Posted in #HCSM

7 Free Google Tools To Boost Your Healthcare Marketing

Over two decades ago, two Stanford Ph.D. students launched a new search engine with a bold mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. 

Now two decades later, at the first sign of a symptom, patients instinctively turn first to “Dr. Google” to find answers to their health questions.

But Google is more than just a powerful search engine. 

Google also provides us with some really useful tools as online marketers and communicators.

In this post, I’m going to share some of my favorite go-to Google tools that I regularly turn to. Best of all these tools are completely free so you can enjoy trying them out without spending a cent.

1. Google Mobile Friendly Test

Use Google Mobile-Friendly Test to see how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device.

Just enter a page URL to see how your page scores.

Why this tool is useful

Having a mobile-responsive site (ie one that automatically changes its layout and placements of certain menus and buttons automatically) is important because firstly, not only are over half of patients searching online for health information on their smartphone, but secondly, Google now gives ranking priority to those sites that are mobile friendly.  In fact, Google has stated that it will penalize websites that aren’t mobile-responsive, so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’ll likely lose out significantly in the organic search rankings. 

Use Google Mobile-Friendly Test to see how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device.

2. Google Page Speed Insights

PageSpeed Insights is a tool that indicates how well a page performs on the Chrome UX Report and suggests performance optimizations.

Why this tool is useful

Although speed has been used in Google ranking for some time, that signal was focused on desktop searches. Google announced that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too.  This marks an important shift in Google’s approach to measuring page speed while stressing the importance of mobile user experiences.

3. Google Alerts

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, blogs) based on your choice of query –  for example, keeping updated on emerging healthcare trends. You can control how often you receive these alerts (daily or weekly), whether you wish to receive all mentions, or limit it to the most relevant, and you can add new alerts, or delete old ones at any point.

Why this tool is useful

Use Google Alerts to monitor who’s talking about your brand. This is important so you can respond to any criticism, customer complaints or thank someone for writing something positive about you.

4. Google My Business

Google My Business is a simple to use tool that allows small business owners  to increase their online visibility and promote their business information on Google Search.

GMB appears on desktop – just to the right of the organic and paid search results. If you’re on mobile, it appears as a top result before the organic results. If you haven’t set up your GMB listing, it’s time to do so. Follow these step-by-step instructions to get started right away.

Why this tool is useful

According to Google “Providing and updating business information in Google My Business can help your business’s local ranking on Google and enhance your presence in Search and Maps.”

5. Google Analytics

Tracking the number of visitors to your website, where they came from, how they got there, and what they read can provide you with important marketing insight. The most comprehensive and free tool to do this is Google Analytics.

Why this tool is useful

Use Google Analytics to track top-performing content on your website, and the native analytics tools of each of the social networks you use to discover the type of posts that get the most engagement (shares, comments, likes, click-through rates, etc.)

6. Google AdWords

 Google Ads Keyword Planner gives you insight into the volume of monthly searches for a particular keyword, and how much and how much competition there is, based on advertising spend for sponsored links. It also returns suggested terms you could use instead or alongside your original keyword.

Why this tool is useful

If you want your website to rank higher in Google you have to make sure that you’re using the right keywords. Keyword research is vital because identifying the terms people are searching for will determine the kind of content you create and the way you will optimize it.

7. Google Trends

Google Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you enter relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time.

Why this tool is useful

You can use this tool to evaluate the popularity of certain terms, compare them against other keyword variations, analyze how their popularity varies over time and in different regions/languages, and show related keywords, which can be helpful in getting new keyword suggestions.

Do you use any of these Google tools? Do you have any other Google tools to add to this list?

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