By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Everyone wants to be at the top of the results list when a prospective patient (or anyone) does a Google search for “Dentist in Des Moines,” but only seven listings are going to make the “local business listings.”
Many hospitals, urgent care centers, dental offices, and other medical healthcare providers have picked-up on geo-specific advertising and marketing following the introduction of Google Places – the free business listings on Google and Google Maps.
Front-row seating is premium real estate if you know how to use Search Engine Optimization to be among the precious few at the top. That’s something you can talk to us about, because the game is about to change a bit for online healthcare marketing and advertising.
This week Google is rolling-out a new program Google Boost, only available in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago. But you can bet it will be everywhere soon. It’s a paid extension of concept that delivers ads that correspond to a combination of vertical keyword (e.g., hospital) and location keyword (e.g., San Francisco).
Google is banking on the marketing premise that 97% of people conduct research online before buying locally. Google explains some of the Boost benefits: Beyond the basics like your company name, address, phone number and website, your ad may also include the number of reviews you’ve received, an average star rating and a link to your Place page to help potential customers find additional useful information about your business. When a map appears alongside the results, a blue pin will help folks quickly find your location on the map. Businesses using Google Tags will also see their yellow tag appear in the ad.
Medical Marketing and Advertising planners will also want to watch for the Facebook equivalent of Google Boost; Facebook is reportedly planning a competitive geo-location advertising product.