A recent survey found that nearly 75% of people have looked online to find out about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care. That alone is compelling evidence that having an online presence is essential to any healthcare marketing strategy designed to promote your medical practice.
But it’s not just a matter of having a well-designed and informative doctor’s website. In order to be fully accessible to potential patients online, you also need to claim and optimize your brand in local online business directories.
Why? For one thing, the more places online where your practice is listed, the more likely it is for new patients to find you. Having online business listings in your name or your practice’s name allows you to dominate in certain search results.
Therefore, unless online directories are a part of your medical marketing strategy, others will rank above your website in organic (unpaid) search results. That is why being listed in these online healthcare directories gives you a better shot at ranking higher in search results.
Promote Your Medical Practice via Online Medical Directories
There’s no question anymore that a vast majority of patients use online business directories to find healthcare practices. Plus, more than 90% of patients conduct additional online research after receiving a referral from their primary care physician, according to healthcare data provider Kyruus.
The information in online directories is considered highly trustworthy by major search engines, so the search engines reward this trustworthiness with high rankings in online search results. In fact, Google – which is the most widely used search engine – favors its own Google My Business directory when it comes to search results. Having a Google My Business profile for your practice guarantees that it will be highlighted in a dedicated area on desktop search, and it will be the first thing shown in results on a mobile phone – thus driving more traffic to your practice website and attracting new patients.
Failing to create and take charge of your own online listings can have unintended consequences: Your practice may already be listed with inaccurate details and outdated or incomplete information. By claiming your directory listings, you ensure accurate information – and this helps patients and helps search engines understand where you match in search results. Without this verified information, your practice may not appear in online search at all.
How to Use Medical Directories to Your Advantage
Most patients report that they now glean information from third-party websites to form opinions on doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers. Adding a biography, a list of medical services offered, and photos of your office or staff to your business listing can boost your healthcare marketing and build trust with potential patients before they even schedule an appointment.
Online directories can also help you improve your reputation. Patients use business directories like those on Google and Yelp to read and post reviews, which means that your healthcare marketing strategy can benefit immensely with online reputation management. When you create and claim your online business directory listings, you provide the opportunity for your patients to publicly share their positive experiences they have had with your practice.
Managing your online directory listings also involves monitoring and swiftly responding to any negative online feedback you may receive. In fact, a survey by Software Advice found that approximately 40% of patients will disregard a negative review if a healthcare provider responded in a caring and thoughtful manner. However, because there are quite a few online directories, you might want to focus your efforts on the top 10 or 20 general and healthcare-related directories – such as Healthgrades.com and Vitals.com – which are more likely to rank higher in search results.
Online Medical Marketing Agency to Grow Your Practice
Appearing in patients’ online search results gives you a huge advantage over other medical professionals in your area. But what if you don’t have the time or tech-savvy to claim and optimize your own medical directory listings? And how do you respond to those negative reviews flawlessly?
That’s where the experienced team at iHealthSpot Interactive can help you. We not only provide directory listings management for healthcare, but we can help you stand out on more than 70 online directories – without you having to lift a finger. We also respond politely and caringly to any negative reviews about you, which is what reputation management is all about. And by linking your website to online business listings, which have millions of site visitors every year, you’ll see a significant boost in website traffic and potential new patients.
To learn more about our comprehensive services – which include website design, online marketing, reputation management, and so much more – call iHealthSpot Interactive today at (877) 709-0999. We look forward to showing you how rewarding promoting your medical practice can be.