Here at Michigan Physicians Society, we’re dedicated to the financial betterment of physicians by providing continuing education and technology, along with an extensive network of other like-minded professionals in our space.
Regardless of where you’re at in the growth path of your Michigan medical practice, there’s very few foundational business assets as important as your business’s online presence. In today’s Internet era, the first step people take to solving their problems is Google. Gone are the days where we wait to see the local doctor to get a diagnosis. Today, symptoms are simply entered into a search engine for an ad-hoc self-diagnosis. It is at this point that a potential patient will then decide to search for a local physician to help verify their own diagnosis. That’s where your website and online presence come into play.
Having your medical practice found online begins with your website, and continues with the creation of online content.
Trustworthy & Responsive Website
Step one is to make sure your website accurately reflects your practice while conveying a feeling of trust. If your website hasn’t been updated within a year, and isn’t optimized for all devices (more on that in a bit), then consider hiring a professional web design company that can build you a website that brands your medical practice appropriately while driving positive results for your business.
Consider this: today, about 50% of the adult population owns a smartphone, and they're using it to actively find solutions to their problems. According to comScore, approximately 29% of total search queries are conducted via mobile. Plus, a recent Google study demonstrated that 75% of mobile searches trigger a follow-up action such as a phone call, store visit, or purchase. This is why having a responsive website, one that adjusts to the size of the screen someone is using (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop), is so important in 2015 and beyond. It not only allows searchers to get the same experience every time they visit your site regardless of device, but it brands your practice as one that is up-to-date with the latest technology and practices.
Create Targeted Content
The next step in optimizing your online presence is to create lots of content on your website and across the web. Medical practices that create regular content on their website (blog posts, articles, videos, etc.) are more likely to intercept that symptom-laden person’s online search before they can diagnose themselves on WebMD. In other words, the idea is to create content that not only answers potential patient’s questions & pain points; but gets your website ranked and discovered by this potential patient. This is how you build trust with someone online before they even talk to someone at your office.
Another way to build trust online through content is to push for your current and most trusted patients to leave online reviews for you. According to a 2013 study by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. Since our industry focuses on the local market, we recommend starting to collect reviews on two of the most popular sites: your Google Places and Yelp pages. As positive reviews start to roll in on these sites, you’re likely to see an uptick in inbound calls and website visits due to an increase in rank in local search results.
Remember, your website is the foundation in which you can build a strong business online. Once the foundation is solid (and responsive!), you can begin to expand your online presence by creating content that targets your potential patient. Don’t stop with blog posts and reviews, though. Create social media pages and posts, build an email list, and constantly work to build trust by answering current and potential patient’s pain point.
Contact us today for your complimentary website analysis, FREE to all MPS members!