New Google Features: Don’t Get Filtered Out of Search Results

by | May 4, 2023 | Administration, Marketing

For decades, Google has changed the way patients find businesses (including Optometrists).
Now more than ever, the quality of your practice’s online presence is the difference between booking an appointment or losing out to the competition.

You’ve spent your career building your practice. It’s important that you stay ahead of the curve with the latest Google features and updates so you don’t get filtered out of search results.

Fit More Patients In Your Schedule—Now

Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective patient. They’re searching Google for an Optometrist, and more than 60% of them will click on one of the top three organic or Maps results. Are you appearing in their results? Google Maps recently introduced new features that can either help your practice get found sooner in search results–or ensure that you’re not found at all.

The first new feature allows users to search for businesses based on the hours they’re open, including practices that are open right now. This update is especially important for eye care practices that want to remain competitive. You can attract new patients who are searching Google and ready to book with a practice that’s open NOW.

Is your practice open earlier or later than the competition, or on weekends? With Google’s latest business schedule updates, patients can now search for eye doctors who are open late or on Saturdays.

The ability to optimize your schedule on your Google listing is paramount for practices. This is especially true for those with a real-time scheduler on their site that can capture bookings 24/7. It goes without saying that it’s crucial for practices without any active Google Business Profile support to keep their listing up-to-date. That also means your profile content should be engaging and relevant, with an emphasis on photos, reviews, and practice news.

Don’t Let Bad Reviews Keep You Down

Chances are, you’ve probably heard about the importance of Google reviews for Search Engine Optimization. And for good reason. Having great reviews on Google is a key SEO metric that can improve your search rankings to drive more quality traffic to your site.

In true Google fashion, they’ve taken their requirement for good reviews to the next level by adding a filter to their search results that allows users to only search for businesses that meet a certain review threshold. This update effectively filters out businesses with lower Google review scores (and yes, that includes eye care practices as well).

What does that mean for a practice like yours? Your Google reviews rating needs to be at a minimum of 4.5+ to not get filtered out of the top-tier search results. Look at this as a good thing. You’ve likely always known that you need a lot of great reviews to have a great search ranking, and now you know the exact review average to shoot for.

Remember, you can’t stop the folks who want to complain, but you can drown them out by getting many more positive reviews.

Get Filtered Into Results By Insurance

Is your practice doing enough to capture local patients based on their specific insurance coverage? Another big Google update to search results and maps is the addition of practice insurance information as a filterable option. This means patients can easily search for eye care practices based on the specific insurance they accept.

This is great news for practices, as it’s an easy way to significantly increase your chances of attracting new patients. And they will already know they’re covered by the insurance providers you work with. Think of it this way. By ensuring that your insurance information is up-to-date and accurate on your Google Business Profile, you’ll tap into a larger customer base who are covered by insurance providers your local competition may not carry.

At the very least, displaying your insurance information clears up one objection prospective patients may have about booking an appointment. Plus, the fewer phone calls your staff has to field about insurance means you’ll all have more time to do what you do best—providing excellent care to your patients.

Don’t Miss Out On New Patients

Keeping your Google Business Profile up-to-date isn’t just best practice, it also answers patient questions before they have to ask. The more patients know about your services and unique values, the easier it is to speak to their needs and earn their trust—and business.

Do your practice goals include getting found sooner and booking more appointments? It’s not easy keeping up with the latest Google changes, but EyeCarePro can take care of your Google Business Profile and Google Reviews to generate more visibility and calls for your practice.


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