By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
For effective healthcare marketing, it’s not a question of having an Internet presence…just about every doctor, group medical practice, hospital and healthcare organization has at least one website. But visibility for online search doesn’t stop there.
Consumers—prospective patients, patients, family members—are actively searching online for health information, doctors and other health professionals. And, standing out and being discovered amid this intensely crowded field means expanding your digital presence above and beyond an elementary website.
As appropriate to their needs and audiences, medical service providers, hospitals and organizations have added more faces to the public…a blog, a YouTube Channel, a Facebook page, Google Plus and maybe a Pinterest pinboard. Plus, there are social platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and others.
The right combination of Internet tools will be guided by the specifics of your situation, but here are four lesser-known ways to enhance your web presence:
- Directories, directories, directories. The problem with most online service directories is that they contain outdated, incorrect or incomplete listing information. Most doctors and medical providers would be amazed to discover their name or practice is included on dozens of directories (such as online yellow pages, insurance provider lists and the like). And what’s really shocking is that the public often sees an old address, a previous affiliation, an incorrect phone number, etc. (Zap! They click delete and move on to the competition.)
It’s well worth the staff time and effort to do regular and repeated online searches (using various keywords and variations on provider and practice names to track down—and update—all your directory listings. Hints: Begin with your insurance connections (as a patient would search), and, member or not, check professional medical association and specialty society directories.
- Google Places for Business: Online searches often begin at Google’s front door, current and correct local business listings are vitally important to (a) the person doing the search, (b) to Google (who wants to deliver quality results), and (c) to the business or practice that wants to be found online.
Google Places for Business is free to start (you may or may not need the for-fee premium services) with a local-search oriented listing. Your business information shows up in relevant searches, as well as Google Maps, Google Plus and mobile. Google’s information pages are here.
- SlideShare: What YouTube is for video; SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. It’s an open-access platform for PowerPoint (and similar) as well as documents, PDFs, videos and webinars. For more about this, see our previous post: Ways SlideShare Can Enhance Your Content Marketing Effortlessly, and the SlideShare About Us page.
- About.me: This easy-to-use platform allows the user to create an attractive, user profile page. Check the about.me home page here for examples…it’s something like a webpage business card. The principle characteristic of each user’s page is the ability to centralize all contact links to social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Google Plus, and others), as well as links to related external websites. Ideal for individual profiles. It’s free and easy to use.
RELATED READING: See our previous posts, Search Engine Optimization Strategies for Doctors Tired of Being the “Invisible Man” (or Woman) Online and Healthcare Search Engine Optimization – Spiders, Crawlers and Bots.