We are picking up from our self-help series for practices. The self-help series can be found here and will be updated as we continue to add content.
In the previous post, we talked about different websites that are suitable for medical practices and what your website content/ structure looks like based on needs of your practice – growth or sustain.
In this article, we are now doing a deep dive into Patient Magnet website and its key features. Why you need them and what they are and how it impacts your online presence and ability to market yourself.
The first one is understanding online listing directories and why they are important.
How Online Business Directories Impact your Practice’ Marketing
Practice marketing has several layers. It is an intricate concept that requires precision and strategy. When we talk about promoting a practice by using ingenious digital marketing techniques, location-driven strategies get the most weightage. And, that’s primarily because the local-first marketing technique is what will get you more appointments and patients, which is the ultimate goal.
Establishing a presence on online business directories turns out to be one of the best ways to attract patients to your practice. Many healthcare providers often neglect the power of these directories, avoiding the right, verified business information to reach a wider audience. This mostly happens because the impact of local business directories is often overlooked. It is important to know that local business directories, when used mindfully, can drive new patient acquisition.
Helps Establish a Digital Footprint
Claiming and optimizing existing listings on local business directories is a straightforward and effective way to enhance patient acquisition and grow your practice.
There are many websites that specialize in listing doctors, therapists, dentists etc. It is important to find them and make sure you claim your listing with those listing providers.
- Google Business
- Yellow Pages
- Dental Insider
- Doctor Oogle
- Rank my Dentist
- Four Square
Maps & Local Services
- Google Maps
- Apple Maps
- Tom Tom
- Aging care
- A Place for Mom
- Golden Reviews
- Our Parents
- Senior Advisor
- Rate MD’s
- Real Patient Ratings
- Fertility IQ
- Healthy Hearing
- Hearing tracker
- Real Self
- U Compare
According to a study, about 83% of participants used an online search to find a doctor or look up information about a healthcare facility. The more places you are listed online, the higher the chances of you getting found by new patients.
Another benefit of being listed on online business directories is that it can help you dominate the search results when someone looks up your name, solidifying you as a top choice on the internet search
Search Engines Value Local Directories
Search engines like Google and Bing use accurate listing indicators from these directories to verify and therefore rate your practice info/ accuracy higher if you appear in multiple listings. This translates simply into the fact that your chances of improving the search engine visibility and ranking higher in the SERPs are HUGE if you pay attention to local business directories.
Local directories like Google My Business and Yelp tend to rank higher and are often seen by the users before they get on your website. So, these directories are where you make the first impression. Hence, claiming the existing listings and optimizing all the listings with accurate information is a MUST.
Almost all Online Business Directories are FREE!
Yes! Without having to spend a single penny, you get the ability to update information, claim listings and publish new ones. Most, if not all, business directories are free to claim or list, which means the ROI, can be a profitable number if you pay attention to the right details. Exceptions are data aggregators – they charge for submitting listing to them.
When you go ahead with the directory listing spree, make sure to start with 10 to 15 sites at once and choose the ones with a higher domain authority as they tend to perform better on the search engine results.
Tools for Online Reputation Management
Business directories can act as tools to improve your online reputation. The majority of patients use Google, Facebook and Yelp to post and read reviews about healthcare providers. However, many patients are leaving reviews on healthcare specific sites – make sure you claim your listing on those sites and keep an eye out for any reviews.
When providing patients to share their feedback, you step ahead as a facility that is open to appreciation and feedback. While positive reviews will make you shine, you can take control of any negative feedback and turn it about by responding publically. About 40% of patients disregard a review if a provider has responded in a thoughtful manner. When a provider responds to a negative patient review, the rate of satisfied patients doubles.
Now that you know how online business directories have the ability to make or break your healthcare practice, it is best to put in some thought and strategy in using them to your benefit.
While you work out the list of directories you want to start with, the following are some factors that make a listing more effective. Make sure you add all of the given information while publishing a new listing or updating an existing one:
- Business Title & Description
- Correct Address
- Phone, email and Fax numbers
- Business Hours, Holiday Hours and opening schedule
- Recent Photographs, including your logo
- Others: Licensing, Pricing, Services, etc
Go ahead and grow your practice by using online business directories. Leverage the power of local listings to get more patient walk-ins and queries week after week.
Have any questions? Feel free to comment below.