Why it matters to health and medical sites

By Stewart Gandalf
Chief Executive Officer

Your website plays an important role in the overall patient experience, especially in the age of COVID-19. Important as an interaction with staff, is a website where patients access health information, interact and meet with health care providers.

Google knows this, so the user experience has always been a part of SEO best practices. But the search monster now takes this factor to a whole new level.

User experience is set to become the new algorithm ranking factor, meaning the experience of patients or doctors interacting with your web pages now determines your level on Google. The page experience is called update, change is expected Hit the website this May.

In a moment, we will explain in detail what this means for your site and how we can prepare.

But first, what is this update?

What are page experience updates?

The Page Experience Update is Google’s focus on the user experience and includes a new signal that connects existing metrics with three new metrics: Core Web Vitals.

If it’s always important to provide patients with a good experience for you, this update should be in line with your organization’s core values ​​and business goals.

Similarly, the new signal helps Google measure “how users experience interacting with a page.”

Google says, “Optimizing for these factors makes the web fun for users on all web browsers and surfaces and helps develop sites toward user expectations on mobile. We believe this contributes to business success on the web because users are more engaged and can deal with less friction . “

So when you make sure that your website includes these factors, Google will be happy, potentially happy, and finally, you will be happy.

What are the factors?

    A diagram of the new Core Web Vitals and Page Experience metrics.
Source: Google Search Central

Core Web Vitits (New!)

  • Loading display
  • Interactivity
  • Visual consistency

Basic factors

  • Mobile friendliness
  • Safe Browse.
  • There is no intervening intermediary

Why is this for health and medical sites?

There are two main reasons you should pay attention to upcoming updates and prepare your site:

  1. Page experience will affect your ranking.
  2. This is a mirror Sick experience.

Page experience is going to be a new ranking factor

Google’s algorithm considers hundreds of signals to produce search results. With each update, we learned which signs are more important than the others. In this case, Google has announced that page experience will be a significant ranking factor. How important?

According to Google, “Great Page Experience does not override having great page content. As long as there are many pages that are similar in relevance, the page experience can be more important for visibility in search.”

Page performance, including load time, directly affects the bounce rate or how long a person stays on your web page.

Page experience patient experience mirror

As we’ve shared before, how people interact with your website, especially in the health and medical fields.

With Google’s new update you can measure how patients interact with your site. And with this information at hand, you can take patient satisfaction to the next level.

Important steps to prepare for Google’s upcoming Page Experience update

You know it’s coming, you know it’s important, now what can you do about it?

There are a number of recommendations you can make to improve your site as part of your SEO strategy. If not, these are high level action items to consider as you move towards creating the best user experience for your target audience.

Understand and improve your core web critical score

The first part of preparing for the upcoming update is to understand the core web vitals.

Here are the new metrics, how to find scores, and how to improve resources.

A diagram of Core Web Vits including LCP, FID, and CLS.
Source: WEB.DEV

The three core web vitals include:

  1. Largest Content Color (LCP): Measures how long it takes a user to view the largest content on a page. According to Google, “To provide a better user experience, the LCP appears within 2. seconds when the page first begins to load.”
  2. First input delay (FID): According to Google, FID “measures interactivity, or from the time a user interacts with a page when the browser is actually able to respond to that interaction. Pages must have a FID of less than 100 milliseconds to provide a good user experience.”
  3. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability. “This shuffles how much visible content is viewed on the viewport, as well as the distance it affects the elements. To provide a better user experience, pages must maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.”

What is your score

Google has something new Main Web Vitals Report Google Search Console which allows you to view your score and see how far you can go to reach the given green score.

With your score in hand, you can now begin the work of optimizing your site for Core Web Whitels. Google offers a guide to How to customize your pages for LCP, FID, and CLS.

Create a mobile friendly site

We’ve done a lot to ensure your site Mobile-friendly And problems can arise if your site is not optimized for the mobile experience. A mobile friendly site is important for upcoming updates as it is a factor for Google to produce search results.

Creating a mobile-friendly site is still a priority for many health and medical companies. You can use Google to check if your site is mobile friendly Mobile-friendly testing.

Google suggests using Webmaster Tools and Mobile Utility Reports to see a list of issues that may be preventing your site from becoming more mobile-friendly.

Provide a secure Browsing Exper experience

Are your site users safe from malicious websites and downloads? Safe browsing is one of the metrics Google uses to determine a site’s user performance. If you have a Search Console account, you can easily monitor the security of your site. Google will send you updates on security issues and notify you of any malware, harmful downloads, or misleading pages.

Make sure you have a secure connection

The other side of the update is making sure your webpages are encrypted or offer a secure connection. You can protect your users from attacks such as data breaches, malware, and counterfeit content with a secure connection. That means you have to Move from HTTP to HTTP, If you don’t already have one. A secure website protects not only your visitors but also your revenue.

Avoid intrusive interstitials

While some pop-ups are fine, intrusive interstitials are not. Intrusive interstitial refers to pop-ups that get in the way of content for mobile users. Google considers these user experiences to be detrimental and may negatively affect your rankings.

According to Google, here are some examples of pop-ups:

  • Showing popups covering the main content, immediately after the user navigates to or from the search results page.
  • Performing standalone interstitials that the user must dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • Using a layout where the top-of-the-page portion of the page looks like a standalone interstitial, the original content is pierced below the fold.

What kind of pop-ups are okay? Google gives the following examples:

  • Interstitial legal obligations, such as for cookie use or age verification.
  • Login dialog on sites where the content is not indexed publicly. For example, it includes private content such as email or unindexable content that is behind a paywall.
  • Banners that use a fair amount of screen space and can be easily discarded. For example, the app installation banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a fair amount of screen space.

We listen when Google tells us what happens in an algorithm update. While no one knows how important this algorithm update will be, we know there will be a winner and a loser result. If you want to improve your site’s user experience, increase rankings, and conversions, make sure you’re ready for page experience updates.

If you are looking for website help then we invite you Contact us for an exploratory discussion.

Stewart Gandolph

Chief Executive Officer on Healthcare Success

Stewart Gandalf, MBA, is the CEO of Healthcare Success, one of the country’s leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has acquired practice and counseling for more than 1,000 healthcare clients, from practice and hospital to multibillion-dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise in more than 200 locations nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for several leading industry publications, including the 21,000 Client Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stuart also co-authored, “Cash-Paying Healthcare: Start, Grow and Correct Your Cash-Paying Healthcare Business.” Stuart started his career. Walter Thompson and other leading advertising agencies, where he marketed Total Fitness to Felchun’s 50,000 clients, such as Wells Fargo and Bally.


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