Updated from the original article posted March 06, 2020
A survey from Doctor.com reveals that nearly half of healthcare consumers avoid providers with incomplete online listings. So, it works best when a patient can find complete and accurate information about your medical practice, no matter what online directory they use.
But did you know that optimizing online directories for doctors also improves your overall visibility on the world’s most-used search engine? Google’s bots go through every bit of data on the internet looking to match published information about your medical practice. Consistent data about your medical practice across all listing sites helps this process, thus improving the search visibility for your medical practice.
Online medical directory management refers to the claiming and optimizing of your profiles and listings on any doctor finder website or database out there so that all published information is current and accurate. Unfortunately, we can’t depend on online directories to have the correct information about medical practices. It’s up to the provider to verify the information.
Accurate online listings will best position your medical practice for an optimal online presence that brings in new patients. Let’s dive into why you should keep your online directory listings updated and accurate.
Promote Your Medical Practice via Online Medical Directories
There’s no question that a vast majority of patients now use doctor finder websites to select healthcare practices. 83% of survey respondents said they turn to a search engine to find a doctor. Google – the most widely-used search engine – favors its own Google My Business (GMB) directory when presenting search results to users. Establishing and maintaining a GMB profile helps patients find your practice, both for desktop and mobile device search results.
Failing to create and take charge of your own online listings can have unintended consequences. Your practice may already have listings that have been automatically generated with inaccurate or incomplete information. By claiming and completing your directory listings, prospective patients form the right expectation about your practice based on accurate information.
For example, an online directory may say you are still located at an old address, when in reality you may now have several clinic locations serving the area. Outdated directory information can also, for example, feature inaccurate hours of operation – potentially causing some would-be-patients to show up and become frustrated at a “closed” sign. A patient under the wrong impression will not realize your practice is right around the corner from them.
Incorrect information prevents search engines from understanding which listings match yours in search results. So, without verifying and updating listing information, your practice may not appear in online searches at all.
How to Use Online Medical Directories to Your Advantage
Most patients now glean information from third-party websites to decide which doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers are worth calling for an appointment. For this reason, having complete and updated profiles including a bio, a list of services offered, and photos are more likely to compel patients to book with you.
Online medical directories also intersect with your online reputation. 88% of patients will vet a referral by reading reviews online. When a patient likes what they see – a high rating and reviews they can relate to – a deficient or inaccurate profile may prevent them from booking with you. Having a solid profile alongside great reviews maximizes the appeal of your medical practice.
Top Online Medical Directory Sites
iHealthSpot manages provider listings and profiles among 60-75 online directory and reviews sites. Below are the well-known doctor finder websites.
- Doctorfinder (affiliated with the American Medical Association)
Of course, health insurance companies also maintain individual provider directories.
Online Medical Marketing Agency to Grow Your Practice with Accurate Directory Listings
Does 60-75 doctor directory listings and citations seem like a lot to manage? Rather than having to manually update every single listing out there, iHealthSpot simplified this process with automatic online directory listings management. With a few clicks, we’ll update all of them for you, even time-senstive updates such as temporary closures.
iHealthSpot is the trusted practice growth partner for over 4,000 healthcare providers nationwide. Because it is so crucial to make the best impression on prospective patients at every encounter, we offer ongoing maintenance for online directories for doctors and medical practices.
To learn more about online listings management and how to maximize your online presence, call our medical practice marketing experts at (877) 709-0999. We look forward to showing you how rewarding it can be to promote your medical practice.