There’s been a lot of shifts. Again, what makes healthcare very unique is that you have two layers, and the SEO landscape is very hyper-local focused. You will have some regional and some national. But 99% of the time, even if you’re dealing in the hospital sector or the private practice sector, unless you’re MD Anderson or something that’s nationally renowned and people are willing to travel, nobody really cares about outside of the 25-mile radius around their practice. It’s really the threshold of patients who are willing to travel. So you’re really hyper-focused on how to beat my competitors in a very local market.
In health care, you have two sides, people searching for the provider or people searching for the condition treatment level. So you have to focus on both.
From a provider standpoint, you’ve got providers that have Google my businesses, health grades, and vital. They have this whole ecosystem of listings you really need to be worried about that you typically don’t have to, for founders of companies and other stuff that you’re dealing with.
On the other side, you’re also wanting to rank for, say, a women’s health facility like OB-GYN, you’re wanting to rank for all of those treatment or condition line services that they offer too. So there’s a very dynamic flow that happens. And since Google has become more and more localized, we have seen reviews taking prominence to the bane of a lot of physicians.
The fact remains, patients on the patient side have become very consumerized. They search for providers similar to like they search Amazon. It’s kind of a natural progression, they go find somebody who has expertise in this area, which is why you want to run the search. But once you’re presented there, and you win the search, you’ve got to have a solid reputation. Because almost 85% of patients read reviews before they book an appointment. So you’re now having to worry about how do I rank in local and then, once I do start ranking, how do I make sure that my reputation is pristine. So I think that’s been the biggest shift; the consumerization of healthcare. Which is dangerous on the provider side because you’re really presenting providers based on reputation, and not on skill set or patient outcomes and that’s the reality of the situation. So it’s really become localization, position listings, and reputation is what we’ve seen as the biggest trends.