As a healthcare professional your schedule can be hectic, your life be crazy, and have little room for anything outside of work and family. Following SEO and digital trends is probably the last thing on your mind. While we understand why this would be the case for many of you. It could be important to note that without at least a basic understanding of where SEO and the digital world are headed, it could have implications on your business, website, and your ability to reach more patients. Granted, no one can determine with absolute certainty where the online world is headed, but predictions can be made from following trends of the past.
For instance, Google over the year of 2016 started making significant changes to how the optimization world will work when it comes to ranking and SEO. Case in point, mobile-first indexing. This means that while we have always optimized our websites for desktops searches in the past, that trend is quickly changing. According to polls, a majority of web searches are now being done through mobile devices. Which means that Google is now going to make it a necessity that your website be optimized for mobile-first searches. In fact, back in 2015 we saw what was called Mobilegeddon. A time when websites would suffer significant ranking loses because they were not optimized to at least be mobile friendly. Well, mobile friendly is no longer going to cut it in the year 2017. In fact, it’s going to be the priority.
So, what does that mean? Well it means that if your website isn’t already mobile friendly, get it there ASAP. And if it is mobile friendly, take the next steps into optimizing it for mobile-first indexing. Now, does this mean we start to ignore or neglect desktop search? Absolutely not, there is still a place for desktop, especially amongst older generations. And since the healthcare industry sees all ages, it’s definitely important to make sure you are still catering to the desktop community. Our best advice would be to look at your demographic, and use tools available through Google to show you how your website is mostly being used. Just don’t forget to take into account that if your website isn’t very mobile friendly, it could be hurting your mobile searches.
Another thing to watch out for in the year 2017 is speed. On average if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, you’ll lose the user. Which seems ridiculous, but nevertheless a website that is fast and efficient could mean the difference between gaining new patients and losing them. Again, to help you figure out where your website falls in the speed category, use Google’s tools that are available to help you see how well your website is optimized.
Videos. Videos are now becoming the popular norm on the web. So, when it comes to content building for your website, videos are now crucial. Don’t get us wrong, blog posts still have their place, but it’s far more likely for a user to want to watch than to read these days. And while images can be a good tool, because search engines can’t recognize them, they don’t really do much for you in the way of SEO. So, make sure that when you are coming up with your marketing strategy for the year 2017, videos are included.
There are many other trends that are going to pop up as this year goes on. And we encourage you to go out and read other articles and become aware of the changing digital world. It may not seem like the most exciting thing in the world. But, it can make a huge impact on your business and your current and future patients.