The worldwide adoption of the internet has had a profound impact on the way that any type of business markets themselves. Medical practices are no exception. In the past, doctors could rely on word of mouth, referrals, or paper advertisements to attract new patients to their groups. These traditional methods are useful ways to acquire new patients, but the widespread use of the internet allows for more opportunities to market your services.
Considering that the lifetime value of a new patient is worth thousands of dollars to most medical practices, medical professionals should be doing all that they can to acquire new patients and maintain their relationships with existing ones.
Today, 84 percent of patients trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family. Despite this, many medical practices have not taken significant steps to improve their online image. This presents an opportunity for smart practices who know that their online image matters to take action to improve their presence online and reap the rewards.
1. Get Your Practice Listed on Relevant Sites
Having a website is important, but so is making sure that your practice is listed on relevant sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook and Healthgrades. These sites can direct new potential patients to your practice. In some cases, your practice might already be listed on these sites, but the pages remain unclaimed. In this case, make sure to claim your pages so you have the ability to make changes and update your practice’s publicly listed information such as the Name, Address and Phone number (known as NAP).
2. Ask Your Patients for Reviews
Unfortunately, the only people who tend to leave online reviews are those who have had a negative experience. However, since most of your patients don’t know how big of a help a 5-star review can be, simply asking for a review will go a long way. At the end of a visit, politely ask your patients who have had a positive experience to leave a more accurate review of your practice. Be sure to let your patients know how much you and your group would appreciate a 5-star review. Positive reviews are often read by thousands of potential patients, so this strategy can help you stand out amongst other similar practices.
3. Post Pictures of Your Providers and Staff
Every medical practice should also have images and bios about the doctors and staff available on their website and social media pages. Adding photos of the people who make your practice special really helps to make your group more relatable to patients and increase engagement. Make sure to post the photos on all of your social media sites like Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook and Healthgrades. This will add consistency to your online image and will ensure that you’re always putting your best foot forward.
If you implement these three suggestions, you’ll be well on your way to marketing your medical practice online. However, if you want to go deeper into perfecting your online image or if you do not have the time to manage it yourself, medical practices can always look into hiring a healthcare marketing agency like Phase 5 Analytics who will manage these online strategies and more.