The Steps Patients Take To Find Your Medical Practice Online
Nowadays, individuals who require medical care are not limited to doctor referrals in order to find the appropriate medical specialist. Rather, they are adopting the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach thanks to the emergence of the Internet. Sure, some rely on word of mouth referrals from friends and official referrals from physicians, yet most prefer to find a medical practice on their own through the web.
Online presence is a must.
You will drastically limit your patient base if you don’t invest in developing an online presence. While it is true that senior citizens who require the most medical care are less inclined to search for docs via the Internet, other burgeoning age cohorts rely on the Internet for information. Even those who don't surf the web likely have family members who do. Such individuals are more than willing to hop onto the Internet to research local medical service providers on behalf of their parents or grandparents.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to a medical practice’s success.
Imagine an individual who is in need of nonlife-threatening medical attention related to his skin. He goes to Google and searches for something like, “dermatologist in Austin”. The search results yield a number of local dermatologists. Yet only those practices that have invested in improving their website’s search engine optimization (SEO) will appear on the first page or two of results.
It is imperative for medical practices to strategically use and place targeted keywords on its website and blog for SEO purposes. These keywords should be relevant to the services and products you offer as well as to the location of your practice. This minute attention to detail will greatly enhance the website’s SEO and increase the odds that potential patients will discover it when conducting an online search.
Patients look for a medical practice they can relate to.
Though it is possible to attract patients with simply a website that contains relevant keywords, it is not the most effective way to get more patients. Your patient acquisition strategy should encompass a number of different tactics that draw more patients to your practice.
- User experience plays an important role in patient acquisition. Is your website easy to navigate? Does it have a modern design?
- Do your website images mirror the demographics of your patient population?
- Content should be written in a way that speaks to your target audience. Is your content dull or generic? Custom clinical content should not be overlooked.
- Medical practices with an informative blog will find it easier to establish a rapport with their prospective patients.
Your practice’s website should be designed for the patients you are trying to attract.
Social media expands your reach.
Patients may go a step further and check out your social media posts to get the latest information about you and your practice. Nowadays, just about everyone has a social media account or at least, knows about social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Medical practices must establish social media accounts on these major social networks and the accounts should be updated on a regular basis to further improve the practic
e’s SEO and engage potential patients.
A medical practice should use its social media accounts to develop a rapport with the public and to provide regular updates pertaining to the practice’s specialization as well as the medical industry as a whole.
Social media can also be used for a myriad of other purposes including:
- Sharing patient success stories
- Announcing the addition of new physicians
- Interacting with other users
The key to maximizing your social media presence is to continuously update your accounts with useful information aiming to improve patients' lives. By providing valuable information on a regular basis, you will instill trust in potential patients.
Google maps direct patients to your office.
As previously mentioned, the average person in need of medical attention will conduct an online search for local medical providers. This is precisely why every medical practice should be listed on Google Maps and have listings linked to Google Maps.
When a medical practice is listed on Google Maps and someone types in the name of their city paired with a term like “doctor” or “medical provider”, the relevant medical practices’ names and locations will appear on the Google Map.
Do you want a proven, patient acquisition strategy?
The path to medical practice discovery is not always the same for every patient, and as marketers, our job is to map out the different patient journeys so we can enhance and optimize each touch point. At docero we use a proven and logical process for patient acquisition; one that can be applied to every type of practice. To grow your practice, you must attract, engage and convert patients.