Google Adds Business Descriptions In Google My Business & Local Knowledge Panel
Are you a dentist concerned with what your Google My Business listing says about your practice?
Not the descriptors, reviews, office hours, categories, or other such important attributes of your dental-centric Google My Business listing, no.
We’re talking about the ‘Descriptions‘ field that disappeared back in 2016, but has been reappearing in certain dentist’s Google My Business listings in the past week or so.
It wasn’t that long ago when Google removed the capability to describe your dental practice in Google My Business, that was back in 2016.
And don’t think that this Description field won’t possibly disappear from your Google My Business listing in the future. Google is notorious for launching, then removing many things….which positively & negatively affect your local dental practice digital footprint.
Dentists will likely soon have – if you don’t see it already – the option to write and edit descriptions that show up in your Google My Business listing, Google Maps, and in Google’s local Knowledge Panel.
What is the Google local Knowledge Panel?
You’ve seen it before, just do a search for your name and you’ll see it on the first page of Google search results…hopefully, if your SEO & Local SEO is on point.
But that’s a question with many answers for another blog post, like this one on why dentists need Local SEO.
The local Knowledge Panel – as it’s been named in SEO circles if not by Google formally – is the section of the Google search engine results page (SERP) that shows an encapsulated snapshot of your Google My Business listing.
Here’s what it looks like:
Now you can do all sorts of things to “optimize” your Knowledge Panel, like adding appointment URLS, links & icons to your social media profiles, and more, but again, that’s a blog post for another day.
Today we focus on the Google By Business descriptions, and the why and how dentists should take advantage of this newly added opportunity to separate yourself from the local competition.
If you’re not the Local SEO DIY dentist, then send this to your website company, or whomever is tasked with getting your practice higher rankings on the SERPs.
From what I’m seeing, a lot of the dental website companies are a little slow to adapt. So, give them a kick in the ass!
What Is The Description Field On Google My Business?
According to Google, (they haven’t even formally announced the recent addition of business descriptions), there are two types of short business descriptions you might see on Google: business descriptions and review snippets.
Here is a desktop search screenshot of both:
Here’s a mobile screenshot:
Dentists – or the people managing (hopefully not owning) your Google My Business listing – can once again write these short descriptions, that give people searching for a dentist (or your name), a quick snapshot of your practice.
These descriptions are phrases or sentences (such as the example on the screenshot above) that people see when searching for your or your practice on Google.
Do you think these business descriptions are beneficial?
You bet your ass they are! At least until they disappear once again.
Why Are Google My Business Business Descriptions Important for Dentists
Redundancy aside, these business descriptions allow you to tell people what separates you from the competition.
You know, that competition that ranks higher than you in the SERPs, and the competition Google lists right under your Google My Business listing.
To quote the Big G:
“Enter a brief description of your business — what you offer, what sets you apart, your history, or anything else that’s helpful for customers to know. Descriptions must be no longer than 750 characters and can’t include URLs or HTML code.”
Here’s another reason why it’s important for dentists, your competition. And how they’re most likely not so quick on the draw.
Meaning, much like Google My Business Posts, you can not only set yourself apart with your words, but set yourself apart from any other local dentist who doesn’t even bother to complete the description attribute in their Google My Business listing.
Here’s one more reason…
It won’t hurt your rankings or click thru rate. And it takes about 2 minutes to do.
OK, that’s three reasons. So why hasn’t your website company or Local SEO expert already done it for you?
To be fair, maybe it hasn’t been rolled out to your listing yet…but I doubt it, they’re probably just not so quick on the draw too.
Dentists: Describe Your Practice On Google My Business
In case you’re one of those dentists who DIY your Local SEO, or have the unfortunate luck of being victim of a less than quick on the draw website company, here’s how to add a description to your dental practice listing...