Healthcare Marketing: Do Online Directories Actually Matter?

Healthcare Marketing: Do Online Directories Actually Matter?

by Yenny (SU)

You’ve worked hard to build awareness of your healthcare business in your local community, but have you invested in building that awareness online?

While business directories, and online business directories in particular, aren’t the “sexiest” form of marketing, they are an integral part of a successful digital marketing program for any healthcare practice. This is because they continue to play a significant role in the research that patients conduct when searching for a new healthcare provider – 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses! The fact is, your healthcare practice needs an online presence to get found. And showing up in a patient’s online search results gives you a huge advantage over other medical professionals in the area.

General online business directories are a great place to start listing your medical practice. By linking your website to these types of business listings, you’ll see a significant boost in website traffic and, as you know, more views typically lead to more patients. Once search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing see a link from an online directory to your practice’s site, they’ll consider you “reputable” and will accordingly push your website up in the search rankings. Also, don’t forget to include a “local” element by having your practice listed under your suburb. Many people prefer to know that their healthcare provider is nearby, staffed by local people, and caring for the local community.

In addition to general directories, you will also want to list your practice on healthcare-related directories, such as WebMD.com, Healthgrades.com, and Vitals.com. These types of sites are directories, as well as online resources for information about symptoms, general wellbeing, and health news. They all have millions of regular site visitors every year so, similar to general online business directories, they’ll help increase both your website traffic and search engine ranking. As many of these sites also offer reviews, you’ll want to monitor them on a regular basis to ensure you’re managing (and keeping control of!) your online reputation.

The good news: online directories don’t require you to be particularly “tech savvy”, and they’re easy and cheap (often free!) to set up. However, they do pose one challenge. Writing content for an online healthcare directory is different that writing for your own website. You have a limited amount of space, which means the content you create needs to make an impact and it has to create a good impression – quickly.

In addition, it’s important that your business information is listed consistently for all online directories and that you have a keen eye for detail when submitting your content. Details as minor as the formatting of your phone number, how your office hours are entered, and whether you use, for example, DPM on one site and D.P.M. on another can lead to conflicts within your local business listings, and confusion for potential patients.

Online directories are an important, and often overlooked part of any healthcare marketing strategy. iHealthSpot offers a full range of online marketing services, providing the expertise and experience that you need to create online directory listings that will help you grow your practice. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today, toll-free at (877) 709-0999 for your FREE consultation with our experts today!