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Medical Practice Website 101 Guide
Building a website for any business is about impressing on the world what the business is about, what is so different about us, our passion, our expertise and most importantly – for our customers to find us and want to work with us.
In today’s day and age, for a lot of independently owned medical and dental practices- getting patients to find them and then want to come to the good doctor for a treatment are dependent on how good a job your online presence does (your website being a key component of that).
Lets face it – if your website is not optimal and you are not able to attract the patients who look for you online – is it even worth spending any time/money on your website? I mean pragmatically – might as well just give up on this whole online madness and stick to getting new patients through real referrals.
But what if you are a few of those who are seeing lack of younger patients in your patient demographic mix or you cant figure out why your new patient volume keeps going down?
While building a strong positive online presence is a multi faceted project, your website is the basic building block – and i think it is important for every physician/ practice owner to remember the key goal of a website:
“The goal of the website is to make it easier for prospective patients to find you and want to visit you”
Before you build a website
Therefore ask the questions when you start building your website:
- What do patients typically search for when they are trying to find a doctor (in your specialization)?
- Can they find me easily based on the content i want to have/ have on my website?
- How does that content rank in a local business search right now?
- Are my good reviews visible to someone looking for the proper care you can provide?
A good website building company can help you with answers to all of these questions and help you manage your search rankings by making sure your website pages are “addressed” properly (the correct term is meta tags and keywords, but i digress).
Is SEO a big deal?
Also important to understand that while SEO or Search Engine Optimization techniques have to be a ongoing effort as they are affected by changing trends of individuals, what they look for, it is also affected by what other local businesses do to enhance their online rankings. If i make it feel like a complex resource intensive project to get to the top of search rankings than i apologize – it is not that but it is also not a one and done thing either. Someone has to keep their eyes on the ball on a frequent basis to make sure rankings improve and not slip.
So while it does not need an army of people working full time, a professional spending 4 to 8 hours a month should do it nicely.
What about Updates?
Ask about the ongoing support you should get for frequent website updates (search engines rank newly updated pages better), SEO assessment and modifying keywords and meta tags, back links, social media posts, look for local competition analysis – all of these will help you get better rankings over a 4-8 month period.
So we got patients to find your website – that is great – how do we articulate the positive experiences that your patients have had on the website – ask your provider to place a feedback banner which rotates feedback you have received from Google, Yelp or other websites where patients may have rated you. We will cover the basics of building a positive reputation for your practice in another topic!
I hope these will help you get a handle on improving your practice’ online reputation – it does start with having a good website.