By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
[Continuing series installment.] A unproductive (or outright lazy) employee wouldn’t last long in a well-managed medical practice. And, considering the investment that most doctors have sunk in their website, it’s frustrating to discover a doctor’s website that is “present,” but clearly “under-performing.”
Some weak sites are outdated or seriously ill, and those guys are prime candidates to be “fired” in favor of a fresh and productive re-boot. Still other sites have genuine potential to fulfill their assignment of producing new business, but skilled technical skills are required to perform major surgery.
Before you resort to the more extreme measures, it’s helpful to know that many well-intended websites suffer largely from neglect. Sadly, the intended (and expected) performance and productivity falls short without proper care and feeding.
In addition to our previous posts in this series (listed below), here are a few more ways your can wake-up your website and improve its productivity:
EXPRESS YOUR EXPERTISE: Search engine algorithms—Google, Bing, Yahoo—are increasingly weighted to recognize “quality” information and to reward authoritative content with a higher position among search results. Physicians who consistently post fresh, informative and interesting content—attributed to professional expertise—are likely to benefit the reader, enhance their own reputation, and improve search results.
YOU PROBABLY HAVE A BLOG IN YOU: Physicians are experts in their profession (per above), and they invariably are a source for patient-helpful material. Regular updates to a practice website and/or blog pages efficiently communicates with scores of patients, prospective patients and caregivers. Of course, the one-to-many format is quite different than a one-to-one in-office consult, but nonetheless the same kind of authoritative information benefits people…and also promotes the practice.
AMPLIFY AND MULTIPLY: Most online material created for your website can often transfer to other formats. A blog post, for example, might become an informational video posted on your YouTube channel as well as linked to social media. It’s efficient use of time, and well-considered uses, with proper linking, can enhance the search engine “visibility” of the website.
THINK LOCAL: Like retail customers, prospective patients search, shop and buy in their local area. Allowing for a few rare exceptions, convenience and proximity are primary considerations. Therefore, the local online directory listings are important to capture and maintain.
Do your own search for your profession AND community name. Use several different search engines and different search terms, such as “Meadowbrook Cardiologists,” “Heart Specialists near Meadowbrook” and other variations. Update your listings in Yelp, Google Plus, Yellow Pages, and other directories you find. Include the names of your city and neighborhood in our website text.
GET GOOD TECHNICAL HELP: Websites do not thrive on neglect. The reality is, if your website is asleep on the job, it may be completely out of date, in need of a major tune-up, or want for regular updates and refreshment. While some fixes and adjustments are relatively easy, the unseen technical mechanics of website health often require an experienced pro who knows how to optimize titles and tags, image descriptions, page loading time and dozens of other details. If you think your website is underperforming, don’t hesitate to get a professional check-up.
For more on this topic, see the previous posts in this continuing educational series, including:
- Are You Ready For a Complete Website Overhaul? (We Were)
- Search Engine Optimization Strategies for Doctors Tired of Being the “Invisible Man” (or Woman) Online
- 10 (Relatively) Easy SEO Tips for Better Healthcare Marketing
- Panda and Penguin Are Out to Kill Your Website