Healthcare is one of the industries which has been massively under the influence of automation in 2016.
Did you know?
- 34% of all U.S. adults have downloaded at least one app meant to support healthy living.
The way people look at healthcare has changed over time. People today, are more conscious and don’t hesitate to embrace technologies which can aid them in the process. There was a time when people would visit doctors and hospitals which have been only referred by their peers. This has changed. People don’t mind referring to Search Engines and check out the online reviews in order to select a hospital. The change isn’t just technological, it is mainly psychological.
The way people perceive health care has changed. And, therefore, it is equally important for hospitals, healthcare practitioners to be aware of the shift in mindset and thereby upgrade themselves accordingly.
Search Engine is important:
As we discussed earlier, people do refer to Search Engines like Google to search for a hospital or doctor. Healthcare can’t be promoted outright, unlike an e-commerce brand, you can’t just introduce/advertise for a medicine – your target audience has to have a burning need. And, when people do have a need, they generally refer to Search Engines to look for the product and service.
Search Engine is important when it comes to healthcare, however, more important I Local SEO., that is, Local Search Engine optimization. People who are on a lookout for a hospital in their vicinity – if your site isn’t actually ranking in the Local Searches, there are slim chances that searches are going to flip over to the second or third page and locate your listing.
Google’s Possum update:
This was probably the most significant update from Google in 2016 with inevitable changes affecting local search. The most significant change in Possum update is that it brings into Search results all the businesses which are located little on the outskirts of the city. Previously, more emphasis was given to businesses which were closer to the center of the city. Therefore if your hospital is located little towards city outskirts, it would almost obliterate the chances of getting it was ranked in local Searches. And, that really undesirable for people who are located in and around that location for whom visiting the aforementioned hospital would had been more convenient.
Equal importance to businesses located in outskirts: Possum update relooks at the importance of getting ranked the locations which are away from the city centroid. Therefore, if your hospital/clinic is located little towards the outskirts, you would still receive that much amount of visibility and get your site positioned in local searches. In this connection, it may be mentioned that the results would also vary depending upon the location of the search. If someone actually happens to search from the city centroid, he would definitely see a different set of result depending upon hospitals which are in their proximity.
What precautions to adopt?
Possum update is surely a great news for hospitals/clinics located away from the city. However, I’ve seen a number of businesses especially hospitals going for multiple listings of the same business. This happens when two specialties by the same brand are being treated as separate entities and the brand would do multiple listing. The problem becomes more acute when both the specialties are existing side by side in the same building. For instance, if the first floor of the building is utilized for gynecology and the second floor particularly for IVF, two listings would inevitably create confusion. In that case, Google would show up only one of the listing as the primary one and the other similar listing would be visible only when one mouse hovers on the primary listing.
The listing that Google selects as the primary one would again depend upon the keyword query by the searcher. Therefore, it is very much essential to go for the listings wisely…it is better to go for one unified listing for the main brand instead of making sub-listings for various entities.
Nonetheless, Possum update happens to be one of the many notable ones which would take up the importance of local SEO a notch higher. And, for the healthcare industry, local SEO is definitely one of the most effective channels which can contribute in a big way to reach out to their target group.