At the surface level, physician listings management might not be the most exciting topic in the healthcare space. Many providers don’t make it a top priority. And some overlook it altogether! If your information is up to date on your own website, why does it matter what the others say?
But for prospective patients, online listings information can be a major sticking point when they’re looking for a new doctor. Listings are a foundational element of your online presence that needs to be up to date and consistent across the vast health web. If it’s not, patients won’t be able to find you, and your practice will suffer in the end.
Why is physician listings management important?
Today’s patients rely on the internet nearly twice as much as traditional word-of-mouth referrals to find a new provider, according to new research conducted by Doctor.com. But they’re not going to your website to learn about your practice. Instead, they consult third-party sites and information hubs like Healthgrades, Vitals, WebMD, the Google knowledge panel, and other sources of objective feedback. In fact, on average they check two to three different locations before deciding whether or not to proceed to the next step: booking an appointment.
There are additional benefits, too. Listings have a profound impact on search engine optimization (SEO). The Google algorithm rewards practices and physicians that keep their listings consistent. Maintaining accurate, updated listings strengths your brand’s SEO efforts so more patients can find the right information about you. Plus, adding a working URL to the websites you’re listed on — a practice known as backlinking — builds trust with Google and boosts your SEO status.
What causes listings errors?
According to recent estimates, around half of all doctors suffer from inaccurate listings online. That’s because third-party sites continually pull in outdated information from countless data sources. And it’s hard for a doctor to keep track of where they’re listed and what needs to get updated every time something changes — like office hours, phone numbers, or insurances accepted.
But there are ways to address this issue head on. Technologies, such as Doctor.com’s listings management solution, not only hunts down and corrects bad data, but they also can keep working around the clock to make sure false information isn’t syndicated elsewhere online.
Inaccurate or incomplete listings: a primary cause of patient leakage
One out of two patients will decide not to book an appointment with a provider who has incomplete or inaccurate listings information online. And 53% cite not finding enough information online as a major pain point in selecting a new doctor.
Conventional wisdom implies that the internet would make it easier to find and connect with doctors — nearly 90% look up referred providers online. Sadly, an abundance of misinformation leads to significant confusion and even greater frustration for patients. Coming across dead ends like a disconnected phone number, the wrong office hours, a broken URL, and other gaps in your online presence lessens their trust, hurts your credibility, and will drive many patients into a competitor’s hands.
Don’t let listings errors have a negative influence over patients. To learn more about physician listings management, including how to get your web-wide listings in order, request further information about Doctor.com’s listings management solution.