Digital marketing for hospitals and physician-run practices has been given another tool by Google. Your healthcare business now has another means of making its presence felt on the web by leveraging the power of local search. As a physician or specialist running a practice, there’s a lot you can do now to capitalize on local search and enrich your presence in the search engine ranking pages (SERPs). What are we talking about? Read on.
Google has launched a new function called Posts for small businesses having Google My Business account. And what does Google Posts do? To check that out, we need to go a bit to the past.
Test Versions of Google Posts Came up in 2016
Posts was tested by Google during the American presidential elections whereby presidential candidates and other prominent figures were able to submit posts or updates which would directly appear in Google’s SERPs as well as Google Maps.
One of the features of these posts was dropdown. These dropdowns actually helped users access the important information in the posts. For trialling the Posts, Google had selected individuals and businesses. As the example above shows, the Google Posts trial in 2016 proved to be successful. That explains why Google Posts are being rolled out now.
Google Posts Now
Google Posts appear in the SERPs as cards. There can be different calls to action. The Posts can also be shared to Facebook and Twitter, and also on Google. Videos, images and animated GIFs can be used for engaging the audience. Inline links can be added as well for driving traffic to some specific content. These features enable web searchers to get the information from the main source directly, the individual who posts the updates. Google believes Posts updates can easily complement the web results on the SERPs.
Great Potential for Your Practice
How can this help your hospital or practice? There’s a lot you can do. You can post information about the treatment procedures you offer, any new equipment you’ve added for diagnosis or treatment, or just about any relevant thing worthy of posting, such as even your opinions, in a few words, on some health condition. And if you have changes in your consultation time, they’re no better way to get the message across as well. They will show up in the Knowledge Panel of Google’s SERPs for your clinic or any relevant local searches, and also in the Maps. Here’s an example mentioned in Search Engine Land:
This is particularly conspicuous on the mobile phone, as these examples from TechCrunch show:
How do you get started with this? Google tells that all you need to do is search for the name of your practice on Google. Then, in the SERPs, under the Knowledge Panel, you’ll find a sentence asking you whether you manage your online presence. Click on that and you can get it verified, which takes just a few minutes. Then you can begin posting right away.
Ideally, your Posts should contain an image, a description, and a call to action. Make it short and sweet, to the point. The recommended length is 159 to 300 characters since anything beyond that will not appear in the Posts though you can technically post up to 1500 characters. Images are very important here since they carry the bulk of your brand’s worth. You’d want them to be of the size of 750×750 pixels though the minimum allowed resolution is 250×250 pixels. If you post updates regarding any events, make sure you put up a title which should not be more than 58 characters.
Experienced healthcare digital marketing services can help you conceive the right kind of messages for these Posts.