Your practice may already offer patients the chance to manage appointments online or reserve prescriptions, but do you use Search Engine Optimisation? In other words, are you searchable and visible on the internet? Can potential new patients find you, or will they find a competitor first? Here are three top tips for improving your practice’s online presence.
1. Join Local Business Directories
The more credible websites that list your practice website and contact details, the more favourably Google looks upon you. What this essentially means is that your practice will appear higher up in an internet search for, say, doctors in your area. Making sure you’re listed correctly on Yell and the NHS Choices website is a first step, and will help Google work out your geographical location which is good for boosting your ranking. BrightLocal is a useful directory you can use to keep track of yours and local competitors’ citations, showing you other credible sites to try and get mentioned on.
2. Get on the Map
Joining Google My Business – formerly Google Places – will only further improve your searchability. It’s operated by Google itself, after all! Free to sign up to, you just have to make sure all sections are filled out and totally match your published contact details. Once verified, your practice will even appear on Google maps on its own pin. A Google+ profile is part and parcel of this service, so make sure your page is updated weekly with useful content for your patients to use. Putting links in your G+ updates that link users back to your practice website is another neat way to boost your Google rankings.
3. On-Page Optimisation
Another way to smarten up your digital marketing is to make sure your website uses the keywords that potential users would put into a Google search in order to find you. Things like ‘doctor in Sheffield’ or ‘GP Oxfordshire’. Optimising your website includes making sure those magic keywords are embedded within the on-page elements: Title Tags, Headings, and Meta Descriptions. Speak to a SEO specialist for more advice, or learn to do it yourself with a book!
No matter what your industry, the internet provides a host of opportunities for its success. Internet marketing and SEO are still relatively new concepts for the health industry, but they’re now a very relevant means to expanding that all–important patient list.