Google My Business is a great free tool that ensures your pharmacy doesn't fall off the map, says Saam Ali

Let’s imagine a patient is in the Shelton area of Stoke-on-Trent in the UK. They’ve got a prescription they need to fill, but they’ve also got some urgent chores on their busy agenda to complete towards the end of the day. They need to find a pharmacy and understand their opening hours. So, they pull out their smartphone, open up Google Maps and type in “pharmacy shelton stoke”. Google instantly pulls up a map of the pharmacies in the area and lists four of them: two Lloyds pharmacies, Norfolk Street Pharmacy and Shelton Pharmacy.

Since the initial query was around opening times, from this simple search, the patient is much more likely to choose to go to either one of the Lloyds pharmacies or Norfolk Street Pharmacy because their listings gives the times they are open. Shelton Pharmacy has no opening times on display.

The query shows up differently depending on the browser being used, too. Using the Chrome or Safari app on their Smartphone, the order is different. Although Shelton Pharmacy appears at the top of the list, the patient may still be much more likely to choose one of the other pharmacies because of the opening times displayed.

Search specifics
Now, let’s say that the patient already knows some of the names of the pharmacies in the area and looks up Lloyds and Shelton Pharmacy on Google Search separately. The differences are considerable. The search term “Lloyds Pharmacy Shelton” pulls up an excellent profile specific for that pharmacy with lots of useful information, including address, phone number, opening times, reviews, and even at what times the store is busiest.

As a user, I’d be really happy with the information here because it’s delivered in a split second. However, when the patient types “shelton pharmacy” into Google Search, the first result given is for a Shelton Pharmacy in Washington in the United States. Even when they type “shelton pharmacy stoke”, they are not given anywhere near as much information as the Lloyds profile – which is literally 100m down the road.

It’s difficult to find information about Shelton Pharmacy online, which could lead to unnecessary phone calls for the pharmacy and the possible loss of customers and patients. What Shelton Pharmacy needs is Google My Business.

Google My Business is a free online tool that helps maximise the exposure and visibility of your pharmacy business across Google Search and Maps. It’s a tool that’s Google is constantly updating and adding new features to (eg, you can now add posts to your listing, too). It ensures that your pharmacy listing appears exactly when people are searching for your services on Google Search or Maps.

Google My Business makes it easy to create and update your listing, so you can stand out, and bring more customers and patients in. It’s imperative you have one because you could be losing business to the competition around you if you don’t.

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