Google Is Messing with Everyone AGAIN- Here's What Home Care Agencies Need to Know

Google Is Messing with Everyone AGAIN- Here’s What Home Care Agencies Need to Know

Switch your efforts to Facebook. 🙂

Ok, in all seriousness, here’s more info on what’s happening!

There’s been a lot of talk lately surrounding Google’s impending “mobile first index”. Ever since mobile web traffic surpassed desktop in October 2016, it’s been impossible to ignore the shift in how consumers now use search.

Confirmed to take effect in 2018, the new index will prioritize mobile sites over desktop.

This is a big deal for home care since many customers who search for senior care on their mobile device go on to make a call, or fill out a form, with the majority doing so within the hour.

Having a strong mobile presence is now crucial for home care agencies looking to stay competitive, and with a predicted smartphone purchase growth rate of 4.4% in 2018, the time to prepare for the mobile shift is ASAP.

So how do you go about preparing?  Let’s take a look!

1. Complete Your “Google My Business” Information

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“Google My Business” is a Google feature that creates a listing for your business, and allows customers to find and interact with you via Google search and maps, all before even going to your website!

It’s completely free to use, and you can create a listing for each of your home care agency locations.

Important: Make sure you have one 1 LISTING.  Multiple listings for the same office is NOT good.  Google will penalize you for this, severely hurting your chances of showing up within the top 3 search results!

Here’s the info you’ll want to have included:

Business Hours

 There are few things more disappointing than calling a home care agency, only to find out it’s closed.

Having your location’s business hours instantly displayed for potential customers searching on mobile is your first step to locking in your home care agency as an option for needy caregivers.

We recommend that if you have someone on-call 24 hours, make sure your business settings say “ALWAYS OPEN”


 70% of mobile searchers use Google click-to-call, and for a good reason!

Even in 2017, the copy- and- paste functionality on smartphones sucks.

Click-to-call is far simpler.

And get this-  61% of mobile searchers who are ready to make to speak with someone saying that click-to-call is the most important feature for a business to have.

When a customer has a very specific question (i.e. what is your hourly rate ;)) the easiest way for them to get a quick answer is to call your home care agency. Click-to-call makes that process a piece of cake.

  2. Add A Google-Optimized Map

 Once your information has been updated, the work isn’t over quite yet.

When Google does comparisons of the data found on your listings across the web, it will reference the most important source of all- your website. By adding a Google-generated map to your site, you reinforce that the location data found in your GMB listing is accurate.

3.  Get A Mobile-Friendly Navigation Menu

 When visiting your mobile site, users should be able to quickly see their site options via your navigation menu.
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Google Is Messing with Everyone AGAIN- Here's What Home Care Agencies Need to Know 11

5. Optimize Your Images For Mobile

The next step is optimizing those images for mobile

Use medium sized images.

Small ones don’t show enough detail, and large ones will massively slow down your page load time ( 53% of users will abandon a mobile site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load!)

According to a study of the 100 most popular mobile sites, the preferred file type is .JPG with a size of 29 KB

Make your image filenames descriptive

Use keywords that make sense, and aim for 3 – 8 words.  Only use alphanumeric characters ( don’t use:  ! @ # $ % ^ & * (  > ” ? ) and use hyphens instead of spaces.

 For example: home-care-flowery-branch-ga


For example: home-care-flowery-branch-ga


Add Alt text

Since Google can’t actually see your images, you need to add alt text to assist the search engine in understanding what is being shown. Once you add alt text, Google’s search engine bots can crawl your image and index it appropriately. There are two main benefits to this:

  1.    Discoverability via Google Image Search
    • With one-third of searches being Google image searches, this is definitely desirable. By having optimized images, you’ll find favor with Google’s image index.
  2. A traffic boost for your mobile site.
    You’ll most likely receive a traffic boost since you’re providing more ways for customers to come in contact with your home care agency as they’re searching the web.
 Another use of alt text is to provide a description of your image in the scenario that it doesn’t load. Similar to your image file names, you’ll want to keep it concise, and filled with relevant keywords.

So here’s the deal. Google’s mobile-first index will be taking place in 2018, although we don’t know the exact date.

What we do know: Consumers are using their mobile devices to look up information on search engines at least as often as they do on a desktop.

Need help with your online presence? Schedule an appointment to talk to our amazing staff – we will get you where you need to be in 2018. Call 888-404-1513

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