More than 60 percent of patients will go online sometimes or often to look for care, according to our patient survey. When seeking a new provider, patients most frequently use healthcare organization websites (60 percent) and general internet searches (e.g., via Google) (53 percent), according to Kyruus. As a provider, it’s critical to your healthcare marketing strategy that patients find you wherever they’re looking for care.
You probably have a practice website, and your physician profile may even be listed on medical directories, such as WebMD or RateMDs. But if you’re looking for medical marketing strategies to take your online presence to the next level, it’s important that your practice is also listed on local business directories, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Yelp, Facebook, and Angie’s List.
Keep reading to understand why listing your practice on prominent local business directories is a vital part of a well-rounded healthcare marketing strategy.
5 healthcare marketing benefits to using business directories
1. Claiming and optimizing local business directories expands your online footprint.
According to PatientPop, 75 percent of people have looked online to learn about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care. A key goal in any healthcare marketing strategy is to grow your online presence. This is a simple numbers game. The more places you are listed online, the more likely you are to get found by new patients.
Local business directories are also critical to your local search healthcare marketing strategy. The majority of your potential patients will live in your immediate area. As such, local search marketing for healthcare practices is meant to help you dominate search results in a target area. Healthcare business listings will expand your online footprint for provider searches in your specific market.
Having online business listings in your name or your practice name is also effective healthcare marketing because it allows you to dominate the search results for your name. The last thing you want is for a competitor to rank for your name or the name of your practice.
2. Search engines like Google consider local business directories highly reputable.
Local business directories are critical to your local search marketing healthcare strategy. Oftentimes, these business directory listings for your healthcare practice will rank above even your own practice website, so creating listings on these sites gives you a better chance of ranking higher in search results.
For example, Google — the world’s most widely used search engine — favors its own directory, Google My Business, in search results. On desktop, a Google My Business profile will appear prominently on the right-hand side of the page in a dedicated box. On mobile, it’ll be the first thing shown in results. Thus, a Google My Business profile can help highlight your practice and drive more traffic to your website.
In fact, among patients using search engines, more than 60 percent typically search for a doctor “near me” or “near town/city,” according to Kyruus. Healthcare business listings help satisfy these popular searches because they prominently display business information, including your business hours, location, and information on medical services.
Because directories tend to rank higher than your medical website, they can often be how you make your first impression to patients online. Even if you haven’t created your own healthcare business listings, it’s possible that they already exist and contain inaccurate information.
Claiming these listings on major directories and ensuring that they contain accurate contact information not only helps patients, but it helps search engines understand what to display in search. If Google can’t figure out which information for your healthcare practice is accurate, you may not appear in the search at all.
3. Patients use healthcare business listings to find medical practices.
More than one-third of patients (34.2 percent) say they use information on third-party websites to form an opinion on a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare provider, according to PatientPop. If you’re wondering how your healthcare business can stand out in medical listings, make sure you fill out all sections of your listing with details of your medical practice.
When choosing a provider, potential patients want to know what to expect during their visit. You can boost your medical marketing strategy by adding photos of your office and waiting room to your business directory listings. Some sites will also let you write a biography and other information about your practice such as medical services offered. This allows you to generate trust with potential patients before they ever schedule an appointment.
4. Local business directories often include reviews.
Online business directories can help you improve your online reputation. According to PatientPop, patients use Google most often to both read and post reviews. Yelp, another business directory, is the third most common site patients use to both read and post reviews, according to PatientPop.
Your healthcare marketing strategy is incomplete if it does not include online reputation management. By creating or claiming online business directories, you provide patients a place to share positive experiences they’ve had with you.
You can also stay on top of any negative feedback you receive and respond publicly. According to a survey by Software Advice, 66 percent of patients say it is very or moderately important for a provider to respond to negative reviews in a reasonable manner. When a provider responds to a negative patient review, 81 percent of patients report being satisfied or very satisfied.
5. It’s free to list or claim your practice.
Most, if not all, online business directories are free to list or claim, which means the return on your healthcare marketing investment has the potential to be very high. Here’s a list of 50 online business directories you may want to consider using.
It can be time intensive to go through all 50, so you may consider focusing on the top 10 or the ones with higher domain authority. Websites with a higher domain authority are more likely to rank higher in search results.
PatientPop helps providers elevate their web presence with a website that is optimized for search engines. PatientPop also helps them list their practice on all essential sites in a clear consistent manner to increase search visibility, making healthcare marketing easy.