The director of physician marketing for BetterDoctor.com offers four tips for how to maintain a favorable digital standing.
In the digital age, Americans now use the Internet to find healthcare professionals and discover what services they offer, using this information to drive their healthcare-related choices. So now is the time for sleep medicine professionals to put more effort into online reputation management.
Online reputation management is essentially the practice of making people and businesses look their best online. Healthcare professionals can utilize the power of the web to gain new clients, improve business, and maintain a positive reputation. However, Dutch Rojas, director of physician marketing for BetterDoctor.com, says healthcare professionals hurt their online reputations by committing the following four mistakes: not having a personal website, ignoring review sites, using poor photos, and doing one’s own copywriting.
According to Rojas, it is imperative for healthcare professionals to have a personal website as prospective patients will frequently Google the person’s name, not the practice name, to find information. In addition, personal sites may show up higher in search engine results. As such, the creation of a personal website for sleep medicine professionals may increase the possibility of new clients finding them online.
Rojas says, “Health professionals should have an individual professional website that includes their updated and accurate contact information as well as their specialty and the procedures they specialize in.” The site should also include personal information, such as hobbies or family information, in the online bio. He says, “Patients want to see that their potential doctor is a real person.”
Content: Copywriting and Photo Selection
Content selection is essential for a strong website, which makes the writing of the webpages and selection of photos key components. According to Rojas, high quality photographs are typically a patient’s primary request as it makes prospective patients more comfortable, builds trust, and conveys warmth and professionalism.
Rojas says, “BetterDoctor has found that patients prefer profiles that have a clear headshot of the doctor. Patients want to see the doctor’s face, and it’s best to take the image against a neutral background.”
Professional copywriting for the content is also a significant part of a healthcare professional’s website. Rojas suggests hiring a skilled, professional copywriter to help bring a business’s story to life and boost the site higher in search engine results. The content can also help distinguish a healthcare provider from other colleagues by revealing what sets them apart from other physicians.
For providers in search of a proficient copywriter, Rojas says, “When you select a copywriter, go for one with experience writing for consumers. Some writers focus on internal communications or communications between businesses, but you want someone who can speak clearly to the average patient who’s just looking for a doctor they can trust.”
For specific content creation guidelines, Rojas proposes that the healthcare provider’s site should describe the professional’s experience and education. Also, if there are certain procedures or patient populations the provider focuses on, that should be made clear on the site.
Professional Web Design
Another essential component is web design, which can include a range of elements, such as site navigation and responsive design. For an increasingly technology-based world, Rojas says, “We recommend that you make the site easy to navigate and mobile responsive, meaning the design changes when viewed from a mobile device.” In addition, the provider’s contact information should be easy to locate. Rojas says, “People often go to your website to get your phone number and book an appointment.”
Do not overcrowd your website with too much information as visitors “want something simple and clear,” Rojas says. As such, webpages should not contain a lot of extra information and written content, and should convey the basics of each page, for example, brief descriptions of services available.
Building an Online Presence
Maintaining a favorable online reputation is an involved and often time-consuming process that involves different steps, beginning with website creation. Rojas says establishing and maintaining an online reputation is an ongoing process and requires the commitment of the business. However, for the business and healthcare provider willing to invest the time and money, the reward will be new patients and a strong online presence that drives the business for years to come.
Cassandra Perez is associate editor for Sleep Review. CONTACT [email protected].