Today's Veterinary Business

DEC 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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62 Today's Veterinary Business VetPartners Corner Searching for local businesses has increased to the point where everyone expects local infor- mation instantaneously. Google knows this because it analyzes search trends. To meet the de- mand of local information, Goo- gle has beefed up its Google My Business search feature. It's a Must Google My Business, or GMB, is now a key part of online marketing strategies. It's free to use and is packed with oodles of information that can assist a veterinary practice with managing how pet owners find and use the clinic's services. Visit www.google.com/business to get started. The first thing you will see upon signing in is a dash- board rich with information. Instead of focusing here for the moment, first make sure all of the practice's data is up to date and correct. To check whether everything is copa- cetic, look to the left, where various icons will be shown. Confirm that the following sections are completed: VetPartners Corner Mobile devices have changed the landscape of how people find businesses. Because smartphones are with us wherever we travel, we have access to information 24/7. Hungry? Look at "Restaurants near me" to find out what is close by, see menus and check busy times. The snow is melting and mosquitoes are emerging? A search for "Heartworm prevention near me" can fix the problem. By Kelly Baltzell, MA These sections in the administra- tion area should be monitored and utilized weekly: • Reviews: This used to be a standalone digital mar- keting feature and is being rolled into local search and Google My Business. Build- ing relationships with future clients can start with people reading how a business responds to a review. Timely replies to reviews left for the hospital can go a long way in persuading a pet owner to choose your hospital over another one. • Posts: Posts are like min- iature ads and are free for now. The posts last for a week. This spot can be pop- ulated with things like spe- cials of the week, upcoming holiday hours or what to do in an emergency. Tracking the Data Google, for better or worse, holds a ton of information on just about every person and every business, and Google shares some of the information with a veterinary hospital through GMB. The facts that can be gleaned about people's behaviors are fascinating. Once in the administration area, look to the left and click on "In- sights" to find behavioral usage numbers such as: • How many people searched for the business. • Where people viewed the business — in the directory or through maps. • Customer actions, such as visiting the website, asking for directions or calling. • Direction requests, broken down by ZIP code and show- ing a map. • Phone calls, broken down by days of the week and volume. • Photo views, or how many times your photos were seen compared to other businesses. Once a month, Google will email a snapshot of key indicators Current and potential clients will learn a lot about your practice at a glance if you properly manage your free Google My Business entry. The Cornell University Hospital for Animals manages an information-filled Google My Business listing. • Users: Every online platform should have more than one person as the administrator. The hospital owners should be listed, even if they never touch the site, and so should the people actively managing it. Any third party helping to maintain Google My Business should be listed as a user as well. A third party whose ser- vices are no longer needed can be deleted with a click. • Info: Multiple choices are un- der Options, such as setting the business hours, a descrip- tion, the placement on Goo- gle Maps, a phone number, a website and an address. • Settings: Make sure all alerts are set to enable so that noti- fications are received quickly if something is amiss with the account. • Photos: Images are key. We are visual creatures and make decisions based on the pho- tos we see. Happy pets with happy people are important for people searching for a new place to bring their pet. You and Google

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