Grow Your Business

Best Practices for Building a Stellar Online Presence for Your Medspa

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At Portrait we grow aesthetic healthcare practices and help them thrive! In the process we've learned a few things about creating a world-class online presence. For medspa owners, online profiles are crucial to success. Well built and maintained profiles can make a significant impact on:

  1. Building your brand identity 
  2. Helping your search rankings 
  3. Acquiring new clients.

Online Presence 101

Learn about what an online presence is, why it’s important and the potential impact on it can have on your business

What makes a stellar online profile? 

  1. Having consistent information across profiles
  2. Updating as information changes
  3. Following best practices (outlined below)

What is an online directory? 

Online directories are critical in building your brand. It is crucial for businesses to connect with consumers and stay relevant. Many consumers have become accustomed to finding what they want online. According to a Salesforce survey, 85% of consumers conduct research before they make a purchase online, and among the most used channels for research are websites (74%) and social media (38%). Consequently, businesses need to have an effective online strategy to increase brand awareness and grow.

When a client searches a provider name, a provider in their area, or for a specific service, sites such as Google Business Profile (GBP) and Yelp deliver directory profiles that house your brand name, client reviews, studio address, and more important details about your business. Having these be consistent and high quality are key in building trust in your brand. 

An online presence consists of two things

  1. This primarily consists of a Google Business Profile (GBP) and Yelp account. Your online brand should be consistent and accurate, this helps businesses appear in local search and improves online rankings. More below
  2. This is also where reviews (a key part in growing your business) can appear. 
Social Media 
  1. Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn are all ways for people to discover you, your work and your business
  2. We recommend having an Instagram profile that’s dedicated to your business/professional life. This will help streamline your posts and activities. 
  3. The other profiles are nice to have but not necessary. It’s important to develop one social media account that posts regularly and has good content. 

Google my Business

What is a Google Business Profile (GBP)? 

Your Business Profile is Google’s term for your Google business listing. Business Profiles appear in Google Maps and in the local results of Google Search. This was formerly known as Google my Business


On Google you, as a business owner, can update many items including photos, hours, services and description. A complete Google Business Profile is critical in remaining in good standing with Google and can help ensure that your business shows up in relevant search results. Uploading services, photos, hours and other information helps potential customers find your location. You’ll learn how to do all of that below.  

Local Results

The ultimate goal is to have your business show up on local results. These are helpful in acquiring new clients and establishing your brand in your community. 

What are local search results? 

Local results are what show up when you search something and business that have the keyword or provide that service show up. 

How do you appear on local search results?

It’s important to note that Google’s logic is constantly changing so we can only provide best practices / general guidelines


  • Quality of information
  • Relevance to the search at hand
  • Proximity to the searcher


  • Reviews, and 5 star average is a key factor
  • Responding to reviews
  • Responding to reviews quickly
  • How long a business has existed
  • Validity of business according to Google. 
  • Location/proximity to searcher
  • Accurate hours of operation

Recommendation: Focus your Google Business profile as Google is the dominant search engine, if you have limited time, Google is what we recommend focusing on.


What is a Yelp profile?

A Yelp profile is another online directory that provides business information, and is a key target for location specific searcher. Listings are sorted by business type and results are filtered by geographical location, price range and unique features. Yelp has a strong social aspect like Google where people upload their reviews, experiences and photographs. 

Can I get a [feature] on Yelp?

Certain features, including the below, but not limited to

  • Specific Call to Actions
  • Service Listings
  • Removing competitor ads
  • Photo slideshows
  • & more

Are part of Yelp's enhanced profiles. 

Read more about enhanced profiles here. Keep in mind without an enhanced profile anyone can recommend a change to your profile (to hours, descriptions etc.) though Yelp will review to ensure it’s accurate. With an enhanced profile you are able to maintain more control of your profile. You have to pay a fee for the enhanced profile. 

Section 2: Best Practices

Get acquainted with the basics on online profiles. This section will provide you foundational information that will be helpful to know before creating your profiles. These are the basics you can find a lot more information in the sections below


  • Goal: Utilize your business name to create an optimal name for your medspa
  • Character Limit: Business Name must be 63 characters or under to fit in most platforms. Make sure that your name is consistent across all platforms.
  • Our Recommendation: Include your name, your credentials and your medspa name in your profile title
  • Why?: For SEO purposes and better searchability it’s important that your business can be found even if someone only searches your name, or only searches your business. As you build your brand out you can consider changing this but at the beginning we strongly recommend having both. If you have multiple employees working at your medspa you may want to have a seperate page for each employee.

Format examples:

  • Jane Doe, Aesthetic Nurse at Business Name
  • Jane Doe, Aesthetic Physician Assistant at Business Name
  • Jane Doe, Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner at Business Name

Avoid Repeating words

  • For example, if you business name has Aesthetic(s) in it, remove it from other parts of your title
  • For example, if your business name as Nurse in it, remove to it from other parts of your title 

You can choose to only have your business name and keep one consolidated medspa page but keep in mind the potential SEO repercussions; it may take more time for your business to grow online. 

Tip: If your clients know you specifically by your name, it makes a lot of sense to include it in the name of your online profile. 


Photo Types

  • Goal: Provide an accurate view into the the and display your work and workspace. Display to potential customers that the business is legitimate and give them an idea of what to expect. 

Our Recommendation:

Upon setup upload:

  • Headshot
  • Logo

As you see patients, upload:

  • Before/After shots (remember to get written consent from your patient before sharing before & after shots)
  • Interior Photos - suite, decoration
  • Exterior Photos - suite entrance, reception area
  • Other events in your studio

Photo Direction & Thought Starters

Tip: Upload photos that are shot and lit properly. They do not need to be professionally taken but some recommendations:

Take the photos with plenty of light, natural light is best, but if you have to use artificial light try to make sure there is a strong source of light behind you

Compose your picture correctly, make sure that it is straight, aligned and when in doubt follows the rule of thirds

  • This principle consists of dividing your shot into thirds with grids (these are often already delineated in a camera viewfinder). Placing the subject in one of these intersecting lines can give your photo a dynamic feel. 

Think about your brand concept: what are you trying to convey? Is it calming and spa like or is it boho chic? We recommend your photos stay consistent

  • Make sure headshots arewell lit and professional, you can add other pictures later that show the personality of medspa talent
  • Make sure you have a logo that can be cropped to square for your online profiles
  • Your logo should include your brand name and be consistent with your brand aesthetic
  • Make sure you are using an easily legible font
  • Make sure you capture your studio chair, work area and any interesting decor/artwork. 
  • Try to showcase the outside of the building/suite as well - this will help people know what they’re looking for when they come visit. 
Before & After 

Goal: Display your work and your satisfied customers! Clients rate before and afters as a key determining factor in choosing a business

Tip: Tag your before and afters with your logo on the corner, make sure it’s discrete but visible. 

Reminder: You must get consent from your patients before posting before and afters or any patient photos online. 


Goal: Let potential customers know about you and your business and help ensure legal compliance. 

Recommendation: This is a great place to give a quick summary of your business. Let clients know a) who you are b) what your business is and c) what services you offer


  • Sentence 1: Introduce yourself, your credential and your business that’s powered by Portrait. 
  • Sentence 2: Describe your business location (studio & neighborhood)
  • Sentence 3: Describe the services you offer
  • Optional: Partnerships & Clinical Director


  • Goal: Let customers know when you’re available
  • Recommendation: Fill in hours as accurately as possible. Please make sure they are consistent across platforms. 
  • Additional Information: If you have holiday hours, split hours or special hours you can update them as you see fit. Keep in mind these hours do not reflect your booking availability in your booking system. For example, if you work on Saturdays by appointment only, it’s our recommendation to keep Saturdays open for the hours that you will accept appointments. 

Categories & Services

  • Goal: Accurately categorize your business for customers, let them know the kinds of services you offer, and appear in relevant searches online. 
  • Recommendation: Your primary category should be medical spa
  • Additional Information: Every platform will have different additional categories for you to choose from. 

It may be beneficial to list yourself in a category that does not fit you perfectly because:

  • The category has less businesses in it, you may be more searchable
  • Even if you don’t fit in that category, potential clients may not know the difference (like estheticians for example). 



Goal: Accurately categorize your business to optimize for search results

Recommended Primary Category: Medical Spas

Recommended Secondary Categories:

  • Skin Care Clinic
  • Medical Clinic


Once you select a Category you can add services within that category. You should add most of your services under the Medical Spa category as that is your primary category

Goal: Accurately display your services for potential clients and help inject key search terms for better search results. 

Recommendation: Services that you highlight should be the most searched services and most well known to clients. Most frequently searched services are:

  • Botox®
  • Dysport®
  • Xeomin®
  • Lip Filler
  • Under Eye Filler
  • Restylane®



Recommended Primary Category: Medical Spas

Supplemental Categories can be chosen as you see fit. Some that may help you come up in search are: 

  • Skin Care
  • Estheticians
  • Medical Spas
  • Aestheticians

See a full list of Yelp categories here


You can select services on Yelp that you offer, keep in mind these are drop down services (you cannot customize them)

Here is an example of a service listing on Yelp, please only select services that you offer at your business.


Messaging is a feature in both Google and Yelp. Our recommendation is to only turn on messaging if you are committed to responding to messages. Since there are other ways to contact you (website, phone number) we recommend only enabling messaging if you have the capacity to answer all the questions. 

Yelp will penalize you if you do not answer messages in a timely manner. 


Platforms don’t often give you a place to enter keywords specifically so you have to make sure you get them in organically via the descriptions and services. 

Top Keywords:

  • Botox
  • Xeomin
  • Dysport
  • Lip Filler
  • Under Eye Filler

Tip: Do not be overzealous as the platforms can penalize you for inserting keywords where they don’t belong. Linking to pages with relevant keywords and information also helps you appear in the correct search results. 


Why do reviews matter?

90% of consumers read online reviews prior to visiting a business. Furthermore, over 80% of people will trust online reviews as much as a referral or recommendation from a trusted friend, family member or co-worker. 

No matter what industry you are in, focusing on building your online reputation is critical. Online reviews are just one element that you can focus on to ensure you are meeting customer expectations, and maintaining a positive reputation.Reviews also improve your online ranking and searchability. Remember - social proof drives purchases and bookings. 

Review Goal: 

  • Businesses with at least 50 reviews rank highly on Google and that means you should start getting discovered by new patients who are searching online.
  • Focus on Google Business reviews to start – these have the highest likelihood of attracting new clients

Where should I collect reviews?

We suggest primarily collecting reviews on your Google Business Profile. This has the most impact on your business online to start with. Then proceed to Yelp. It’s important to be very careful in asking for Yelp reviews as they are quick to be hidden (see more here). 

Can I respond to reviews? 

Yes! It is best practice to respond to reviews and it's highly encouraged! We know that responding to reviews is important for client satisfaction and for SEO rankings. Platforms recognize profiles that respond to reviews more often, it helps legitimize your business. 

Recommendation: Respond to reviews as soon as you can! 

Sample Replies
  • Thank you for your kind review. I’m so glad you enjoyed your experience and I look forward to seeing you again soon
  • It was great to see you [NAME], I’m so happy you’re enjoying your results. Thank you for choosing to see me. 

Should I answer a bad review? 

Be careful in responding to negative reviews online. It might be better to reach out to the client privately and professionally resolve the situation. Keep in mind your response will be seen by a much larger audience than the patient and they will be judging how you respond. We recommend reaching out to them privately to understand the issue in greater detail. 

Booking & Website Links

Goal: A clear way for potential clients to learn more about you and book an appointment. 

Recommendation: We recommend using your website for your website link and your direct booking page for your appointments

Why? People like to learn more about their provider before booking. Ideally you have a website that gives potential clients information about your, your history, location information and summarizes and lists your reviews as well. 


Setting up your Google & Yelp profiles can take some time but once they are set up correctly they can make a strong impact on your business. Updating them with photographs and answering reviews makes a strong impact on client satisfaction and brand reputation. 

See additional information about setting up your Google Business Profile and your Yelp profile below!


Setting up a Google Business Profile

Setting up a Yelp Business Profile

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