The Intake

Insights for those starting, managing, and growing independent healthcare practices

Tips to optimize your practice’s Google Business Profile images and attract new patients

Most patients now find doctors and other medical providers online. Here are tips on how to optimize your Google business images to rank higher in search results.

Physician smiling after optimizing images on Google business profile for medical practice.

At a Glance

  • SEO is crucial for healthcare practices to attract new patients, as 75% of people search for providers online
  • High-quality, original photographs on your website and Google Business Profile boost your SEO by making your content more visible and engaging to searchers
  • Professional photos convey expertise and trustworthiness

Today, most people find new doctors, dentists, and medical care providers online. Three in 4 people have used the web to find information on healthcare providers, according to Tebra's 4th annual Patient Perspective survey.

Since most new patients find your practice online, search engine optimization (SEO) is a must for driving net-new patient growth. SEO is the practice of building your website and optimizing your web presence to rank more highly on search engine results pages (SERPs).  

SEO is the practice of building your website and optimizing your web presence to rank more highly on search engine results pages (SERPs).  ”

SEO needn’t be complicated. There are easy and actionable steps your practice can take to improve SEO, such as:

  • Optimizing your website to make sure it loads fast and is mobile-friendly
  • Updating your website’s description, content, and links to build traffic
  • Claiming your business on Google
  • Using original photography

Furthermore, practices that serve a local geographical area have the advantage of further optimizing for local SEO.

Here's how the right imagery can support your local SEO strategy and help you attract new patients.

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is a strategy that helps your business become more visible in Google results for a specific area. The rationale behind local SEO is this: since you provide a local service, you want to rank on web pages for queries performed by a local audience.

Businesses that have physical locations or serve a geographical area, like doctor’s offices, dental practices, and other medical service providers, should focus on local SEO. Improving local search rankings is one of the best ways to boost discoverability and visibility to attract new patients.

Why do photos matter for local SEO?

They grow your business

Most new patients find your business online. Ranking higher in search results leads to more visitors to your website or listings, which brings in more patients.

Search is becoming more visual

Search engines have different pages for different types of results, like images, videos, and more. To rank higher on the image search results page, your business should have original photography that corresponds with the text and keywords on your site, a practice that Google views favorably.

Increase online visibility to potential customers

Google rewards sites with photos that correspond to the SEO keywords you provide services for, boosting visibility in front of prospective patients. Once on your site, beautiful practice imagery will convey your practice’s professionalism and unique expertise to patients.

Why images matter for a website

Images capture the eye’s attention. The human eye processes images more readily than words, and increasingly, people prefer content with imagery compared to big blocks of text.

Especially when it comes to healthcare, customers want to feel a connection with their service provider. Unique imagery on your site allows you to introduce your premises, providers, and staff ahead of time, supporting the rapport-building that’s essential to patient retention.

Why photos are important for Google Business Profiles

Google Business Profiles are often the first interaction a prospective patient has with your practice. You want photos that accurately reflect the professionalism, courtesy, and high level of care you provide at your practice.

You want photos that accurately reflect the professionalism, courtesy, and high level of care you provide at your practice. ”

You want imagery that highlights to Google that your practice can be trusted and is an authority in your specialty. This means professional photos are a must.

How professional photography attracts patients

The media you use on your website and on social media is a direct reflection of your brand. You may think you’re handy with an iPhone, but poorly composed, badly lit, amateur photos are easy to spot. This type of imagery relays an unprofessional message to prospective patients.

Well-shot and edited photos are a key asset that directly supports your practice’s brand as expert medical professionals. High-quality photography that shows your premises and the services you provide enables your practice to become a local authority for your specialty.

4 tips to optimize images for Google Business Profiles

1. Use unique photography

Google and other search engines favor original images, so skip the stock photos and opt for unique photography.

2. Don’t forget about alt text

Alt text is displayed when a photo cannot be displayed. It helps search engines understand what is in the photo and allows them to better index, or take account of, what imagery you have on the site. Alt text is also important for accessibility, as software like screen readers will read the alt text in place of the image to users.

3. Consider a professional photographer

Your website is a reflection of your brand, and professional photographers will help it convey your practice’s expertise and trustworthiness.

4. Post photos of the entire practice

Use imagery that showcases the practice’s exterior and interior waiting room and lobby, as well as staff and providers.

Focusing on local SEO will help you attract new patients and establish yourself as an expert in your specialty. Original photography is one easy way practices can boost their local SEO while advancing their practice’s brand.

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Patient Perspectives Report

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Written by

Catherine Tansey, business writer and reporter

Catherine Tansey is a business and healthcare writer and reporter. She has close to a decade of experience writing and reporting on small business best practices, emerging technology, market trends, and more. Catherine has several family members who own private practices in mental health services, dentistry, and chiropractics, and she’s seen firsthand the pride and privilege practice owners feel to be able to support their communities.

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