The level of effort you put into your website can vary, but as with anything, those willing to put in the most effort will come out on top.
Having a website in 2014 is crucial to growing your client base and maintaining a connection with them. It’s no secret that the days of flipping through the phone book to find a healthcare practitioner are over. Today, people opt for convenience and turn to Google, Yelp, Facebook, or Twitter when searching for a local healthcare provider, and unfortunately, if you’re not in the search results, you’ll struggle to grow your practice.
On top of that, people are also more willing to make a recommendation when online. It’s much easier to send out a Tweet or post to Facebook that they were impressed with your service than to call a friend. However, if they can’t include a link to your website for their friends to see, then the recommendation gets lost in the stream of information.
So, if you are one of the many still without a website, or if you’re simply looking for an upgrade, here are some options for you:
The Basic Website
The very basic form of a website is a good start for most. You’ll want a website with your own domain (like www.DrYou.com) and at very least list your credentials, the services you provide, your office hours, your contact information, and your location. This first step will get you into the Google search results, and save your receptionist time taking calls about where you are located and what time you are open.
You should also include a picture of the practitioners to create a connection with the visitor. If your visitor feels connected to your practice and the practitioners that work there, they will be more likely to book and appointment with you.
Capturing Search Engine Leads
The real winners are going to go beyond a basic website and will give their patients the power to book an appointment online.
While there are many benefits to online appointment scheduling that can be touched on in the future, in this context, the main benefit is the ability to easily convert a Google search into an actual, revenue-generating appointment. In a survey done by Canada Health Infoway, they found that 90% of people would book an appointment online with their healthcare provider if the functionality were available.
It doesn’t take much to figure out why… convenience always wins. Give your patients the convenient option to book online and not only will you be booking more appointments, your patients will spread the word on how easy it was to make an appointment with you.
Sharing Interesting Content
To make your website truly interesting, you want to keep it updated with content that your client will look forward to reading. This step definitely takes the most amount of work, but it also has the biggest payoff.
Before booking an appointment with you it’s likely that your clients are using Google to research their symptoms and are often left with unreliable or irrelevant information. The client would much rather be able to get this information from their own healthcare practitioner, so having a blog where they can get information (or be pointed to reliable information) from someone they trust does wonders for building a relationship with them. In addition to that, new visitors to your website will quickly see that you are an expert in your field and will feel more confident booking an appointment with you.
As we mentioned off the top, having a website in 2014 is crucial for growing your business, especially with the younger generation. While you don’t have to fully commit all at once, you should be taking the steps towards a basic website to start, and as you become more comfortable, start booking appointments online and then use your website to share interesting content.