Healthcare Digital Marketing News for November: Google’s Latest Search Results Test, RankBrain and More

healthcare digital marketing

Once a month, Fathom Health provides our clients with the latest digital marketing industry news. Topic categories range from social media and content marketing, SEO and digital strategy, to broader healthcare industry news.

What happened within the healthcare digital marketing industry in November? Find out by reading below.

Update 1: Meet Google RankBrain

What should you know? Google introduced artificial intelligence in their search results, which they’re calling RankBrain. Right now, it impacts roughly 15 percent of search queries, particularly long tail searches that are difficult to determine searcher intent. Another interesting detail is Google is saying it’s the third most important ranking signal. So, as you may already know, there are 200+ ranking signals in Google’s algorithm so when they say this is the third most important, that’s pretty eye-opening.

Why should you care? One can only assume artificial intelligence will be a continuing trend in Google’s algorithm. As for what you can do about it, it’s becoming ever increasingly important to focus on a great customer experience. If someone does a Google search, clicks to your website, doesn’t find what they’re looking for, and goes back to the search results, Google identifies that as poor user experience. Compare that to if they went to the site, clicked around to several other pages and then left, then Google sees that as a much higher quality

What can you do with this information? Really take a close look at your website and make it as easy as possible to help visitors find what they’re looking for. Also, write title tags and descriptions that not only have good keywords, but are also enticing to click. These are two ways you can be ahead of the curve on the RankBrain algorithm update, and many more artificial intelligence updates in the future.

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Update 2: Google is Testing Appointment Bookings Within Search

What should you know? Recently, Google has started experimenting with allowing users to book appointments directly in its search results. This new test is open to anyone, but has to be set up with Intuit local’s Demandforce application.

Here’s an example: Someone might type in “Dr. John Smith” into Google, and if Dr. Smith set up his intuit local demand force application correctly, his customers would see an area under his Google profile where they can book an appointment for whichever services he has listed.

Why should you care? This is something we are keeping an eye on because if it fully rolls out, it will be a big deal for healthcare appointment booking and other industries with appointment booking. The first ones to sign up for the program will likely be the ones who see the biggest benefits.

What can you do with this information? Immediately there isn’t anything you need to do, however you can get in on the experiment by adding your business listing on Google and in Intuit Local’s Demandforce application.

If the test fully rolls out, we highly suggest clients jump on it as soon as possible as this could change appointment booking for everyone. Whether this test fully rolls out or not, it is just one more piece of the puzzle that shoes how Google is immersing itself more and more into the healthcare industry and local businesses.

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Update 3: Facebook Changes Local Features for Advertisers

What should you know? Facebook recently made several changes to advertisements, the first being “local awareness”. This allows businesses with multiple locations to target their ads based on where customers actually are. If you are in a restaurant location in Columbus, it may say “join us for lunch in Columbus”. While this type of ad in general has been available for the last year, they are only now being customizable for multiple locations.

The second update, “local insights” will be invisible to users and allows businesses to find out demographics of Facebook users who have passed through their area. This will allow them to better target advertisements to potential. It will include general information like gender and age, but also things like how many of the people passing by are tourists versus residents. Businesses can also link the people who have seen their ads to the people actually passing the store, giving them a better idea of how well targeted their ads are. This is currently rolling out to pages in the US.

Why should you care? As more and more companies are advertising on Facebook, having an ad that properly targets your audience not only ensures your money is being spent in the best way, but will also get the best return. Facebook revealed that 1.1 billion users, on average, visit the site every day and many of them do so while on the move. Additionally, 78 percent of their 4.29 billion dollars in advertising revenue is attributed to mobile. Being able to identify how and where these visitors are shopping can help businesses leverage their ad spend.

What can you do with this information? Once this feature rolls out to your business page, begin utilizing it and testing different ads to see what is performing best.

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Update 4: Pinterest Introduces New Visual Search Tool

What should you know? Recently, Pinterest announced they have a new, fun tool that allows you to visually search on Pinterest without typing anything in. When you spot something in a pin that you want to see more of, just tap the search tool in the corner. From there, all you have to do is zoom in on the part of the pin that you’re interested in and Pinterest will show you other pins just like it. It will also tell you what the product is called as well as where you can find it.

Why should you care? Pinterest is continuing to add features that make the platform more and more appealing to advertisers. This new visual tool is another reason for brands to consider incorporating Pinterest into their online marketing strategy.

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Update 5: Google to Devalue Webpages with App Download Interstitials

What should you know? Effective November 1st, Google announced that they will no longer consider pages with interstitial apps as mobile-friendly. Interstitials are web pages that are basically a full page pop-up. They are displayed before or after an expected content page, and they are used as advertisements that drive the mobile visitor to download an app. Full-page interstitials are frustrating to mobile visitors who simply want to view web content.

Why should you care? Companies that continue to use interstitials on their websites will notice that their webpage will drop in SEO rankings.

What can you do with this information? In order to maintain mobile-friendly status, Google recommends more user-friendly options, such as app install banners.

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Stay tuned for next month’s Healthcare Digital Marketing Industry Update!

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