Ranking in search for senior living can be a challenge; between niche keywords that have a very focused audience and a wealth of local competition, it can be tough to establish yourself within the ranks. However, in addition to optimizing your site for SEO, getting signed up and verified on Google My Business can help you stand out amongst the competition.

Getting Set Up

The first step to getting yourself a Google My Business (GMB) listing is to sign up and verify your business. Signing up is easy, though to verify you’ll need to either answer a landline phone tied to your business’s mailing address or have a postcard sent via USPS to its location.

  • Via phone: Google will call you with a verification pin that you’ll enter in the GMB portal.
  • Via postcard: Google will send you a physical postcard (so don’t throw it away by accident) that has your pin on it.

Google has several articles about how to the basics in how to get your listing set up. But once you’re done, and you have your facility or office verified, what should you do so that families consider you their first choice?

Your Category

GMB lets you choose from a list of categories that best suits your business. This category clues Google into what sort of searches you’re most relevant to. Google says:

Categories help your customers find accurate, specific results for services they’re interested in. In order to keep your business information accurate and live, make sure that you:

  • Use as few categories as possible to describe your overall core business from the provided list.
  • Choose categories that are as specific as possible, but representative of your main business.
  • Do not use categories solely as keywords or to describe attributes of your business.
  • Do not use categories that pertain to other businesses that are nearby or related, such as a business physically contained within your business or an entity that contains your business.

Try and be as accurate as possible when it comes to selecting which category you think best fits—if you choose one that isn’t truly descriptive, you may rank poorly in search.

Pick Good Photos—At Least 3

Your listing on Google is sort of like the digital introduction to your business—the first thing that potential customers see. And while things like having your business name and address spelled correctly are fundamental aspects of your listing, nothing quite draws attention to your knowledge panel (that panel on the right of a Google search results page) like good photos (and Google recommends having at least 3).

You’ve probably seen this screenshot before in our article on online reviews. It makes a good point: your eye is probably drawn right away to the firefly.

Your logo doesn’t need to be bright orange to draw attention. The eye is naturally drawn to images over text, so having your logo present is a big must. It should be a high-res file regardless of the color palette. You’ll see that your logo is confined to a somewhat small square, so you may want to consider creating a new version of your existing logo that isn’t cut off by the small space. Social media icons, such as anything you may have used for Facebook or Twitter, come in handy for this.

Posting to Google

After all the typical pieces comes a section that most businesses overlook. You’ll notice the blog post underneath our business information. Find out more! A great place for a call to action, and one more way to draw in your audience.

But posting to Google isn’t quite the same as posting to your blog. You want this extra space to still be about you—not necessarily the latest research on dementia or healthy eating. Think about maybe touting local events, services, or other aspects of your facility or care on your facility’s blog, and then linking that content here to gain more visibility.

Reviews Make You Shine

Online reviews will never cease to be an important, front-running topic in digital marketing. With access to local reviews from other customers, there’s very little reason for anyone to not google your business beforehand. Remember to ask for and nurture online reviews! They help make your listing stand out.

Plus, if you claim your business on GMB, you’ll receive notifications of new reviews, which means you’ll be able to clock a much faster response time—which is what potential customers will love. Timely responses to reviews can make your customers feel like you’re more accessible and receptive than if you responded days later, or worse yet, not at all.

Some Extra Tips!

  • Fill out every portion of the portal! This is a great place to start if you’re just getting set up for the first time—run through every tab and fill out what you can. Make a note of what you need.
  • Keep an eye on user edits; they go throughout with or without approval from you, so check in often to ensure your information is correct.
  • Make sure your address matches that of your website exactly. Inconsistency across platforms will hurt your SEO in the long run.
  • Don’t create a separate account for every location if you have more than one—you can manage multiple listings from one account.

Google My Business is an awesome opportunity for quality, free online exposure. If you need help getting started or managing your listing, give IlluminAge a call at (800) 448-5213 or contact us online.