Healthcare is often the perfect example of a local business: much of it is hands-on, it relies heavily on word of mouth, and nearly all clients are local.
That makes local search extremely important for private healthcare practices, medical and home health supply sources, and related businesses.
80% of internet users go to the internet first when looking for health information — including searching for a healthcare provider. The only online activity that shows a higher percentage in recent studies is looking for information about products before making a purchase — which also covers a lot of professionals in health-related fields.
This is it: if you work directly with patients, they are looking for you online. The question is, what are they finding?
They may be finding listings for you over which you have no control, and which have inaccurate or negative information about you and your practice. They may be finding nothing at all and deciding that you’ve gone out of business or that you’re not keeping up with the times. Your current patients, looking for your phone number or checking to see if you accept their new insurance plan, may feel less confident about you because of what they find.
What does it take to keep your practice or health related business looking good in local search?
- A good website There’s no way around it: the quality of your website will affect your success in local search. If you don’t have a website you can be proud of, put it on your must-do list.
- Good local listings Claim your listings with Google Places, Brownbook, and other local listings. These websites affect your performance in local search results — that map you see at Google. You want to show up on that map if at all possible, and being at the top of the list is a must if you want to grow your practice.
- Positive reviews Medical reviews are controversial . Problems with them range from concern over whether a patient can really tell whether a doctor does a good job to speculations that patients avoid making complaints in fear of being sued. The truth is, people give each other their opinions of doctors all the time. It may be the case that people will only take the trouble to go to a medical review site when they’re angry, but you can share the more common positive feedback you get from patients at your own website.
- Social media When people search for your company, they should find your official website at the top of the page and the rest of the page should be filled with other sites over which you have some control: your social media profiles and your local listings. There are lots of different ways to approach social media, from a big friendly presence on Facebook to a highly authoritative educational presence on YouTube to a more reserved LinkedIn presence. Create a social media strategy based on your goals and resources and put it in place.
This is what you need. Download our free e-book, A Successful Medical Website, for more information on how to accomplish these essentials.
If you think that taking care of all this might be time consuming, you’re right. Contact Rosie at 479.966.9761 or email Rosamond@HadenInteractive.com to find out how to get it all taken care of for you by professionals.