If you're trying to keep a steady stream of new patients calling your office, the following statistics ought to be a wake-up call:
- Some 77% of consumers used search last year to find a health care provider.
- Over 70% of all traffic goes to the first five listings on the search results page.
- The number one listing gets almost a third of the traffic—all by itself.
How does your practice rate? If you don't know, or worse, if you're not in the top five, you might want to make some improvements to your website.
Is your website mobile friendly?
More than half of all search traffic is on a mobile device today; chances are good your potential new patients are using their smartphone to look for a doctor. If your website doesn't render well on a mobile device, about eight in 10 searchers will click away without even looking at your site. There are a couple ways to approach this, either with responsive website design, or with a dedicated mobile website—a good digital marketing firm can recommend the best approach.
In addition, Google gives preference to mobile-friendly websites in the search results algorithm, so if you want better rankings, make sure you're attracting your mobile consumers.
Are you optimizing for local search?
If you want to attract new dermatology patients in Atlanta, your website needs to be optimized for Atlanta search. In prior Google algorithms, the steps were straightforward:
- Claim your business on all major search sites (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, etc.), making sure your name, address, and phone number are exactly the same on each.
- Collect Google (and other) reviews to enhance your online reputation.
- Make sure your meta descriptions and keywords include location information.
With the latest Hummingbird update, however, a few more steps will help ensure your local SEO is in order:
- Make sure your location information appears on every page of your website, either in the header, footer, or elsewhere on the page.
- Have a separate webpage for each office location and include that in your site navigation.
- Include maps and/or directions to your office.
Do you have photos of your providers and locations?
This is especially important for small and medium-sized practices who need a way to introduce themselves to prospective patients and create a welcoming and professional atmosphere. Patients aren't looking for a relationship with your brand or the insurance network you're affiliated with, they want a relationship with the people who will be caring for them. Include professional photos of your providers at a minimum, and if your practice involves leading-edge technology, such as a 3D ultrasound machine, you can highlight that, as well. A shot of your building's exterior will help your new patients feel confident they're in the right place.
Are you giving patients information they're searching for?
Bounce rate is a contributor to your site's search rankings, and it refers to the amount of time someone is on your site before "bouncing" off to another site. If you have a lot of people who look and quickly click away, it tells search engines you don't have useful information on your site.
Think about the information someone is searching for when they visit your site—and make it easy for them to find it. Here are some questions your website should answer:
- Do you offer extended hours or weekend appointments?
- What insurance plans do you accept?
- Do you provide (fill in the services you want patients to know they can get at your office)?
- Do you have a location near me?
- How do I get to your office?
- Is there an emergency or after-hours number?
These are just a few of the more important website improvements you can make to improve your search rankings and get more traffic—and ultimately, new patients. If you'd like more information about your revenue cycle and positioning your practice in a competitive market, contact the medical practice professionals at M-Scribe today for a free consultation.