Latest Google My Business Features and Updates in 2021 – Functional Medicine SEO

One of the things manage for our practitioners is their Google My Business listing. This free listing acts as your second website and requires monthly attention to stay up to date. It’s more important now than ever to go into your Google My Business listing and see what’s new. 

Here are a few updates Google My Business has made in 2021. 

1. Automatic Suggestions

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been logging into our practitioners’ GMB accounts and noticed that Google has made a lot of suggestions on their listings that require approval. They are now using the information that’s listed on your website as suggestions for your listing. For example, if you have a lot of services pages, Google is adding that information to the service section on your listing. 

Also, for physical locations, we’ve noticed that they are suggesting that the facility has wheel-chair accessibility or other considerations. And, we have seen suggestions for suite numbers, hours, and more. It’s important for you to go into your account, approve the suggestions and then make changes as necessary. You will have to accept the suggestions to be able to make adjustments. 

2. Mark Temporarily Closed

A few months into the pandemic, Google provided a feature for you to mark your office as temporarily closed. For a while, they were automatically marking specific types of listings closed based on local government rulings. If you haven’t logged into your GMB in many months, it’s time for you to check and see if Google marked your business as temporarily closed months ago without you knowing it. We’ve seen this happen on several of our practitioners’ websites. 

This feature is still helpful for practitioners. For example, if you have a COVID exposure and need to shut your office for a few weeks, you can mark the listing as temporarily closed if need be. If you do not have anyone manning your phones, then this can be a good option for you. However, if you are going to still have the phones covered (which we recommend), then don’t use this feature. 

3. Date You Opened Your Practice

There’s a place for you to write the year that you opened your practice or started practicing medicine. When you put the year in that section, it will display the number of years that you have been practicing on the front end of your GMB listing. Now, potential patients can see the number of years of experience you have as a doctor. 

This feature can be a great benefit for functional medicine doctors that have been practicing for a long time. However, if you are just starting out in business, you can leave that section empty. 

4. Health and Safety Features

For practitioners that have a physical location, you should mark any safety feature that applies to your practice. These options include: 

It’s important to go in and select any that apply to your practice and as the government loosens the restrictions, you can remove these features. 

Why It’s Important to Keep Your Listing Up To Date

One of the reasons that we spend time on our practitioners’ listings every month is to keep it as up-to-date as possible. Since this is often the first introduction a new patient will have to your practice, you want the most accurate information listed possible. As a search engine user yourself, you likely rely heavily on other businesses’ GMB listings to be accurate. You’ve no doubt driven to a restaurant that’s closed, but their listing said they were open. Especially in the midst of pandemic and how things have continued to change, this is your first line of communication to new patients and existing patients. 

Contact us Today For GMB SEO

We offer a GMB SEO package in addition to our website SEO services. Our goal it to boost your online presence and get you in front of more patients every month. Get in touch with us today for a free strategy session and we’ll be happy to meet with you. Fill out our strategy session form here, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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