“If people are searching for something near them, that’s a pretty strong signal of intent,” says Google’s VP of Marketing for the Americas Lisa Gevelber in a recent Think with Google piece. According to the article, in the past two years there has been a 500% growth in mobile searches combining “near me” and a variant of “to buy” or “can I buy” and a more than 200% growth in mobile searches combining “open” + “now” + “near me” (for example, urgent care open now near me).
While the article is mainly geared toward retail, there are lessons within for those of us in healthcare. (And as we have often pointed out in recent blogs – consumers expect their healthcare experience to mimic the retail experience anyway!)
Have you optimized your organization for local search? Where do you rank in search engine results when a potential patient searches on their phone for “healthcare near me?” And when they do get their search results, is all of your information (location, hours, physicians, etc.) accurate? What if they vary their search: doctors near me; surgeons near me; OBs near me; stitches near me; MRI near me; and so on…
While GPS and cell signal towers make it simple for devices to know where users are located, it’s up to your health system to help search engines know where you are so that your practices/hospitals/urgent care centers appear at the top of the results page when geolocation-enabled searches occur.
Be sure to check out “How ‘Near Me’ Helps Us Find What We Need, Not Just Where to Go.” And if your health system isn’t capturing those “healthcare near me” searchers, perhaps Corrigan Consulting’s marketing operations and performance solutions can help. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.