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4 Proven Ways to Build Your Online Presence

Thursday, January 25, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kyle Johnson, PatientPop
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Nearly 80% of healthcare searches begin online today, which means small healthcare practices and physician groups must create and effectively manage a robust online presence to attract patients and otherwise succeed. Physicians who increase their online presence can benefit greatly. Benjamin Szerlip, DO, of the Austin Shoulder Institute in Austin, Texas, increased traffic to his website by 265% and increased new appointment bookings by 647% in just three months after taking strategic steps to build his online presence.

If your orthopaedic practice is not highly visible online at this time, follow these proven ways to build your online presence.

 

1. Claim Your Online Business and Healthcare Listings

A review site or directory listing refers to business information found on websites like Yelp, Google My Business, and Healthgrades. Enter [find an orthopedic specialist] into Google, and you'll see the Healthgrades website toward the top of the results. Do you know what prospective patients will see when they find your Healthgrades profile?

If you have not claimed your profile, they could see inaccurate business and contact information. Unclaimed profiles on Healthgrades and similar websites also lack photos and business hours, which inspires little confidence in prospective patients.

To build your web presence, you should claim your listing on popular review websites and business and healthcare directories. Populate them with accurate business information as well as photos and other relevant content.

 

2. Optimize Your Practice Website

An optimized practice website can attract more visitors and spur more appointment bookings. Optimized websites have:

Webpages Designed to be Found in Search

Many prospective patients turn to Google and other search engines to find healthcare providers in their area. You can increase the likelihood they will find your practice website by creating individual webpages that clearly detail each service you offer and answer common patient questions about those services.

Website pages should also include information about symptoms and remedies for the medical conditions you treat. This information is enlightening for your readers and useful for search engines.

Make sure each service is on its own individual page. This process — known as siloing — organizes a website’s content into distinct categories. Properly organizing content and keywords notifies search engines that your page is an authority, which boosts your search engine ranking.

Modern Design that Looks Great on Every Device

How your practice website looks has a big impact on whether visitors stick around. Your website should feature a modern layout with a streamlined homepage that allows visitors to focus on key areas. All photos of you, your staff, and your practice should be high resolution and professionally done. Your website should also be “responsive,” meaning it looks good and functions well on desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets.

To see whether your website is responsive, pull it up on your smartphone web browser. If it is responsive, it will appear to “fit” the screen. If it is not responsive, it will look shrunken, and you will have to awkwardly pinch and scroll to read text and click links.

Calls To Action that Prompt Appointment Bookings

The goal of your practice website should be to get visitors to become patients. To do this, it must prominently feature several calls to action that drive appointment bookings. Additionally, it should feature one-click calling that allows patients to speak with your front office staff without leaving the page.

Make sure your calls to action are “sticky” — meaning they can be seen even as you scroll — so visitors can locate them as they are navigating your website.

If your website lacks any of the above-mentioned features, contact your website vendor to see if changes can be made. If your website is hosted on a content management system like Wordpress, you (or your vendor) can log in to make any desired changes using built-in tools or plugins. If changes cannot be made for any reason, you should weigh your options to build a new website.

 

3. Share Helpful Content

Patients are increasingly looking online for answers to their medical questions. You can attract prospective patients to your practice — and build your online presence — by discussing medical topics on a blog and social media.

Blog posts should focus on topics related to orthopaedic surgery and the services your practice offers. Start by creating a list of possible topics. Then, decide on a schedule you can keep, whether it’s blogging every weekday or bimonthly. Lastly, create an editorial calendar by matching blog topics with publish dates.

Social media is another way to share helpful content with patients. On social media, you can share original content or content created by other reputable orthopaedic sources like the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives. Similar to blogging, you can create an editorial calendar that helps you stay organized and consistent.

Blog and social media editorial calendars can be separate, or you can combine them into one. For more information on editorial calendars and for templates, visit the Content Marketing Institute.

 

4. Use Paid Search Advertising

Organic search engine optimization efforts like link building take time to show results. To increase your practice’s visibility in search results quickly, you can turn to paid search advertising.

Search engines allow businesses to bid for advertising space in search results. In Google results, these ads appear at the top of results and are labeled with the word “Ad.” These ads are called pay-per-click or cost-per-click advertisements. As their name suggests, you pay each time a person clicks the link. You decide how much you’re willing to spend on each click and set overall daily budgets. To get started, visit adwords.google.com.

 

Building a robust online presence is a process. Like most big projects, it’s best to take it one step at a time. Start by claiming and optimizing two or three healthcare and business listings per week, and then move on to bigger tasks like creating a new practice website. If it still sounds overwhelming, know that you can turn to outside experts for help.

 

About the Author

Kyle Johnson has nearly 15 years of online marketing experience. He is the Director of Marketing Technology for PatientPop, the proven all-in-one practice growth platform that empowers orthopaedic surgeons and other healthcare providers to thrive in the digital age. For information, visit www.patientpop.com.

 


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