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Preparing for New Search Engine Features and Trends in Healthcare

When performing a routine search returns a feature that you never saw before, it can tip you off as to what new things that search engines like Google may be working on and how that new feature might impact your practice’s future presence in search. Here are a couple of new search features and trends that we’re seeing worth following.

Location Images

Online care We all know that a picture paints a thousand words, and this is especially true when it comes to your online location images. When performing a search on any search engine, you may notice that some search results display a location image along with the text. These images give potential patients a sense of what your location is like, or visual queues as to what your location is near.

So, if you haven’t paid much attention to your location photos in the past, it may be time to give them some TLC. Not only are they showing up in your Google My Business listings, but they now could also play a more prominent role in organic search results. The bottom line here is that this is an easy issue to fix. You don’t want to lose a prospective patient due to a bad or outdated photo.

Online Access to Local Services

Today when searching for a “doctor near me”, users can find a number of new national or regional online care providers who provide services 24/7. These new providers are very consumer-focused, touting convenience, easy online access, and affordability as their key differentiators. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your practice is up to the challenge of also providing that same level of access and convenience.

If your practice isn’t already offering online appointments, chat, patient forms, and virtual visits on your website, then it’s time to do so. Optimizing your site by promoting these new online services and the fact that you are local could be a key differentiator for your practice.

Disclose Pricing Information Online

Effective  Jan. 1, 2021, hospitals must post on their website their negotiated prices for services performed at their facility. Above and beyond this mandate, new online care providers are also very transparent with their pricing, making it easy for patients to understand costs and obtain care.

Arming potential patients who are searching locally for services with pricing information is critical to your business today. Adding an online price estimator tool to your website can help patients to easily obtain a cost estimate and help you to stand up to your competition.

Need Help Navigating This Evolving Market?

If you’d like help managing Google’s constant changes or your overall digital strategy, please reach out to Practis!

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