A Look at the Latest Google Tips That Affect SEO for Hospitals and Medical Practices
With just one more week before Independence Day, some might be entering the lazy days of summer—which, unfortunately, does not apply for healthcare SEO marketers!
As we do each month, we have gathered the latest healthcare SEO Google tips that affect SEO hospitals and medical practices. And as always, the emphasis is on information for healthcare digital marketers that don’t monitor every event related to medical SEO.
Google SERP Snippets No Longer Use DMOZ
Snippets are the content that appear under the title in a search engine results page (SERP). As the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog explained, until recently, Google got that information from one of three sources—one of which, DMOZ.org, no longer exists, and thus, is no longer a source.
The takeaway: If your hospital’s Website has been relying on DMOZ for snippets—or for that matter, another of the sources, page content—now is the time to explore the third source which gives you complete control of what appears in a snippet: description metadata. This is particularly true for high-volume pages or pages for which you heavily compete with other hospitals.
Google’s “Create Good Titles and Snippets” is a solid place to start if you have never explored the description metadata—as well as providing instructions for how to prevent displaying a Snippet.
Google My Business Introduces New “Posts” Feature
Although a small announcement, there are some massive possibilities for hospitals to take advantage of the new Posts feature on Google My Business. As the Google Small Business Blog explains, you can:
“…publish your events, products, and services directly to Google Search and Maps. By creating posts, you can place your timely content in front of customers when they find your business listing on Google.”
The takeaway: Google has been routinely improving My Business, which we’ve been following for months. In fact, along with frequent mentions in my monthly blog, we published “Top 2016 Google My Business Listing Changes for Online Healthcare Marketers” last December. So, if you have not yet established a My Business page (or pages, for matter) for your hospital, it might be worth your while since Google is clearly interested in making it a productive marketing tool.
But, if you have already started exploring My Business, it could be an excellent way to engage new patients, especially if your analytics are demonstrating any type of traction for views but are not getting solid clickthroughs.
Google AdWords Launches New “Smart Bidding” Option to Maximize Conversions
If you use Google AdWords for your hospital pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, you likely have campaigns with Google AdWords—which means you are probably familiar with its various Smart Bidding options (i.e., “Target CPA,” “Target ROAS” and “Enhanced CPC”). There is now a new option, “Maximize Conversions,” that can be very useful for building hospital brand awareness.
The takeaway: Usually, conversion-driven PPC campaigns have relatively higher budgets because they can be tied to metrics that demonstrate a campaign’s value and ROI. Therefore, this new Smart Bidding feature can be tremendously advantageous for healthcare PPC strategies that are designed to not only increase hospital Website traffic, but to leverage that traffic with conversions that ideally move visitors into the so-called “sales funnel.”
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.
Sequence Health is a cloud-based technology and services company that improves profitability and patient outcomes for hospitals and practices through end-to-end patient engagement solutions backed by clinical and non-clinical teams. Its HIPAA-compliant, SaaS platform improves care team workflows, automates patient communication and tracks patient progress to optimize the patient journey. Since 2004, leading healthcare providers have trusted Sequence Health to help acquire, manage and engage patients through complex episodes of care.