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Tracking Coronavirus Search Trends on Google – December 2020

coronavirus-search-trends-decemberThe COVID-19 vaccine has started to ship, but the coronavirus continues to spread across much of the U.S. Consumer behavior is continually changing in response, as uncertainty remains high and patients weigh their health and safety options on all fronts.

To understand patients’ current needs, healthcare marketers are looking to Google Search in December for guidance.

Search trends give us a real-time view of consumer sentiment and frequent questions that must be answered by health authorities. Healthcare consumers, specifically, are grappling with changing hours, medical facility policies, telemedicine services, and now, vaccine considerations.

Using Google Search as a guide, marketers can address common concerns on their local listings, website, brand communications and social media pages.

In this article, we break down real-time search data on Google to understand what types of information healthcare consumers are looking for. Here are coronavirus search trends that digital marketers should monitor in December.

Coronavirus Search Trends for Healthcare Organizations

COVID-19 continues to arise frequently in search queries and business listings, concerning regulations, local precautions and vaccine information.

Here are some notable December trends on Google Search, based on data from our healthcare partners:

According to Binary Fountain client data, total searches for healthcare organizations haven’t yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, but are rising. There are now only about 1.75% fewer monthly searches for healthcare clients than in February.

Clicks on healthcare companies’ Google My Business (GMB) profiles rebounded more rapidly, however, now up 19% from late-February click volume. Meanwhile, clicks to phone calls have increased by 5% from pre-outbreak levels. Weekly clicks on GMB profiles for driving directions are down about 16% since Feb. 24, but climbing toward average levels.

Especially as COVID-19 vaccines become available, healthcare marketers need to prioritize updating local listings with phone numbers, URLs, hours and contact information for each facility.

Google Searches for Coronavirus in December

To survey the coronavirus search landscape in December, Google Trends has daily updates for the top related keywords and queries broken down by category and geography.

Global search volume for vaccine information reached an all-time high last month and continues to grow. Here are search queries related to vaccines that have spiked this week:

  • COVID-19 vaccine reactions – up 2,450%
  • How many people have had the Covid vaccine? – up 1,750%
  • COVID-19 vaccine side effects list CDC – up 400%

The trending coronavirus questions on Google currently relate to vaccines, symptoms and spreading the virus. The past week’s highest-searched COVID-19 questions were:

  1. Can dogs transmit coronavirus?
  2. Is vomiting a symptom of coronavirus?
  3. Where did coronavirus come from?
  4. Can you get the coronavirus twice?
  5. Is influenza a coronavirus?

Google is also keeping track of where people are searching for COVID-19 testing information in real time. This geographical indicator can help predict when local consumers will need authoritative information from providers about tests, treatments or vaccines.

Follow these instructions to get your coronavirus testing site listed on Google Search. And keep an eye out for similar features related to vaccine availability. Google also recently added a new feature tracking real-time searches related to different symptoms, which you can find here.

The shorthand “covid” and “corona” continue to appear frequently, so they should join your keyword lists for any social listening initiatives.

Location-based news and information about COVID-19 risks, meanwhile, remain high in demand from searchers. As local authorities on the topic, healthcare brands need to include location-specific keywords in marketing content, business listings, review responses and social media.

Other COVID-19 Google Trends

Most searches regarding COVID-19 concern health guidelines and news of its spread. But other search trends offer healthcare organizations insights that can further weigh into a patient’s decision to seek medical care.

You should be prepared for questions that arise as new updates reach consumers. For example, searches for “new coronavirus strain” increased by 750% this week, and searches for “can dogs get coronavirus” nearly doubled.

Meanwhile, face masks remain highly relevant to U.S. searchers as states reinvigorate and reconsider lockdown plans. Be on the lookout for search terms including “mask mandate” and “mask policy,” which have spiked in recent weeks. And make good use of related Google My Business attributes, like “staff wear masks” and “masks” required.

Employment and economic uncertainty also remain top of mind for searchers. We see continued high search volume for unemployment benefits and topics like “coronavirus relief package” and “stimulus bill.”

Search Trends for Helping Healthcare Providers

Not all coronavirus search trends in December are negative. Digital marketers can engage the many people looking to support local healthcare organizations during the pandemic.

Brands should answer their questions – on Google My Business, local landing pages and social media – about supporting local providers. Google recommends the following methods of using its platform to help consumers and support healthcare workers:

  • Let 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 or your local community.

For more on managing your business listings and brand reputation during the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Resources Page or browse these resources:


Healthcare Marketing Tips: 6 Ways to Promote Vaccine Information Online

promote-vaccine-informationTrust in healthcare providers has risen during the pandemic, and vaccines are on the horizon. So, healthcare organizations and local providers will be essential in communicating with their communities about these vaccines.

Roughly half of Americans say they would get vaccinated for COVID-19, according to a new AP-NORC poll, but many are uncertain or would refuse to do so. The poll found 67% of people over age 60 say they’d get vaccinated, compared with 40% who are younger.

The survey suggests a vaccine would be no more popular than the yearly flu shot. Yet, healthcare marketers and communicators need to promote information and options for both this winter.

As local authorities on the topic, healthcare brands need to include content and keywords about vaccines and flu shots in marketing content, business listings, review responses and social media.

Your messaging will evolve as flu season progresses and vaccines are allocated and distributed. This article will cover the “where” and “how” your messaging on immunization can reach the right patient populations.

In this post, we offer useful tips to promote vaccine information online, inform healthcare consumers about vaccination options, and ultimately connect patients to your providers.

1. Promote Vaccine Information on Your Website

More than half of consumers use a provider, hospital or physician website to find care, according to Binary Fountain’s 2020 Healthcare Consumer Insight Survey. Your homepage, provider profile pages, and local landing pages need to stress the importance of vaccinations and flu shots – along with appointment scheduling options.

Early on, the education piece is important. Consider building FAQs about vaccines and linking to resources like the CDC Digital Media Toolkit for 2020-21 flu season. It includes details on events/activities, sample social media and newsletter content, graphics, web assets, and media prep material.

Transparency is equally important to earn the trust of patients who are hesitant about a quickly developed vaccine. Post verified star ratings and patient feedback to your website’s provider profile pages, and update each page with information about that provider’s vaccine and flu shot services.

2. Update Listings on Google My Business and Google Maps

When you need in-person medical services, like a flu shot or vaccine, local search is your first stop.

According to Binary Fountain client data, there are now about 8% fewer monthly searches for healthcare clients than in February, but totals are climbing. Clicks on healthcare companies’ Google My Business (GMB) profiles rebounded more rapidly, however, now up 17% from late-February click volume. Meanwhile, clicks to phone calls have increased by 45% from pre-outbreak levels.

Healthcare marketers should seize opportunities to mention flu shots and coronavirus vaccine information in your local listings. Every local business listing on Google My Business and Google Maps should include immunization information – even if that means saying you don’t have them.

To create the most engaging content, use search data to see what pulls consumers into your website and directly address their frequent questions.

Recent trending coronavirus questions on Google in the U.S. are related to vaccines, lockdowns and the virus’ spread.

  • Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?
  • What states are on lockdown?
  • When will coronavirus vaccine be ready?
  • Why are Covid cases increasing?
  • Who is most at risk for the coronavirus disease?

“These are specific questions,” Aha Media Group President Ahava Leibtag said in a recent webinar. “People are drilling down into what matters for them, so in your content, be as specific as possible answering their questions.”

You can see November’s coronavirus search trends from Google here. Plus, learn key tips heading into 2021 from Google My Business Platinum Product Expert Ben Fisher in this webinar.

Google has a current feature – in partnership with Castlight – allowing healthcare facilities to display COVID-19 testing availability. It’s possible it will create a similar feature for coronavirus vaccine availability.

3. Send Vaccine Information Through Text Message Campaigns

willis-knighton-vaccine-immunication-textPreventative health vaccines have dropped off during the pandemic. Engaging those hesitant patients once again is both a challenge and an opportunity. Text messages are one of the best ways to get their attention.

With click-through rates up to 39%, SMS messaging is a powerful and underutilized tool. Not to mention, nearly one-third of respondents in our 2020 Healthcare Consumer Insight Survey say they prefer receiving information from local healthcare providers via text.

Using mass text messaging campaigns, you can stress the importance of immunizations to different segments of your patient population. Provide links to local landing pages with informational materials, educational videos, physician information, available services, hours and appointment booking options.

Willis-Knighton Health System used text messaging campaigns to send immunization reminders to 45,000+ parents/guardians for its pediatric clinics. The texts were sent out in minutes, but helped increase immunization appointment bookings for months.

4. Leverage Social Media Networks to Promote Vaccine Info

Social media is essential for taking control of your brand narrative and promoting vaccine information. With little upfront cost and effort, you can disperse positive and factual information encouraging people to protect themselves through immunization.

Of course, vaccine marketing messages will flood media channels this winter. It won’t be easy to stand out, as pharmaceutical companies, industry groups and government agencies publish information about vaccine availability and safety.

Connecting your brand with these social media movements, national marketing campaigns and hashtags will bring you success on social media this winter. For example, you can retweet Pfizer’s upcoming COVID-19 shot safety campaign or support campaigns like “Stronger” that are supported by your industry’s trade association. You could also use videos, infographics or social post templates from the American Association of Pediatrics.

Some organizations use a social listening platform to target keywords, helping them engage at the right moments, with the right audience. That way, they know where patients spend time online, which campaigns they engage with on social media, and how to join those conversations.

Even when you promote crucial vaccine information, social media content should be short and visual. The infographic approach, Ahava Leibtag says, is easily usable on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. And since a large portion of your flu-focused audience will have a caretaker role, they will frequently surf those and similar sites.

5. Monitor Reviews and Prepare Review Responses

According to our healthcare consumer survey, 60% of people have changed their outlook on patient reviews following the COVID-19 outbreak. Marketers need to use reviews this winter to alleviate fears in a digital, highly visible public forum.

Your reputation management strategy, especially with review monitoring, is key to controlling your brand’s image online as COVID-19 vaccines roll out. After all, patients read an average of nine reviews before choosing a provider. Responding to reviews with helpful, forward-looking information can effectively counter misconceptions and answer questions for future readers.

“It’s all about parents wanting to feel like they have a say in the matter,” Pete Harvey, creative director/partner at advertising agency barrettSF, told Time. “If you say they shouldn’t, they dig their heels further.”

Make sure to have review response templates ready for vaccine-related and flu shot-related reviews – both positive and negative. You might also link to a coronavirus FAQ page in responses to reviews with common concerns, to save time for your staff. Furthermore, using review management tools with assignment and approval features can keep messaging consistent across your brand’s listings.

6. Expect Some Pushback About Vaccines

The AP-NORC survey found 31% of people weren’t sure if they’d get vaccinated. Another one in five said they’d refuse. There is clearly room to convince people through high-quality marketing content.

Consider partnering with influencers to promote vaccine information to skeptical audiences. Even Elvis helped out with a vaccine campaign. You can also take small, everyday actions like blocking, reporting and warning others about vaccine misinformation.

Of course, not every negative review or PR crisis can be avoided as winter comes and COVID-19 vaccines are distributed. Monitoring the online conversation around immunizations and around your brand, along with proactively addressing customer concerns, can prevent things from boiling over.

Sort through potential crises with review monitoring and social media listening tools to determine the urgency and tone of responses. Engage your communities quickly regarding vaccines, and understand the root cause of patient experience problems to add a protective layer to your online reputation.

Read more about healthcare marketing and protecting your online reputation:


Tracking Coronavirus Search Trends on Google – November 2020

coronavirus-search-trends-novemberA vaccine looms in the near future, but COVID-19 shows no sign of slowing across much of the U.S. Consumer behavior continues to change in response, as uncertainty remains high and patients hesitate to return to healthcare facilities.

To understand patients’ current needs, healthcare marketers are looking to Google Search in November for guidance.

Search trends give us a real-time picture of consumer sentiment and knowledge gaps. Healthcare consumers, specifically, are grappling with changing hours, medical facility policies and telemedicine services. Using Google Search as a guide, marketers can address common questions on their local listings, website, brand communications and social media pages.

In this article, we break down real-time search data on Google to understand what types of information healthcare consumers are looking for. Here are coronavirus search trends that digital marketers should monitor in November.

Coronavirus Search Trends for Healthcare Organizations

COVID-19 continues to arise frequently in search queries and business listings, though related searches have gradually declined in recent months.

Here are some notable November trends on Google Search, based on data from our healthcare partners:

According to Binary Fountain client data, total searches for healthcare organizations haven’t yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. There are now about 8% fewer monthly searches for healthcare clients than in February, but totals are climbing.

Clicks on healthcare companies’ Google My Business (GMB) profiles rebounded more rapidly, however, now up 17% from late-February click volume. Meanwhile, clicks to phone calls have increased by 45% from pre-outbreak levels. Weekly clicks on GMB profiles for driving directions are down about 10% since February, but climbing toward average levels.

Clearly, healthcare marketers need to prioritize updating local listings with phone numbers, URLs, hours and contact information for each facility.

Google Searches for Coronavirus in November

To survey the coronavirus search landscape, Google Trends has daily updates for the top related keywords and queries broken down by category and geography.

In November, global search volume for “vaccine” reached an all-time high. Below are the top search terms used related to vaccines.

The trending coronavirus questions on Google in the U.S. relate to vaccines, lockdown and the virus’ spread. The past week’s highest-searched COVID-19 questions were:

  1. Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?
  2. What states are on lockdown?
  3. When will coronavirus vaccine be ready?
  4. Why are Covid cases increasing?
  5. Who is most at risk for the coronavirus disease?

Google is also keeping track of where people are searching for COVID-19 testing information in real time. This geographical indicator can help predict when local consumers will need authoritative information from providers about tests, treatments or vaccines.

Follow these instructions to get your coronavirus testing site listed on Google Search. Google also recently added a new feature tracking real-time searches related to different symptoms, which you can find here.

The shorthand “covid” and “corona” continue to appear frequently, so it should join your keyword lists for any social listening initiatives.

Location-based news and information about COVID-19 risks, meanwhile, remain high in demand from searchers. As local authorities on the topic, healthcare brands need to include location-specific keywords in marketing content, business listings, review responses and social media.

Other COVID-19 Google Trends

Most search trends regarding coronavirus in November concern health guidelines and news of its spread. But other search trends offer healthcare organizations insights that can further weigh into a patient’s decision to seek medical care.

You should be prepared for questions that arise as new updates reach consumers. For example, searches for “elective surgery during coronavirus” increased by 600% this week.

Meanwhile, face masks have become especially relevant to U.S. searchers in recent weeks, as states reconsider lockdown plans. Be on the lookout for search terms including “mask mandate” and “mask policy,” which have spiked in recent weeks.

Employment and economic uncertainty also remain top of mind for searchers. We see continued high search volume for unemployment benefits, unemployment offices and coronavirus relief bills.

Search Trends for Helping Healthcare Providers

Not all coronavirus search trends in November are negative. Digital marketers can engage the many people looking to support local healthcare organizations during the pandemic.

For example, search volume for “how to help healthcare workers during coronavirus” doubled in the past week.

Brands should answer these questions – on Google My Business, local landing pages and social media – about supporting local providers. Google recommends the following methods of using its platform to help consumers and support healthcare workers:

  • Let 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 or your local community.

For more on managing your business listings and brand reputation during the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Resources Page or browse these resources:


Tracking Coronavirus Search Trends on Google – October 2020

coronavirus-search-trends-octoberCOVID-19’s spread is ramping up once again and continuing to change consumer behavior in the U.S. Uncertainty remains high as outbreaks resurge, state regulations change, and consumers hesitate to return to healthcare facilities.

To understand patients’ current needs, healthcare marketers are looking to Google Search in October for guidance.

Search trends give us a more complete picture of consumer sentiment and knowledge gaps. Healthcare consumers, specifically, are grappling with changing hours, medical facility policies and telemedicine services. Using Google Search as a guide, healthcare organizations can address common questions in their local listings and brand communications.

In this article, we break down recent search data on Google to understand what types of information healthcare consumers are looking for. Here are coronavirus search trends that digital marketers should monitor in October.

Search Trends for Healthcare Organizations

COVID-19 continues to arise frequently in search queries and business listings, though related searches have gradually declined in recent months.

Here are some notable October trends on Google Search, based on data from our healthcare partners:

According to Binary Fountain client data, total searches for healthcare organizations haven’t yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. There are now about 20% fewer weekly searches for healthcare clients than in February, but totals are climbing.

Clicks on healthcare companies’ Google My Business (GMB) profiles rebounded more rapidly, however, now up 25% from late-February click volume. Meanwhile, clicks to phone calls have increased by a whopping 63% from pre-outbreak levels. Weekly clicks on GMB profiles for driving directions are down about 9% since Feb. 24, but climbing toward average levels.

Clearly, healthcare marketers need to prioritize updating local listings with phone numbers, URLs, hours and contact information for each facility.

Google Searches for Coronavirus in October

To survey the coronavirus search landscape, Google Trends has daily updates for the top 100 places searching for the virus and the top related queries.

In October, the top coronavirus searches on Google in the U.S. were related to symptoms, spreading and testing. The past week’s highest-trending COVID-19 questions were:

  1. How long are you contagious with covid 19?
  2. What country has the most covid deaths?
  3. How long after exposure should you get tested?
  4. Is diarrhea a symptom of covid?
  5. How many have died from covid?

The shorthand “covid” continues to appear frequently, so it should join your keyword lists for any social listening initiatives.

Additionally, the search for “free coronavirus testing near me” has surged this week. Google is keeping track of where people are searching for testing. This geographical indicator can help predict when local residents will need authoritative information from local healthcare providers.

Follow these instructions to get your coronavirus testing site listed on Google Search. Google also recently added a new feature tracking real-time searches related to different symptoms, which you can find here.

Location-based news and information about COVID-19 risks, meanwhile, remain in high demand from consumers. As local authorities on the topic, healthcare brands need to include this information in brand communications, business listings, review responses and social media.

Other COVID-19 Google Trends

Most searches regarding COVID-19 concern tracking the spread and health guidelines. But other search trends offer healthcare organizations insights into factors that can weigh into a patient’s decision to seek care.

Employment and economic uncertainty are top of mind for consumers, with continued high search volume for unemployment benefits, unemployment offices and coronavirus relief bills.

Unfortunately, school closures have become especially relevant to U.S. searchers. Be on the lookout for search terms including “school closure covid” and “coronavirus school closure,” which have spiked in the last month.

You should also be prepared for questions that arise as new updates reach consumers. For example, “coronavirus stimulus package,” “coronavirus worldometer” and “families first coronavirus response act” all are trending in the past week.

Searches to Help Local Providers

Not all coronavirus search trends in October are negative. Digital marketers can engage the many people looking to support local healthcare organizations during the pandemic. Brands should answer these questions – on Google My Business, local landing pages and social media – about supporting local providers.

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

  • Let 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 or your local community.

For more on managing your business listings and brand reputation during the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Resources Page or browse these resources:


Tracking Coronavirus Search Trends on Google – September 2020

coronavirus-search-trendsThe spread of coronavirus continues to change consumer behavior in September, whether from businesses reopening, events changing, or regional outbreaks causing further shutdowns.

What’s clear is that uncertainty remains high.

To understand patients’ current needs, healthcare marketers are looking to Google Search for guidance.

While healthcare consumers grapple with changing hours, medical facility policies and the shift to telemedicine, search trends give us a picture of their concerns. Once the search landscape is clear, healthcare organizations can address common questions in their local listings and brand communications.

In this article, we break down Google’s coronavirus search trends in September to understand what types of information healthcare consumers are looking for. Here are coronavirus search trends that digital marketers should monitor.

Search Trends for Healthcare Organizations

COVID-19 continues to arise frequently in search queries and business listings, though related searches have gradually declined in recent months.

Here are some notable September trends on Google Search, based on data from our healthcare partners:

According to Binary Fountain client data, total searches for healthcare organizations haven’t yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, now at about 25% fewer weekly searches than in February.

Clicks on healthcare companies’ Google My Business (GMB) profiles rebounded more rapidly, however, now up 17% from late-February click volume. Meanwhile, clicks to phone calls have increased by a whopping 56% from pre-outbreak levels. Expectedly, weekly clicks on GMB profiles for driving directions are down about 15% since Feb. 24.

Healthcare marketers must ensure local listings have updated phone numbers, URLs, hours and contact information for each facility. Otherwise, they risk losing significant patient volume.

Google Searches for Coronavirus in September

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 Sept. 15, the top coronavirus searches on Google in the U.S. were related to symptoms and general information. The past week’s highest-trending COVID-19 questions were:

  1. Who is the coronavirus czar?
  2. Is throwing up a symptom of corona?
  3. Is sneezing a symptom of coronavirus?
  4. When did coronavirus start?
  5. Is there a cure for coronavirus?

Like last month, the shorthand “corona” and “covid” are appearing more frequently, so they should join your keyword lists for any social listening initiatives.

The search engine is also keeping track of where people are searching for “testing.” This geographical indicator can help predict when local residents will need authoritative information from local healthcare providers.

Follow these instructions to get your coronavirus testing site listed on Google Search.

Meanwhile, searches including “during coronavirus” have surged in the past week, as consumers look to resume activities in many states. These Google searches include:

  1. Going to the dentist during coronavirus (up 4,100% in the U.S. this week)
  2. Is it safe to go to the gym during coronavirus
  3. Going out to eat during coronavirus
  4. Is it safe to stay in a hotel during coronavirus

News and information about COVID-19 risks – especially locally – are in high demand from consumers. As local authorities on the topic, healthcare brands need to include this information in brand communications, business listings, review responses and social media.

Other COVID-19 Google Trends

Though most searches regarding COVID-19 are currently related to tracking the spread and health guidelines, there are other coronavirus search trends in September that healthcare organizations should monitor. These searches offer insights into the other factors that can weigh into a patient’s decision to seek care.

Employment and economic uncertainty remain top of mind for consumers, with continued high search volume for unemployment benefits.

Unfortunately, school closures have become increasingly more pertinent to U.S. searchers. Be on the lookout for search terms including “school closure covid” and “coronavirus school closure,” which have spiked in the last month.

You should also be prepared for questions that arise as new updates reach consumers. For example, “can pets get covid,” “CDC high risk groups” and “families first coronavirus response act” all are trending in the past week.

Helpers Search on Google, Too

Not all coronavirus search trends are negative. Healthcare marketers can engage people who are searching for ways to help during the pandemic. Brands should answer these questions – on Google My Business, local landing pages and social media – about how to support local providers.

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

  • Let 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.

For more on managing your business listings and brand reputation during the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Resources Page or browse these resources:


[Webinar Recap] Engaging Physicians to Recover Lost Revenue from COVID-19

webinar-engage-physicians-covid-19No matter what your specialties are, most healthcare groups have had two common experiences during COVID-19: A newfound reliance on fast, effective physician engagement and a pressing need to rebuild revenue streams – which means rebuilding patient trust.

Where was revenue most impacted by the coronavirus, and how can you work with providers to recover it?

In this webinar, Shahid Shah, co-founder of Citus Health and publisher of Netspective Media’s digital health properties, joins David Elstein, senior communications specialist for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, to discuss strategies for engaging providers and recouping lost revenue through reputation improvements and digital tools.

In a conversation with Binary Fountain EVP of Strategy & Corporate Development Andrew Rainey, they cover key platforms and channels to target for efficient patient and provider engagement. They also offer ways to communicate with providers and find business-line or marketing-based opportunities to rebuild patient trust.

Click here to watch the on-demand webinar. 

Here are the key takeaways:

Patient Concerns and COVID-19’s Impact on Revenue

For patients now, there is a general reluctance to visit facilities that they weren’t already trusting of. It’s a good time to survey patients, not necessarily to win them back immediately, but to find out if they trust your facilities and operations.

Measuring how patients feel after they come to your providers is key to understanding patients’ preferences. Generating new customer feedback can help ascertain what healthcare consumers are thinking and what they’re worried about, giving you the chance to address and solve those problems.

Healthcare marketers also must consider the people influencing their patients’ care decisions. You need patients to feel good about visiting your facilities and providers, but you also need to make their communities and families feel good about it.

Shah puts it this way: “If you don’t account for the influencers, you won’t move the needle on a lot of your patients.”

Even as consumer behavior shifts, what has worked in terms of marketing communications will continue to work – but more technologies and opportunities will add to the mix.

“As long as you have a good plan,” Elstein says, “you don’t need to completely change your marketing communications.”

If your digital marketing efforts have so far done well to educate patients, COVID-19 has supplied a broader online audience to reach. If your online initiatives weren’t already strong, the ability to quickly switch to a digital-front-door strategy is necessary to compete in 2021.

Engaging Physicians and Building Patient Trust

The name of the game is over-communication, according to the panelists. Health – especially now – is important enough that people want to know about all the steps related to their visit and care. The same applies to providers, who need to be contacted through their preferred channels about safety measures and new processes.

At the same time, you can’t assume that your safety precautions and changes in customer experience are obvious, Shah says, echoing the thoughts of Jay Baer in our June webinar.

“What’s not working is assuming that you’re so important that you don’t have to explain to patients why they need to schedule an appointment even with COVID-19 happening.”

Again, solving those issues starts with patient feedback.

Surveys can tell you in clear terms what the main concerns of patients are. Recent, unbiased feedback data helps you understand “why” patients make different care decisions. Once you have the “why,” it will be clear what they want to hear from your healthcare brand.

Messaging, Digital Tools and Online Reputation

The most important piece of healthcare brand communications at the moment is carrying a two-way conversation.

Messaging is the best place to start, with SMS text messages specifically performing well for open rates and conversions. Looking forward, if you can get a chatbot on your website, you should.

Email still has significant return on investment for a small budget, and social media tied to custom content is highly effective for communicating with both providers and patients. Podcasts, meanwhile, are a great way for long-form educational content that is easy to produce.

Many health systems are launching mobile campaigns to drive new reviews to their own websites and to third-party review sites. Patients want to see recent reviews, so it’s important to find ways to generate authentic testimonials – especially if you had low review volume before the pandemic.

“Even with uncertainty around the virus,” Shah says, “we can trust brands that other people trust. And that is now even more important.”

Click here to watch the on-demand webinar. 

Read more about COVID-19’s impact on healthcare marketing:


Tracking Coronavirus Search Trends on Google – August 2020

covid-19-google-search-trends-augustCOVID-19’s spread continues to change consumer behavior in the U.S., whether from businesses reopening or regional outbreaks causing further shutdowns. What’s clear is that uncertainty remains high.

To manage these shifts and understand patients’ needs, healthcare marketers are looking to coronavirus search trends on Google in August for guidance.

Healthcare consumers are grappling with the nuances of changing hours, safely returning to medical facilities and using telemedicine. Search trends give us a genuine picture of the thoughts, questions and concerns that healthcare facilities and offices must address in their listings and communications.

In this article, we break down August’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.

August Google Search Trends for Coronavirus

COVID-19 has, expectedly, been all over search queries and business listings in the past few months, though related searches have gradually declined since March.

Here are some notable August trends on Google Search gleaned from our healthcare partners:

According to Binary Fountain client data, total searches for healthcare organizations dipped more than 60% in March but climbed back up, now at about 25% fewer weekly searches than pre-pandemic levels.

Clicks on healthcare companies’ Google My Business (GMB) profiles rebounded more rapidly, now up 17% from late-February click volume. Meanwhile, clicks to phone calls have increased by a whopping 60% from pre-outbreak levels. Healthcare marketers must ensure their local listings have updated phone numbers and other contact information for each facility. Otherwise, they risk losing significant patient volume.

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 Aug. 20, the top coronavirus queries on Google in the U.S. were largely symptom-related. The past week’s highest-trending COVID-19 questions were:

  1. Is nausea a sign of corona?
  2. Is throwing up a symptom of corona?
  3. Is sneezing a symptom of coronavirus?
  4. Is sore throat a sign of corona?
  5. Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?

You’ll notice the shorthand “corona” is appearing more frequently now, so it’s a must to add it to your keyword lists for any social listening initiatives. Here is how different symptoms of the virus are being searched:

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

  1. Coronavirus cases
  2. Coronavirus US
  3. Coronavirus update
  4. Coronavirus Florida
  5. Coronavirus news

Clearly, news and updates about COVID-19’s spread – especially locally – are in high demand from consumers. As local authorities on the topic, healthcare brands need to include this information in brand communications, business listings, review responses and social media.

Meanwhile, searches about face mask regulations have surged in the past week, mostly revolving around two topics: “Joe Biden mask mandate” and “Today Show masks.” The spikes come as consumers prepare themselves for preventing the virus’ spread while starting to resume jobs, school and other activities.

Other COVID-19 Google Trends

Though most searches regarding Covid-19 are currently related to tracking the spread and health guidelines, there are other search trends healthcare organizations should monitor.

Employment and economic uncertainty remain top of mind for consumers, with rising search volume for jobless claims and unemployment benefits. These trending searches offer insights into the other factors that can weigh into a patient’s decision to seek care.

Unfortunately, school closures are just as pertinent to U.S. searchers. Be on the lookout for search terms including “school closure covid” and “coronavirus school closure,” which have spiked in recent weeks.

You should also be prepared to fight misinformation, which spreads as quickly as the virus. Searches for “flu shot raises risk of coronavirus” have increased by 1,000% in the past week. Northwell Health answered this question in its web content, leading to Google displaying it in the Knowledge Panel and increasing its brand visibility.

Another top-trending Google Search query to monitor is “coronavirus testing,” which is relevant to the many healthcare facilities with Covid-19 testing sites. Follow these instructions to get your coronavirus testing site listed on Google Search.

Helpers Search on Google, Too

Not all coronavirus search trends are negative. Healthcare marketers can’t forget that people search for ways to help in crisis situations. Brands should answer these questions – 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:

  • Let 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.

For more on managing your business listings and brand reputation during the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Resources Page or browse these resources:


Tracking Coronavirus Search Trends on Google – July 2020

google-search-trends-julyConsumer behavior continues to change due to Covid-19, whether from regions beginning to reopen businesses or spikes in cases causing further shutdowns.

To manage these shifts and understand patients’ needs, healthcare marketers are looking at July’s Google Search trends for guidance.

The nuances of changing hours, 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 July’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 Google Trends for Coronavirus

COVID-19 has dominated search queries in the past few months, but other types of Google searches began returning to normal levels in June.

According to Binary Fountain client data, total searches for healthcare organizations dipped more than 60% in March but climbed back up, now at about 20% fewer weekly searches than pre-pandemic levels.

Clicks on healthcare companies’ Google My Business (GMB) profiles rebounded more rapidly, now up 32% from February click volume. Meanwhile, clicks to phone calls have increased nearly 90% from pre-outbreak levels, which should continue motivating healthcare marketers to ensure their local listings have updated websites, phone numbers and other contact information.

For a full picture of the July’s coronavirus search trends, 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 July 24, the top coronavirus queries on Google were “coronavirus cases,” “coronavirus US,” “ Florida coronavirus,” “coronavirus update” and “coronavirus news,” followed by searches for other general updates and state-specific information.

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

  • How long are you contagious with the coronavirus?
  • Is nausea a coronavirus symptom?
  • Can dogs get the coronavirus?
  • Is a sore throat a sign of coronavirus?
  • Will coronavirus go away?

Meanwhile, searches about hand sanitizers, mask mandates, homeschool programs and “private pandemic pods” all have spiked more than 1,000% in the past week in the U.S. The spikes come as consumers prepare themselves for preventing the virus’ spread while starting to resume jobs, school and other activities.

This week’s top Google searches about Covid-19 information also include “how exactly do you catch Covid-19?”, “steroids and coronavirus”, and “coronavirus risk by activity.”

July’s Other Related Google Trends

Though a majority of searches regarding coronavirus 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 facemask searches queries, led by the keywords ‘face shield,” “N95 mask” and “surgical masks.”

Search trends also suggest consumers are confused about job openings, unemployment and other economic impacts. “Unemployment stimulus” searches have increased 60% in the past day, along with a significant uptick in “unemployment news,” “600 unemployment” and “unemployment benefits.”

Other top-trending U.S. queries in the past week to monitor are “coronavirus vaccine” and “coronavirus testing,” which is relevant to the many healthcare facilities with Covid-19 testing sites. Follow these instructions to get your coronavirus testing site listed on Google Search.

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:

  • Let 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.

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


Lessons from Covid-19: Property Management Listings in a Crisis

property-management-listingsAs COVID-19 changes consumer behavior and priorities continue to shift for property management companies, local business listings have become paramount to attracting and retaining tenants.

Even though crisis struck, it’s moving season, and customers are relying 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 property managers.

Many prospective tenants 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, property listings on search engines and other third-party directories need to be prioritized.

In this post, we share effective strategies and lessons learned from managing local listings in a crisis. You’ll also find tips for managing property listings and providing timely, reassuring information to potential residents.

Optimize Property Management Listings for Search

During a crisis – more than any other time – you need to control 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.

Customers are actively searching for information about sanitization practices, updated hours, tour availability and more to help them decide when and where to move. Overwhelmingly, they’re looking for these solutions on search engines, where they can often find exactly what they need without clicking through to your corporate site or property landing page.

You have plenty of opportunities to answer these questions for your customers in your listings.

The most important 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 property management companies from GMB listings are 43% higher than pre-pandemic levels, as of July 21 – even though total searches are down nearly 17%.

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.

Use Google My Business Features

covid-19-google-post
Creating a Covid-19 Google Post on GMB.

When consumers search for a new apartment or condo, 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 search engine results pages (SERPs) and in Map Pack listings. There are also new GMB links that are valuable to property management organizations, including “COVID-19 info.”

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.

Learn what Ben Fisher recommends for managing Google My Business profiles in this webinar.

Emphasize Safety and Virtual Tour Options

If you are not communicating information across your online presence that makes people feel safe, they won’t consider your properties or schedule a tour. Online listings are your first opportunity to earn their trust.

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

Of course, the safest tour of a new apartment is a virtual one. Alongside physical safety precautions, your virtual tour availability should be clearly stated on every platform where your properties are listed.

Learn what Bild & Co. executives recommend for promoting virtual tours in this webinar.

Monitor Reviews on Business Listings

Communicating your properties’ safety practices might reassure prospective residents to a degree, but it won’t necessarily motivate them to schedule a tour. For that, they will want to hear from other consumers through reviews.

The recency of ratings and reviews will prove essential as consumers look for safe places to move. The resident experience at your properties likely looks different than it did three months ago, making older reviews irrelevant and increasing prospective patients’ reliance on new feedback. Additionally, with so many people staying home during the COVID-19 outbreak, they want to know they’ll be comfortable in their new community.

jay-baer-webinarLearn what Jay Baer recommends for rebuilding customer knowledge in this webinar.

Not to mention, publishing resident feedback is an essential part of your ranking on search engine results pages. But remember: If you are making changes and trying out new policies, 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 Zillow, Trulia and Zumper, rather than to Google. Keep in mind that reviews left while publication was suspended are starting to publish as of mid-July.

Keep Your Property Listings Consistent

Listings management strategies will differ based on your organization’s size and location count. But whether that’s five properties or 100, your listings need to be consistent across the board, especially as state and local guidelines change and residents look to you for authoritative information.

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 listings management platform and online reputation experts are ready to keep your brand’s online presence robust, informative and engaging. Schedule a quick demo to learn more.

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


[Webinar Recap] 8 Steps to Rewire Customer Relationships Disrupted by the Pandemic (ft. Jay Baer)

jay-baer-webinarThe information our customers used to have about us has vanished, due to the pandemic disruption.

Are you open? Do you have the same services? How have your procedures changed? Is the price still the same? How does customer service work now?

None of this information is universally known by your customers and prospects any longer. We can assume nothing in regard to what customers know about businesses in this “next normal.”

In this webinar, we hear from Jay Baer, founder of the marketing and customer experience consultancy Convince & Convert, author of six best-selling business books, and a Hall of Fame keynote speaker. Baer shares insights and actions to help your rewire your customer relationships, starting immediately.

Click here to watch the on-demand webinar. 

Here are the key takeaways:

On Reconfiguring and Repackaging Products and Services

The number of changes in the products and vendors consumers choose is substantial, Baer says. More than a third have tried a new brand since the pandemic and 65% plan to stay with the new brand.

This means you must protect customer relationships you’ve already earned. On the other hand, we are unlikely to ever again have such a large shift in brand preference in our business careers. That makes it a tremendous opportunity to grow your own market share.

Businesses are changing too. Telemedicine, online consultations and delivery services were all going to happen eventually, but adoption was forced in weeks instead of years. In many cases, like virtual healthcare visits, we won’t ever go back to the way things were before the coronavirus outbreak.

Marketers and communicators now have to inform consumers of those changes and improve their operations, Baer says, to make products and services more relevant and easier to buy. Whether that strategy uses local listings, discounts, warranties or other assurances, “the ultimate requirement is to make it easier than ever to buy from you.”

On Re-Introducing Offerings and Re-Educating Consumers

Many of these operational changes have project management implications, whether at a hospital, retailer or restaurant. To make customers feel more comfortable, staff need to know the rules, be aware of policy changes, and understand how to communicate with customers about their changed experience.

“Customers are more uncertain than ever,” Baer says. “Your job is to close the uncertainty gap.”

It’s essential to push information about your company’s COVID-19 response without making customers go dig for it. This includes updating your website and local listings pages, along with pushing highly relevant information to all platforms, from email to Instagram. Baer also recommends building “the ultimate FAQ” to serve as a foundation for your crisis communications and using a technology solution to push local information into listings, social media and review sites.

“The time for saying you’re taking precautions is gone,” Baer says. Marketing communications need to include specific, relevant pieces of information about how customers can engage with your business.

On Responding to Customer Questions and Feedback

The array of customer questions and feedback is likely to be much broader than pre-pandemic levels. That means you’ll have to “listen harder,” as people talk about your business in places you wouldn’t historically think of as customer service channels, such as social media and maps applications.

Word of mouth is likewise more important to consumers now, given the uncertainty in previously simple customer experience touchpoints. Pre-pandemic reviews are non-persuasive – anything before February won’t matter much to consumers because the experience has changed. Meanwhile, Google is turning reviews back on without notification, so businesses will need a higher percentage of customers to leave reviews.

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

 

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


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