Google recently announced imminent changes to its algorithm which will expand its use of mobile-friendliness when determining search ranking results. While the conversation about the importance of mobile is hardly new, this development makes it more critical than ever for hospitals to adapt. Let’s take a closer at Google's SEO shake-up, along with what it means for your organization.
What to Expect
Google is constantly revising its algorithm to acknowledge and adapt to usage patterns. As more and more users search via mobile, the importance of properly configured, accessible and functional sites for mobile access continues to rise. Beginning April 21, 2015, Google will further reward mobile-friendly sites by improving their search results placement, making it easier for users to gain access to relevant, responsive web content and upping the ante for businesses which have included mobile as part of their strategies.
Wondering if your site passes the test? Google has compiled a handy guide to mobile-friendly sites so you can test your site's responsiveness and learn more about the components of a mobile-friendly site
Why It Matters to Healthcare Organizations
We recently blogged about mobile’s ever-increasing foothold,but what’s also driving the healthcare industry's move toward mobile?
For starters, there’s the Health Care Reform Act. More than 16 million Americans have gained health insurance under Obamacare,and the country’s uninsured rate has fallen by 35 percent. This influx of entrants into the healthcare system is accompanied by a shift in healthcare-related internet searches. Is your hospital positioned for prime visibility? Considering that first page result positioning garners a whopping 32.5 percent of internet traffic, the takeaway is obvious: if you want the business of these new patients, mobile is key.
And then there are the Millennials. Research shows that this massive generation of 18 to 34-year-olds expects to connect differently than their predecessors. According to The State of the Connected Patient 2015, a report from global cloud computing company Salesforce, mobile apps and devices are of paramount importance to patients in this demographic. Considering that there are more than 75 million of them, it’s wise to give them what they want.
So what are the Millennials looking for, exactly? The best sites are all about creating a valuable user experience. This includes everything from ease of navigation to click to call features to maps for directions.
On its own, Google's announcement is a wakeup call for hospitals looking to improve their SEO results. Factor in the millions of new entrants into the healthcare system and the Millennial mindset, and mobile becomes a perfect storm of opportunity for hospitals ready, willing and able to capitalize on it.