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Google Places for Therapists

Every month, people search over half a billion times in Google looking for a local business. Grow your practice by learning the skills to get listed in the local business results.

Length: 15:15

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Welcome to Practice Growth Webinar. The topic of today’s webinar is “Getting Listed in Local Business Search Results”.

We’re gonna be covering four areas today.

▪ Section One: What Are Local Business Search Results?
▪ Section Two: Getting Listed in the Google Local Business Center.
▪ Section Three: Optimizing Your Local Business Search Results.
▪ Section Four: How Am I Currently Doing in Local Search?

Section One – What are Local Business Search Results?

Local business search results are essentially when someone goes to Google or one of the search engines and does a search for a product or service in a specific location or area. In this example, we’re using “therapists Los Angeles.” And what you get when you typed in that search – this is an example of a page that you’ll get when you type in search, this is the result page – what you’ll get are: a list of local businesses in Los Angeles that are related to keyword “therapists” – so you have a list of therapists here; you’ll also have pins here in a map and it shows you where each these businesses are in the map.

When you do a local business search in Google Maps, in the results page you’ll also get a list of local businesses that are related to “therapists Los Angeles” from this example here. The same is true if you search for “therapists Los Angeles” at Yahoo! You get the map and the pins and the related businesses. As well as if you search in Bing, so “therapists Los Angeles” Local Map and Local Business search results.

So the question is, why should I care about this? And the answer is – a couple of things, first of all, this is an example of a Google search results page where the search query is “therapists Los Angeles.” What you’ll find is the local business results are at the very top of the page. That means that more people will see your listing as well as you’ll get more clicks. In addition, there’s about half a billion unique local searches per month on Google. So there’s a ton of people doing local searches, it’s a great place for your practice to be found. It’s also free to list your business. There’s no charge and it’s very easy to manage. So there’s really no good reason why you shouldn’t have your business listed here. It’s also very relevant to the user search.

Section Two – Getting Listed in the Google Local Business Center

The Google Local Business Center is actually a very easy to use and intuitive tool. You access it by going to this web address right here:

Next, let’s take a look at what it looks like to complete a listing in the Google Local Business Center. We’re actually gonna do a live demonstration. So once you set up an account with the local business center and you want to list your practice, this is the page you come to. I’m gonna fill this out with a fictitious practice as an example here. You wanna make sure that you put: a local phone number, not an 800 number – it’s very important; an e-mail address that you wanna be contacted at – so this is your business e-mail address; your website; and, a description of your practice.

This next step, Category, is actually very important, you should pay attention here. Google allows you to categorize or associate five different categories with your business. So let’s do a couple of examples here. And, again, you have up to five and I recommend using all five. So for this practice, Family Counselor, Counselor, maybe, Marriage Counselor, and so on and so forth – again, you have five. Once you’ve completed this page, you click Next.

You’ll come to this page. This page is asking you for more information about your business. Some of these questions ask may or may not apply to your business. Don’t feel like you have to answer all of the questions and fill out all of the areas. Only fill out the areas that are applicable to your business.

▪ For Hours of Operations, this really applies to more of a retail operation than a private practice, where the hours will be flexible. So in this area you can decide either to put your operating hours, or if you prefer not to that’s fine as well.

▪ Payment Options, again, if this applies, please go ahead and fill this out. So if you take cash, check, go ahead and fill this out. So if you take, for instance, cash, check, American Express, Visa, and so on and so forth.

▪ Photos. Photos are very important because people when they’re looking at your listing on Google and other search engines they wanna see what you look like. So be sure to include your photo here – I’ll do this really quickly.

▪ Now, Videos is the next section. Videos are great tools to promote your practice. It could be a commercial that you’ve produced for other purposes. it could be YouTube video of yourself talking about your practice or whatever. You wanna include that here if you have it.

▪ Additional details could include parking, validation, and so on and so forth. If you have any of that information that you wanna share on your listing, please do it here. And you could add additional details as needed. And you click Submit when you’re complete.

The third page is all about validating your listing. So what Google wants to do is that it wants to validate that the information that you provided is accurate. There are two ways to validate your listing. You could validate your listing by phone or by postcard.

If you do it by phone, it’s very quick, just identify that you wanna be contacted by phone and you click Finish. What will happen is that computer will actually call your phone, the phone number that you provided in the listing, and it will provide you with a four-digit PIN. This PIN is a special code that you use to verify your listing.

If you prefer to do it by postcard, click the little button right here and then click Finish. What you’ll get is you get a postcard in the mail with that same PIN number mailed to you and it will take about two to three weeks for you receive that. Once you’ve chosen the proper validation method, you click on Finish. And you come to this page and it tells you that they’ll be sending you this postcard with a PIN. At this point, there’s not much else you can really do until you have that PIN. Once you received the PIN, you log back into your Local Business Center and provide that PIN in the space provided to verify your business. At that point, your listing will be live on the search engines.

Section Three – Optimizing Your Local Business Search Results

Once you’ve listed your practice in the Google Local Business Center, what you’ll wanna do is you want to optimize results, meaning that you want to do things, you wanna add different elements to your listing so that your ad will come up higher than other therapists in your area. One way to do that is through reviews. In general, the more reviews, the better the placement.

Here’s an example of a local business search result with businesses that have reviews. So, for instance, Mind Matters Hypnotherapy has 42 reviews, Los Angeles Massage Therapy Center has 61 review, we have an MFT here at the bottom, Cynthia, who has 5 reviews.

Getting reviews for therapy can be a little tricky. As you probably imagine, not everyone wants to provide reviews, especially because that they will be revealing who they are as a result of providing the review. So some people may be a little bit shy about promoting the fact they’re in therapy or other related issues. So be sure to be selective about who you ask to provide reviews for you.

Here’s an example of an MFT that has about five reviews. You could see at the top here. The first several are very positive reviews. She has 5 out of 5 stars. The feedback is very strong; it has a lot of good content. Unfortunately, she also has a negative review here that someone has put up on the review side. This could be a concern for people who do reviews and put up their practice reviews. If you do get an unfair or inaccurate review, you can actually go to Google and dispute the review and have them take it down. If you wanna do this, go to this web address. It’s listed here on this page [].

Additional things you could do to improve your ranking for small business listing.

▪ Increase the number of local business links pointing to your website. It essentially is you wanna have small business associations’ websites and blogs linking to your website. Examples may be CAMFT or The American Psychological Association or National Association of Social Workers. These are all associations that have websites that potentially could be linking to your website that will add to the value of your listing. Other things you could do are blogs and local newspapers that cover local businesses to get links from those websites back to your website.

▪ Citations are also important. Citations are essentially mentions of your business name and address on other webpages even if there isn’t a link to your website. So an example might be therapist directory website like Psychology Today. In your listing at Psychology Today, it may have your business name, which is probably your name, and your business address. But it probably doesn’t have a link back to your website. You’ll still get credit for that actual listing of your business name and your business address back to your website, that’s a citation and that will help you to rank better as well. Other areas are online articles. So if you write articles or if you provide content for the websites, be sure to include your business name and your business address.

Section Four – How Am I Currently Doing in Local Search?

Well, let’s find out! There’s actually a really great, super useful tool called The web address is It’s very easy to remember. It’s a free resource that has a lot of valuable information about how to optimize your local listing.

Let’s do a live demonstration right now. This is the homepage. As you can see, I’m on right now. It asks for your business name and zip code of your business. And click on Check My Listings. It usually takes a couple of minutes because it’s actually scraping Google and Yahoo! and Best of Web, all the results are up and it’s looking to see if your listing is on those engines. It turns out for this individual –  Susan Quinn MA, MFT and Life Coach – she actually is listed in Google, she’s in Yahoo!, she’s in Best of Web, she’s not in Bing. She can actually click on this link right here, Claim Your Listing to begin the process of listing her practice in Bing. Once you’re in this site, you should definitely take a look at all the other links and details provided in this site. There’s a lot of wonderful resources and information about how to continue to optimize your local listing. And that’s the results page we just looked at.

In summary, local business search results are important. Hopefully we’ve been able to get that across to you. Be sure you are listed in Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Those are the three largest search engines and the most traffic come through there. You wanna continually optimize your local listing. Continue to go back to it time and time again over time to make sure that the description of your business is very rich – that you’re adding photos and videos and any other relevant information about your practice – to help you to attract new visitors to your site. And finally you wanna check your progress using Once you’ve already listed yourself in all of the search engines you wanna check back with the to make sure that those changes have been made.

I wanna thank you very much for your time. If you have any questions for us, please contact us at the information on the screen [ (888) 369-1309] Thank you so much. Bye.