Google Tips for Hospital Website Admins: January 2017

Google First Mobile Indexing

One of our final blogs for 2016 was Top 2016 Google My Business Listing Changes for Online Healthcare Marketers, in which we listed key changes and new features that will help hospital Website administrators and online marketers prioritize their workflows and develop strategies for 2017.

Due to the positive feedback from busy hospital marketers that can’t or don’t keep up with the seemingly endless updates—whether officially by Google or from a cadre of bloggers that scrutinize every perceived Google change—we thought it would be better to share a monthly digest of the most crucial tips. Along with covering My Business in our Google tips, we will be including all the Google technologies that we monitor, including new SEO algorithms, significant Chrome browser updates and more.

[tweet “…our Google tips include new SEO algorithms, significant Chrome browser updates and more.”]

Chrome 56 part I: TLS/SSL “Shaming”

Another of our final 2016 blogs was Is Your Hospital Website Secure Enough for Google in 2017? In which we explained how Google would begin “shaming” Websites that weren’t using TLS/SSL security and how it might influence your SEO rankings.

Late in January, Google rolled out the latest version of its Chrome browser, dubbed “Chrome 56.” As expected, the new Chrome shows a “Not Secure” label in the address bar of any Website not in compliance.

The takeaway: If your hospital Website doesn’t collect passwords or credit card information, then you are OK—for the moment.

However, as Google said in its blog Chrome 56 Beta: “Not Secure” warning, Web Bluetooth, and CSS position: sticky, there’s “a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure,” which means if you are not yet using TLS/SSL, it’s again time to think about updating your Website (for which we provided solutions in our aforementioned blog).

[tweet “…if you are not yet using TLS/SSL, it’s again time to think about updating your Website.”]

Chrome 56 part II: HTML5 and Auto-Disabling Flash

The new Chrome also has another twist: Because it uses HTML5, which auto-disables Adobe Flash, as discussed in another Google blog, New in Chrome 56. This should also be of significant concern to hospital Website administrators that use Flash to create a more robust experience for patients and guests.

Note it doesn’t eliminate Flash functionality. Your hospital Website users “will be prompted to run Flash on sites they’ve never visited,” which could be a minor nuisance, as well as an unfavorable impression for your brand.

The takeaway: If your hospital Website uses Flash, now is the time to think about converting to other technologies and/or evaluating the importance of your Flash-driven content.

[tweet “If your hospital Website uses Flash, think about converting and/or evaluating your content.”]

Get Ready for Google’s Interstitial Ad Penalties

As explained in more detail in Site Pro’s Google’s Intrusive Interstitial Update Now Live, Google will soon likely penalize Websites that use interstitial ads, which the article identifies as anything that:

• Blocks a page

• Makes content unreadable

• Pops up without interaction

• Isn’t responsive (meaning it’s difficult or impossible to close on a mobile platform)

• Bothers people

• Annoys people

The takeaway: This is primarily intended to make mobile users’ experiences better. If your healthcare online marketing strategy is dependent on mobile users, then you will most certainly want to take heed. And if your strategy isn’t mobile-centric, then perhaps this is yet another indication of how important it is to have a Website experience designed to accommodate this expanding demographic.

[tweet “ important it is to have a Website that accommodates this expanding demographic.”]

As Sequence Health’s Associate Director of Search Engine Marketing, Susan Gullion is one of our most knowledgeable resources for enhancing our healthcare clients’ search engine marketing strategies with SEO, PPC and social media.

If you already host your hospital Website with Sequence Health, we can guide you through the process of selecting the best SSL certificate. Stayed tuned for more Google Tips.

For more information about hosting and other healthcare Website services, please contact us.