Google Adds Third-Party Reviews to Knowledge Panel

By: Keiana Hastings

Long gone are the days of scouring the internet for online reviews. Reviews are everywhere and easier to find than ever before. Last month, Google announced a new feature, reviews from the web, which pulls reviews from multiple websites and displays them in Google’s knowledge panel. This new feature allows users to see more useful, relevant content regarding their local search.  The screenshot below shows how the feature looks on smart phones.

As shown below, Google now showcases other review sites’ ratings in addition to the business’s Google My Business rating in the knowledge panel. Agoogle-new-featureccording to a Google spokesperson, the order in which the review sites are shown will be determined by relevance.

What does this mean for my practice or hospital?

When a patient performs a Google search, they now see reviews from third-party sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades, Vitals, etc., making your practice’s ratings on these sites more visible and relevant than ever.

While asking for reviews can be awkward and uncomfortable initially, it is a vital step in increasing the online presence and ratings for your practice. For more information on how to acquire new reviews, contact your reputation management account manager.


The New PMP: 5 Things You Need to Know

By: Kelly Bodell


We’ve heard you, and we’re making a change!

Promote My Practice has an exciting update – the Marketing and Digital Services team will now be centrally managing all online profiles, which includes updates for existing profiles and claiming requests for new practices, providers or locations. While Promote My Practice is our Physician Services Group online marketing brand and encompasses many services – including resources on online marketing and social media Best Practices, toolkits, newsletters, blog posts, etc. – our Online Marketing Training Program was a significant offering within that brand.

With the announcement of our listings management implementation, we have received a lot of questions about the Promote My Practice program and where it stands. The program itself is still active, and our team will continue to assist with questions and best practices in regard to online listing and social media sites. The biggest change to the program is the retirement of the Course 100, 200 and 300 offerings.

5 Things You Need to Know:

  1. Practices will no longer enroll in a five-week course to learn how to claim listings – all basic online profiles will now be centrally claimed and managed.
  2. New practices or new Practice Managers will no longer participate in a structured Promote My Practice course to receive training on claiming/updating listings, since all listings will be managed centrally.
    • We will be launching a new 1-hour Healthstream Training Session this summer specifically for new practices/new managers to learn how our team is managing online profiles and the new process for submitting updates. Stay tuned for more updates on this online course.
  3. All passwords to existing online profiles have been updated with new credentials and will be maintained by one source, eliminating any Practice Manager transition or login issues.
  4. Yext – a listings management vendor – will also continuously monitor and update any additional profiles that are created on online listing websites (including other 3rd party websites, such as Yahoo, not covered in PMP).
  5. Course 200 – our Facebook course – has been paused this year due to leadership prioritization of centralized listings management. If you are interested in managing a Facebook page for your practice or taking action on an unclaimed page that exists for your practice, we will assist with page setup and share training materials, Best Practices and resources to those administering the page.

 How Do I Make Updates to My Listings?

  • All Claiming Requests: If there is a Google My Business, Yelp, Vitals, Healthgrades, Foursquare or Angie’s List profile that needs to be claimed, contact Kelly Bodell.
  • All Profile Update Requests: If any of the above listings need to be updated, please contact Hannah Brown. These two account managers will help with any of your online listing needs and questions.

Our team will continue to update this blog with helpful news, tips and recommendations for promoting your practice’s online presence. The helpful articles in this blog will be summarized in our PSG Social Media and Online Marketing Updates email, which will now be sent quarterly. If you would like to be added to the email list, please contact Emily Williams.

If you have any additional questions about Promote My Practice and how we support PSG, please reach out to Amanda Short.

Google’s Online Appointment Request Feature: What You Need to Know

By: Kelly Bodell


Did you know that for certain practices, patients can now begin the appointment scheduling process right after searching your practice on Google?

Healthgrades unrolled the Online Appointment Request (OAR) call to action on Google last month for Patient Direct Connect affiliated practices.

What this means is if your practice is signed up for Healthgrades’ Patient Direct Connect or the Elective Provider Program through a hospital affiliation, when a patient Googles your practice, there will be a “Book an appointment” section at the bottom of your practice’s Google My Business listing on the right-hand side of the window. This OAR feature is also available on mobile devices.


The drop down appointment scheduling boxes allow a patient to select the doctor they want to see, mark whether they are a new or existing patient and indicate whether the appointment is for them or if they are making the appointment for someone else. Once a patient has selected the required information, they continue the booking by clicking “Continue booking” and are directed to the Healthgrades website to finalize the appointment request.

Here are the top 5 things you should know about the Online Appointment Request feature:

  1. This is a free, added service if your practice is already a Patient Direct Connect or Elective Provider Program client through an HCA hospital affiliation. If you are not affiliated with a hospital that is currently enrolled in the sponsorship programs, this feature is not available for you at this time. If you have any questions about Healthgrades’ Patient Direct Connect or Elective Provider programs, please contact Kelly Bodell.
  2. In order for the OAR to appear on Google, the Healthgrades and Google listings have to have the same address. If the addresses do not align, the OAR feature will not appear for a practice. If a Healthgrades and/or Google listing address is incorrect, please contact Hannah Brown.
  3. If the physicians listed in the “Choose your doctor” drop down are incorrect, or there are missing physicians, please contact Kelly Bodell.
  4. This feature only requests appointments for new patients. If the patient is an existing patient, they will be directed to the Healthgrades profile of the physician they selected and will receive an alert that directs them to schedule with that physician by calling the practice phone number.
  5. You can receive metrics from this feature and track patient engagement. The analytics from the scheduler are added to the OAR metrics report that a practice receives if they are affiliated with a hospital currently enrolled in the Healthgrades sponsorship programs.

If you have any questions about the Healthgrades Online Appointment Request, please contact Kelly Bodell on the Online Marketing Team.

How Google’s New Paid Ad Layout Impacts Organic Search

By: Chris McCarthy

Google recently changed the layout of their search engine result pages (SERPs) to make more room for paid search ads at the top of a results page, which has many wondering about an organic search and advertising ripple effect.

Remember, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is paid advertising that enables listings to appear at the top of a results page. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are the organic listings that show below the paid ads.


Now that Google has changed their SERP layout, four paid search advertisements now occupy the top of the SERPs instead of the previous maximum of three (while removing the “right rail” of ads).


sem before


sem after

As you can see, paid ads get more real estate at the top of a SERP, bumping organic results further down the page.

Whenever a change like this occurs, website rankings shift, causing the digital marketing industry to react with different organic and paid search strategies. With Google serving as the prominent search engine choice for more than half of the world, it is important to monitor how this change may affect your organic search rankings and the traffic to your website.

Here is what you need to know about Google’s new ad display change:

Why Google Changed Display Ad Layout

Mobile search has grown exponentially. The new layout makes desktop results similar to the current mobile SERP.  The idea behind this is to provide users with a seamless experience and relevant search results. The overarching goal is to focus on user intent and providing answerable content.

What is the Impact on Organic Search?

With paid search growing in real estate, all organic search results move down the list. Now, more than ever, optimizing content to rank organically is crucial. As organic search results move further down the list, more visibility will be given to the advertisers holding the first four spots.

In order to grab a user’s attention, search engine marketers and search engine optimization specialists need to work together on a combined effort targeting high organic rankings and paid ads. For brick-and-mortar businesses, search engine optimization is vital to help rank in the local pack in organic search. A strategy to advertise, appear in local pack and rank high will provide the user with many opportunities to click.

Adapting to the New SERPs

Focus on the customer journey by creating content and ad campaigns with the user in mind. Bridge optimization between advertisements and content. By devoting time to become a trusted resource to users and search engines, your website will gain authority.

Google+: Does It Have an Impact on SEO? What’s Next?

By: Glenn Judah

When Google+ launched in June of 2011, the SEO industry stood up and took notice.


Google announced this new social network on its blog saying, “We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project.”

It made sense to invest time and energy creating content for this platform run by the largest search engine. Businesses and brands actively using Google+ saw improvements in search rankings. Google+ even developed features for authors to provide increased visibility in search results for their content.
But almost five years later, Google+ has not lived up to the hype leaving it to be stripped for parts.

Is it still worth spending effort on Google+ for SEO?


Success Magazine explains bluntly, “The platform will never have the amount of impact it was purported to one day achieve, and if you continue to invest time and money into Google+ as a major element of your SEO campaign, you will continue to see declining returns.”

Google shut down authorship in 2014, ending Google+’s main SEO impact.

What is next for Google+?

Google has not abandoned the social network. Instead, it is slicing up Google+’s best features and repacking them in new products. The Social Times believes Google+ “will live on in the form of better, more intuitive products.” Products such as Google My Business and Places do play an important role in SEO.

A new Google+ related product, tentatively named Google Posts, is currently being tested by select local businesses. Local search expert, Mike Blumenthal, states “Google appears to have a new post/stream oriented publishing platform waiting in the wings to replace Plus. Unlike Plus it is currently being given broad front page exposure on keyword searches.”

Google describes Posts as an experiment “with a new way for users to hear directly from select entities they’re searching for on Google….Creating content is fast and simple, and once published, posts will appear instantly in search results related to the publisher. Each post can also be shared on popular social networks.”

Google Posts is currently invite-only, but you can join the waiting list.

Will Google Posts be the new Google+? The only thing true is Google’s promise to test, experiment and improve its products.

4 SEO Tips From SMX West

By: Chris McCarthy

SMX West, the digital marketing conference for the “SEO and SEM obsessed”, took place in San Jose, California last week with presentations surrounding the present and future state of online search. Speakers and conference attendees came from all over the country to discuss everything from advanced keyword research to the latest Google innovations.

SEO Tips

After attending almost all SEO presentations, and learning about how sophisticated optimization has become, here are four SEO-related highlights from the conference:

Keyword Research is still relevant, but exact keyword targeting and keyword stuffing is dead. Keyword research should be performed to compose quality content that satisfies user intent and answers questions. When performing keyword research focus on specific terms and phrases to generate easy to read content that is sharable and valuable. Some golden rules for curating valuable content include:

  • Answering why a user should be on your website
  • Appealing to emotions
  • Problem solving
  • A call-to-action

Website Audits can be performed for various reasons, but the most common is to diagnose traffic drops or search engine penalties. Oftentimes search engine bots locate backend issues during crawls that affect rankings, and an SEO breakdown will determine on-page and off-page SEO health. Some helpful site audit crawling tools include:

Customer Journey is incredibly important for building a long-term digital content strategy. As the search engines rollout more advanced ways to synthesize consumer needs with predictive and voice search, focusing on user intent is vital. Adapting SEO for applications like Amazon Echo and iPhone’s Siri requires more than keyword enriched content. Concentrating on consumer trends and search behavior can provide honest data to create answerable, unique content. Some helpful tools to help with this strategy include:

  • Amazon Predictive Search
  • Google Predictive Search
  • Google Trends

Link Building is another way to build website authority and establish credibility. However, link quality will always be superior to link quantity. Quality is determined by the authority of the host sites and the sites linking to them. When garnering links from websites with high domain authority (DA), a score determined by search engines based on credibility, is considered an endorsement. The best way to receive an “endorsement” is to establish your website or brand as an expert. This goes back to creating sought after content that answers user questions and provides valuable information.

How to Update Location Information in Google

By: Kelly Bodell


Note: If you are a hospital, contact our team to update your location information in Google. 

Google is a wonderful tool, and if used correctly, it will help patients find your practice, call to make an appointment and it may even direct them right to your practice’s door. However, if your practice’s information is incorrect in Google it can create havoc.

If your phone number is incorrect you could be losing appointments, if your address is incorrect patients may get lost on their way to your location, and neither of those are a good ways to start of your patient relationship and experience with your practice.

That is why we always recommend you check your Google listing at least once a month to make sure the information about your practice is correct. If you check your listing and notice you need to make changes, follow the below steps.

>> Situation 1: If your listing is claimed and verified in your Google My Business account, you can make changes by following the below steps.

  1. Log into your Google My Business Account by visiting and logging in.
  2. Once you are in your Google My Business dashboard, click Manage Location.GoogBlog_1
  3. Once you are in the listing, you can click the Edit Info link (the middle tab in the top blue bar) or you can click the red Edit button that is in the top right corner of your listing.GoogBlog_2
  4. When you are done typing your changes, click the Done editing button on the bottom.


>> Situation 2: If your listing is not claimed and/or verified, you can make changes by following the below steps. (*Please note you need to have a Gmail account in order to track your edits to a business listing.)

  1. Search your listing in Google Search or Google Maps. If you search through Google Search, a Google My Business listing may pop up on the right-hand side of the window. If you search through Google Maps, the listing will appear under the search bar on the left.
  2. Click on Suggest an edit link toward the bottom of the listing.Google Search:                                              

    Google Maps:      


  1. If you are working in Google Search, click on the edit pencil on the right side of the section you need to edit. If you are working in Google Maps, click on the text area that you want to edit and a new text box will appear where you can type in your edit. Once you are finished, click Submit.Google Search:
    Google Maps:



  1. Once your edits are in, monitor your Gmail account for confirmation that your edits were indeed made. If your edits were not approved or published, contact Google Support.

Please note that we recommend you claim any unclaimed listings for your practice that exist on Google. This will allow you to edit the information in the future and remove the listing if it is a duplicate listing for your practice. If there is an unclaimed listing for your practice and you have not been through Promote My Practice Couse 100 or need help claiming it, please contact the Online Marketing Team.