online reputation

4 ways to get more patients with online reputation management

Your online reputation supports the business growth of your private health practice and in this article, we look at four failproof ways to nurture an impeccable online profile as a doctor. In times of ‘more digital’, applying these best practices will help you attract the patient volumes that you need to run a successful practice.

online reputation

4 Ways to get more patients with online reputation management

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

December 25, 2021

The underestimated impact of your online reputation

online reputation basics for doctors

With digital, it’s good to realise we have seen just the beginning of a whole new evolution. Since the creation of the internet, broadband and smartphones have accelerated our digital behaviour…and in private healthcare, the biggest impact is patient choice.

Your online reputation is now a parallel area that tags on to your overall reputation as a doctor. Many doctors go through a phase where there is a disconnect between the two:

  • Their reputation in the local hospital, in the catchment area among peers and with their patients, is excellent.
  • However, when prospective new patients or newly arrived family physicians check out these excellent specialist doctors online, poor content and poor medical website design bring down the perception and damages the first impression.

It is part of your general best practices to create, maintain and develop an online reputation that helps you achieve your goals, whether they are about driving more patients, partnering with other doctors or specialising even more.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Founder Digital Practice

"You can look at your medical website as a static online brochure. Or you can be a leader and consider it a 24/7 channel that amplifies your message for the community. We help you make the transition so you can influence general practitioners and patients so more people choose you as their specialist."

When we work together, we work on the information and we make sure the values of your practice are engrained in your online profile. The way the information is combined with images and graphics changes the experience for the patient. Let’s not forget that anyone who has a health challenge is vulnerable and looking for that human touch.

We help you communicate in a way that is about the patient. Not just about you and your practice. Our data shows that this keeps patients on your website for longer and it helps you increase your conversions, in other words, your patient numbers.

#1 Create a blueprint for your online reputation

marketing plan for doctors

The strategic marketing plan for your medical practice is the blueprint for your digital reputation. The fact that you get strategic about this, makes all the difference. From trial-and-error campaigns with tactics such as Google Ads, Instagram or email marketing…to a well-oiled machine.

This is where online reputation management for doctors becomes part of your business DNA. You plan your goals, you bring in relevant data to understand what patients are searching for in your niche, or what makes general practitioners spend time going through your content.

The blueprint – or the marketing plan – has a clear focus, which is to build and improve your online footprint. For doctors, online marketing means understanding the advertising guidelines applicable in your jurisdiction. It also requires an understanding of the patient journey, the competitive nature of your specialty and the personalities of your team members.

The end result of this work is a clear plan to build the content on your website, populate your social media accounts, and make the content work together to drive new referrals for your practice.

online reputation

#2 Start seeing Google’s first page as prime real estate

google visibility as a doctor

Bear in mind that over 50% of patients spend time on Google when they need to make a choice about a health concern. That time is divided over different phases of their Google search journey:

  • At the start: They have a concern or a symptom and simply look things up to find out more.
  • After a consultation: They have new information, new words to type into Google and new questions after having seen the general practitioner.
  • Before choosing a specialist: The patient now knows what is needed and is comparing specialist doctors.

This traffic of patients is defined by the quality of your online reputation. Specialists with high-quality traffic get lots of visitors across the patient’s search journey. Their reputation is often working for them because patients remember having spent time on their website.

When the last step finally arrives and when it’s time to choose a specialist, the traffic, clicks and time spent on a specialist’s website finally pays off. It solidifies the reputation of this doctor, combined with conversations outside the realm of online search.

This is why you want to be on Google’s first page of search results as often as possible. Not just for commodity searches linked to your specialty (for example ‘obstetrician’ or ‘knee surgeon’). You want to show up for a wide variety of searches so your online reputation is made up of dozens of funnels instead of just one (for example ‘antenatal care’ or ‘rotator cuff’).

This is an inbound marketing tactic and in the next paragraph we will look at a combined inbound and outbound tactic.

#3 Increase your referral stream with LinkedIn

linkedin marketing for doctors

LinkedIn is a highly effective platform for specialist doctors to increase their referral stream.
The method I will outline here consists of three steps that become success habits:

  1. Connect with potential referrers (outbound)
  2. Create content that adds value (inbound)
  3. Engage in meaningful interaction with potential referrers (inbound + outbound)

Let’s go over this with a quick video demo.

If you need help with your own LinkedIn marketing campaign, book your obligation-free strategy session and let’s explore how we can increase your referral stream.

#4 Work with a dedicated medical marketing agency

compliant medical marketing

A dedicated medical marketing agency applies a holistic view and gives you peace of mind. There are multiple areas involved, an extensive list of skill sets, and even if we use a general word such as marketing, the work is not to be confused with the marketing efforts to make people buy a pizza at the local pub.

A dedicated medical marketing agency understands the patient journey, the mechanics of an independent practice, your health system, the local competitive landscape, the actual diagnostic and treatment journey, the patient’s information needs and emotions and the trust relationship between the physician/surgeon and the patient.

A medical marketing agency creates integrated and customised solutions that are in tune with the current digital consumer expectations: professional responsive web design, SEO and keyword research, social media content production, remote video interviewing and targeted marketing to referring doctors and family practices.

And to top it off, your medical marketing agency understands that you are a business, offering specialised healthcare and yet, also developing your business so it grows and becomes an asset, not just a job.

Can you tell that we are passionate about this description? It’s actually how we look at our own work with our customers every single day.

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marketing advice for doctors

When we have our strategy session, it’s not about sharing generic marketing advice for doctors. We will talk about your practice, your goals and the options to make your online reputation work for you so you create the practice you have in mind. I look forward to meeting you!

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