Welcome to Practice Treatment Plan’s Bi-weekly New Patient Marketing Tips! Delivered to you every two weeks.
Today’s Topic: Google Search
When people think of digital marketing there is one word that comes to mind over and over again…Google. So much of the success of your online marketing campaign is centered on how Google treats your website. As I have mentioned in past blog posts, Google’s purpose and mission is to provide reliable content based on the search terms plugged in by its users. Providing useful content is the number one rule of showing up on the first page of the organic search results…the more relevant your content, the better your placement over time.
There was one major change that Google made just a few months ago that has drastically altered how your website shows up in those search results. It is called the “3-Pack”.
The search experience on Google used to look like this: First, a potential patient would enter a popular search term into Google like, “dentist near me”. At the top of the results page, the patient would see:
- Two to three ads (indicated by the word “Ad” written in yellow). These are known as “Adwords” or Pay-per-click” (PPC) ads.
- Next the user would see a map to the right, and seven local map listings to the left (known as the 7-Pack).
- Then, below that the user would see the “organic” search results.
Now, if your website popped up in the 7-Pack that was fantastic! Even if you were number 4 or 5 on that list that was a pretty sweet spot to hold on your way to the top. However, as Google likes to do, they shook things up and now only the top THREE spots are displayed in the search results… and thus, the 3-Pack was born. If your website was listed as number 4, 5, 6 or 7 you no longer even show up in the results on the first page. Ouch.
Why would Google do this? According to a Google Spokesperson quoted in an article on Searchengineland.com, “We are constantly exploring the best way to bring a better search experience to our users. This update provides people with more relevant information, including photos, reviews and prices, for searches that have multiple results for a given location.”
There is also some buzz that Google is trending away from an “organic” search result model and toward paid ads. This is something we have been telling our clients for years. We figured it out because we realized that Google is a big company that likes to make money (and really, don’t we all?). Of course they want more businesses using their Pay-Per-Click model, in which they receive direct compensation for sending people to your website.
So, what does it all mean?
It is really very simple. If you are in a competitive area with more than three competitors, then you need to utilize Pay-Per-Click to get people to your healthcare website!
Practice Treatment Plan currently manages 40+ successful pay-per-click management campaigns for our clients. Pay-per-click has traditionally been one of our highest return on investment activities for our clients. Let us help you explore this channel if you are not doing so today. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
New Patient Marketing Strategist
Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.