Never worry about Dr Google again!
Just as you want to engage in a meaningful conversation with your patient, she starts showing you prints from articles she found on Google. Do you a) smile and listen, b) interrupt her or c) mask the fact that you don’t like this and try to control your stress levels? Let’s look at Google behaviour by patients so you never have to worry about this phenomenon again.
Never worry about Dr Google again!
March 17, 2022
Some context about this thing we call Dr Google
google search for doctors
When patients come up with things they found online, it means they have been searching for it.
Google improves its ability to understand the consumer’s intentions and gets better at this every day. We call it search intent.
Now the intention behind every search on Google, results in a number of search results that are displayed.
"The superficial approach to this whole universe is a doctor saying ‘I just want to rank number one on Google’. That statement needs more digital literacy before anyone can help you."
The thing is that there are different search results for every type of Google search. A patient could be reading up on the symptoms they have just been discussing with a GP. They could be googling things they have only just read on another website, because prior to their Google session they didn’t have this medical vocabulary.
So this phenomenon we call Dr Google in the health industry, is actually a complex interaction between your patients (the general consumer), and a piece of artificial intelligence that gets smarter by the day. It pays off to fully understand Google Search for doctors, because it can make a big difference in the development of your practice as a business.
Let’s dive into Search Intent in some more detail, to then discuss how you can adapt your marketing strategy to this amazing intel.
All you need to know about search intent
patients using google
Experts around the globe, as well as our team members here at Digital Practice, produce content for medical websites in line with the different stages of the patient journey.
We google different things when we first experience some shoulder pain, compared to when we need to choose an orthopaedic surgeon nearby for shoulder surgery. Patients using Google will type in different things, depending on when they do their online research. Early on in the journey, or towards that critical moment when they choose a specialist.
In this video, I talk about the four types of search intent that apply to the doctor-patient relationship, and this insight will allow you to make more strategic decisions about the content you need to rank higher on Google.
How to rank higher more often than a competitor?
google for doctors
This is where your medical website and your medical marketing campaign can outperform anyone else. Once you understand the types of search intent that apply to your specialty, the next phase is to order detailed keyword research.
"We have detailed data for almost any medical specialty, and perform local market research to analyse what patients type into Google at different stages of their journey. It’s a game-changer for healthcare marketing and it creates unprecedented results for ambitious doctors."
Obtaining market data is the first step in your ‘google for doctors’ journey.
The next step is to strategically plan your investment in quality content that creates Google visibility.
The amount of quality pages on your medical website, built in line with the topics patients google for, defines your online power and the growth potential of your private practice. Can you see how ‘Google for doctors’ is not the daunting and overly complicated area you thought it was?
The other little-known secret in health marketing
In health marketing, it’s one thing to understand your local market. It’s another thing to publish the right content the right way.
What I mean by that is that you don’t just throw pages and pages of content on a web page.
Google also looks at the overall experience your patient will be going through, from the moment they land on your website:
- Does your medical website load fast enough?
- Is your website truly and fully responsive, so it adapts to the screen size of your patient’s device?
- Is the software that supports your website technically healthy and running on a local server in your own country?
- Are the images crisp and high-resolution and optimised so they don’t slow down your website?
- Is the content palatable, well presented, easy to navigate?
- Are your titles and paragraph headers used correctly?
This all ties in with the specialised experience a health marketing agency applies, to make sure your patients land on high-quality, Google-optimised content that motivates them to choose you as their doctor.
How to make Dr Google work to your advantage?
doctors and google
There was a time when I had the impression that doctors and Google were never going to be friends. Meeting after meeting, I noticed comments about the impact of the patient’s research on the way consultations went.
We have come a long way since then and most doctors know and accept that patients do their research.
"Your first opportunity is to acknowledge that the word research means something entirely different compared to your own definition. Only then are you ready to let go of any judgement and use the whole Dr Google phenomenon to build a thriving private practice."
Leading doctors like yourself are now in a unique position to reframe the way they build a private practice. The three-step-method we use here at Digital Practice is a failproof road to private practice success:
- Strategy: We map your business goals – We perform local keyword research for your specialty and analyse what patients search for.
- Content: We co-produce your content using our medical journalism expertise and an easy-to-use framework that collects your input, which we then optimise for Google.
- Web Design: We integrate medical web design, web development and the strategy and content work so your online profile stands out, becomes visible in organic Google Search and helps you grow the practice that you have in mind.
Dr Google help is just around the corner
helping doctors with Google
Do you want to understand your patients’ Google behaviour in full detail? What would it mean to you to nurture a business strategy that creates predictable growth? Let’s have the conversation and explore how we can help you grow. Helping doctors with Google is just one thing we do. We also help you create a leading brand, get more GP referrals or use social media marketing to create your leadership profile. Book your free consultation today!