How to take ownership of your Google+ and Yelp pages

How to take ownership of your Google+ and Yelp pages

Over the past few months we’ve done several articles about consumer reviews and their importance. A question I often get asked has to do with claiming one’s business page in Google+ and Yelp.

Many practice owners aren’t even aware that they have a page on Google+ and/or Yelp. It costs you nothing to manage and maintain these pages, and it offers many benefits.

The place to start is to make sure that you have both a Google account which is used for Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, etc. and a Yelp user account. Both accounts are free. If you don’t have any kind of Google account, go to http://plus.google.com, then click the “Create account” link for a free account.

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This is done the same way with Yelp, go to http://www.yelp.com, then register for a free user account.

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Once you have an account, go back to http://plus.google.com or http://www.yelp.com and LOG IN.

Once you are logged in to Google+, use the search area at the top of the page to search for your business.

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When you are on the page for your business, you will see the following notice. Click on the button that says “Manage this page.”

This will take you through a series of validation questions to make sure that you are indeed the owner of the business. Once you are validated, you will be able to navigate back to the page and upload pictures, add the company profile/bio and add relevant information to the page. As consumer reviews happen, you will also be able to reply to them, add notifications and videos, and keep the page up to date.

Once you are logged in to Yelp, use the search area at the top of the page to search for your business.

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When you are on the page for your business, you will see the following notice. Click on the button that says “Claim This Business.”

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This will take you through a series of validation questions to make sure that you are indeed the owner of the business. Once you are validated, you will be able to navigate back to the page and upload pictures, add the company profile/bio and add relevant information to the page. As consumer reviews happen, you will also be able to reply to them, etc.

Doing this will put you in control of your business pages on these sites and make them into usable information hubs for your business.

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The Official Dirt Cheap Marketing Checklist

This article is a continuation of The Truth About Referral Marketing. If you haven’t done so yet, we recommend reading the first article to get a better context when reading this one.

The following is a list of other successful actions you can do to promote your practice and get new patients. They are all very inexpensive and easy to do:

Ask for referrals!

Ask for referrals!

Ask for referrals! (ok, point made)

Send patients birthday cards.

Send out a quarterly newsletter that educates patients.

Put up a new patient/client welcome board in the reception room.

Put up a “Thank you for referring us.” board in reception listing out the patients/clients who referred new patients to the practice.

Send thank you letters to every patient/client who referred anyone into the practice.

Reward referring patients/clients by sending them to dinner or the movies, etc.

The doctor and staff hand out business cards anywhere and everywhere that is appropriate. Yes, anywhere and everywhere that is appropriate.

Post your practice “mission statement” in your reception room.

Make post-care calls to patients/clients to ensure that they are doing well. This shows that you really care.

Give tours of the office to school children.

Offer family discounts for cash patients.

Put up educational posters in all treatment rooms or areas to educate patients about the health care you deliver.

Have TV monitors with educational videos that are on a continuous playback loop showing in reception and/or treatment rooms.

Have a patient/client appreciation month.

Participate in health fairs.

Give brisk service with lots of care and affinity.

Have all staff who are on the phone always “smile on the phone.”

Stay in good communication with any patient or client who is waiting – never let them just sit in silence for any long period.

Never make patients/clients wait. Deliver on time.

Call your patients/clients by name.

Develop a logo and place it in every possible place that you can – letterhead, newsletter, business cards, posters, etc.

Call patients/clients 2 weeks and then 2 days prior to recall appointments.

Confirm appointments the day before.

Have simple informational pamphlets. Create your own if you have to.

Make follow-up calls after sending a postcard mailer.

Use oversized or odd-sized business cards. People will notice and remember them more than a normal card.

Take photos of happy patients and clients and place them on the bulletin board.

Have the doctor write a column for a local newspaper or other publication addressing issues within your profession.

Share successful results of patient delivery with your staff.

Once per year, offer 10% off for payment in full off on all old accounts receivables.

Provide a staff reward for generating referrals.

All of the above actions will cost you very little up front, but will generate the highest quality patients for your practice. Put these into place, and you will see your new patients numbers not only increase, but the quality of your patient base will increase.

Questions? Ask the Editor.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this article, please feel free to submit them below. Our editors speak with professional doctors like yourself every day. They would be delighted to hear from you.

The Truth About Referral Marketing

The Truth About Referral Marketing

In my nearly 23 years of delivering practice management training and consulting, I’ve found that of all of the marketing techniques available, properly asking for referrals is easily the most useful. There are several reasons for this:

  1. It is the least expensive. You don’t have to create and buy ads, make newsletters, send mailings, etc.
  2. It is something that you can directly affect on an ongoing daily basis and see and monitor the results without much time lapse.
  3. It is something that you can train all of your staff to do. You can create a reward systems to enhance the staff to do more of it.
  4. You can, more than any other way, attract the type of patient/client that you want. If you analyze the patients/clients in your practice, you can quickly isolate those who are the most cooperative, financially secure and the most fun to have around. These people will, by referral, bring in similar types of new patients.

The whole trick to getting referrals is nothing more complicated than asking for them. This can and should be done as a coordinated team effort by all the staff. There are many successful actions that you can implement in order to accomplish this.

First, determine which patient/client will be approached. A staff muster at the start of the day can identify patients/clients who’ve had great results and are very happy with their service. Those are the people you want to approach. Determine who will talk with these people. It may likely be the receptionist who will be talking with a person after their appointment. Work out a simple script (we have several) that can be used and have a card ready to give out to the person that they can then give to their referral.

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