COVID-19 Archives - Binary Fountain

The Joe Biden Healthcare Agenda: What Health Systems Should Expect

joe-biden-healthcare

The healthcare agendas of Donald Trump and Joe Biden were top voter considerations in the 2020 election.  The popular importance of the issue all but assures that we’ll see continued legislative impacts.

October 2020 polling indicated that 64% of men and 83% of women rated healthcare as “very important.” This averages out to three in four voters.

We can expect the Joe Biden healthcare agenda to center around updating the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). We can also expect to see a more hands-on approach to controlling the pandemic.

We’re unlikely to see Biden pursue a more ambitious healthcare agenda, such as Medicare-For-All. Biden famously never embraced Medicare-For-All during the primaries or general election, and regardless would be unlikely to get such a bill passed in the Senate.

Instead, it’s likely that Joe Biden’s healthcare influence will likely touch four main issues.

COVID-19 Response

Many voters and healthcare experts alike see the COVID-19 crisis as a healthcare issue. As a result, we can expect that Biden will prioritize health and science as the top concern for this COVID-19 response.

An early effect has been the re-empowerment of top vaccine expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. New support for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also been an outcome.

The voice of public health has received new strength in the response to the pandemic. We now see consistent messages coming from the executive branch, stronger messaging from the CDC, and more support for epidemiologists.

This response has also been backed up by executive action. On day two of his administration, the president signed 10 executive orders related to his pandemic response. The goals of the orders included expanding testing and administering 100 million vaccine doses by the end of April. Biden additionally invoked the Defense Production Act to compel companies to manufacture supplies needed for the nation’s pandemic response.

Push for More Coverage and Lower Costs

One sobering Commonwealth Fund study found that 7.7 million Americans lost access to employee health insurance due to the pandemic. On top of that, nearly 7 million dependents could also lose their coverage.

Increasingly, Americans are beginning to more deeply examine the marriage of employment and health insurance. In response, the Biden Administration has signaled its plans to strengthen the ACA. One immediate response was Biden’s January 28th order to re-open the ACA enrollment period for three months.

Biden has also proposed redefining affordable health care to be no more than 8.5% of a family’s income for a benchmark gold plan. Currently, the ACA caps enrollees’ contributions toward the benchmark silver plan at just under 10% of their income.

Additional moves to sure up ACA could include changes in eligibility for subsidies. Biden plans to eliminate the income limit on premium subsidies, meaning that the new 8.5% premium cap would be available to higher-income enrollees. This eliminates what’s currently called the “subsidy cliff” that exists in the ACA currently.

Additionally, Biden plans to allow workers that qualify for job-based coverage to enroll in Marketplace plans. Workers would now be free to purchase subsidized plans from the market if the plans are a better deal.

Finally, we may even see a public option available to all Marketplace participants. Those who live in a state that hasn’t adopted the ACA Medicaid expansion and make under 138% of the poverty line would be automatically enrolled with no premium. If enacted, this final step in ACA expansion could bring the national uninsured rate down to 3%.

Improved funding for healthcare navigators is another possible change on the horizon. Healthcare navigators are exchange employees tasked with personally helping users find the best and most affordable coverage. This could bring major user experience improvements.

Lowering the Medicare Age

Perhaps one of the most ambitious Joe Biden healthcare legislative goals is lowering the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60. Most adults over 55 support the goal. Many fear age discrimination will prevent them from finding suitable employment if they are displaced during this pandemic.

However, increased eligibility will encounter fierce resistance from some healthcare institutions. This will be a result of the lower reimbursement rates of Medicare relative to private insurance. Though, the full impact on healthcare providers will likely depend on their payer mix.

Those seeing significant numbers of privately insured patients between the ages of 60 to 65 could see notable losses. In contrast, the move could actually help providers that serve high numbers of uninsured patients.

Newly eligible sexagenarian decisions to join Medicare will likely hinge on the financial attractiveness of their private insurance options, if available.

Improvements in Patient Experience and Equity

A transition from Medicare fee-for-service to value-based care has bipartisan support. Both the outgoing Trump administration and Biden administration supported such plans. President Biden’s election is likely to speed its implementation.

The Joe Biden healthcare platform also includes several proposals aimed at closing gaps in healthcare among racial groups. One such proposal includes boosting funding to community health centers.

The Biden campaign site quotes a study finding that 59% of patients at community health centers were people of color. Additionally, one quarter were uninsured. As a result, they call for doubling the federal government’s investment in these centers. They also want to see expanded access to “high-quality health care for the populations that need it most.”

Other potential changes include possible provider incentives for taking active roles in addressing racial disparities. Additionally, we could see more provider accountability and appeal mechanisms in Medicare Advantage. These mechanisms would give people more chances to appeal coverage decisions.

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How COVID-19 Has Changed the Apartment Rental Industry

covid-19-apartment-rentalAt the start of 2020, everything was going as usual. Renters had little to worry about. But then, everything changed with COVID-19.

Millions were left jobless, and it was not their fault. Renters with little savings, working hard to make ends meet, were all of a sudden left with no income. Many people were on the verge of facing an eviction.

This is how COVID-19 has changed the apartment rental industry. While conditions appear to have a brighter future ahead, right now it is very difficult for many, including those who are searching for apartments.

Apartment Hunting During COVID-19

The biggest way the coronavirus has changed the apartment rental industry is apartment hunting. While many renters could be facing evictions, government intervention has prevented some of that from happening. Apartment hunting during COVID-19 has become more online-based during the pandemic. People can go online to read reviews about some apartment complexes. These reviews are found on Google and other websites that provide reviews for apartments and multifamily properties. While apartment hunting during coronavirus has changed the industry, resident satisfaction is still measured.

The Eviction Crisis

In 2020, many people have faced or are still facing potential eviction. While government policies have prevented some people from being evicted, this issue is still on the horizon. This can impact some customers’ experiences. If someone is unfortunately evicted, they will not leave a good resident review.

On the other hand, apartment hunting during COVID-19 is also impacted by potential evictions. Even though people will always need a place to live, moving back with friends or parents is a better choice for some. An eviction is very possible, although people searching for apartments in 2020 do understand that. Still, resident satisfaction is very important, regardless of the possibilities.

Resident Satisfaction

While searching for apartments during COVID-19, reading resident satisfaction reviews is crucial. Customer experiences are important, and seeing how the coronavirus has changed the apartment rental industry, businesses have to focus on creating a good experience. Customer experience is a great marketing tool.

Interactions with your brand are important, whether it be a property management firm or anything else. Customers look at the satisfaction of others more than ever. Doing apartment hunting during COVID-19 will involve reading about the experience of other residents, and determining if the apartment is right for them.

Customer Experience and Digital Marketing

Creating a good experience for residents is necessary, with or without a pandemic. It will attract more potential residents, and satisfy the current ones. Real estate companies, as well as other housing service companies, should have updated and optimized websites. These websites should have the option for tenant experience reviews to be posted.

One of the ways how COVID-19 has changed the apartment rental industry is customer experience. The experience of a customer does not start when they move in. It starts from the moment they click on your website or Google listing. If a website is easy to access, navigate, and visually sound, visitors will like it more. Next, we will go over ways to ensure that the site is optimized for customer experience.

Optimizing Your Site

As said before, one way how COVID-19 has changed the apartment rental industry is the emphasis on customer experience. Any website should have a section on customer experience. Adding this section will show the reviews to other visitors, and if they are good reviews, the bounce rate could reduce.

When your site is searched up on Google, there should also be a section with Google Reviews. Google Reviews are frequently used by residents to add reviews and ratings of businesses. Satisfied customers will leave good reviews, and poor reviews can still be resolved. This is a crucial feature to monitor and engage renters.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is another great way to improve customer experience. As said before, customer experience begins from the moment a customer arrives at your site.

Search engine optimization can improve the ranking of the site on a search results page. The higher it is, the more likely new visitors arrive. These visitors can then have the same great experience as others, and can become potential residents.

The Future of the Apartment Rental Industry

While the coronavirus won’t be going away for at least a few months, neither will the apartment rental industry. Regardless of economic circumstances, a good landlord will be liked by their tenants. The same goes for the rental industry.

The leading property management firms focus on high-quality services for customers. While one of the ways COVID-19 has changed the apartment rental industry is customer experience, other factors still apply. The landlord-tenant relationship can create a solid foundation for the future of the industry.

Frequently Asked Renter Questions:

  • What is the cheapest month to move into an apartment?
  • What are the average rent prices near me?
  • Does rent go down during a crisis?
  • Are evictions given prior notice?

The Importance of Experiences

One of the ways how COVID-19 has changed the apartment rental industry is experiences. Good experiences and bad experiences can both be found out there.

Websites now have to provide more information before potential tenants can decide on an apartment. Some of this information relates to customer experience and resident satisfaction. If residents are happy, then they could leave positive reviews about their experience. This way, others know that the property manager they are dealing with is a good one.

Times have become difficult, and people need to rely on each other for things such as resident experience reviews. Real estate companies should adopt digital marketing strategies and tie them in with customer experience, to get the most out of their websites and online listings. Overall, this can attract new residents, and increase the rating of the real estate company and its properties.

 

Browse these resources for more on apartment rental marketing during COVID-19:


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:


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