As our lives become even more entwined with the digital world, it’s becoming easier and more convenient to take care of everyday tasks online — including those surrounding healthcare. In fact, 80% of Internet users look online for health information. If you work for or are associated with a healthcare brand, now is the time to take stock of your online presence and see how you can increase it.
Don’t know where to begin? Here are 5 easy steps you can take to improve your healthcare brand’s digital presence right away.
1) Social Media is a MUST
We don’t mean an abandoned Facebook page, your brand needs an active, up-to-date social presence that offers fans and followers more than just a page to like. Recent stats suggest that 23% of social media users use their networks to follow the health experiences of others. Giving patients the ability to do simple things like ‘check-in’ at your office, tag your page in a health-related status update or recommend your services can help increase your visibility just by showing up in their friends’ newsfeeds. You can also use Facebook’s Offers feature to offer discounts on services and encourage current patients and fans to share them with their own networks. You can also include a tab that allows followers to easily find a location near them and book an appointment.
2) Get Affiliated with Apps
It’s not necessarily worth your brand’s time and effort to create your own app, but finding inclusion in a health-related app will help you capture the attention of potential mobile users. Getting your brand included in a directory service like ZocDoc not only makes it easy for patients to book appointments online, it also makes it easy for patients to book appointments on their mobile devices through its accompanying app. Geonetric found 20% of health consumers search for health-related content on mobile devices. Chances are good that that same 20% of consumers will also attempt to book an appointment on a mobile device, so make sure you’re represented on mobile apps. And while you’re at it…
3) Give Your Site a Refresh
If you have a poorly designed mobile site, now is the time to refresh and redesign. The same goes for your desktop site. If you don’t currently offer patients the ability to book an appointment online (either through your own system or through ZocDoc), introduce that as a new feature on your site. You can also save new patients time by allowing them to submit things like insurance information and medical histories through your site. This ensures that they have the time to find the information they may need, especially if there are insurance-related questions that they need to ask their employer. Make sure that your site is easy and convenient to navigate, with contact information readily available.
4) Get Onboard with a Blog
Don’t underestimate the power of content marketing. Health-related searches on Google are up 47% from last year; and of the Internet users who search for medical information online, 66% look for diseases, 56% look for medical treatments and 44% look for doctors. All of these search queries represent excellent opportunities for blog content. For instance, by focusing on a particular disease (e.g. a post on breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month) for a post, your clinic demonstrates its expertise while also giving your site a boost in related online searches. Even a post on the physicians in your office could help their names turn up in local searches for physicians.
5) Take a Gander at Google AdWords
According to recent stats, 81% of people click on a sponsored link when looking for health info. Often, users don’t recognize the difference between a sponsored result and an organic result and are more inclined to simply click on one of the first results rather than scroll down the page. If your sponsored link ranks high, this could give your practice a huge boost, especially if your organic ranking for a specific set of keywords is rather low.
Looking to embrace the digital world even more for your health-related brand. Check out how tech is transforming the waiting room experience.