Stay Current on Marketing and Google Updates Affecting Your Practice!
You know how healthcare coding, compliance, and insurance standards seem to change every single year, forcing your office to constantly keep up?
Well, Google tweaks its algorithms even more often than that. And the biggest updates can cause a substantial shift in your page rankings and search traffic almost overnight—with a direct impact on your new patient appointment requests following soon after.
On top of that, the best current practices in the field of marketing are also quite dynamic, often changing whether or not Google is updating its algorithms at the time.
So what are you to do? How can you possibly keep up with all of this??
Fortunately, the team at VMD Services has you covered! On this page, you can read our weekly digests of the latest search trends, Google updates, and emerging best practices in the realm of digital marketing for medical.
Check back often to make sure your digital marketing efforts are headed in the right direction—and if, after reading, you decide you may need an experienced podiatric digital marketing team at the wheel, be sure to give us a call at (833) 823-3335.
What Does Google Going "Mobile First" Mean for Your Practice? (It's Happening July 1!)
Here’s something so essential to your practice’s success it bears repeating:
Given that we live in a world where everyone searches for everything—including new podiatrists and doctors—on their phones, you MUST have a website that looks and performs well on all platforms.
And when we say “all,” it’s only natural that we’re including phones and mobile devices!
Well, the importance of this little fact is getting raised:
Starting July 1, Google will begin indexing all new sites using “mobile-first indexing.”
Now, you’re smart and have likely pieced together that this has something to do with mobile versions of websites, but let’s dig into this a bit more to see what it means for you and your practice.
To move ahead, though, we need to start by taking a quick step back:
Your practice’s website probably doesn’t appear exactly the same on a phone as it does on a laptop. Or, even if it does, the odds are pretty good you’ve been on websites where you have the option of viewing the desktop version, right?
Either way, websites generally look different based upon the medium through which they are being viewed.
Alright, so what is mobile-first indexing?
“Mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking.”
Further, Google explains that they don’t use a “separate mobile-first index.”
Even if you don’t realize you know what that means, you actually do:
When you use Google Search, you don’t receive separate results for desktop, mobile, or any other possible type of website. Rather, they all appear in the same search engine results pages (SERPs).
So, with this upcoming update, all new sites will be primarily ranked based on their mobile versions.
(See, mobile-first indexing.)
If you noticed, or even if you didn’t, we’re saying that this is for all new sites, which begs the question:
What about existing websites?
At this time—and until if/when Google decides to change practices—older websites will continue to be indexed through desktop-first indexing practices. And that will change if/when they are deemed ready for mobile-first indexing.
Okay, so how do you know when your site is ready?
Google will keep doing what they do—monitoring and evaluating webpages—and then will notify you through Search Console once older pages make the grade.
The question you’re probably asking now:
What do YOU need to do with regard to this update?
Basically, nothing. Google will continue to make assessments and determine what to implement for future algorithm changes.
Of course, you can get ahead of the curve by ensuring that your site is optimized for the best possible mobile user experience.
How you can do exactly that:
We work hard keeping up with current trends and news (like this one!) so we can provide you with a customized site you’re proud to call your own—one that works and looks awesome on mobile devices, tablets, desktops, etc.!
If your site is starting to get up there in age and/or was built by one of the other guys, it’s time for an upgrade. Contact us today and see what we can do for you.