As you may know, Google is the most popular search engine in the world. It’s also the most-used online resource of any kind. To stay competitive in the senior living space you need to keep up with Google’s latest best practices and use their technologies to assist your website’s SEO.
Google Business Profile is one of the most important tools available to companies to gain local exposure. This free online listing was formerly known as Google My Business until the recent transition. Some new features have been introduced with the name change in order for businesses to better manage their information and engagement.
Let’s discuss what the updates mean for senior living and assisted living communities and what you should know about getting the most out of your Google Business Profile.
Why Your Google Business Profile Matters
A Google Business Profile is a free business listing through Google that appears when customers search for your community online. Customers can find your senior living space address, hours, website, and contact information all in one place.
This profile is the block of information that shows on the right side of a search engine results page (SERP) when someone searches for a business. It’s designed to be an easy, intuitive way for users to access information coming directly from the business they’re seeking.
What the Name Change Means for Senior Living Communities
Google released an update to the way businesses are displayed on their platform. This new “Google Business Profile” will replace the former “Google My Business” listings. If you currently have a “Google My Business” listing for your living community, don’t worry—your listing will automatically be updated to integrate with the new format.
For the rest of this article, we’ll use the new name for reference.
Your Google Business Profile will connect to Maps and Search. With the changes, you can access your profile directly from these platforms. If you’re in the senior living or assisted care industry and haven’t claimed your Google Business Profile, it’s time to get verified.
How to Claim Your Living Community’s Google Business Profile
These changes from Google make it easier than ever to establish and manage your listing. You can claim your business name and Google Business Profile directly through Google Maps or Search.
Search for your business name here and follow the steps to get verified as the legitimate operator of your senior community. Once this is established, make sure the following information is added (and updated when relevant) to your Google Business Profile:
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
- Link to your website
- Social media links
- High-quality photos (including staff)
- Brief description of your community
- List of services offered
Google Business Profile Benefits for Senior Communities
A Google Business Profile is essential for increasing your online visibility. It also opens the door to bring new residents to your community through Google Search and Maps. A stronger search engine presence allows you to have an edge over competitors when it comes to web traffic and foot traffic.
Almost half of all Google inquiries are for local information. Claiming and managing your Google Business Profile allows you to better control your brand, influence perception from both seniors and their families, and gain more market share.
The benefits of a properly maintained Google Business Profile also include:
- Reach new customers. Potential residents and their families can find your senior living community more easily on Google Search and Maps.
- Stand out from the competition. A listing that is current with holiday hours, updated photos, and other changing information will gain more trust from users. This can help increase engagement for people interested in a senior living community.
- Monitor what’s being said about your living community. You can see and respond to reviews from residents and their families and get insights into how people are finding and interacting with your business listing.
Direct Communication With the Community at Large
This update from Google means your marketing team has more simple and direct communication with people engaged with your business, including:
- Residents who are currently in your community
- Residents who have stayed in your community and left
- The families of residents (and other influencers)
- People from the greater community that interact and engage with your business
A key upgrade with the Google Business Profile rollout is being able to carry out meaningful conversations with seniors and others through Search and Maps. Additional call and chat platforms are being added and you can message these users directly through these platforms.
Improved Interaction for Senior Living Marketers
Along with increased communication, there are other benefits that the new Google Business Profile offers:
- Manage reviews and Q&As
- Review analytics on inbound calls that came from Google Business Profile
- Show your local vacancies and promote nearby community locations
Better for Multi-Facility Senior Communities
For senior living communities that have multiple locations which share a brand or management, the switch to Google Business Profile will be especially useful. Some new functionalities will make it easier to manage multiple locations.
For businesses that have several locations, Google Business Profile will be able to better support your brand marketing. Senior living communities with multiple facilities will be able to manage their locations on the new Business Profile Manager.
Living community operators can manage multiple locations through the profile manager. But the tool will also allow you to update hours or post regional news to only the senior communities in a given area.
Single-location communities can manage their profiles directly through Google Maps and Search. Overall, interacting with and updating your business listing should be easier with the move to Google Business Profile.
Help Your Community Take Advantage of the Access
The search engine giant’s transition to Google Business Profile comes with some tweaks that allow more direct communication with residents and their families. Claiming and managing your online listing is more intuitive than ever.
Google is retiring the Google My Business app and title in 2022. Living communities and care facilities will now manage their Google Business Profile from a laptop or smartphone and directly through Google’s Maps and Search.
Your team may be busy supporting seniors and their families. But there’s a team of marketing experts who work exclusively with senior living communities across North America. CITIZEN can help optimize your Google Business Profile and help you reach new audiences. Connect with our specialists for a free demo and more information on how to better engage with seniors and those closest to them.