For growth-minded practices, establishing a consistent, easily discoverable online presence is an essential part of your clinic’s success. Explore these actionable techniques for getting discovered, building trust and growing connections online.
Actionable tips for growth-minded practices
Update your online business listing
Keeping your Google Business Profile (and any other online directory listings) updated is critical, especially if you’re located in an area where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic. Not only will this ensure your business comes up when potential patients search for local doctors, it will also help minimise patient no-shows and late arrivals.. Add or update your Google Maps listing by creating a Google My Business account and submitting your clinic's address and contact details for verification.
Make friends with Google
These days, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is essential for the growth of all businesses — and medical practices are no exception. Optimising your website ensures your business will appear high in Google results when users search for certain terms.
While there are technical elements of website optimisation that require a SEO specialist, there are a few simple things you can do yourself including: ensuring your site is mobile optimised; updating your map listing; setting up a blog on your clinic’s website; publishing high-value informative content about your industry, and promoting your content via your social channels. Contributing guest articles to other websites, with links back to your own website also increase your visibility on search engines.
Invest in your website
An engaging, easy to navigate website is essential for getting more patients into your clinic.
However, a recent study by the Western Clinic School found that 34% of Australian doctors surveyed had no website or online presence at all, and over half did not provide an option for patients to book or communicate with their clinic online.
A website for your clinic is an absolute must in the digital era, as it is by far the easiest way for potential patients to discover your services. Consider these essentials of a high-performing website:
- Ensure your website is mobile responsive. With a growing number of internet users using smartphones and tablets to access the web, it’s crucial to ensure your website adapts to different devices. Invest in your website through applying the most suitable, mobile responsive theme or getting in touch with a local web developer for support.
- Provide relevant health online resources. After a visit to a practitioner, it’s common for patients to turn online for information. With the vast amount of incorrect and sometimes alarming health advice that can be found online, directing your patients to trusted online resources prior to them leaving your clinic can help ensure they consume relevant information. The patient experience begins long before they walk through the door, and concludes long after any treatment. Some helpful online resources:
- Create ‘About Us’ & ‘FAQ’ pages. You want to build trust with your patients and establish a respected reputation. One way to do this is by including the warm, friendly faces of your team and information about their expertise. You can also include an ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page so potential and current patients know what to expect before and after their appointments.
Get creative with reaching out to other healthcare professionals
While there are the usual ways of getting the attention of other healthcare professionals in your network, there are plenty more creative (and digital) ways to get on their radar – and stay there.
Consider these out-of-the-box approaches that leverage a digital presence:
Connect with local healthcare professionals and practices on LinkedIn
While it’s one thing to engage with their posts, you’ll also want to ensure you’re posting cutting-edge content of your own in order to maintain a trusted, professional image. This could include informative posts you’ve written on specific subject matters (using either a blog on your clinic’s website or via LinkedIn’s own blogging platform), or sharing insightful articles written by others within the industry that align with your point of view. By regularly posting, liking and commenting on posts, you’ll ensure you stay at the forefront of your industry and be noticed by your peers.
Stay ahead of online patient reviews
Research shows that 72% of people read online reviews as their first step for finding a new doctor
So ensuring your online reputation reflects your expertise and experience is crucial! Though certain legal protections restrict patients from reviewing the quality of treatment provided, patients often post online reviews about their overall experience.
Staying ahead of online reviews begins with setting up profiles on Facebook, Google Business and other popular review sites and monitoring reviews and comments so that you can provide prompt and diplomatic responses should any negative reviews emerge.
Join relevant Facebook groups
There are many Facebook groups that allow medical professionals to network and share their skills, ideas and experiences. These range from national groups like the 5,000 member group ‘GPs Down Under’ to more targeted groups such as the 1,000 member ‘Rural Doctors Association of Queensland’. By joining these online communities, you can proactively offer advice and answer questions for local GPs and other specialists — adding value to the group, while growing your online reputation.
Send targeted and timely emails.
The power of email and its reach is unrivaled. To make your online communications more effective, you can leverage email marketing tools, like MailChimp to automate the process and send personalised emails and newsletters to those in your network. Make sure to ask for their permission before you add them to your mailing list, as sending unsolicited emails can mitigate your efforts in building a positive online reputation.
Over to you
Securing strong growth for your clinic’s future begins with ongoing efforts to solidify your digital presence. This is especially important for new practices building up their patient base.
For young fellows ready to make their mark and establish themselves as reputable specialists, we’ve created an essential guide. Download your complimentary copy of The Fellow’s Guide To Surviving Private Practice.
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