How Google’s Latest Announcements Impact Your Website | May 2018

Practis Blog

There’s a lot going on in the world of online marketing and while we’re always here to take care of everything for you, it’s important to understand how any recent changes may impact your website. As expected, we continue to see Google take strides towards making searching the internet more user friendly. Is your website’s pulse healthy, or is it on the verge of a flatline?

Mobile-first indexing is now enabled for most sites. 

This announcement came a while ago, so it was only a matter of time until users were made aware of the official rollout. As of last month, site owners have been receiving messages via Google Search Console stating that mobile-first indexing has now been enabled for their site. 

What does this mean for your healthcare website?

We can’t say that we didn’t warn you about this a while ago. In a nutshell, if your site isn’t responsive then you are going to fall behind your competitors who do have a responsive site. Googlebot is now using the mobile versions of sites for indexing and ranking, which means that if your desktop and mobile site are not equally usable on both platforms, you may have a bit of a problem on your hands. Historically, Google has used the desktop version for ranking. As mobile began to make up more and more of a percentage of searchers, the realization was made that sites with non mobile-compatible sites may not please searchers that are using their phones. For that reason, Google has taken steps to ensure that the sites that rank on the first pages are compatible and can be used on a mobile device. You may now find that you have phenomenal rankings on desktop, but then you switch over to your phone and can’t find yourself. This could equal a disaster in attracting potential new patients. Long story short, focus on that mobile site! 

Reviewers will now be notified if you respond. 

In the past, reviewers would have to check back often to see if the owner of a business posted a response to their review. Now, Google is sending out notifications to the reviewer when the business owner responds. However, the notification will come on a five minute delay, thus allowing the business owner to edit the response if needed. 

What does this mean for your healthcare website?

You should know by now that reviews are wildly important for your practice. In fact, the need for reputation management is becoming stronger and stronger in the healthcare space. Responding to negative reviews is already something that everyone should be doing consistently, as it will add a personal mark on the presence of your business. As reviewers start to catch on to the fact that they will be notified when their review is responded to, you can bet that they’ll be eagerly awaiting that response. If you don’t respond, you risk potentially receiving another bad review for your delay. The easiest solution, invest in reputation management. It will allow you to not only be informed right when you receive a review, but you can also respond to the review quickly, or even have someone do it for you. Don’t let your reputation suffer!

The end of HTTP is near. 

Maybe that’s not completely accurate. It’s doubtful that HTTP will ever just go away. But, Google is taking HUGE strides in ensuring that most of, if not all, sites are secure. In July 2018, all HTTP sites will be marked as non secure, with HTTPS sites being the new normal. That means no more bright green alert in the URL bar for a secure site, but it does mean a bright red alert for a non secure site. 

What does this mean for your healthcare website? 

Make. It. Secure. 

The term optional has always been used loosely here, but it’s becoming a standard, and you have to jump onboard, especially in the realm of healthcare. The days of security and data breaches are upon us, and it’s important to be proactive to gain more users. Seeing a big red “Not Secure” notice on a site can easily cause a potential patient to go elsewhere. Not to mention, it can possibly benefit your site’s ranking. Contact us to get this started today!

Whether you’re a large practice or a small one, taking care of your website is absolutely crucial today. Even a small announcement can eventually turn into a large regulation and have a great impact on your site. Make sure you pay attention and seek the right help, or just contact Practis today to make sure your site it taken care of regularly!