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One of the most important things you can do in order to drive traffic to your healthcare website from a search engine is to create and maintain an online blog. We here at MindStream Creative stress this frequently, because it is a fun and fairly straightforward way to beef up your social media marketing strategy. It is also the best way to make your voice heard and reach out to your patients via the Internet. Nothing has made the necessity for blogging more apparent than Google’s recent change in their search engine algorithm.

This algorithm update is called Google Panda, and it could change the way we as Internet users search for content. It could also change the way patients find and receive health-related information.

Previously Google used an algorithm called PageRank, which assigned a numerical value to a web page depending on the presence of certain variables, the most prominent of which was the presence of multiple hyperlinks. PageRank was in use for over a decade, but in the past few months and years Google began to rely less and less on the algorithm. The development of the Panda update likely came in response to the growing trend of social media sharing.

Since the Panda update, most of the search results have been completely inverted. Websites previously buried deep in the mass of search results may now pop up on page one, and vice versa. Why? Because of the amount of unique and social content these pages contain. This means that link building is not enough to get your practice’s website on page one of a Google search. Social media is no longer an option for your online healthcare marketing strategy. It is mandatory.

Blogging is one of the fastest ways to vault your practice’s website to the top of the rankings because it gives you the opportunity to create content that is 100 percent yours. As mentioned in previous articles, it is not a good idea to copy and repost content from another person’s website. This pushes you further down in the rankings. Instead it is better to use your own words and bring your own perspective to life when you write about a topic. Including buttons and links to social media sharing sites like Facebook and Twitter will also boost your rankings. Things like images and videos – objects commonly searched for and shared by Internet users – will also take priority.

The Panda update gives priority to content that is fresh, unique, and, most importantly, shareable. This is what your patients want, and Google is accommodating them. Google is also accommodating you by giving your audience a peek into the uniqueness of your practice. If you’ve been holding off on social media, now is the time to jump in. MindStream Creative’s team of experts can help you develop content that will boost your healthcare website’s rankings and keep your patients happy.