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1 October 2019
A Google My Business listing is a quick and easy way to get important information to your customers. And as a free service, Google My Business listings are a simple and cost effective way to boost your online presence. These listings will give your customers a brief snapshot of your pharmacy including: business name, category, attributes, address, contact details, opening hours, website, reviews and photos. Verifying your business here will allow your pharmacy to show up on Google Maps, increasing visibility and searchability. This will also make your business more likely to show up before organic search results as part of Google’s Local 3 pack.Another benefit to having a Google My Business listing is that it allows customers to independently rate and review your pharmacy. Positive reviews will build your credibility, reputation and competitive advantage. This will also act as a good method to gain feedback and allow you to pinpoint areas for improvement regarding your products and services. You can also benefit by responding to reviews, thanking your customers for positive ratings and managing negative feedback before it snowballs. This sort of listing will also give you insights into your audience. You will be able to see how many views and clicks you are getting and a breakdown of the audience demographics. And by ensuring your listing points to your website, it also helps with your search engine optimisation (SEO) of your own website.Put simply, should you have a Google My Business listing? Yes.
While you may gain traction organically it is likely you’ll need to pay for reach through sponsored posts. This can be worthwhile, but it can also add up if done incorrectly. These pages are also rented assets. You don’t own them. It’s risky because the platforms have full control to change the game - and more specifically, the algorithm - on you at any time. With countless social media accounts already well established and saturation in the social media space high, it can be hard to cut through and stand out. Not to mention that your target market may not be easily accessible from these pages. If you do choose to go down the social media path, make sure to keep your page regularly updated and monitored for maximum potential.
Everyone seems to have a social media page these days and while they are great for many reasons, that doesn’t mean it is necessary to have one. Let’s start with the positives of social media pages. Having a social presence will allow you to have regular two-way communication with your customers, letting you interact with customers, provide customer service and support, and manage feedback. These accounts also help you stay top of mind - if you use them correctly - and they give you the opportunity to promote your content. They are free and easy to set up, but this doesn’t mean they are free advertising, or that they will be an easy marketing tool.
There are lots of advantages to having an independent website that you own for your pharmacy. While on first glance this may seem the most expensive method we’ve discussed, it can be the most beneficial tool in the long run. And even then the costs and complexity are less than you might think. Websites give you full control of the message and allow you a space to get a lot of information across, overall increasing the value provided to customers. A website gives you the ability to provide all of the information and content that is available on a Google My Business listing and a social media page all in one easily, and widely accessible, place. Websites when built correctly require minimal structural updates and are easy to maintain once they are up and running. They will also increase your credibility as a business, and will be inclusive for maximum reach within your target market. One of the biggest advantages to having a website is their ability to collect data. Sure, you can set up Google Analytics and get an understanding about who has been on your website, what they looked at and how long they stayed, but you can also collect the details of people who book a flu shot appointment, or a health check, or any other service you offer, and suddenly you have the information and insights needed to be able to remind them to repeat their purchase with you year after year.A website will help you clearly position yourself within your geographical area and within the pharmacy industry, and will help customers be better informed around your benefits when they search for pharmacies in their area. If your competitors have a website, you are already behind the eight ball. And really, your customers will expect you to.Remember when we asked you to Google yourself? Now that you have all the information, it is the time to take control of the search results.
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