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Is Your Embarrassing Physician Website Costing You Money?

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Person wearing suit putting head down in frustration with laptop opened over headGreat business minds will remind us that procrastination is a thief. It robs us of time, opportunity, and in some situations, it steals cold, hard cash.

“To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.” ~ Eva Young

Simple neglect or forgetfulness can undermine the best intentions and solid returns of a well-crafted physician marketing and advertising plan. This is especially true with a physician website, where the temptation is a “set-and-forget” mindset.

Five years ago we used to write that:

  • 1/3 of private practice physicians had a website they were happy with
  • 1/3 of physicians had a website they wanted to change
  • 1/3 of physicians didn’t have a website yet

That’s changed rapidly. The Internet has become the starting point for many, if not most, patient journeys…and, more often than not, it’s the digital front door for every doctor’s office. These troubling numbers paint a different picture. Today, I estimate:

  • 30 percent of private practice physicians have a good website that they are happy with
  • 30 percent know they need to update, want to, but never seem to get around to it
  • 30 percent have sites that are embarrassing even to the uneducated eye, and desperately NEED to update, and
  • 10 percent STILL don’t even have a website

Having no practice website—none, nada—is marketing DOA. To nearly all prospective patients, your practice does not exist. It’s not considered among options for care and there is no influence in attracting patients, advancing your reputation or defending against the mounting competition.

Having no website—or having an old site that is sorely in need of an update—is turning your back on attracting new patients, as well as assuring doctor-referred patients that they are making the right provider choice.

Your Internet presence is a conduit for intangibles. In talking to everyday consumers, to gain insights about how they think, it is common for them to tell me they would not trust a doctor who either had no website or had a poor one. They often say that they would choose another provider, even if their primary care physician had referred them.

Patients are sophisticated Internet users…

Because today’s typical healthcare journey begins online, patients/consumers expect more from medical websites. And, above and beyond our own experience, surveys say that many provider websites are inadequate.

  • 71 percent of users polled say that healthcare providers' websites could be more helpful
  • 84 percent report having difficulty finding the information they want
[Patient Attitudes Toward Healthcare on the Web; Kentico Survey]

We read these numbers to say that many doctor websites are in need of a serious update; one that brings their digital presence up to user expectations.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to bring your website update to the top of your priority list is that procrastination is enormously expensive. Your lost opportunity opportunities are probably fueling the competition.

“Following-through is the only thing that separates dreamers

from people that accomplish great things”. ~ Gene Hayden

For related reading, here are the Top 7 Reasons a Busy Doctor Needs a Powerful Website.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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