Today’s consumers look for products and services online. And your patients are no different. Being online is no longer optional; if you want potential patients to find you, you must be where they are.
A website, Google My Business (GMB) listing and profiles on relevant social media channels are all good places to start enhancing your presence online, increasing awareness of your practice while boosting the patient experience.
You likely already have a website for your practice, but when was the last time you updated it? People browsing the internet for health care providers are immediately turned off by a site that looks outdated or features incorrect information. Likewise, if a potential patient opens your website on a tablet or smartphone and the page doesn’t resize to fit the screen, they are sure to hit the “back” button before exploring further.
In addition to updating your site and making it responsive, don’t hide important information; make hours of operation, office location(s), and contact details easy to find. Describe your services, including specialty services like pediatrics or tinnitus treatment, clearly so people looking at your website understand what it is you do and whether your offering fits what they are looking for. Include a “Meet the Team” page with provider and front staff headshots and bios to help patients get to know you virtually. And finally, include testimonials from existing patients to add even more legitimacy to your practice.
GMB is designed for business owners to boost their local Google search. A free tool, you can create a business listing, complete with contact information, hours, and photos, to improve search engine optimization (SEO) and help potential patients in your area easily find you. Before creating your listing, however, check to see whether one already exists. Any Google user can create a business profile, and duplicate listings can negatively impact your online credibility. If you discover an existing page, you can claim it through Google, which will send you a postcard within a week to verify your business.
Once you have administrative access to your listing, complete your profile by:
GMB is also used as a review source. Well over half (63%) of patients consider a practice’s online reviews and reputation before making an appointment, according to a MarkeTrak study. Ask your patients for reviews and respond to them, whether they are positive or negative. Offer incentives for reviews, like coffee gift cards or discounted service, if possible.
Don’t take a “set it and forget it” approach to your Google My Business listing. Update hours, contact details, and other information as needed and add photos of your location and staff.
Social media is an incredibly useful tool to promote your practice, disseminate information, and maintain engagement with patients. But you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew; take a quality over quantity approach and choose only the platforms your patients are using – and optimize them.
Whatever social sites you choose, make sure your business profiles on each are complete. As with your website and GMB listing, update hours and contact information as they change. Post often – daily, if possible – with answers to common questions; updates about hours or closures; behind-the-scenes photos of your office, staff, and patients (with their permission); product information; promotions or events; and other relevant content your patients and social audience might be interested in.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to increase awareness and enhance your patient experience. Elite Hearing Network supports our members with tools and resources for online marketing. Contact us to learn more about our membership.