Marketing

A guide to online presence management for doctors

Online presence management is vital to get new patients for your healthcare practice. Retaining existing patients, as well as attracting new patients, demands optimization of your online presence. This includes creating profiles on various digital platforms. In the increasingly competitive healthcare industry, simply creating a website will not give you the results you want.

Here are several ways doctors can take their online presence management to the next level and optimize their digital marketing efforts.

Gather reviews from existing patients

When new patients are looking for a doctor, they often read reviews of all the healthcare providers they are considering. Detailed reviews by other patients are a valuable and trusted resource when choosing a doctor. Research shows that 90% of patients between the ages 18-25 trust medical information shared by their peers.

 

Source: RateMDs

 

A good way to do this is to set up profiles on all the important review sites for healthcare providers.  These sites include ZocDoc, RateMD, HealthGrades, Vitals, and Facebook. You can also ask existing patients to share their positive experiences. Doing this will not only enhance your online presence, but it will also help minimize the effects of negative reviews as your star rating will have more positive reviews to average out the bad.

Read also: Positive reviews equal new dental patients

List your practice on Google My Business

When it comes to online presence management and digital marketing, Google is the ruler. Both search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are important for healthcare providers. For better local SEO, do not underestimate the value of Google My Business. Google My Business is a directory listing platform that displays and syncs the subscriber’s business information on Google Search, Maps, Google Places and Google+. By listing your business on Google My Business, you can get more patients for your local healthcare practice.

Create mobile-optimized websites

Mobile optimized websites are crucial for online presence management. More than 72% of adults in the U.S. use a mobile phone and 62% of them use it to search for healthcare providers, as well as health-related information. This means that the majority of your patients will use their phones to view your website. Additionally, with Google’s updated search engine algorithm, websites that are optimized for mobile devices are given preference for display to users searching with their phones. Therefore, an easy way to boost your search engine ranking and improve your online presence is to make sure your website is optimized for mobile.

Leverage blogging

One of the best ways to improve your online presence is to create a blog. Publishing blog posts on a regular basis is a great way to improve your search engine ranking. It also sets you apart by showing off your expertise, which increases your patients’ trust in your service. An engaging blog can also be helpful in establishing yourself as an industry leader. When thinking about what to post, focus on content that is relevant to your audience and related to your area of specialization. You can add value to your content by targeting high-traffic keywords and building links from high authority websites and credible bloggers. 

Have an active presence on social media

 

One of the most important aspects of online presence management is being active on your social media profiles. Any activity, like “tweets”, “likes”, or “shares” can have a great impact on your search engine rankings. Clever use of social media can also enhance your online presence. Make the most of all social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Remember that every share or retweet that your post gets exposes you to even more prospective patients. And putting a voice and a face on your business can be beneficial for your healthcare practice.

Fix your online listings

Patients want a seamless journey from finding out about your practice to getting the details they need to make an appointment. Inaccurate and incorrect business information will hinder your customer’s progress. They may even turn to competitors if they can’t find the information they need. It is important to keep tabs on your practice’s business listings. Make sure that your name, address, phone number, opening hours and the new patient information is up-to-date and accurate. If you find incorrect information, ensure that you update all your online listings. This should be done on all websites, web directories and social media sites. There’s a high chance that you will be penalized by Google if your phone number does not match across different listings or if the same number appears for different locations. This can have a negative effect on your search engine rankings.

Read also: Listing management: your guide to local SEO

Take your practice to the next level

You can take your healthcare practice to a new level and attract more patients with the right set of online presence management tools. BirdEye is an online reputation management and customer experience solution that can help you solicit positive reviews from your existing patients, fix your listings on directories and social media sites, and also boost your SEO.

Using BirdEye’s dashboard, you can add value to your online listings by adding videos and images. This dynamic content boosts SEO and increases conversions and click-throughs. BirdEye’s free “Scan Your Business” tool gives a glimpse of your online reputation across several sites, showing how you rank among your competitors.  

Want to see it in action? Sign up for a free BirdEye trial account.

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