Have you Googled your ASC lately?

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Mobilegeddon is upon us. Starting today, Google will be changing how websites are ranked by expanding the use of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal.

Translation: If your ASC’s website is not mobile friendly, it won’t appear in a Google search. But why is Google making such a change? Because most people use their smartphones as their primary device for searching the web.

If you haven’t Googled your ambulatory surgery center lately to find out where you rank and what your digital reputation looks like, the time to do so is now, especially if your site has yet to be optimized.

Mobilegeddon and the ASC community

Greg Sterling, an independent analyst and columnist for the SearchEngineLand website, said that as much as 40 percent of the top websites on the Internet are not mobile friendly. In the ASC community, that number is even higher. A random review of 100 ASC websites by Root3 Growth Marketing found that upwards of 66 percent were not considered mobile friendly by Google.

According to Sterling, a website that is not mobile friendly but currently ranks in the top first or second spot could, hypothetically, drop to ninth or 10th, if not even further. This drop could directly impact a business, resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue, which could be devastating for an ASC.

If you don’t know if your website is mobile friendly, just Google it using Google’s mobile friendly test tool. If your website passes, then you’re set. But if it doesn’t, it’s time to take some immediate action to optimize your Center’s site for mobile devices.

What appears in a Google search of your Center?

Even if you can’t make the updates by tomorrow, it doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. Keep in mind that many businesses and services are not only found through their own website, but also through online directories like Yelp and Google’s local search listings. So while it is important that your Center’s website is mobile friendly to ensure that you appear in a Google search, it can be equally as important to know what shows up when somebody types the name of your ASC in Google’s search bar.

Your digital reputation on listing sites like Yelp and other medical facility directories can be just as important to your Center’s financial health. Having more positive than negative reviews and a solid ranking can help get business in the door just as well as, if better, than your actual website.

Since local listing often ties appear in a search before a website, being sure that your Center’s information is up-to-date in your online directory listings and social channels may buy some time until your site is optimized.

But don’t wait too long to make your Center’s website mobile friendly, which can be done one of two ways:

  • Create a completely separate site designed with functionality designed for mobile devices
  • Use a responsive web design (RWD) that adapts your current website’s layout based on screen size (Google recommended)

Whichever option you choose, the time to start is now. When a patient is researching an ASC in their area, there’s a good chance they’re using their mobile device. If your ASC’s website is not optimized, you could lose out on business.

Scott Christiansen has been an innovator in the development, execution, and evolution of growth marketing platforms and strategies. Currently, Christiansen is Founder and CEO of Root3 Growth Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing and consulting agency focused on developing long-term success strategies for high-growth businesses.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Becker's Hospital Review/Becker's Healthcare. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

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