Once upon a time, the fact that your healthcare practice had a website was probably enough of a digital presence. However, times are changing. People now expect to be able to find out everything they need to about their potential healthcare provider online, before they ever speak to anyone. If you don’t have an online presence, they simply won’t know that you exist and they will likely go to a competitor who does have an online presence.
Luckily, building a digital presence doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect, and you will find that it benefits your business in ways that you may not have predicted.
Physician Review and Rating Sites
A lot of medical professionals don’t like review sites, and they certainly aren’t without their problems. However, whether you like them or not, the public is likely to continue to use them so it’s a good idea to get on board.
When you receive a review, positive or negative, be sure to respond and thank the patient for their feedback. This demonstrates that you are listening and that you do care what they think. Be careful to ensure that your responses are HIPAA compliant:
- Speak generically – do not acknowledge or disclose specific appointments or patients.
- Be polite and keep it brief.
- Restate policies or practice philosophy.
- If you are dealing with a negative review then offer to speak with the patient about it offline.
If they have left a negative review then try to use this as a learning experience, address the issue and communicate to the patient that you have done so. This will not only improve your practice, but it shows patients that you are proactive and committed to great care.
The most powerful way to create an effective online presence is by ensuring that Google and other search engine algorithms return your page at the top of the results list.
The way to do this is through an effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. Be sure that your content is relevant and useful to your audience, and makes use of keywords that your target audience will actually use. It’s also a good idea to build backlinks, that is getting your site mentioned on other reputable sites. It’s important that the sites are reputable, otherwise this can actually damage your rating!
Devising an effective SEO strategy can be a big job, so it’s worth working with a healthcare SEO agency who are experts in what to do, what not to do and can take the strain of the work off of you.
Use your social media platforms to show your customers the personal face of your business that you want them to see. Be sure to post regularly, and provide links to content on your site. You can even use social media as a research tool when you are coming up with new strategies because you have access to your entire audience and you can just ask them what they want!
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