We recently talked about the importance of marketing your practice from the inside-out, but today we’ll dive into why it’s vital to properly market your practice online and anticipate the needs of potential patients (also known as an outside-in marketing approach).
With more than 70,000 health-related searches happening on Google each minute, it’s now the norm for patients to start their care journeys online. And for healthcare organizations that prioritize delivering a positive patient experience from the start, it all boils down to creating a seamless online experience for patients. Consider trying these four tips below that can sway potential patients into becoming actual patients.
1. Maintain an up-to-date website
Have you ever searched for information online, like a business’s store hours or location, only to realize that it’s outdated information? When prospective patients visit your website and encounter this same experience, it frustrates them too. That’s why it’s a best practice to always keep your website up-to-date with fresh and relevant information.
Since your website is the first touchpoint that many potential patients may see, starting off on the right foot is key. Any time there’s a change within your organization – such as new operating hours, locations, or services – be sure to reflect that information on your website. Visitors get what they’re looking for right away without having to look at multiple sources.
2. Ensure your website is responsive and loads quickly
In a world where people are searching for information and booking appointments on-the-go, your website’s design absolutely needs to be responsive.
Responsive web design allows websites to display on all devices types and screen sizes by adapting to the screen automatically. People could visit your website on their smartphones or tablets, which highlights the importance of designing your website in a way that’s functional on all types of screens.
Speed matters, too. Sources reveal that 47% of users expect a maximum of two seconds loading time for an average website – if people can’t find what they’re looking for fast enough, it’s easy for them to hit the “back” button and search elsewhere. Things like large images or plugins on your website can slow it down, so work with your web designers to identify and fix issues that can affect your website’s loading time.
3. Sign up for a Google business profile
Got a business profile on Google? If not, it’s time to sign up for this free marketing tool. Having a business profile enables you to reach more potential patients online and provides them with a quick overview of your practice such as your:
- Business’s phone number
- Operating hours
- The types of services you offer
You can also share images of your staff and practice on your profile. Potential patients get a first glimpse before their visit, which provides added confidence that they’re entering a professional and well-maintained practice.
You can even post answers to frequently asked questions and respond to reviews. All this information helps care seekers decide if your practice can offer the level of service and care that they expect.
4. Pay attention to your reviews
Speaking of reviews…they’re incredibly important to care seekers. In fact, 71% of surveyed patients use online reviews to evaluate and choose a new healthcare provider. They also read an average of 10 online reviews before they feel they can trust a local business. Simply put, people tend to read reviews before making any appointments or transactions for peace of mind. They want reassurance that they’re picking the right provider or product.
Of course, getting reviews for your practice doesn’t happen overnight. One of the most straightforward strategies to receive more reviews is by simply asking your patients. At the end of their appointments, ask if they’d be open to posting a review about their experience. You can also follow-up with patients via e-mail and ask them to share a review. There are many strategies and platforms out there that can help you grow your number of reviews.
Blend the two approaches for the best results
By marketing your practice with a blend of inside-out and outside-in approaches, expect to see happier patients and a staff that feels more aligned with your organization’s initiatives.
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