Being a doctor, your sole aim is to help your patients get well and grow your practice exponentially. To grow your practice, you need more patients. Gone are the days when word-of-mouth marketing used to be the only way of patient acquisition. In this era of the Internet, you need to view things differently and understand the necessity of online presence.
The Internet has enlarged the scope for patients to select from numerous doctors. Today, people search a practice or practitioner online and check reviews on various review platforms. So, your strong online reputation can be built only through a good online presence. How to get a strong online presence for your practice? Let’s see below.
- Engaging website
When searching your details or specialty on Google, a patient wishes to see your website. It is a hook that can change a lead into a conversion. Or it is the first step to building a long-term relationship with your existing patients. Your practice website should be easy to navigate and user-friendly so viewers can easily locate your contact details. Also, there should be a clear display of services you offer. Case studies and testimonials can add to trust-building with potential patients. Your website should be rich in relevant content. A patient lands on your website in search of some relevant content on his illness or treatment. Your content should be simple and succinct. You are likely to lose your potential patient if the content is not engaging.
Design and information are interrelated. If your website lacks responsive design, your informative content will go in vain. And you must have a patient portal where your patients can schedule an appointment, post any query, check their reports, pay bills, etc. This will surely increase your popularity among Millennials.
- Traffic on website
Now that you have your practice website with all components, it’s time to drive traffic to it. After analyzing patient demographics, lifestyle, behavior, etc., you need to decide which services to promote. Now, for promotion through pay-per-click (PPC), you need to consider keywords, zip codes or age bracket of the intended audience.
Organic search that serves for 51% of website traffic is driven by the content that needs to be optimized. Good SEO for your site acts as a supplement to a paid advertisement. You should make use of Google AdWords for keyword selection. Also, there are few points to keep in mind when selecting keywords:
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
- Avoid generic words and go for keywords specific to your practice
- Make use of long-tail keywords for better traffic and leads
- Mentioning of location helps with local SEO leads and general popularity in your area
- Keep updating the keyword list according to changing trends
- Hire an SEO expert, as healthcare marketing is not everyone’s cup of tea
You need to remember that people are interested in the search results on the first page; rarely do searchers go to the second or third page. Thus you need your practice to appear on the first page of the Google search.
Another way of getting traffic is through blogs and unique content for the website. Blogs help you to establish the thought-leader personality. Also, it is a nice way to inform your target audience about the services offered by your practice. Content on your website should be presented in different forms such as articles, infographics, videos, etc.
- Presence on social media
Social media has a great influence on our lives. It is more than just a place to socialize; instead, it is a place to enhance knowledge and find solutions for many of your problems. According to a study published in Journal of General Internal Medicine in January 2016, 18% of patients communicated through Facebook with their doctors. Social media is a great platform to strengthen the bond with your patients. You are able to showcase your social side in addition to your professional one. You can share your blogs, health tips, healthcare updates or anything, in general, to communicate with your existing and potential patients. Also, this grows trust of people in your practice.
- Positive online reviews
Online reviews build the reputation of your practice. There are numerous review platforms and patients prefer checking reviews for a doctor before visiting the practice. If you don’t wish to ruin your online reputation, you need to stay alert and monitor your profiles on various review sites. You should reply to all comments received from patients and check for review spam. Remember, never ignore reviews since it is like ignoring your patients. Handle bad reviews smartly to save your practice’s reputation from deterioration.