Google Update Sends Local Search Results Flying
Over the past few years, Google has rolled out many updates to their ranking algorithm, dramatically altering the way websites appear in search results. While the previous algorithmic updates primarily focused on backlinks and site content, this latest one focuses on local search results, which is especially crucial in today’s smartphone era. Although Google did not officially name this update, it has become known across the web (thanks to the blog Search Engine Land) as Pigeon, since “the Pigeon flies home.”
Improved Distance and Location Accuracy
In today’s smartphone era, we expect instant gratification in just about everything, including our search results. Many web searchers no longer even bother typing in locations, instead leaving it up to the search engines to pinpoint their location. With the Pigeon update, Google has taken this into account, providing users with updated distance and location-related search results. While this algorithm will provide users with more accurate search results, it will also make it even harder for local businesses to rank outside of their physical locations. To stabilize your practice’s presence on the web, there are two main measures you can take.
Make Sure the Pigeon Knows Where the Nest Is
To ensure that your practice is properly displayed in local search results, your listing(s) must have the correct address and phone number. In addition, your business listings across the web (not just on the search engines) should display consistent, identical information in the way the address is displayed (i.e. all should say “Suite 500” or “#500”). To maintain stability within the post-Pigeon world, it is important to find your listings across the web and verify that the information matches throughout. This, however, will not help you achieve rankings outside of your practice’s immediate area.
Search Engine Marketing to the Rescue!
To continue achieving top rankings outside of your practice’s physical office location, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the only surefire method. SEM involves placing directed ads into users’ search results. You can customize the specific location(s) and demographics for which you would like your ads to appear. Since you only pay when a visitor clicks on your ad, SEM is amongst the most efficient web marketing strategies available today.
Don`t Have Time to Manage Your SEM Campaign? Let Us Help!
Too busy to manage an SEM campaign for your practice? Let MedNet help! We can plan an organized and effective strategy to get potential patients interested in your practice through SEM! Contact a MedNet Representative to learn more!