How to improve your online presence in 30 days or less
Your online presence score reflects your practice’s overall health across the web. Doctor.com’s practice diagnostic tool analyzes your presence and reputation on the most trafficked sites and scores your practice on profile reach, listings accuracy and consistency, star ratings, and number of patient reviews, among other important aspects of a robust and compelling presence.
A high score (92% and up) is a reliable sign that you have a good handle on how to optimize the web for digital success. But if your results disappointed you, you’re probably wondering where you went wrong — and how to fix it.
We’re here to help. Follow these tips to boost your score — while reaching and converting more new patients.
Week 1: Double-check your listings information.
Imagine that a patient is ready to make an appointment, but they can’t reach the doctor’s office due to inaccurate or otherwise outdated listings. This is a common frustration, as about half of the information about doctors online is inaccurate. Countless third-party data sources feed information into the sites patients use to find doctors, and it’s hard to keep track of it all! A lot of them get it wrong. But most prospective patients will change their mind about a provider if they encounter inaccurate or contradictory listings info and decide to just go elsewhere.
Accurate, consistent listings do more than mitigate this hassle for prospective patients, however. Standardizing your information across sites also improves trust with Google, which, in turn, impacts your SEO and can push you to or near the top of search results. Keep your web-wide listings up to date to make sure you’re not leading prospective patients down any dead ends — or, worse, straight to a competitor’s practice.
Week 2: Start asking for patient reviews.
Online patient reviews are the most important factor for patients in their hunt for a new healthcare provider. Believe it or not, collecting just one or two reviews per week is sufficient: Patients care more about review recency and quality than volume alone. But if you have fewer than 10 reviews on any given site, you’re at risk of a single negative comment skewing your overall rating and dragging down your score.
Most people don’t think to review doctors like they review restaurants, but 70% of patients will write you a review if you do one simple thing: Ask! At Doctor.com, our philosophy is that the best defense is a good offense: Encourage patients to leave reviews, because the more reviews you have, the more positively they’ll trend.
Week 3: Get started with digital appointment requests to build a reputable online presence.
It’s no secret: These days, people do everything online, from booking flights to buying products to making restaurant reservations. Healthcare has lagged woefully behind other industries, but it’s time to catch up. Most patients prefer to schedule appointments online — in fact, demand is up one third from a year ago.
Physicians can enable Universal Scheduling on all the sites patients use to find information about you and your practice. Patients can reach out to request an appointment with you, then you can confirm, reject, or reschedule the appointment whenever it’s convenient for you.
>> Related read: 3 ways online scheduling saves you money and brings in new patients
Week 4: Assess your site’s mobile accessibility.
Nearly half of patients looking for doctors search on their mobile devices instead of a laptop or desktop computer. Having a mobile-optimized website is critical for a practice’s marketing success: If you don’t work on mobile, you’re guaranteeing that patients have a frustrating experience right out of the gate. Plus, Google has started demoting non-mobile-optimizing sites in search results, since aggressively moving to mobile-first indexing a year ago.
Mobile-optimized sites load quickly on smartphones and tables and are resized to accommodate smaller, vertical screens. Prioritize content and make the navigation clear and easy from a UX perspective to rank higher and give patients the best possible experience on all devices.
Make it your New Year’s resolution to improve your online presence. The first step is to evaluate where you already are. Run a scan of your online presence to see how you compare to competitors in your area and specialty.