Listing Websites Your Medical Practice Needs to be On
Having done so for numerous doctors across the U.S., we can say that successfully marketing your practice has many different components in our Internet Age.
One that should not be overlooked—particularly if you want your site to rank well in search results and be easily found—is to make sure your website is on the right listing websites.
Online review sites and directories have become increasingly popular since they enable users to check things out before selecting where to take their business.
Given the expansive nature of the internet, you can find these kinds of sites for virtually any industry out there—including the medical industry.
You are likely already quite aware of sites like Yelp (and others) where you can see what people are saying about their experiences with auto repair shops, restaurants, and cleaning services.
Well, there are a variety of sites that do the same thing for doctors.
Odds are good you are familiar with at least a handful of them. After all, search engines like these kinds of sites (when they’re reputable!) because they provide a lot of value for the end user.
Sure, users can see reviews on many listing sites, but they can also get a lot of information from them as well.
When your practice is included on a listing website, potential patients can easily see your practice name, address, and phone number (NAP), along with other relevant information (hours of operation, practice description, etc.).
Such sites are quite useful for those who wish to quickly compare various doctor offices within specific locations.
Search engine companies recognize this value and will take your listings into consideration when they determine how to rank your own website for relevant keywords.
Basically, this means that listing your practice on the right websites is an essential element in local search optimization.
So, which listing websites do your practice need to be on?
Doctor-Specific Listing Websites
There’s more to the story than just being listed on industry-specific websites, but this makes for a good starting place—and especially if you already have some of the basics covered. (And if not, don’t worry; we will be addressing them shortly!)
Given the site’s name, you can likely infer that a certain degree of user rating takes place on it. In this case, patients can rate your practice on areas like staff knowledge, punctuality and professionalism, and how everyone in the office performed during the course of their visit.
With information like this from actual patients, it’s not terribly surprising to know that traffic to the site is often quite strong.
It’s a good idea to make sure your staff is cognizant of how important positive ratings are for your office, and then remind them that reviews aren’t only on the services you provide. Rather, patients can (and do!) rate your practice on several different considerations.
To put your practice in the best possible position to receive positive reviews, the goal needs to be exceeding patient experiences at every touch point—from the initial call to any follow-up appointments (and beyond).
Along with ratings, there is also a “research” component to RateMDs. This means visitors can typically find the information they need when deciding whether to schedule an appointment. (At least, they can if you properly claim and manage your listing—which is completely free, by the way—and ensure all information is accurate.)
As is the case with most listing sites, you can claim and manage your practice’s listing easily—as long as you know what you’re doing. If you’d prefer, you can always hire an agency like VMD Services that has ample experience in doing this for clients.
Either way, we just want to take a moment and reemphasize the importance of making sure your information is current, correct, and consistent with the information that can be found on your website and other claimed listings.
As is the case with RateMDs, HealthGrades is another site that offers patients the opportunity to review practices, and doctors the opportunity to make sure potential patients can find the information they need to determine if they want to take the next step and contact an office to request an appointment.
Previously, we’ve discussed the importance of responding to reviews. Doing so allows you to take control of the discussion and turn a negative situation into a positive one (when you follow the right practices).
Further, you can take positive reviews and make the review feel even better—and, thus, more likely to tell others about their experiences with your practice to others—by simply replying and sharing your appreciation for their kind words.
Whereas other listing options are free, ZocDoc does come with an expense. That being said, you can garner a pretty nifty ROI from this particular service.
One attribute that contributes to the bountiful return is the way patients are able to schedule their appointments without actually calling in to your office.
The obvious upside to this is that one of the best ways to influence behavior in a way you want to see is to remove as much friction and barriers from the intended objective as possible. The easier you can make something, the more likely it is that people will do it.
When we create marketing strategies for clients, we customize them for a simple reason—all doctors do not have the same situation as every other doctor out there. We note that because ZocDoc tends to be better for doctors who have more competition and are in heavily populated areas.
So, if you live in a sparsely populated region and the next closest podiatrist is 100 miles away, you might want to pass on ZocDoc. (Of course, the final decision is ultimately yours—we just provide our professional recommendations for your specific case.)
General Listing Websites for Businesses (Including Medical Practices)
Your practice is a business. Yes, the services you provide might be more important than those offered by a nail salon (since yours are related to physical health and wellbeing), but it’s still a business nonetheless.
Accordingly, you also need to be properly listed on websites for businesses.
The most obvious site where your own website needs to be properly claimed is with Google.
The heavyweight champion when it comes to search engines, Google is responsible for providing a mind-boggling number of users with search results every minute of every day.
Claiming your local listing on Google is critical if you want people in your area to find you online. And given this is how we all find new businesses nowadays, you absolutely should want people to easily find you online!
Now, Google might be the largest and most popular search engine out there, but it’s not the only one. Because of this, you also need to be listed accurately on Bing and Yahoo!
Doing so will help immensely when individuals use those respective services to find a podiatrist in their community. At the same time, it can also help your site’s Google rankings.
In our previous section, we discussed the importance of reviews. People leave them through medical practices’ listings with the search engines, but they also take advantage of sites like Yelp to do this as well.
If you want to make sure your practice is being represented well online, you need to claim your business with Yelp and follow our advice when it comes to replying to reviews—both negative and positive ones alike.
Get Found Online Today!
There are other listing sites out there, but claiming your listings for these ones is a great starting point in making sure your own website ranks well and is easily found by potential patients.
As we noted earlier, you can certainly take the time to claim your listings and ensure all information is accurate and current on your own. The respective processes for each site is generally straightforward.
If you’d prefer, you’re also free to contact a comprehensive podiatric marketing agency like VMD Services and have us do it for you.
When you do, we follow best current practices for Local Search Optimization, and can provide an array of complementary marketing services to expand your reach and connect you with new patients.
To put it simply, our mission is to grow your practice using proven marketing strategies, tools, and techniques.
We’ve been able to accomplish this mission for numerous practices across the nation—and we will do the same for you!
For more information, call (833) 823-3335 and find out how VMD Services can help you take your practice to the next level (and beyond!).
Fill your waiting room with the kinds of patients you want to treat.