Blog | Binary Fountain

Blog

Blog

July 08, 2020

Lessons from COVID-19: Using Local Business Listings for Crisis Management

By: Kieran McQuilkin

As COVID-19 continues its spread and priorities continue to shift for multi-location healthcare organizations, local business listings have become paramount to marketing teams. When crisis strikes, especially in the healthcare industry, customers rely on local listings to find information that allows them to continue doing business with you. Complicating that effort are the varied local and regional guidelines that leave consumers wondering when, where and how to engage with providers. Many…

Read Full Story

covid-19-local-business-listingsAs COVID-19 continues its spread and priorities continue to shift for multi-location healthcare organizations, local business listings have become paramount to marketing teams.

When crisis strikes, especially in the healthcare industry, customers rely on local listings to find information that allows them to continue doing business with you. Complicating that effort are the varied local and regional guidelines that leave consumers wondering when, where and how to engage with providers.

Many consumers won’t make it all the way to your website for answers. To provide the right information at the right time and in the right place, healthcare listings on search engines and other third-party directories need to be a priority.

In this post, we share effective strategies and lessons learned from managing local listings in a crisis. You’ll also find tips for managing healthcare listings and providing timely, reassuring customer communications.

Optimize Local Listings for Search

During a crisis – more than any other time – you need to control and engage with the online conversation around your brand. Search insights offer “voice of customer” data, telling you what consumers need from you right now and how they look for that information.

For a full picture of the search landscape, Google Trends has daily updates for the top 100 places searching for coronavirus information and the top related queries – what people type when searching for the virus.

Customers are actively searching for information about sanitization practices, updated hours, service availability and more to help them decide when and where to seek care. Overwhelmingly, they’re looking for these solutions on search engines, where they can often find exactly what they need without clicking through to a local landing page or provider profile page.

You have plenty of opportunities to answer these questions for your customers in your listings. We recently put together an infographic called ‘COVID-19 Features for Online Healthcare Listings’ that walks you through all the features available to you on Google My Business, social media and other healthcare-specific listings sites.

Healthcare consumers, perhaps more than any other demographic, are stressed about returning to medical facilities and need accurate, fast information. The most important first step for search optimization during this crisis is making sure phone numbers and hours are correct. Binary Fountain client data shows that phone calls to healthcare companies from GMB are significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels.

There are new COVID-19 features on healthcare-specific directories, as well, that marketers should use to optimize listings. These include telemedicine badges for physician profiles on CareDash and Healthgrades, among others.

healthgrades-telemedicine-listings
Source: Healthgrades

And don’t forget about the maps. For example, healthcare providers and labs that would like to provide information on COVID-19 testing locations can do so through Apple Business Register.

Use Google My Business Features

When healthcare consumers search for local providers, they usually turn to Google first. Luckily, the search engine rolled out several features for businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.

During the crisis, marketers can make good use of special hours and attributes, which display prominently on both search engine results pages and in Map Pack listings. There are also multiple types of new links that are valuable to healthcare organizations, including “virtual care” and “COVID-19 info.”

covid-19-google-attribute-covid-19
Covid-19 attributes on a Google My Business profile.

Google Posts are another great way to deliver crucial updates to local communities. Google is now making it easier for businesses to publish coronavirus-specific information on their listings by adding a COVID-19 Google Post option. When published, COVID-19 Google Posts will immediately appear on the post carousel and “Updates” tab on GMB profiles.

covid-19-google-post-display
Example of a COVID-19 Google Post.

Also worth monitoring is Google’s push to add insurance information to healthcare listings. For eligible healthcare organizations, a “check insurance info” link might display on your Business Profile on Google Search, under your business’s hours. The link opens an “Insurance information” page that lists the health insurance providers your business accepts.

Emphasize Safety and Virtual Care Options

Whether searching for specific treatments or browsing for a PCP, safety is top of mind for every prospective patient right now. If you are not communicating information across your online presence that makes people feel safe, they won’t schedule an appointment or visit you. Online listings are your first opportunity to earn their trust.

As you distribute vital information to your local communities during the crisis, be sure to share the specific measures you’ve taken to ensure a clean, orderly and safe environment at your facilities. This distribution effort should be driven by a data-based understanding of your patients’ communication preferences, their specific safety concerns, and where they search for a doctor.

Of course, the safest visit is a virtual one. Alongside physical safety precautions, your telemedicine availability should be clearly stated on every platform where your locations are listed. You can find expert insights on telemedicine listings and promotion in this webinar.

caredash-virtual-care-provider
Source: CareDash

If telemedicine is your primary means of seeing patients during COVID-19, it would pay to use the word early in your provider bios. This helps increase the chances of virtual care options appearing in your providers’ search previews.

Monitor Reviews on Business Listings

Communicating your facility’s safety practices might reassure consumers to a degree, but it won’t necessarily motivate them to schedule an appointment. For that, consumers will want to hear from other consumers through reviews.

The recency of ratings and reviews will prove essential as consumers start returning to providers, according to Healthcare Success CEO Stewart Gandolf. The patient experience at your facilities likely looks different than it did three months ago, making older reviews irrelevant and increasing prospective patients’ reliance on new feedback.

Not to mention, publishing patient comments is an essential part of your ranking on search engine results pages. But remember: If you are making changes and trying out new services like telemedicine, new issues will likely arise in reviews that your review response team needs to be prepared for.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we also saw a suspension of new Google reviews, though those are returning for most industries. If this happens in the future, be prepared to adjust review generation campaigns to push patients to an internal survey, social media or platforms like Vitals and Healthgrades, rather than to Google. Keep in mind that reviews left while publication was suspended will eventually publish.

Keep Your Listings Consistent

Listings management strategies will differ based on your organization’s size and location count. But whether that’s 10 care facilities or 100, your listings need to be consistent across the board, especially as state and local guidelines change.

It’s important to maintain a baseline of clean, accurate, optimized local listings to make sure listing inaccuracies don’t compound your problems during a crisis. But it’s not easy. Binary Fountain’s healthcare-specific listings management platform and online reputation experts are ready to keep your brand’s online presence robust, informative and optimized. Schedule a 30 minute demo to learn more.

Read more on listings management during the COVID-19 crisis:

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

Collapse

July 07, 2020

How to Improve Your Digital Front Door Strategy

By: Kayla Zamary

There are a lot of discussions these days about the Digital Front Door, and how it informs the experience hospitals and health systems offer to healthcare consumers. According to the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development, 77% of consumers search online before booking an appointment, making every healthcare organizations’ web presence critical for attracting…

Read Full Story

digital-front-doorThere are a lot of discussions these days about the Digital Front Door, and how it informs the experience hospitals and health systems offer to healthcare consumers. According to the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development, 77% of consumers search online before booking an appointment, making every healthcare organizations’ web presence critical for attracting and maintaining patients.

We will cover what a comprehensive digital strategy looks like for healthcare systems and what steps your organization needs to take.

A Consumer Optimized Website: Your Digital Front Door

Consumers want the same online experience with healthcare companies that they value in non-healthcare settings. Therefore, visitors who arrive at your digital front door, or your website, expect convenience, ease of use, and accessibility.

For example, visitors want to quickly find answers and solutions to their questions and problems. Many will not “search harder” if they can’t easily find the answers on your website, they’ll simply search elsewhere. As a result, you’ll miss an opportunity to connect and engage.

Dedication to putting users first is what separates the largest and most successful online retailers from the pack. From easy-to-use navigation to one-tap contact options, users care more about functionality than artistic design.

For example, visitors want to quickly find answers and solutions to their questions and problems. Many will not “search harder” if they can’t easily find the answers on your website, they’ll simply search elsewhere. As a result, you’ll miss an opportunity to connect and engage.

Dedication to putting users first is what separates the largest and most successful online retailers from the pack. From easy to use navigation menus to one-tap contact options, users care more about functionality than artistic design.

Easy Site Navigation

Intuitive site navigation is the backbone of a successful digital front door. If consumers struggle to navigate your website, they’ll navigate to a competitor. Your digital front door must direct visitor traffic to the appropriate healthcare services and care options.

To start, organize your pages into categories with standard terms in the words your users would understand. Rename pages and menu tabs to make their meaning clear. For example, if you have an “About Us” section, don’t name it “Meet our Team.” You must always consider how patients will interact with your navigation.

Embedding click-to-call capabilities in your healthcare system’s websites is a must. Being forced to copy your phone number and then paste it in a sperate phone dial menu creates unnecessary friction. The same is true for directions. It’s the little things that add up to superior patient experience and a strong digital front door.

If you do not offer online scheduling for appointments, invest in the technology you need to make it happen. Your patients and bottom line will thank you.

Embrace SEO Strategy

While consumers depend on clear site navigation, online search engines depend on keywords and other indicators to direct their search engine traffic.

SEO Keywords help search engines “understand” the content of each of your webpages. If a user searches for “kidney stone” Google will primarily direct them to webpages that repeatedly mention kidney stones. Note that sites mentioning “nephrolithiasis” but not explicitly “kidney stone” will likely not appear in this search’s results.

Use keywords on all of your webpages, as well as your content marketing and physician profiles, to make your digital front door visible to search engines. There are several free online tools that can help you do this.

Backlinks, SEO Titles, and meta descriptions are also digital tools you can use to rank higher in search engines.

Build Trust Through Content

Healthcare consumers are using the internet to research medical information before setting foot in an exam room. Explain why your practice facility should be the first choice for the patient. Binary Fountain found a 167% increase in consumers concerned with their healthcare providers’ reputation from 2017 to 2019. Healthcare consumers want to know they are going to a trusted provider with a trustworthy history.

If your facility has won awards or if you have patient testimonials, proudly display them. Patients choose medical facilities they feel like they can trust for exceptional care. Similarly, post your star ratings from surveys.

Remember to post your content on a variety of platforms, and experiment with different content types on each platform. Edit and update older content, but also make room for new developments. Google and other search engines pick this content up and rank sites more highly that feed them fresh and unique content.

Don’t Just Focus on the Homepage

The digital front door for your facility is more than just the hospital home page and search window. Dayton Children’s Hospital, for example, identifies some 80 ‘microments’ in the consumer healthcare journey, progressing from discovery to exploration to evaluation to engagement and experience.

This analysis brings Nurse Chat, ED, and Urgent Care check-ins and patient portal into their front door strategy. It also includes social media, star ratings, and local listings.

Build Optimized Provider Pages

Provider pages are great opportunities to showcase your doctors and build trust. Taking steps to optimize your profiles ensure you and your patients get the most of these online listings.

Some things to include in your provider pages:

  • Provider ratings
  • A quick bio (consider a video bio)
  • Offices
  • Specialties or areas of interest
  • Accepted insurances
  • Ability to schedule an appointment
  • Schema markup

If you aren’t leveraging Schema on your provider profile pages, they may not appear in search results. Schema is a certain kind of tag that helps search engines like Google organize data and accurately display it for users.

Schema tagging your provider pages will ensure search engines have the right information to prioritize your pages in their search results. As a result, it increases the chances people will find your provider pages. You can find out more about Schema markup here.

Including online patient reviews on your provider pages could also build your site traffic. These reviews are a top source of information patients use to choose providers. Many are specifically looking for reviews online. Including reviews on your website can help bring patients into your website, and this traffic should raise your SEO rankings. They also build trust by showing healthcare consumers the “entire picture.”

For more on XYZ, browse these related posts:

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

Collapse

July 06, 2020

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

By: Kayla Zamary

Knowing how to respond to negative reviews is critical for businesses. No one wants to see negative customer reviews on their site or a third-party review site like Google. However, it’s not a matter of if you’ll get a negative review – but when. While criticism can be hard to hear, ignoring less than favorable…

Read Full Story

how-to-respond-to-negative-reviewsKnowing how to respond to negative reviews is critical for businesses. No one wants to see negative customer reviews on their site or a third-party review site like Google. However, it’s not a matter of if you’ll get a negative review – but when.

While criticism can be hard to hear, ignoring less than favorable reviews is not a smart option. In fact, it has the potential to make the situation worse.

If you had a customer complain to you in person about a bad experience, you probably wouldn’t ignore their claim. Instead, you’d look for a way to smooth over the situation. It’s imperative that businesses respond to feedback online with the same level of concern.

Another reason to respond to negative reviews is their potential to hurt your website’s rankings with Google’s search algorithm. A collection of unanswered reviews from disgruntled customers could impact your rankings in search engines. As a result, not responding to negative reviews damages your visibility when potential customers are searching for your services online.

Replying to negative reviews, as well as positive reviews, shows consumers that you are willing to accept feedback. Basically, it’s a clear indication that your business is taking steps to improve and provide great experiences for all its customers.

In this post, we’ll walk through how to respond to negative reviews. Then, we’ll show you steps that you can take to turn negative reviews into positive outcomes for your business.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews in Seven Steps

Our guide for responding to negative reviews can be broken down into seven simple steps:

  1. Keep calm
  2. Evaluate the review
  3. Address the reviewer’s complaint
  4. Remove/Flag any inappropriate reviews
  5. Make improvements
  6. Monitor new reviews
  7. Continue to improve

1. Keep Calm

First and foremost, make sure you are calm before replying! No matter how bad the review is, you will look bad if you respond in an aggressive or hostile way.

Coming across as unreceptive to feedback will only damage your online presence. While negative reviews aren’t good, individual negative reviews aren’t the end of the world.

Before starting a negative review response, make sure you are in a calm, rational place and not lashing out.

If the negative review is about a specific staff member, don’t immediately confront the employee without getting all the facts. This is especially true if this is their first time receiving criticism on their customer service. 

Many of your employees may already be feeling discomfort over online reviews. As a result, this discomfort makes it critical to always ask your employees for their side of the story regarding reviews. By not doing so, you risk lowering their job satisfaction and rock bottom employee buy-in for online reputation management initiatives.

2. Evaluate the Review

When you get a negative review, it should be taken seriously and treated as genuine. Do not brush off reviews as “made up” without the facts to support this conclusion. When evaluating a review, make notes of:

  • When they visited your business
  • If they mention a specific staff member
  • If this complaint been made before
  • What kind of product/service they experienced or purchased
  • If your records confirm that the reviewer visited your business

If most of these check out, talk with your staff. Chances are, they will remember any interaction they may have had with the reviewer. If the complaint is about a specific employee, get their side of the story before making any judgment.

Most reviews will be level-headed and factual, but some may be angry rants with very little information or substance. You’ll have to use your best judgment to identify rants. Generally, it’s usually unproductive to engage rants. See section four if you feel the review is inappropriate, as you may be able to have it removed.

Oftentimes, it’s better to respond directly, but sometimes no response is the correct response. There’s no need to move forward with reviews that are left in bad faith. This also applies to fake reviews.

In reality, fake reviews are few and far between. Most consumer feedback is genuine and should be taken seriously. If you have fears about potential fake reviews, check out our article about how to respond to fake reviews.

3. Address The Reviewer’s Complaint

If your organization doesn’t have a response plan, you should start by developing a process to address negative reviews.

Strong review responses templates usually contain five components:

  1. Start with the customer’s name
  2. Thank them for their feedback
  3. Apologize, even if you don’t think your business was in the wrong
  4. Assure them that you are taking steps to correct the problem. If there was a reason why your service wasn’t satisfying, own up to it. Most customers understand that accidents and other situations happen.
  5. Encourage them to come back.

By following this formula, you are showing reviewers that you value their opinion and that customer satisfaction is your priority. You may just win a lifelong customer.

Also, when responding to an online review:

  • Keep your response brief
  • Respond quickly
  • Provide contact information if they want to follow up about their experience
  • Take any further conversation offline to avoid disclosing private information or drawing attention to the individual review
  • Remain neutral
  • Don’t make excuses
  • Promise to resolve the issue

Remember, replies should thank reviewers for providing feedback, address specific concerns, and promise to resolve the issue in the future. When you respond to a review, you are talking to everyone that reads the review, not just the original reviewer. Make sure you are putting your best foot forward.

The best outcome is that unhappy customers revise their reviews after seeing your responses. Customers being willing to try your product or service again is another great outcome. You can turn a negative review into a positive asset for your online reputation.

4. Remove/Flag Inappropriate Reviews

Negative reviews are bound to happen. Therefore, companies need to have action plans that cover review response. It will prevent your company from suffering further damage to your online reputation.

Sometimes, however, reviewers can cross the line from a helpful suggestion to something potentially insulting to outright slander. These situations are rare, but when they do happen you do have some recourse when reviews violate the platform guidelines.

When it comes to online reviews, Google and Facebook are two of the main places where customers can leave reviews. Each of these feedback platforms has its own set of guidelines and procedures for handling negative reviews. Understanding the rules on each is vital to your ability to protect your online reputation.

Here’s a look at how both of these review platforms handle negative reviews.

Google Reviews to Remove/Flag

Google reviews are highly visible and can even impact your ability to show up in local search results. This makes them critical to any business. Out of all the review platforms, Google does the best job in allowing businesses to combat inappropriate reviews.

If you feel like the review is overly aggressive, you can try to flag it. But before you do, make sure it falls within Google’s Prohibited and Restrict Content. Such content includes reviews that are:

  • Written by a competitor or users with a conflict of interest
  • Irrelevant or off-topic reviews
  • Personal attacks or use of offensive language
  • Sexually explicit, terrorist, restricted or illegal content
  • Any impersonation or false representation

Even if you flag a review, it doesn’t guarantee Google will take the review down. Google is not in the business of mitigating disagreement between business owners and customers.

How to Flag a Review on Google

To report an inappropriate review on Google:

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. Click “Reviews” from the main menu.
  3. Find the review you’d like to flag
  4. Click on the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of the review
  5. Click “Flag as inappropriate.”

Google’s flagging process can take some time. You can add a brief response that you are looking into the problem while you wait for Google to respond. You can always expand the reply later if Google refuses to remove the review.

Facebook Reviews to Remove/Flag

Like Google, Facebook also has community standards reviewers are required to follow.

These standards include:

  • Any comment threatening violence or another user’s safety
  • Hate speech
  • Nudity/sexual content
  • Spam
  • Misrepresentation
  • Violates Intellectual Property

How to Flag a Review on Facebook

If you believe that a review has violated any of Facebook’s standards:

  1. Go to the review and click the three horizontal dots in the top right corner of the post
  2. Click “Report post”
  3. You’ll be prompted to select an option that best addresses your concern with the post.
  4. Pick the one that best fits your situation

After completing the prompt, your report goes to Facebook for review. They will remove the review if they agree the disputed post doesn’t follow their guidelines.

Disabling Reviews on Facebook

Though highly not recommended, you can disable user feedback on Facebook using the reviews tab. But, if you choose to do so, you are disabling the chance for people to leave glowing reviews about your business. You are also giving up critical feedback to make better business decisions in the future.

You are always better off following our steps for responding to negative reviews than you are removing the function entirely. Healthcare Providers can follow our tips to optimize their Facebook pages to achieve even better results.

5. Make Improvements

ebook-review-monitoring-pr-crisisNow that you’ve responded to the review online, it’s time for your business practices to respond in turn. Review feedback is a valuable chance to learn what your business can improve. If you notice consistent patterns over multiple customers’ feedback, you need to reexamine your business practices. Act strategically, do not brush negative customer feedback under the rug, or overreact.

This can be as simple as reviewing cleaning habits to making difficult staffing choices.

Again, make sure you are making thoughtful decisions based on consistent feedback before making any rash changes.

6. Monitor New Reviews

Once you’ve made improvements, it’s time to monitor the results of your hard work.

Pay careful attention to new reviews. Are people still raising concerns about the same problem? Are they commenting on how that problem has gone away?

Chances are, if you’ve taken the appropriate steps, reviewers won’t make negative comments about the issue again. In fact, they may even praise that one area that was once a weakness as a strength for your business.

Be sure to respond to both the negative and positive feedback within two to three business days. While negative feedback is usually the higher priority, the Harvard Business Review reports equal benefits to responses to positive reviews. A simple “thank you” is far better than no response.

Go back and look at those old negative reviews. Engage with the reviewer and let them know you have taken the steps you promised them and invite them back. They may just take you up on the offer.

7. Continue to Improve

Don’t stop there! Knowing how to respond to negative reviews is only half the battle. Continuing to monitor and work on your online reputation can have a massive impact on your bottom line.

Negative reviews are never part of your business plan, but they don’t have to derail it. With these steps, you can fix your customer service and have positive reviews drown out the bad.

Monitor and Respond to Negative Reviews with Review Manager

Dealing with negative reviews can be a time-consuming ordeal, especially if you share the responsibility with coworkers. Binary Fountain’s Review Manager is here to help.

We help healthcare organizations and multi-family facilities effectively and efficiently manage their online reputation with our integrated review platform. Save time, engage consumers, and increase traffic – all on one platform.

Sign up for a demo today!

Schedule a Demo

 

To learn more about responding to negative reviews, browse these related posts:

About the Author

Kayla Zamary
Marketing Manager

Collapse

July 02, 2020

Value-Based Care, Payers, and Patient Experience Data

By: Erik Fessler

As value-based care flourishes, payers are starting to pay special attention to key steps on the patient’s care journey. In order to understand that journey and efficiently lower the costs of care, payers need to address questions about the member experience: How do members navigate the systems payers have in place? How do they feel…

Read Full Story

value-based-care-payerAs value-based care flourishes, payers are starting to pay special attention to key steps on the patient’s care journey. In order to understand that journey and efficiently lower the costs of care, payers need to address questions about the member experience:

How do members navigate the systems payers have in place? How do they feel about the network of providers? Can members easily access important tools like telemedicine? How do members rate the overall quality of their health plan?

An increasing number of Natural Language Processing (NLP) powered tools are allowing organizations to swiftly collect and analyze bulk patient feedback. This technology allows users to quickly quantify and analyze open-text patient feedback. For payers, it’s a tool to understand and measure the entire patient journey and all aspects of member experience.

This post will explore how payers can use patient feedback data to improve patient experience, provider experience, and administrative workflows. Then, you’ll see how these improvements lead to lower healthcare costs and better outcomes.

How Can Payers Improve Patient Experience?

Payers can expand their access to customer feedback by increasing the types of surveys they analyze beyond CAHPS and HOS. Surveying can detect member sentiments on health plans, feedback on providers, and other trends in open-text feedback.

Organizations can build a comprehensive data hub by collecting patient feedback from surveys, call centers, social media reviews, and other member sources. Then, NLP analysis can turn that data into patient experience insights across multiple categories at the provider level.

Here are some ways payers are improving the patient experience with feedback data:

  • Capturing ratings and reviews in member portals so patients can see feedback and make decisions on their care journey
  • Providing scores for individual providers so members can utilize quantitative data from other patient’s experiences to compare options Proactively surveying members quickly after each episode of care to get real-time feedback
  • Using feedback to benchmark provider performance and help them improve. Physician and provider liaisons can follow up with providers on cost, quality, and patient feedback data
  • Leveraging scoring and feedback data in care coordination and referral management

NLP data helps payers understand what drives positive patient experience both inside and outside of the provider’s office. This includes members’ choices of their network providers on their patient portals and continues through each step of the care journey.

Quantify Patient Experience for Each Provider

Payers can also analyze patient feedback to measure provider performance. According to research, patients care most about the following provider experience quality measures:

  1. Thoroughness of examination
  2. Patient inclusion in decisions
  3. Ability to answer questions
  4. Provider’s attitude
  5. Patient perceived outcomes
  6. Amount of time spent with patients
  7. Provider’s follow-up with patients
  8. Clarity of care plan instructions
  9. Patient loyalty
  10. General Feedback

Payers can use these 10 patient experience categories to analyze feedback about each provider in their network. Subsequently, they can share insights and trends with their networks of providers to help guide better patient experiences.

Open-text, or unstructured, feedback allows patients to communicate their exact feelings and observations. In contrast, multiple-choice answers force survey respondents to compromise on the closest fit response. NLP technology allows payers to rapidly process this free-response feedback. First, the software detects patient sentiment through words and phrases in patient feedback. It can then easily quantify and translate those insights into patient experience scores.

Reducing the time period between care delivery and patient experience feedback is critical. In order to assist, software tools can integrate with APIs and health system EMRs for immediate, high-quality feedback. In addition, payers can publish this member-generated content on their websites and provide profiles to be transparent and consumer-friendly.

Here are ways insurers and managed care organizations can increase transparency by sharing patient experience data:

  • Create a Patient Experience score alongside Cost and Quality metrics for search pages and provider profiles
  • Allow patients to sort and filter patient experience scores by specific key performance indicators
  • Showcase provider feedback on member portals to encourage patient content

Supporting Providers, Solving Workflow Funnels, and Making Value-Based Care Possible for Payers

As payers capture patient feedback data to optimize their networks, they can also improve provider experience. Insights about network providers and staff will help payers understand how to support providers in their network.

  • Provider Performance Management: Use custom patient experience reports to understand trends and benchmarks for providers.
  • Referral Insights: Share patient experience insights with PCPs to broaden the data scope on referrals for members.
  • Internal Stakeholders: Optimize health plans and networks through Root Cause Analysis.

Provider feedback could be particularly useful as healthcare reimbursement shifts from fee-for-service based models to value-based payment programs. In order to keep the focus on patient care and maintain high-performance results, alternative payment models need to reduce provider burdens.

Provider feedback data will be an important source for effective change for payers through this value-based care reimbursement transition. Therefore, payers should track how their policies are affecting providers’ ability to care for their patients.

Insurance companies could also track how changes affect provider satisfaction. Happy providers lead to happy patient members, which make loyal customers. Not to mention, provider survey data is key to achieving the Quadruple Aim of healthcare, which you can read about here.

For more on payers and patient experience, browse these related posts:

About the Author

Erik Fessler
Marketing Coordinator

Collapse

July 02, 2020

How to Benchmark Customer Experience

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Great companies find ways to make their customers raving fans of their brand. If you want to grow your business, you first need to transform your customer experience (CX) to ensure your consumers are not just served, but are treated to transformational experiences with your brand. But how do you improve your customer experience? What…

Read Full Story

benchmark-customer-experienceGreat companies find ways to make their customers raving fans of their brand.

If you want to grow your business, you first need to transform your customer experience (CX) to ensure your consumers are not just served, but are treated to transformational experiences with your brand.

But how do you improve your customer experience? What kinds of metrics should you use to benchmark your CX?  How committed does your company have to be to redefining interactions with your customer?

None of these are easy questions to answer, but measuring your customer experience is a sure way to improve your customer retention numbers, and by extension, your customer acquisition.

Benchmarking helps companies understand how their strategies and employees are performing compared to competitors and compared to what customers are actually saying. It can be a hard wake up call, but it can also set your organization up for long-term success.

Another way to benchmark your customer experience is to analyze how your company is doing at an enterprise level. Is one of your locations performing much better than another? Is one of your physicians getting better patient feedback scores than another?

These are all considerations to keep in mind while you analyze your customer experience metrics.

In this article, we’ll break down how to benchmark your customer experience in three simple steps to get you started on improving your relationship with consumers.

Start with KPIs for Benchmarking Customer Experience

In order to start the benchmarking process, you need to know which KPIs to measure over time.

This may look slightly different for every industry or vertical, but the heart of the project remains the same: Which areas are critical to measure against past performance both internally and externally.

Some of these metrics could be:

  • Net promoter score
  • Customer effort score
  • Customer acquisition and retention
  • Customer satisfaction scores
  • Volume and sentiment of online reviews
  • Average ratings across listing platforms
  • Consumer engagement

All of these are great KPIs to measure as you benchmark your customer experience. If you are coming at this from a reputation management angle, this free webinar may help you better understand what metrics will get the most bang for your buck.

Ask Your Customers and Frontline Staff

The worst possible strategy is thinking your leadership team automatically knows what’s wrong with your customer experience. You need real feedback from customers and your frontline staff.

Engaging directly with your customers helps you identify organizational blind spots and get a better sense of what is not working. One way to do this is by looking at your online reviews and surveys – not just the star rating, but also the overall sentiment and specific pain points mentioned.

One way that you can measure your customer sentiment is to use reputation management software that leverages natural language processing (NLP) to help you analyze customer feedback. It can give you insights into the specific areas that you need to fix to improve your customer experience.

Another way to tackle the problem is through a Voice of the Customer campaign. Voice of the Customer programs are geared towards collecting and analyzing customer insights to identify opportunities for operational or product improvements. The ultimate goal of a Voice of the Customer campaign should be to increase customer acquisition and retention.

After you hear directly from your customers, you should then connect the dots with your frontline staff to see if their own feedback matches what your customers are saying, and to get their perspective on what needs to be improved.

After gathering these data points, you should be able to distill the information down to metrics and trends that identify good, bad and average scores/percentages. After you start your benchmarking program, comparing the most current available scores against these previous scores will help you understand what is and isn’t working with your customer experience.

Benchmarking for Competitive Advantage

Have you ever gotten a customer service experience that was so awful, you swore never to go back to that business again?

If you want to grow a loyal customer base, and keep business away from your competitors, you need to focus on your customer experience. Customer satisfaction is the biggest reason why people will be more likely to refer people they know to one company over another.

When you are benchmarking your company’s performance, take the time to analyze how your competitors are doing. While you may not be able to collect all of the customer data you want, online reviews and social media mentions will give you an idea of how they are performing and what areas they struggle with.

After that analysis, you should be able to identify areas where you can improve your customer experience and answer some of the problems their customers are facing, potentially attracting them to your business.

In your analysis, be careful not to make too many one-to-one comparisons. The goal should be to find areas where they are beating you, where you can make adjustments and how your customer experience compares to the larger market.

Take the First Steps to Improving Your Customer Experience

When you get right down to it, benchmarking and improving the customer experience is an evergreen marketing strategy that will increase ROI long after you put improvements into action. Positive reviews, personal referrals and increased customer loyalty should all lead to compounding interest on your investments.

Identifying the right KPIs, getting customer insights and comparing your results against the industry through benchmarking are just the first steps in making customer focused organizational change.

At Binary Fountain, we help businesses find the actionable insights they need to improve their customer experience. Our platform lets you collect and analyze customer feedback all in one place, including online reviews, social sentiment and even internal surveys.

Check out our case studies or schedule a demo today.

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

Collapse

June 25, 2020

[Webinar Recap] How to Optimize Your Listings for COVID-19 Reopening

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Online listings are the cornerstone of healthcare marketing initiatives in the wake of COVID-19. But search algorithms, listings platforms and consumer behavior are changing by the day as reopening begins. Which local listings strategies will most effectively rebuild consumer trust and bring patients back to your providers? In this webinar, Ben Fisher, a Google My…

Read Full Story

webinar-covid-19-reopening-listingsOnline listings are the cornerstone of healthcare marketing initiatives in the wake of COVID-19. But search algorithms, listings platforms and consumer behavior are changing by the day as reopening begins.

Which local listings strategies will most effectively rebuild consumer trust and bring patients back to your providers?

In this webinar, Ben Fisher, a Google My Business Product Expert and founder of local SEO and social media marketing agency Steady Demand, joined Binary Fountain experts to cover the most important listings platforms and features to monitor as healthcare organizations look to resume services and attract patients to facilities.

Click here to watch the on-demand webinar. 

Here are the key takeaways:

Google Searches for COVID-19 Information

The first piece of building trust with patients is making sure they have the correct information about when to arrive, where to go and what to bring. Before anything else, healthcare marketers should monitor and update their basic Google My Business attributes.

Phone numbers and hours are currently very important because consumers – especially healthcare consumers – are stressed and need accurate, fast information. GMB also launched COVID-19 Google Posts, in which you can fit a lot of information about what searchers can expect when coming to your facility. There are several types of new links that are valuable to healthcare organizations, including “virtual care” and “COVID-19 info.”

Google Q&A is not yet back online for healthcare providers, but that might change soon, so marketers should keep an eye on that section of their GMB profiles. With all listings updates, the panel recommends updating the information that directly impacts patient experience, so that patients know exactly what to expect if they book an appointment. You should also educate office staff so the information they offer patients is consistent with your listings.

Google Reviews and Patient Feedback

Google reviews and review responses were taken offline early during the COVID-19 outbreak, as Google looked to limit unverified, user-generated information, but they have started to return. You may or may not be notified when backlogged reviews begin displaying on GMB profiles, so monitoring them is key.

To manage and respond to the now-rising volume of reviews, Fisher recommends starting with recent reviews from the last two weeks before working through backlogged reviews. Keep in mind that high-quality responses have the power to convert negative reviews into positive ones, and readers of those responses will be more likely to trust your brand. Having recent reviews will be supremely important in the coming weeks, as consumers start returning to providers.

Now is also the time to add telemedicine questions to patient surveys, Cardell says. Measuring the virtual patient experience’s impact on your brand reputation will build valuable data as telehealth programs expand, and these specific questions will help your providers understand the patient experience differences between virtual and traditional visits.

Social Media and Other Listings

Many of the same principles apply to social media listings: “Keep consumers up to date, be responsive and be compassionate,” Fisher says.

At the same time, healthcare marketers should leverage the different strengths of different social media platforms. You might want to share more personal, humanized stories on Facebook and Instagram, but use Twitter for more newsy information, like local government or facility updates.

There are new COVID-19 features on healthcare-specific directories, as well, including telemedicine badges for physician profiles on CareDash and Healthgrades.

Every organization’s listings management strategy is different, but one major theme persists, according to the panel: If you are not communicating information that makes people feel safe, they’re not going to visit you. At this time, every consumer needs to feel as safe as possible, and online listings are your first opportunity to earn their trust.

For more insights and advice, click here to watch the on-demand webinar. 

 

Read more about COVID-19’s impact on healthcare marketing and Google Search on our COVID-19 Resources page and in these articles:

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

Collapse

June 25, 2020

ATA 2020: Our Top Five Takeaways

By: Erik Fessler

ATA 2020 was this year’s annual conference hosted by the American Telehealth Association. The ATA is the only organization completely focused on advancing telehealth. ATA 2020 has been a fascinating look into the potential and future of telehealth in the US healthcare system. Attending professionals and leaders have access to hours of talks with thought…

Read Full Story

ata-2020ATA 2020 was this year’s annual conference hosted by the American Telehealth Association. The ATA is the only organization completely focused on advancing telehealth.

ATA 2020 has been a fascinating look into the potential and future of telehealth in the US healthcare system. Attending professionals and leaders have access to hours of talks with thought leaders. Attendees will likely bring back a wealth of insights as they return to their organizations. For those that couldn’t attend, here are our top five takeaways.

The Opportunity for Change Is Larger Than the Explosive Growth

Thanks to COVID-19, many experts now agree that telehealth and virtual care was underused before COVID-19. However, ATA 2020 attendees will know that technology wasn’t the primary holdup. Telehealth simply wasn’t a priority before it was the only way to safely see patients.

COVID-19 has created a moment similar to the 1973-1974 oil crisis. After the oil crisis, the US energy industry restricted itself to maximize oil production and ensure we never again experience a national shortage. This moment could help ensure patients never again experience a shortage of access to healthcare.

The current pandemic crisis has put telehealth in the spotlight and temporarily removed some regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles. The healthcare industry will certainly work to solidify some of these gains and come into long-term compliance with others. But it will need to make the most of the moment.

Heightened exposure to telehealth will likely be a long-term gain. However, healthcare systems will need to work with the government and payers to reach long term regulatory and payment agreements. Some issues, such as disagreements on reimbursement between providers and payers, may reemerge once the pandemic ends.

Conversational Agents will Supercharge Telehealth

Conversational agents were a major topic at ATA 2020. This technology interacts with patients through conversations. This includes text chatbots and vocal spoken word equivalents. These agents use Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to “understand” users and make responses.

Binary Fountain users will already be familiar with NLP and may have heard how Steward Medical used it to analyze their telemedicine surveys. They discovered their providers were receiving positive feedback around their webside manner.

The NLP powered conversation agents will revolutionize American telemedicine by eliminating provider administrative burden. Chatbots are already capable of being the first point of contact for patients seeking care. Chatbots can gather patient information and answer standard questions.

Conversational agents can also direct patient traffic through healthcare systems. If the agent determines that a virtual or in-person exam is necessary, it can even direct patients to the correct specialist.

Conversational agents could also help providers during live telehealth examinations. Vocal NLP technology could take notes on patients as they speak to providers, reducing their administrative burden. Dedicated telehealth platforms can help further by packaging the patient information and transferring it to the next provider automatically.

Vocal conversational agents will even assist in-person staff. Product development is underway for an Amazon Alexa-like tool to reduce the burden on nurses. The devices will answer simple questions like “what’s on the menu for dinner” and “when are visiting hours?”

Patients may also be able to make requests or alert the staff to sudden changes in their condition. This system saves nurses the task of figuring out what the patient needs and prioritizing their requests.

This could streamline simple tasks such as needing a new pillow. It would cut response times in high priority situations, such as a patient experiencing sudden health changes.

Some Healthcare Systems Will Need to Re-Platform After COVID-19

COVID-19 forced healthcare systems to institute multi-month changes in a matter of days. Many healthcare IT teams did incredible work to achieve this for their institutions. Of course, some of their solutions will not be appropriate for long-term implementation.

Some of the video platforms currently being used for telehealth are common video conferencing tools. As a result, most are not HIPPA compliant. Tools not specifically designed for telehealth do not have integration features with other common healthcare software for information sharing.

HIPPA compliance and other regulations have been relaxed for now. Eventually, the security issues will have to be addressed once COVID-19 subsides. However, software integration for information sharing will likely be a long-term concern for health care systems.

Diversity Will Be Key to Success

Currently, many telehealth tools are designed for higher-level income individuals. This is common for developing tech products. However, looking forward, telehealth will need to grow its base to service large payers and their inclusive member networks.

Telehealth must be developed to engage all groups, all genders, ethnicities, income levels, and levels of health and technological literacy.

The groups designing telehealth software and supporting hardware need to be staffed with diversity in mind. We’re in an age of precision medicine, so these tools will need to work across the industry for all patients. We’ll need diverse voices at the drawing board to ensure the technology can hyper-focus on all health issues.

We can look to tech products as a warning as to what happens when developers lack diversity. Non-diverse developers have created facial recognition software with a preference for white men and racist AI.

Clearly, we cannot allow discrimination in health care, and diversity will be key to preventing it. Organizations with actionable diversity policies will likely create the best upcoming product options.

Telehealth Will Graft into the Nervous System of Healthcare

COVID-19 has helped normalize the industry adoption of telehealth as a new means for providers to see their patients. This function alone has the potential to improve the lives of both parties. But telehealth has the potential to do so much more.

Telehealth enhanced by conversational agents can help health systems coordinate and orchestrate care. NLP powered technology could assist providers during virtual and in-person care, and even take over some administrative tasks. Thanks to NLP, chatbots will be able to near-entirely take over patient intake.

This high potential could make telehealth become the front door of healthcare and assist throughout the entire patient journey. Telehealth tools will be able to save, package, and circulate the data they collect as patients move through the health system. It’ll cut down on provider administrative burden and increase the quality of patient care. Maybe most importantly, it’ll expand healthcare access and help to ensure that no patient “slips through the cracks.”

ATA 2020 made it clear that the future of healthcare is connected health, and telehealth could help us achieve it.

For more on telehealth, telemedicine, and virtual online care, browse these related posts:

About the Author

Erik Fessler
Marketing Coordinator

Collapse

June 23, 2020

Achieving the Quadruple Aim: Employee Satisfaction in Healthcare

By: Erik Fessler

Healthcare organizations are working hard to shift their goals and practices to improve the health of their patients. As the industry evolves, they are also focusing on the pursuit of the Quadruple Aim of Healthcare. The Quadruple Aim seeks to optimize health system performance through: Improved patient outcomes Improved patient experience of care Lower health…

Read Full Story

quadruple-aimHealthcare organizations are working hard to shift their goals and practices to improve the health of their patients. As the industry evolves, they are also focusing on the pursuit of the Quadruple Aim of Healthcare.

The Quadruple Aim seeks to optimize health system performance through:

  1. Improved patient outcomes
  2. Improved patient experience of care
  3. Lower health care costs
  4. Higher healthcare workforce satisfaction

There is a correlation between low staff engagement and lower patient satisfaction, poor outcomes, and increased costs. In order to achieve the Quadruple Aim, all aspects must be addressed. In this post, we explore how employee feedback and provider experience data help healthcare organizations meet their core business objectives.

What is the Quadruple Aim?

Every health organization is striving for top-quality outcomes for their patients. However, many realize that achieving consistent quality outcomes are tied to provider engagement and satisfaction. The Quadruple Aim was created as an expansion on the Triple Aim of Healthcare.

The Triple Aim was focused on improving the health of populations, elevating the patient experience, and reducing the per-capita cost of health care. The Quadruple Aim adds the fourth goal of provider satisfaction.

A growing number of studies are proving the correlation between provider satisfaction and the goals of the original Triple Aim. One found patients were about 2% less likely to recommend a hospital to friends and family for every 10% of nurses reporting dissatisfaction with their job. Meanwhile, a University of Missouri study found that low-quality nursing homes’ direct-care costs were 22% higher than those of high-quality organizations. Low patient satisfaction and experience have a steep cost.

Providers, staff, and care teams must feel happy and invested in their jobs for organizations to achieve and sustain improved patient outcomes. Unfortunately, provider burnout is a growing threat to health care systems and patient care. A 2019 Medscape survey discovered a 44% burnout rate among physicians across 29 specialties. This was a 2% rise from their 2018 study.

How to Achieve the Quadruple Aim

Improvements to the workplace are essential to helping the provider experience improve.

For example, giving caregivers efficient EMR technology enables faster care decisions without them needing to search dozens of disparate sources and documents. Clean, thoroughly stocked facilities allow physicians and nurses to worry about treatment instead of equipment. Clear corporate communications lead to fewer administrative headaches.

To find those areas of improvement, healthcare organizations need to open transparent lines of communication with providers. They must also establish consistent streams of employee feedback.

A Gallup poll found that 77% of employees are engaged when workers have:

  1. Open communication with management
  2. Input opportunities into their workplaces
  3. Perceive connections between current changes and the company’s future
  4. Believe management support for their workgroup

The same survey found that companies staffed by employees who strongly disagree that they had these resources had a mere 1% engagement rate.

Engaging your staff through surveys and reviews can be a powerful way to welcome that feedback and subsequently achieve higher clinical satisfaction.

Benefits of Employee Feedback and How to Use It

The benefits of proactively collecting employee feedback are numerous and vital for a thriving organization:

  • Gain an understanding of what you are doing well though employer surveys and other initiatives. Allow comments and free-text responses to gain unfiltered feedback in your health care workforce’s own words. Process these unstructured responses with Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to quickly and efficiently analyze feedback.
  • Identify workplace weaknesses and make improvements to beat the high levels of unhappiness providers are reporting. One study found that 68% of family physicians and 73% of general internists would not re-choose their current specialty in a career reboot. You do not want this to be the norm for your providers. Use NLP technology to find areas of improvement, and impress employees with timely adjustments.
  • Understand what motivates your employees to achieve better alignment and boost employee engagement. The Monroe Clinic in Wisconsin found that a 1% increase in employee engagement increased the organization’s HCAHPS rating by one-third of a percent. It also increased patients’ willingness to recommend the institution by a fourth of a percent. Find out what your employees value, and then work to build synergies with your organization’s goals.
  • quadruple-aimImprove retention rates and turnover through improvements to workplace culture. Healthcare by nature can include high stress and high workplace demands. But small changes to policies, facilities, and culture can compound into major gains for healthcare organizations.
  • Recruit top talent by sharing positive employee feedback on employer brand websites. Nearly 40% of job seekers said employer reviews were the most important content when researching a potential company to work for. Publish positive employee survey responses on job boards to show top healthcare talent what your organization has to offer.
  • Keep a pulse on the most important asset of your organization – your people.

Manage Your Employee Satisfaction and Culture

 you’re interested in managing and improving your employee engagement and satisfaction to achieve the Quadruple Aim, be sure to investigate Binary Fountain’s Employer Brand Analytics solution. Our powerful tools gather employee feedback from your organization’s surveys as well as online review sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed. We make it easy to find insights useful towards elevating employee satisfaction, improving company culture, and recruiting top talent.

Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can help you achieve the Quadruple Aim?

Schedule a Demo

About the Author

Erik Fessler
Marketing Coordinator

Collapse

June 22, 2020

How to Improve Organic Search Rankings

By: Erik Fessler

Page SEO can be a powerful practice to improve your organic search rankings. Many websites, online profiles, and even social media pages are discovered through search engines. This makes it important to optimize each ranking factor of your SEO to expand your online reach. To help those new to page SEO get started, we’ve created…

Read Full Story

improve-organic-search-rankingsPage SEO can be a powerful practice to improve your organic search rankings. Many websites, online profiles, and even social media pages are discovered through search engines. This makes it important to optimize each ranking factor of your SEO to expand your online reach.

To help those new to page SEO get started, we’ve created a short guide to three critical ranking factors. You should apply these tips to each page of your website, including your homepage, product or service pages, and blog posts. These factors can also be applied to your online presence on social media and online review site profiles.

Keyword Research

Keywords are words and phrases that help search engines direct their users to relevant content. Using strategically chosen keywords will raise your search rankings in applicable queries.

To start, make a list of words and phrases your ideal customer might use in searches. For instance, if you’re creating a webpage to promote telemedicine, start with words like “telemedicine,” “virtual care,” and “online care.”

Once you have a list, research each idea’s search volume and alternates to settle on your main target keywords. Find keywords that will help you rank in popular searches with low levels of competition. There are several free tools to do this:

  • Wordtracker Scout is a Chrome extension used to see which keywords other websites are using. Use the extension to understand why certain webpages are ranking more highly and can help you find new keywords.
  • WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool displays search volumes, CPC (cost per click, for paid search engine promotion), and competition ratings for keywords. It also gives you alternative keyword suggestions to consider.
  • Google Keyword Planner is intended to help marketers optimize Google ads, but it can also assist in your organic search keyword research. The tool shows which keywords are ranking and receiving clicks. You’ll need an AdWords account to access this tool.
  • Google Trends is another free Google tool that shows you basic reports on keyword popularity. It’s not as detailed as the AdWords Keyword Planner. But it does allow you to see some of the data without an AdWords account.

Once you’ve chosen your target keywords, start sprinkling them throughout your online copy. However, be careful not to go overboard, and do not attempt to rank in searches you are not relevant to. Keyword abuse will hurt your quality scores and tank your search rankings.

Link Building

webinar-covid-19-reopening-listingsHyperlinks are another factor that affects SEO. Links can be classified into two separate categories: internal links and external links. Having both are essential to improve your organic search rankings.

Links that lead to other pages on your website are internal links. For example, the following link to our 5 Great Local Link Building Strategies for Apartments is an internal link. The links built into your website’s menu bars are all mapped and considered internal links.

Internal links give your website structure. Search engines can follow these links to discover additional pages on your site. These pages are archived for possible search suggestions for future searches.

Internal links also help your readers find information effectively. Well placed internal links can encourage visitors to stay on your website for longer periods of time. Longer site visits indicate higher website quality, which can give your entire domain a step up in all search results.

External links are any links that lead to webpages on a different website. Outbound external links lead from your site to an outside site. Any links to your website from outside sites are inbound external links, or “backlinks.”

Inbound external links are the most valuable for SEO. They indicate to search engines that you have quality content. They also bring organic traffic from the linking website.

Outbound external links, on the other hand, aren’t particularly valuable to SEO. They are valuable to your readers, however, which can help your long-term readership numbers and page visits.

Linking to sources for statistics and other claims helps build trust with your readers. Links to useful resources, such as our keyword discovery tool links above, provide value to your readers.

Creating value is the best way to build loyal readers. It’s also the best way to earn backlinks to your content.

SEO Title and Meta Description

Controlling how your webpage is displayed in search engines is a third way to improve your organic search rankings. Optimizing your SEO titles and meta descriptions can increase your click rates when your webpages appear in searches.

SEO titles are the names each webpage displays in search results. In Google, these titles are the blue page names that sit above the page (meta) descriptions. Some social media and online review site profiles also display descriptions you can control.

How you edit SEO titles and meta descriptions varies depending on your CMS. WordPress users will need to check to see if you have plugins that edit this information. Some online directories use the first few lines of your profile bio or description as the meta description. This means you can control what is displayed by optimizing these sections.

Once you’ve figured out how to edit your information, start by optimizing your title. Your SEO title should be no longer than 70 characters and should use your target keywords.

If your webpage has a visual title, such as a blog post, your SEO title should mostly match this title. You may need to shorten longer titles. If the visual title doesn’t contain your keywords, you should consider adding them.

Next, update your page’s meta description. If you’re making improvements to multiple webpages on your website, start with your homepage, product, service, and location pages. Websites that depend on key employees, such as healthcare, should also prioritize optimizing these pages.

Meta descriptions should be keyword rich and 150-160 characters long. They should include at least one call to action to entice high click-through rates. These descriptions are essentially product descriptions for each of your webpages. Usually, you want to have individual, non-duplicated descriptions.

To learn more about improving your organic search results, browse these related posts:

[Blog] Top 5 SEO Strategies for Doctors
[Webinar] 5 Updates to Google My Business Impacting Digital Marketers
[Blog] SEO Trends in Healthcare: Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
[E-book] Your Comprehensive Guide to a Winning Healthcare Listings Management Strategy
[Blog] Local SEO Strategies for Multiple Business Locations

About the Author

Erik Fessler
Marketing Coordinator

Collapse

June 18, 2020

Tracking Coronavirus Search Trends on Google – June 2020

By: Kieran McQuilkin

Amid dramatic changes in consumer behavior brought on by the coronavirus outbreak and the current reopening of many businesses and public spaces, healthcare marketers are looking to trends on Google Search for guidance on how to communicate with consumers. The nuances of safely returning to medical facilities or using telemedicine are confusing for even the wisest of consumers, so search trends give us…

Read Full Story

coronavirus-search-trendsAmid dramatic changes in consumer behavior brought on by the coronavirus outbreak and the current reopening of many businesses and public spaces, healthcare marketers are looking to trends on Google Search for guidance on how to communicate with consumers.

The nuances of safely returning to medical facilities or using telemedicine are confusing for even the wisest of consumers, so search trends give us a genuine picture of the thoughts, questions and concerns that enterprise health systems must address in their listings and communications.

In this article, we break down June’s Google Search data to understand what types of information healthcare consumers are looking for. Here are coronavirus search trends that marketing teams should monitor.

Overall Search Trends for COVID-19

COVID-19 has dominated search queries in the past few months, but other types of Google searches are beginning to return to normal levels. As states began to reopen stores and public spaces, coronavirus search volume in early June dipped lower than both weather and news for the first time since March 1.

According to Binary Fountain client data, total searches for healthcare organizations dipped more than 60% in March but have started climbing back up, now at 38% fewer weekly searches than in February. Clicks on healthcare companies’ GMB profiles are rebounding more rapidly, now down just 8% from February click volume. Meanwhile, clicks to phone calls have increased more than 20% from pre-outbreak levels, which should motivate healthcare marketers to ensure their local listings have updated phone numbers.

For a full picture of the search landscape, Google Trends has daily updates for the top 100 places searching for coronavirus and the top related queries – what people type when searching for the virus.

On June 17, the most top coronavirus queries on Google were “coronavirus cases,” “Florida coronavirus,” “coronavirus US,” “coronavirus update,” “coronavirus USA,” “coronavirus news” and “coronavirus symptoms,” followed by searches for state-specific information.

The search engine is also keeping track of trending questions related to coronavirus risk, which in the past week were:

  • Are pregnant women at high risk for coronavirus?
  • Who is at risk for coronavirus?
  • Are people with asthma at risk for coronavirus?
  • Who is at higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19?
  • What is the risk of getting coronavirus on a plane?

Meanwhile, “coronavirus risk level by activity” has spiked 1,650% in the past week in the U.S., as consumers begin to wade into public spaces and regular activities. Last week’s top searches for “when can we…” included “when can we stop wearing masks?”, “when can we travel again?”, and “when can we stop social distancing?”

Related June Search Trends

Though a majority of searches regarding COVID-19 are currently related to states reopening and health guidelines, there are other search trends healthcare organizations should monitor.

The search engine has reported a recent spike in “steroids and coronavirus,” “dexamethasone” and “use of hydroxychloroquine,“ revealing that treatment options are still top of mind for consumers. They’re also digging further into the virus itself, with “cytokine storm meaning” searches doubling between June 16 and 17.

Search trends also suggest – expectedly – that people are looking for entertainment or a vacation. “Places to vacation during COVID” spiked 650%, “places to travel during COVID” spiked 450% and “safe vacation ideas during COVID” spiked 350% in the past week in the U.S.

Other top-trending U.S. queries in the past week have included “banning alcohol on planes,” “what states have a spike in coronavirus,” “Disneyland reservations July” and even “Garth Brooks drive in concert tour.”

 Finding Positive Coronavirus Searches

It’s easy to forget that not all coronavirus search trends are negative. Marketers – especially in healthcare – should remember that people search for how they can help in disaster scenarios. Healthcare brands should answer these questions with content – on Google listings and otherwise – about how to support local providers.

Google recommends the following methods of using its platform to help consumers and support healthcare workers:

  • webinar-covid-19-reopening-listingsLet people know that solutions are available whenever, wherever.
  • Assess when people need you most, whether through your own first-party data or Google Trends.
  • Frequently update or publish content that informs, entertains, connects and promotes wellness.
  • Consider who the heroes are among your employees, your customers or your local community.
  • Consider whether your technology, your operational rigor or your equipment can be highlighted as a contributor to the cause.

Some search trends might offer inspiration for how to lighten up some of your COVID-19 communications. “Welcome back to work meme” was a breakout query on June 15 and “how to hug during pandemic” increased by 5,000% last week.

For more content on managing your brand during COVID-19, you can visit our COVID-19 Resources Page and browse these resources:

About the Author

Kieran McQuilkin
Content Marketing Specialist

Collapse

Request a Demo