Today, the vast majority of patients start their search for a physician online. To be competitive, your digital presence must place your practice front and center.
Don’t settle for a limited or unattractive digital footprint. TMA’s newest webinar can help in Getting Your Practice on the First Page of Google.
Like many of TMA’s continuing medical education courses, this webinar is free for members, thanks to a generous sponsorship from the Texas Medical Association Insurance Trust. Tune in to learn how patients find your practice online, how to improve your digital footprint, and how to implement new strategies to generate positive online reviews.
The webinar is scheduled for 12 noon (CT) on Wednesday, Aug. 8. If you don’t want to wait that long, these tips will help give your practice website an edge on the competition.
1. Mobile Responsiveness or Bust
Nowadays, searches on smartphones and tablets outnumber searches on desktop computers. If what you see when you Google your practice from your mobile device looks outdated or poorly formatted, you’re sending the wrong message. Mobile-responsive websites are not only easier for patients to navigate, but also have lower bounce rates. (Don’t know what bounce rates are? It’s the percent of all visitors who view just one page on your website before clicking away.
2. The Facebook Substitute and Back-linking
If your practice doesn’t have a website (or a website budget), a well-built Facebook business page can serve as a substitute – within reason. Like any website, your Facebook business page should include key details about your practice as well as engaging content relevant to your specialty. It’s also important to establish your professional profile on sites like LinkedIn and Doximity. Drive traffic back to your website – and vice versa – with hyperlinks. (This is called back-linking.) Websites with a high number of backlinks automatically rank higher in search results.
3. Content Should be High-Quality, Relevant
Your website should focus on high-quality content about your practice and the services you provide. Don’t waste precious website real estate on irrelevant details, long videos, or distracting graphics. Spell our clearly your practice philosophy, your credentials and training, and what insurance you accept. This increases the likelihood of converting a site visitor to a patient, and relevant content can help improve your website bounce rate.
4. Enduring Content Brings More Engagement
One of the best ways to market your practice is to create enduring, valuable content. This can be as simple as a 2-minute video answering a common question you get from patients or a 300-word blog post on a newly available treatment. Stick to subjects that are helpful for your patients, fellow physicians, or local community. If your practice hosts an educational or social event, like a flu shot clinic or prenatal class, announce it and provide resources for those who can’t attend in-person. You can also curate news and research that syncs with your area of expertise. When you share or post these stories, be sure to add your own commentary.
5. Online Reviews, More Friend Than Foe
Many physicians fear that online reviews are primarily negative. In reality, however, that half of online reviews of physicians are positive, while only 6 percent of patients write negative reviews. In addition, the Journal of Medical Internet Research has found that nearly half of all physicians receive perfect ratings online. You can leverage this free publicity, Encourage your patients to post reviews of your practice. Add direct links to sites like Yelp, Vitals, and Healthgrades to your website and email signatures.
For more advice on how to improve your website and the science of being seen, register for TMA’s new webinar on Aug. 8, Getting Your Practice on the First Page of Google.