’t know if he would call them laws or statutes or whatnot. But essentially, if you are a psychologist, for example, you cannot ask for reviews. You can’t solicit them. You can’t say hey, you know, if you really like coming to my practice, please say something. And so that probably does mean that there is some nuance around whether or not you can reply to a review. There are some ways you get reviews for your practice or for yourself as a practitioner. And one of those is to work with specifically a therapy practice, review business. There are people out there who will go out and find reviews or do reviews or put those together. So that you’re not in either an ethical or legal dicey situation because neither of those things are great. One of the things that can be helpful is if you do have a website, then you can have a link that is an option for review. But you really can’t say, hey, it’d be great if you would review me. And if you do reply, and I see that Helen just also dropped an answer in there. If you do reply, that’s almost certainly going to be breaking confidentiality to some extent,

Rebecca Gill 45:29
so.

Ani King 45:29
So the review thing I understand can be tricky. There are ways that you can work with companies and with agencies that go out and work on building reviews for these. But for the most part, it’s really just about making sure that you have Google My Business so that if people choose to review, they can do that. Or if you have a Facebook page, you know that they can review that. But the interaction piece is really just a, you can’t do anything about that. So that does add a layer of complexity that doesn’t necessarily exist in other industries, or even within some areas of you know, just health and wellness. But that doesn’t mean that people won’t or can’t leave reviews. I know Rebecca, you and I talked earlier about being much more likely to leave a review for our child’s therapist, for example, than necessarily maybe our own. And especially if you you know, work with extra vulnerable people who are in addiction recovery or other services, the likelihood of getting reviews could be pretty varied. As you saw, when Rebecca was pulling up some of those examples of marriage counseling options in her area, people do leave reviews. So it’s not just a matter of, you know, having to go out and solicit them or even respond to them, it’s simply making sure that there is a way for folks to leave a review, if they choose to do so.

Rebecca Gill 46:59
And you can see, like I just did a search for addiction therapist, and the first review has the first result has no reviews at all right? So in Google does have, like I said, it’s got that artificial intelligence, it is smart enough to filter that out. And to understand that, you know, certain, like a restaurant is clearly going to have a lot more reviews than a therapist. And it might even put weights to that where like in your industry, it is very difficult to get them and it might discount those reviews and how those results? I don’t know for sure. But it’s not enough to do that. And it does count from an organic search, like in the results below that. I know it handles different industries, different ways. So it wouldn’t be surprising to me, if it you know, took that into account. Thank you. Yeah, sure. Notice, though, right here that there is a drop down for hours. Right? Remember I said the importance of that. So that is, you know, I just noticed that you’ll find with Google My Business. It’s an evolving tool. And things pop up all the time new. And you know, Google is because it’s continues to try to serve that human better and better all the time. It will continue to add some things and you know, to be able to do that, you know, to service it better.

Ani King 48:23
And then one last question about reviews. Sorry to interrupt again. We’ve had a question asking, Is it possible to turn off the review feature, which I believe the answer is no. Accurate?

Rebecca Gill 48:34
There is yes. No, there’s it is? It’s not possible? Nope. Yeah. Okay, so the next section is photos, and the photos, I would definitely encourage you to leave for to have photos, right, you don’t have to have a ton of photos. It can be like your logo, if you have your practice has a logo, it could be photos of you, it could be photos of the outside of the building that you’re in, but definitely have some photos because that does help everybody, you know, feel a little bit more comfortable about the the profile and the people behind the profile. Let me get rid of that. And you know, it’s very easy to update or you just do the little plus, and then you can drag photos or it can you know, pull them from your hard drive. So nothing difficult there whatsoever. Now, you might be asking yourself, Well, what if I like I don’t want to deal with this. But if I want somebody else to deal with this, you actually can come down to the users. And you can invite people to help manage your profile for you. So I have a number of clients over the years that I’ve helped with Google My Business and that’s one of the reasons why you didn’t see my main screen coming in because I’ve got like just a bunch of companies listed. And they don’t want to be shown on on webinars. So you can get help so don’t feel like you. You can’t you know, it’s it’s, it’s available. So now we’ve kind of like talked through some things You’ve got the insights. So after you’ve got your profile set up, Google does try to give you some information. So you can now see, you know, where is what kind of activity is happening? You know, with with people coming directly to you? Are they doing searches for like your brand? are they finding you through a search for a keyword phrase? Then you can start to see activity over time, like, did you pick up at certain times of the month versus, you know, other days? Is it within search? Or is it within maps, because remember, Google has Google Maps, Google Maps, where you can go and look for things on your phone.

Rebecca Gill 50:39
So you can see the difference there. And then it actually gives you information so that if you come in here, and you’ve got your profile, and you’re showing up, did people click from your profile in Google Search over to your website, that’s my greens, did they call you know, so like, in the business that I do, they’re not gonna typically just pick up the phone and call and if they do, for me, that’s always a red flag, because it means they have no idea what I do, like, it’s not at all qualified, I want them to click through to my website and see if we’re a good fit for each other. So that’s why you’re like seeing zero calls, but you’re seeing visits. If I were to go to my farm, my farm, that would be completely different. People are going to call and you know, share your hair you open today, can we come see some alpacas? So it really varies by you know, the practice and the industry and things like that. But the point here is, is there’s lots of information that you can kind of come in and see like, when is the most active? You might be wondering, like, should I be changing my hours? Right? Or should I like be open Monday, cuz I’m not open on Monday, well, you could come in here and start to see like, the most popular days of the week to know whether or not people are looking for you on Monday, you know, and whether that matters.

Rebecca Gill 51:46
Google also does benchmarks. So it will actually show you like on my little farm site, it’ll say, here’s your photo of us. And here’s photo views for everybody else. And you know, other other types of sites like yours. I don’t know who they are, but it will compare me to others within my industry. And it’s different, again, like it’s not doing it for this profile, but it does it for the other profile. And I said earlier that Google’s probably smart enough to know reviews are hard for you to get. It’s smart enough to know that different industries are using data differently. And as it rolled out products and services some time ago, and I can’t even remember when it could have been over years, like it rolled it out to certain industries first, and then it wasn’t available to other industries, it knows that a restaurant would want menus, as opposed to products, it’s more enough to know that. So the more Google learns, the more it changes the settings of Google My Business to try to, again, help the humans. And you know, you definitely want to love on your profile, and you want to make sure that you’re setting things up.

Rebecca Gill 52:53
And the one thing I just remember that I haven’t covered yet, are these guys down here, like what the heck are these, right? So these are actually coming from posts, posts are right here, can’t believe I almost forgot to cover this. So posts are your way of putting anything in, it could be a special you’re running, it could be an open house that you’re going to have, it could be a COVID-19 update, I will say Google has been very good about trying to adapt their services to this world that we found ourselves in this last year. And just to try to make sure that people are being helped as much as possible. And literally, you can come in here and you just create a post. And like this one was a client, we launched a website for back in October, and I just have to launch day, right. And I shared that information. And it was try, you know, I did it for the client. So actually, Google would know about this brand new website, because it’s a brand new company, but it could be anything. This was our 10 year anniversary for the company. You know, I don’t do these very often. But I do once in a while. You can put anything you want for content, not a ton of content, but content, you can put links over to things. And then Google starts to give you data on how many people actually came in and looked at it. But keep in mind, it’s really easy to come in and add a post, you know, just like add an update, you bring in your photo, you write some text, if you want to add a button, like learn more, or buy or call now, right? You can do that. And then you put the phone number in and then publish. The one thing to know about these is they’re only going to be really getting pushed to people for seven days. And then Google kind of wants to move it on and keep things fresh. So it will tell you. Here’s the interesting point. It’ll say, it’ll send you an email and go your profile or your excuse me, your post has expired. It was published seven days ago. Well, here’s the funny thing isn’t really Google because it’s sitting right here still.

Rebecca Gill 54:49
So it does tell you that and it’s just trying to get you to love on your profile. share information with those who are searching for you. Help them learn more about you. You know, that type of thing? And again, you know, Google is a company to make money, how do they make money by people clicking on ads? How do they get people to click on ads by making sure they have the most positive user experience possible when anybody comes inside to do a search. And so they’re trying to just give us tools to help make that happen. And those are those kind of emails and those notifications that you get. So those are all wrapping up all of the things that we want to talk about only do we have questions that haven’t gotten answered by people.

Ani King 55:31
The one thing I just want to spend a couple of seconds on, since we are just a few minutes away from the top of the hour, with regards to reviews, you know, you absolutely cannot solicit from your clients. But one thing that you can do is work with colleagues, or with you know, mentors or people who know that you are highly skilled that you have, you know, that you have these abilities with EMDR brainspotting. Or that, you know, you’ve been working as a marriage counselor for a long time, or that you are extremely skilled in helping people with eating disorders. And that is a good way to work within your network, or even to build a network of colleagues where you trust each other. You know, if you know another therapist that you refer to regularly, take a minute and leave a review for them, you’re not going to violate any client confidentiality, and you are supporting another person in the same profession. And it is okay within your professional network to ask people, you know, hey, we’ve worked together a long time, we’ve referred a lot of clients back and forth, you know, would you be willing to give me a review, and most of the time, people are going to say yes, and sometimes they’ll say, Hey, I don’t have time, and that’s okay. But that is one way to get a little bit more of that review power behind Google My Business, and it’s not unethical, and it’s not going to put you or your clients in a bad position.

Ani King 56:53
It looks like we have. So a question about what to do and dealing with a negative review. And Rebecca, I think our answer is probably going to be very similar, the answer is nothing. The answer is that you let it sit there, you can’t ethically respond to it, but you don’t necessarily want to anyways, and

Rebecca Gill 57:14
so on in other industries, I will tell you to respond to it, and then try to find resolution, if possible, but in your industry, because of what you do, and you have those ethical boundaries that you you know, it’s like a it’s a box, you’re like, you’re in a very small box, compared to if you’re a restaurant or something like that. You know, so for you, it’s definitely different. So yeah, for for this, this industry, I would tell you, you really can’t reply. However, you know, for others, that would be a different answer.

Ani King 57:49
Yeah, which is, you know, it’s tricky. But I will also say, coming from, you know, a long background of customer service, sometimes the best thing you can do is just let that sit. And either if it is ethical to do so, which again, this is really kind of a very difficult area to be in, to respond privately. You know, I think one of the things that you will probably find, and I went through a lot of different reviews of different, you know, therapy practices and individuals, very few of the negative reviews happen. And when they do, it’s very hard to identify people. And I think that you all probably have a better understanding around the ethics of would you even address that with a client in person in session or not? And while I hate to say, you know, I want to send you somewhere else for advice, this would be a really good thing to seek some advice from, you know, if you have a professor from when you were in school, or if you have a colleague who has dealt with this before, how did they handle it? What was the right response there?

Ani King 58:58
Just a couple more minutes here. And so if there are any last minute questions, again, feel free to raise your hand, feel free to drop into the q&a or chat button. You know, Rebecca, I really appreciate you being here today. I think that Google My Business has such a capability to help a lot of folks in the mental health profession be more accessible to people who are looking for help, especially right now. I think that some of your questions around looking at different locations. How do you make sure that people know that you’re able to service them through telehealth or other reasons in different locations have given us some things to look at for future conversations or webinars. Just a reminder, we offer a free membership at allcounselors.com that gives you access to webinars like these and more and we will be rolling out CEOUs in the second half of the year. So we’re going to have quite a bit going on and we’d love to help you build your practice. Grow your practice, grow yourselves because what you’re doing is so important to the world. So we are here to help however we can. Anything else, Rebecca, you want to make sure we cover?

Rebecca Gill 1:00:07
No, I think that we’ve really covered everything. And I guess I would tell you, like I said, it Google My Business and all of Google’s properties, it comes with features and things are new and don’t stress when you see them, like if something new pops in there, don’t fear it. Don’t feel like you have to jump on and start using it. You know, the biggest thing is, is that you have a profile, it’s been validated. You know, you’ve got your description in there, you’ve got the right categories, and you have the primary category, which is the most important one for you. That’s the biggest thing, right? You put your hours in there and everything else is gravy. It’s like frosting in your cupcake. So you know get those cores in make sure that those are there and you know and and be good with that right? Because I think that that that will serve you because your industry is very unrepresented online, and it can help you position yourself above your competitors.

Ani King 1:01:02
Absolutely. And just so folks know if you think of any questions after this webinar, you are welcome to shoot me an email. It’s just Ani@allcounselors.com. And I will either answer your question, or I will find someone who can. Helen, the easiest way to get on the allcounselors.com mailing list, let me just drop a link in the chat here. If you are a member, then we automatically add you to our mailing list. And you can always unsubscribe at any time if you want to. We will never spam you. We will only ever send you information about how to grow yourself or your practice. We have a really easy membership to sign up for. And that is a link right there. And let me make sure we’ve got all of our questions answered.

Ani King 1:01:57
Okay, it looks like we’ve got all these questions answered. And yes, Helen or anybody else who is interested? Make sure I sent this to the right place because I did not. Come join us at allcounselors.com. You are welcome to email us anytime. And we will help you as however we can. Thank you again so much, Rebecca, I really appreciate you being here today. And thank you to everyone who took the time to come and ask questions. And to help us make sure that you know we know how to help you better

Rebecca Gill 1:02:31
Thanks, everybody.

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