If you are a doctor or dentist who is looking to expand your business with online advertising, the first thing that you must have is a website.
Importance of a Website in the Healthcare Industry
A website is a necessity for any medical practice or other type of healthcare business, but it’s important to remember that a website is only the first step in the digital marketing process. In fact, a website is just one example of a digital marketing tool, and it must be used in conjunction with other digital marketing strategies if it is to be effective.
Websites play a critical role in your ability to serve your patients well. The website is the “virtual face” of the practice and allows you to communicate with patients in a variety of ways. A website also enables you to provide information to patients in an environment that they are familiar with, namely the Internet.
Healthcare customers are online buyers. No matter what you sell, when you sell to healthcare customers, it’s important for your practice to have a professional website. The site can serve as a visual introduction for new patients or an extension of your office for existing patients.
Indeed, a website is an essential business tool for today’s medical practice and healthcare organization. It can be used to:
Establish your credibility and expertise
A website allows you to connect with potential patients 24/7. It is a crucial tool in establishing yourself as an authority in your field. Information on your site can include everything from how to contact you to testimonials from happy patients. Showing off your expertise is an excellent way to help patients feel comfortable choosing you over another doctor.
Inform and educate
A website offers a great opportunity to educate patients about conditions they have been living with for years. You can provide them with the latest information on their condition and describe what they can expect in treatment. This also helps you build a better rapport with patients who may be struggling with their disease and feeling down about their condition or situation.
Connect with current patients
You can post newsletters, blogs and other information that will keep your current patients informed about current events, new treatments and more. This also helps you get feedback from them on how they like your service or if there is anything you could improve upon. With this information, you can tailor any future marketing efforts directly towards your audience, which will help you become more successful at attracting new clients.
Provide information on services and products
In the modern world, where information is abundant and easy to access, it is no longer enough to rely on traditional advertising methods to get your business noticed. In order to attract new patients, you need a website that presents your medical practice in a way that makes you stand out from the competition.
A website allows your patients to access their records and book appointments online without having to contact you directly and wait on hold or talk to someone in person. You can also monitor and review patient health records conveniently and quickly. Moreover, if you have an online payment system in place, you can ensure timely payments and avoid missed deadlines and fines.
Communicate with patients and colleagues
If you don’t have a website for your medical practice or healthcare facility, you’re missing out on a valuable tool that can:
- Connect your practice or facility with patients and families: Make it easy for patients and their family members to find important information about your practice – directions, hours, contact information, insurance accepted and other details, as well as health education seminars and classes available at your facility.
- Be a part of your community: Use your site to display local community news about your practice or facility as well as events you sponsor.
- Increase patient retention: The more convenient it is for patients to access their medical records from home or via smartphone or tablet apps, the more likely they are to follow-up with needed care.
- Create a paperless office: With a secure site that allows patients to access their own medical records online – including lab results and images – there’s no need to store paper records in file cabinets or send copies via fax or mail. You can even offer patients secure online appointment scheduling.
- Offer support materials to patients: Create a section of your website where you can post educational materials about common conditions so that you can easily send.
Heighten social media presence
Enhance patient relations through the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. Having a blog on your website that contains articles relevant to your patients is a good way to start. Blogs also help you connect with other bloggers who are writing about similar topics. These people are potential patients and advocates for your practice. You can also Promote free screenings, programs and events through your social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. Schedule reminders for these events so people can RSVP in advance.
Creating a website
When thinking about what kind of site to build, keep these points in mind:
- Accessibility: The site should be easily accessible from search engines such as Google or Bing. The most effective sites are built on WordPress because it’s easy to use and allows for customization. It’s also critical to have an email address attached to the site so people can reach you directly.
- Uniqueness: The content should be unique and include blog posts and articles that offer tips and advice in a way that shows you’re an authority on the subject. Links back to your site from other medical-related websites will drive traffic back to your own site. You can also increase traffic by offering a free download of some sort, such as a book or report related to your practice.
- Credibility: The site should point out any affiliations with other healthcare professionals, medical associations or organizations that support your practice.
- Keep your content fresh: Many healthcare businesses have websites that haven’t been updated since they were created, and they have become stale because of this. If you have been meaning to update your website but haven’t had time, think about hiring someone from the outside to do the work for you.
- Mobile-friendly: Make sure it’s mobile-friendly. In 2015, Google announced that mobile-friendliness would be a ranking factor in its search results – and that was before smartphones became even more ubiquitous than they already were. This means that if your current website isn’t mobile-friendly (or even if it is), Google might penalize you and push you down in its search results.
- Keep social media in mind: Your business should have accounts on all major social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and others – and make sure your website.
The power of a well-structured website is unmatched when it comes to enhancing patient relations and building trust. A website can be used to generate leads, with the potential to convert visitors into patients. With various ways to engage with clients (including blogs, e-newsletters, social media channels), it provides the perfect platform for potential patients to interact with you before ever setting foot inside your office or making that phone call.