Google Places Guidelines Updated

google places example

Google has recently updated their Google Places Quality Guidelines to clarify how you can setup and name your Practice within Google Local and Google Maps.

Now with the updated guidelines you can add a short descriptor to your business name as long as it describes either your location or something about your practice. The revised guidelines are below (I’ve changed the examples given in the final bullet to make it more clear):

  • Your title should reflect your business’s real-world title.
  • In addition to your business’s real-world title, you may include a single descriptor that helps customers locate your business or understand what your business offers.
  • Marketing taglines, phone numbers, store codes, or URLs are not valid descriptors.
  • Examples of acceptable titles with descriptors (in italics for demonstration purposes) are “Dr. Williams Plastic Surgery Downtown” or “Family Dermatology and Associates Seattle”. Examples that would not be accepted would be “#1 Seattle Dermatologist”, “Eternal Med Spa – Best Facials”, or “Dr. Brown Plastic Surgery Washington”.

If you’re looking to update your listing on Google Local and Google Maps to make it more enticing for your patients, you can find the entire quality guidelines for Google Places below,

Source: Google Places Quality Guidelines

Yelp Gets a Facelift – How it Affects Marketing Your Practice

new yelp design

Yelp has begun rolling out a new design that puts photos of you and your practice front and center. This is part of Yelp’s overall goal to have the most useful information easily accessible, and boost their advertising revenue.

Some of the changes affect only non-medical businesses, such as review highlights, so you can easily see the most popular dishes at a restaurant, or if a bar only sells wine. Other changes may have a direct impact on the amount of visitors and leads you receive from Yelp.

The first major change is the increased focus on photos of your practice. Both photos that you upload, and photos that your patients upload are more prominently shown in the top carousal of your practice listing on Yelp. You can see this in the image above. Photos that are added by patients in their reviews are now larger as well. You can see an example of this below.
yelp larger photo example
The second major change is in the positioning of advertisements. If you do not have an advertising contract with Yelp for your own practice, an ad for a competing practice will be shown right beneath your Yelp listing. You can see an example of this below:
yelp listing with ad
To remove this advertisement you must begin advertising with Yelp. This removes your competitors advertisment, puts your ad on their Yelp listing, and gives you a “Contact Us” button on your Yelp listing. You can see an example of this below:
yelp listing without ad

What to Do

Advertising with Yelp is becoming more and more beneficial. It gets you additional exposure to people that might not find you otherwise, and if you have positive reviews you will outshine your competitors. Be aware that the return on investment varies widely by practice. We have had some clients that have great success advertising with Yelp, and some clients that find it a waste of money. We recommend trying a Yelp advertising campaign for several months and evaluating it’s success before investing large amounts of time and money.