When someone is looking for a new medical provider, often the first thing they do is go online to vet and pick which provider they will go to. According to the Pew Research Center, “more than 70% of people begin their search for healthcare information, including service providers online.” This means that between 120 million and 150 million adults in the United States alone are beginning their search for healthcare information online before going to or choosing their new medical provider. Essentially, having a strong online presence can either be the dealbreaker or dealmaker in a potential patient’s decision making process.
The entire healthcare industry is built around the idea of patients having trust in their medical providers. It is crucial for your website developer to be someone who specializes or has experience in your specific healthcare practice. They must understand this key idea in that the industry depends on the patient’s comfort and trust in the providers themselves. A potential patient should be able to find the information they would like to know, as well as schedule appointments or consultations with comfort and ease. If a potential patient’s first impression is that your practice is difficult to navigate, or the information they desire is unable to be found, this establishes an immediate sense of mistrust and often results in missed leads.
Not only are medical practices essential service providers, but they are also small businesses. They must promote and advertise themselves in order to retain patients and remain a profitable livelihood. You need a website developer who can create and develop features which maximize your profits, efficiency, and most important, your patients satisfaction. Some of these features may include appointment-scheduling modules directly through your website, automated reminders which texts, emails, or calls your patients to reduce missed appointments, and payment solutions such as automated billing receipts and payment updates. You want to keep your website at the top of the technology curve and make the best impression on your site visitors, as many times this is your potential patient’s first impression of your practice as a whole.
While having an aesthetically pleasing and effective website is always a good thing, you need much more than a website to be a successful healthcare practice. If you lack an online presence, it can be much more difficult and often impossible to gain new patients and grow your practice as a whole. While many medical practices rely on tools of the past, professional medical practices understand the importance of utilizing the internet as their most powerful tool in generating leads. Your practice needs a team of marketers who specialize in online healthcare marketing and can assure you that your practice is visible and trusted online. This can be accomplished through setting up business profiles on review sites such as Yelp and Google to show previous patient’s experiences, establishing confidence in your practice and attracting new patients. Another tool is creating blog posts with the newest information in your specified healthcare practice paired with search engine optimization to make sure your website scores high in local search engine results above competitors. Further, being able to target niche audiences who have already been searching information regarding your practice through online and social media paid advertising is the most effective and efficient way to reach large audiences and capture high quality leads in today’s modern digital world.
When hiring a firm to create or improve your website and run your online marketing strategy it is important to hire a firm you trust; a firm that will provide you with a team of experts in healthcare website development and marketing. Ask to see the websites of other healthcare practices they have developed and go through the website as if you are a potential patient. Ask to see the data and statistics of prior advertising campaigns in your specified medical practice. And ask to see what they have done to improve the quality of life for both the medical practice and their patients. A strong online presence is crucial to the success of your medical practice and an effective website and marketing strategy is one that adds patients to your practice.