How Doctors can Improve Online Presence to be a Patient’s First Choice

How Doctors can Improve Online Presence to be a Patient’s First Choice

March 22, 20225 mins read

Key Takeaways

In today’s age of data, people use the internet to not only find information about health conditions and treatments, but also to find doctors and check their credentials. A study found that 3 in 5 participants choose one healthcare provider over another depending on their online presence [1]. This behaviour cuts across age groups. It is as true for millennials as for those over the age of 60 years. In just a few minutes of online searches, patients determine whether a doctor is right for them [2]. Most often, this judgement is based on the quality of information available, its accuracy, and how convincing it is.

As a result, doctors have a limited window to convince prospective patients across demographic that they are the best person for the job. In a nutshell, building a strong online presence is a necessary cost of doing business. With a strong digital presence, doctors can enhance their practice.

Ways to improve online presence 

Register the practice on Google

Google is the most popular search engine, accounting for 80% of all search volumes online. Since Google is where people start, so should healthcare practitioners. The Google ‘My Business’ tool is crucial for medical professionals to establish an online presence. Here one can create a business listing for a clinic or hospital, so when patients look for doctors nearby, the clinic will show up. According to data released by Google, businesses that have a complete profile on Google My Business have 5 times the views on the search engine than those who don’t [3].

Remember that the more information a doctor provides, the more credible he or she seems. Here are some of the best practices to follow.  

  • Apart from hours of operation and address, provide information on health and safety measures being taken in light of COVID. 
  • Target one or two keywords in the description for SEO but avoid keyword stuffing. 
  • Create a business listing for each branch of the clinic or medical center separately.
  • Choose a mix of generic and specific terms when filling out the ‘Categories’ section. This will improve discoverability. For instance, a dentist can mention pediatric dentistry as a specialisation as well as orthodontics and oral surgery.
Doctors guide to boost Online Presence

Build a website 

With a website that offers relevant information, doctors can build a connection and earn the trust of prospective patients. For instance, they could talk about their approach to healthcare and the services that they offer. By publishing content doctors can highlight their authority in a field and differentiate themselves from others. Another benefit a website offers is that medical practitioners can tailor the information that their audience sees. This is unlike third-party websites that may have similar information about all related practitioners.

Here are some of the guidelines that can help create a doctor’s website that offers value to prospective patients. [4] 

  • Be informative yet concise about your field of expertise to hold the audience’s attention.  
  • Ensure that positive testimonials, certifications and awards are part of the published content. These will build trust as 94% people judge healthcare providers based on online reviews. 
  • List the number that may be called to make an appointment clearly. Better yet, provide an option to book an appointment online so patients can book a consult with minimal effort.  
  • Make the site interactive with features like e-newsletters and a Q&A forum. [5] 

Create social media accounts 

Lastly, doctors can harness the power of social media platforms. For improving one’s online presence, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are all useful. Here doctors can publish bite-sized pieces of content. To get the most from social media, doctors must follow content trends, publish regularly, engage with followers and reply to comments or messages.  

While investing in social media offers multiple benefits, here are the three most critical ones.  

  • Establishes credibility and expertise.
  • Shows patients that one is interested in more than a transactional relationship. By providing relevant content, doctors can prove that they are invested in their patients’ long-term wellbeing.
  • Helps gain new patients while remaining on existing patients’ radar.  

Apart from these three measures, doctors can follow these tips to boost their impact. 

  • Consistency is key. If a doctor’s schedule doesn’t allow him or her to invest time and energy in building an online persona, they can hire specialists for the job. For instance, an SEO specialist can optimize online presence with most searched keywords. Similarly, a content marketing professional can create content on their behalf as per a publishing calendar.  
  • Once begun, online presence needs be analysed. Experts can study data to identify which activations and platforms are working and which ones aren’t, thereby optimising a doctor’s investment in this area. Reviewing and tweaking online approach periodically is crucial.  
  • Register with online medical directories and ensure to sign up on digital platforms that list clinics and doctors, such as the Bajaj Finserv Health App. This helps with discoverability.  

A robust online presence is vital to any doctor’s business. Prioritising it is sure to help secure new patients and grow the practice.

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Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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