Let’s be honest – GONE are the days when you kept a Yellow Pages by the phone and used to look up the type of doctor you need. Paper is the past. The Internet is the PRESENT. But when it comes to the Internet, how do patients find and choose their next doctor? This article aims to answer that.
So how do patients find doctors online in 2018?
Yes, of course Google is number one on the list! In January this year (2018) Google had a market share of 63.2% of all online searches in the USA. With so many people using Google as their search engine, appearing on the first page of search results can be a huge generator of new patients for doctors. But how can doctors get their websites onto the first page of Google search results? The answer: SEO for doctors.
Some doctors, who are new to online marketing, optimistically hope that it is simply a case of ‘flicking a switch’ and suddenly their website will appear top! In reality, a good SEO campaign will take several months – BUT the results will be worth it. The future of marketing medical practices is getting patients to come to you, NOT annoying them by coming to them. So you need to be visible. Positioning your website at the top of Google is the best way to do this.
If you need immediate results and are willing to pay more for it, then you may also want to explore Google Adwords for Doctors.
So let’s say you’re now appearing on the first page of Google search results. Now ask yourself this – will patients like what they see? Of course, you’ll need a good and mobile-friendly website, BUT in you’ll also need something else: Good reviews. In a recent study, 72% of patients stated that they read doctors’ reviews before choosing their next doctor. Look at the image below – it shows the (very simple) process that patients go through – It’s very simple:
First, they search on Google.
Second, they disregard doctors with bad reviews OR doctors who do not show up.
Third, they choose a doctor near the top who has GOOD reviews.
But what can doctors do to improve their online reputation? After all, we know that some patients may exaggerate. Plus sometimes they even write the review on the wrong doctor’s profile! In some cases, depending on the policies of the site, reviews can be removed. However, at Red Castle Services we believe in prevention. Our Online Reputation Management System for Doctors helps to divert negative reviews offline, while simultaneously increasing the number of authentic positive online reviews.
Read more about Online Reputation Management for Doctors.
3. Online Doctor Directories
In addition to your own website showing up on Google search results, you may also show up under online doctor directories. If you are showing up, it’s important to claim your listings, ensure that the information listed is correct, and to increase the number of positive reviews. This will help to generate more patient referrals from these third party sites.
There are many online doctor directories, such as:
The modern medical practice needs to make itself easy-to-find online. It’s also equally important that what patients find is POSITIVE. To achieve this doctors should use a combination of Google, Reviews, and third party directories. When used together as part of a coordinated online marketing campaign, doctors can create a visible and attractive online presence. And the result of all this? MORE PATIENTS!
About Red Castle Services
We believe 3 things:
1. Your website is a direct reflection of your medical practice and that it’s vital to make a good first impression.
2. Your medical practice will be more successful if it positions itself to capture the 62% of patients (and growing!) who now search for their next doctor online.
3. The best medical practices – regardless of their size – should be the easiest to find online.
Contact Us Now to start positioning your practice to capture the 62% of patients who now search for their next doctor online.