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This year will be a banner year for Google. The digital landscape is changing, and Google’s search engine results pages will have a much different appearance by the end of 2020. Google is trying to align with current search behavior, as well as attempting to squeeze more revenue out of its search engine searches – especially the first page of results. What does that mean for you? That means that any marketing program with search engine optimization (SEO) as a component will need to make some adjustments. 

Google’s January 2020 Update

Google’s most recent round of announcements and updates began in January 2020. That’s when it started focusing more ad advertisements, maps, and snippets (which are the question and answer sections). This adjustment in focus pushes normal (organic, non-advertisement) search results listings further down the results page, especially as it relates to finance and health companies. Now, the first page of search results will typically only have three normal listings. 

Google As A Competitor For Search Results

In addition to the adjustments in focus and the addition of search results page-top advertising, Google is also slowly introducing its own Local Service Advertisements. We’ll cover this in more detail in a separate article – so stay tuned for that. But essentially, Google has been incorporating advertisements into its Google Maps listings for a while, but now, these same ads will also start showing up on the first page of search results. With more page-top advertising and more Local Service Ads, this means that there will be even less space on the first page for normal search results. If you want to see those organic, non-paid listings, skip to page two of the search results. You’re competing with Google for a very limited amount of space on page one of the search results.

How Should You Change Your Marketing Focus To Accommodate These Changes?

If your marketing plan includes the phrase search engine optimization (SEO), then you will need to evolve your strategy along with Google. What does this look like? Over the next year, you should be placing more emphasis on your Google My Business map listings by including local, optimized content and a steady stream of positive reviews. How you develop and position this new, optimized content will also become more important. Where you position your content ultimately shapes how Google selects its content for its featured snippets (Q&A). You also need to incorporate perfect architectural construction and ensure that your pages have fast load speeds. (These two items also align with the Google 2019 updates, but hey, there’s no time like the present to optimize your listings, right?)

How PracticeProfs Can Help

There’s no magic formula for aligning your marketing with the 2020 Google updates, but implementing these essential changes may be more difficult than you think. As we progress through 2020, it will be interesting to see whether the big marketing “engines” are flexible enough to make those adjustments. But with PracticeProf’s clients, we’re already making changes to their marketing programs to keep closely aligned with the Google updates and refocusing. If you’re looking for someone to evaluate your approach and recommend adjustments, we’re here to help. To learn more about how we can help your business grow, or to schedule a marketing seminar for your group, please click here.

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