The first step to enhance your reputation is to set up your Google “My Business Account” (https://www.google.com/business/). There is a slight technical problem here, however, for doctors sharing a common address and suite number (ie, for most doctors today). The problem is one of identity.
Google Plus wants to identify each physician with an individual address and thus, a group practice poses a challenge. Google wants to verify a business is legitimate and it does so by associating it with a unique physical address. This process is what enables your business to show up with a “pin” on the map. If there are several physicians at one address, Google needs to see a separate suite number for each doctor.
This situation of multiple professionals working in the same office has been a grey area for Google, and I am sure it will sort this out in time. While the reputation of a medical group practice might be somewhat helpful, a patient usually searches for an individual doctor, not a group. It is the individual’s reputation that influences a patient’s search for insight and guidance.
What is the answer? There is a solution for individuals in a group sharing a common address, but it is not a great one: Each individual can rent a small executive suite with its own suite address. Just keep in mind that not all executive suites will give you a separate address (suite number). You must inquire about this in advance of renting it or you might find yourself with the same problem as with the group medical office. Do not worry too much about the executive suite not being in the same physical location as your practice. The goal is to have Google Plus place you on its map with a pin and make your reviews visible when someone searches for you by name.
Next month, we will talk more about the cornerstone of successful marketing — tracking. Stay tuned.
Tony Mork, MD, is a practicing endoscopic spinal surgeon and author of Medical Marketing Demystified, a book that teaches physicians how to leverage the internet to grow their medical practices. Mork also launched the Medical Website Academy, an educational website that highlights how to apply technology solutions to solve business problems. He can be reached at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.tonymorkmd.com.