Submitting a Ticket through ZenDesk: The HCA Digital Operations Online Help Desk

By: Hannah Brown

How to Submit a Ticket on ZenDesk

The Digital Marketing Operations Team is excited to introduce Zendesk. Zendesk is an online help desk that allows HCA practices and marketing teams to easily submit any update requests or questions regarding their online listings, Binary Fountain or general reputation management to HCA’s Digital Marketing Operations Team. After a user submits a ticket, a member of the team will follow up regarding the request within 24 hours.

Going forward, we ask that you use this online help desk to:

  • Claim or update online profiles for your hospital, service lines, practice or physicians.
  • Inquire about responding to a review
  • Report a duplicate online profile for removal
  • Contest or hide an online review
  • Make updates to Binary Fountain
  • Provide general feedback to our team
  • ….and much, much more. When in doubt, fill it out!

Here is how to submit a request through Zendesk:

  1. Go to https://hcadigital.zendesk.com. Please note: You do not need to log in.
  2. Click Submit a Ticket.
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  3. Select the type of request you are submitting: Online Business Listings, Binary Fountain, Reviews or Miscellaneous.
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  4. Select a sub-category for your request under the request options.
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  5. Complete a request form, detailing all relevant information. The following fields are required and must be completed in order to submit a request:
    1. Your name
    2. Your email
    3. Your division
    4. Your location name
    5. A detailed description of the issue

After submitting a request, a member of our dedicated team will follow up with you within 24 hours and continue to provide regular updates on the progress of your request via email. Multiple team members are available to assist with your requests or filter them to the correct people. Additionally, users also have access to a library of digital marketing toolkits to reference at their convenience.

With your help, we look forward to providing a faster, more transparent and more structured support system to better serve you. If you have any questions, please contact Hannah.brown@hcahealthcare.com.

 

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

By: Kelly Bodell

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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.

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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.

Natural Language Search and SEO Impact

By: Glenn Judah

Each person has their own unique style of communicating from particular word choice to sentence phrasing. When you tell a story or talk in conversation, it feels natural. Communicating with a search engine on the other hand, can feel forced.  We are used to performing keyword-based searches to find information on the web.

This is changing.

According to Search Engine Watch, natural language search “is an attempt to make searching faster and more effective by understanding searcher intent and more complex, multi-part queries.”

Google wants to answer our questions based on how we would ask a real living person. Computers and technology has made major improvements to process natural language and respond appropriately. Google made advances to understanding and answering questions with voice search in 2008, and the Knowledge Graph in 2012.

The search engine giant says “the Google app is starting to truly understand the meaning of what you’re asking.” This allows Google to understand the semantics and intent for each search query.

How does this work?

Search Engine Land reports Google is improving at handling superlatives, times and other complicated questions. Examples include:

  • What are the largest cities in Texas?
  • What songs did Taylor Swift record in 2014?
  • Who was the U.S. President when the Angels won the World Series?

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What impact does natural language search have on SEO?

Google and other search engines have been moving away from the importance keyword targeting for delivering relevant search results. Natural language search is the next step in this process for evaluating page content beyond keywords and looking at overall quality, related topics and searcher intent.

Google wants digital marketers, content writers and webmasters to create content that is for the user, not the search engine. If you speak the language of your consumer, then the correct keywords will naturally come through the content.

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.

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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 LAYOUT – BEFORE

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SEM LAYOUT – AFTER

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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.

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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?

No.

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.

How to Update Location Information in Google

By: Kelly Bodell

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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 google.com/business 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:                                              
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    Google Maps:      

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  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:
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    Google Maps:

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  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.

Google Makes Update to Core Ranking Algorithm

By: Glenn Judah

Google UpdatesGoogle’s webmaster trends analysts Gary Illyes, John Mueller and Zineb Ait Bahajji confirmed via Twitter a major update was rolled out to the search engine’s core ranking algorithm over the weekend.

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Search Engine Land, a SEO and digital marketing blog, reported this was not an update to Penguin, which is Google’s algorithmic filter launched in 2012 focused on demoting or promoting websites based on link spam. This has lead LinkResearchTools, a digital data and marketing company, to guess when the Penguin 4.0 update will happen in 2016.

As of right now, this update does not have a name. Moz, an SEO consulting company, reported historically-large rankings movement using multiple search engine tracking tools on Jan. 8.

Moz estimates that Google updates its search engine algorithm around 500-600 times a year. So why could this update be more important than all of the tiny tweaks?

With every major Google update, only time will tell how search rankings are affected. But knowing when Google makes a large change is critical to SEO success. Businesses, large and small, need to look where they were ranking before this weekend and see if this core update has affected their position. Digital marketers should be looking at organic search traffic to determine how the update is affecting their websites.

You need to analyze this data to learn about Google’s latest update and make the appropriate changes to increase rankings and enhance your overall SEO.