Practice Marketing

Using the Internet to Recruit Patients

Using the Internet to Recruit Patients

It’s important for any business to have an online presence and a medical practice is no different. The days of people using phonebooks are long gone. For a lot of people looking for a new doctor if they don’t receive a recommendation from someone they know then they usually look to the internet in order to find a physician. Some physicians prefer to remain “old school” and not use the internet to boost the reputation of their practice, but that’s not really the best idea as their practice may start shrinking without new patients coming in. There’s no shame in promoting your practice because at the end of the day if you’re a good doctor then you’ll be able to reach and therefore help more people through your skills.

There are a bunch of ways to market your practice online. Some of these methods will cost money and some are completely free and will only require a little bit of time and effort. Some of those that you’ll have to pay for include having your name appear on Google as well as promoting your practice through social media ads. Others that are free but will require some of your time are creating a blog or website and having an active social media account posting medical information with the address and contact info of your clinic showing on the page. Of course there’s also FindaTopDoc which can help expand your online presence in a variety of ways.

FindaTopDoc has a lot of options you can rely on in order to make sure patients can easily find you online. For starters currently every physician in the U.S has a FindaTopDoc profile so it acts like a directory that helps people find you. If you don’t update your information on the website, however; then people may find an old number on the website or email that you may not use anymore. So they know you exist but they can’t reach you. This won’t do you or them any good. So what you’ll want to do is to constantly update any changes to your contact info or the address of your practice so that your practice is easily accessible. This should make life easier for patients trying to reach you and will definitely benefit your practice.

Another way to utilize FindaTopDoc is through the forum where patients ask medical questions. This is basically part of the website where patients ask medical questions free of charge and doctors can reply to them online, also for free. This can help patients know whether their condition is serious and requires an urgent visit to a hospital or if they can wait and see what happens. So answering questions online will definitely make people notice you more. Also on these question pages there’s a column on the right of the page showing nearby doctors in the specialty the question is regarding. If you’re a doctor in that specialty and in an area then you’ll show up in the column, but you can pay extra in order to have your name show up at the top of the list. People are more likely to choose someone near the top so that’ll definitely work in your favor.

Another paid option is using Google to promote your practice. If you look up something on Google you’ll notice that there are paid ads that show up at the top of the page. You could promote your practice using these ads. If you’re a pediatrician in New Jersey for instance you could pay in order to have the link to your website or contact info show up at the top of Google results when someone looks up “pediatricians in New Jersey.” This will ensure that you don’t get lost among thousands of results. Patients will likely not look into several pages of Google results and will instead go through the first two pages at most. So having an ad show up on the first page will definitely get people to notice you although it may seem a little bit desperate, but it’ll still end up working. Another way to take advantage of Google is by writing SEO optimized articles on a blog or website so that they show up on Google.

SEO (search engine optimized) articles or blogs are those that contain certain phrases or keywords that make them show up on search engines. So writing things containing these words or phrases will make them show up on Google which will then let people find you and access your blog or website. If you’re working in Rheumatology for example you will want to include phrases such as “joint pain” and “photosensitivity” because these are related to your specialty and are symptoms patients are likely to look up. So if a patient looks up joint pain and finds an article you wrote on the subject in addition to your contact information they’re likely to visit your office regarding that symptom. Writing articles on medical issues related to your specialty will also make you seem like a knowledgeable person so patients will have faith that you know what you’re doing and are more likely to pay you a visit. Having a blog or website where you write about illnesses associated with your specialty will make you seem like an expert on the matter and will definitely increase the flow of patients to your office. It takes a little bit of time to write and keep adding to a blog, but it’s a professional way to promote yourself and even if you don’t get that many patients knowing about your practice you’re still helping out people all over the world suffering from the conditions you write about.

 A facebook page has a similar concept to creating a blog or website. It’s also free, but will require a little bit of time and effort. The advantage of social media is that your posts can be easily shared and can spread a lot quicker. You might write an interesting post and become famous overnight just because of that post and the amount of shares it got. You could post useful information such as that on healthy food, the importance of exercise, and how to sleep better. This is simple information that a lot of people think about everyday and things most of us need in our daily lives. Your posts don’t have to be that long too because you can simply post informative pictures or graphics and small health tips. Alternatively you could create a blog and link it to your Facebook page. That way your blog posts are found on Google as well as Facebook. You could also pay money in order to sponsor your page and posts so that they’ll show up on people’s newsfeed.  Creating a Twitter account where you post medical info or even advice to junior doctors helps too.

Basically there’s no shortage of ways of promoting yourself on the internet. You just need to decide if you’re okay with spending a little extra money to do it or if you’re going to rely on your effort alone. If you prefer to use effort and rightly win more patients then creating a blog is definitely the way to go and to get the most out of it you should use SEO optimization in order to have your articles show up on search engines. You should also link it to your Facebook page so that it gets more shares and therefore more views. If you don’t have much time or aren’t much of a writer then you can pay to have your practice show up first on Google. You could also pay FindaTopDoc to have your name show up on the top of the “nearby doctors” lists on questions related to your specialties. Just know that there’s nothing wrong with promoting your practice and the internet is the most effective way of doing so.