If you have ever – out of curiosity – Googled the name of your own medical practice, you may have seen directory listings in the search results. You may have wondered how it ended up there, especially when your practice never initiated it.
The reason you see these business directory listings for your medical practice is because these sites “scrape” information about your company from publicly available online sources – including your own website. They even copy other directories, by publishing the same information in their directory with the hope that business owners will claim their profile.
However, the problem is that many of these listings tend to contain old and outdated information, and they have not made updating these profiles a priority – instead relying on businesses to claim and update their information for themselves. Other than wanting to give the public accurate information about your medical practice, here are reasons to update your online listings.
1.) Online Visibility – Improve Your Search Engine Ranking
Ensuring that your online directories are accurate is an opportunity to improve your online presence and your search engine ranking. How does this work? The more reputable a business directory is – that lists your practice and links back to your medical practice website – the better your search engine ranking will be to help your target audience find you.
Also, keep in mind other ways inaccurate listings can impact your traffic. Having a bad link to your website – or no link at all – cuts off that website traffic source. By claiming your online directory, you take control of directing traffic to your business.
2.) Get on the Map – Claim Your Google Business Profile
The most popular online directories include Google My Business, Yellow Pages, Yelp, and Foursquare – plus many more niche directories. Of course, there are medical directory listings to claim and update as well. Some of the notable healthcare directories include:
- Doctorfinder (affiliated with the American Medical Association)
Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most prominent directories – and one that offers the most bang for your buck (because it is free). You have probably seen these before – box that shows in the top right-hand area of search results, usually for “local” searches (when Google detects consumer intent for a product or service).
Attributes of your medical practice listing include an image of your building, a spot on the map, plus your address, hours, and phone number. There are even highlighted buttons that link visitors directly to your website or allow them to call you.
Because searches for medical services usually generate localized results, it is an absolute must for your medical practice to have a GMB listing. Otherwise, while your competitors will be at the top of search results, but you won’t be.
3.) Take Charge – Add, Correct, & Customize Your Info
By claiming your Google Business Profile (and your presence in other reputable online directories), you will be able to edit or correct the information that is currently visible. You can even include links that enhance your branding, such as videos that provide an overview of what you do, or a snapshot of who you are.
Making sure your information is correct – and consistent across directories – is key to ensuring patients can easily contact you to set up services. Patients depend on information from the internet to make critical health decisions – and assume sources are correct – so listings that give misleading information can negatively impact the patient experience.
4.) Online Reputation Management – Respond to Patient Reviews
Another benefit of claiming your online directory profile is when it gives you the opportunity to respond to patient reviews. A timely response – to both positive and negative online reviews – is critical to managing your reputation and bringing in new business.
GMB is where ratings and reviews are highly visible, as they are attached to the medical practice’s profile. This means that – even when patients are not even looking for it – right in front of them will be your star rating, plus a featured review (if available).
Claiming profiles and working to accrue reviews is imperative for your online reputation. Sometimes having no ratings or reviews at all is just as detrimental as having negative reviews. Patients will lean toward choosing the medical practice with patient feedback.
Most healthcare consumers check online reviews before making appointments with a new provider. Patients want to know what to expect before they even set foot in the door. Seeing that your office is active and responsive to patient concerns can be priceless when it comes to establishing trust and encouraging a potential patient to become your next new patient.
What Can Be Found Online About Your Business Matters – Make It Work for You
Chances are that when a patient is gathering information online about their medical options, they are motivated and have strong intent on taking the next step. At this critical moment, you need online listings of your medical practice – especially the Google business listing – to be both visible and accurate.
With dozens of online directories to keep track of, it can be a lot of work to make even the smallest of updates. Our listings management services streamline the process to ensure that your listings become and remain accurate. Call iHealthSpot Interactive at (877) 927-4146 for a free consultation with our online listings and reputation management experts today.