5 ways patients search for doctors online

Reaching more patients in the modern world means looking at how your prospective clients search for their next doctor – online.

Healthcare practitioners who take advantage of digital marketing tools have a better chance of attracting more patients. Research indicates that 80% of patients use online resources to find a doctor or medical care.

Previously, patients seeking medical attention would make their decisions based on word-of-mouth or referrals or opt for a provider from their medical aid. These days, both old and new approaches are integrated into the search for a practitioner. 

You may have built up your practice on word-of-mouth referrals, and this method still applies, but you will attract more patients if you incorporate digital marketing as well. Patients are more likely to choose a doctor with a curated website and heavy social media presence than one without when receiving a word-of-mouth referral.

The top online resources for patients

The options for seeking personalised medical care are endless in this day and age, but research indicates that patients migrate to these platforms the most.

1. Practice Website

If you have a website, the chances are prospective patients are finding it and conducting research. Therefore, it’s vital that your website not only drives potential patients to it with great analytics but also makes patients stay.

Read: Practice website 101: Get more patients

Your website needs to contain all the crucial information that patients need to know, including:

  • A beautiful home page that draws people in
  • An about section detailing your qualifications, work experience and the reason for choosing your medical speciality
  • The services you offer and conditions treated
  • Your practice location
  • Your contact information

Ensure that your website also contains call-to-action buttons to engage prospective patients and encourage them to make contact or book an appointment.

2. Google Reviews

Reviews are the online word-of-mouth tools you can utilise to increase your reputation and promote your services. Patients look at reviews to understand the experience they can expect when visiting your practice, so it’s essential to monitor your reviews continuously. 

If you have loyal patients currently using your services, consider asking them to leave a review of your practice to increase your rating.

Check out: Reputation Management

3. Social Media

An active and engaging social media presence helps potential patients learn more about you, your practice and your ethos as a healthcare provider. In addition, social media allows you to market yourself however you choose and is an essential tool for growing your practice.

Your social media can act as a business directory that drives patients to your site to make a booking. Not only this, but you can engage with potential patients and answer any questions they have concerning your services.

4. Directories

Local directories provide a free platform for you to advertise your practice. In addition, patients seeking professional medical care are more likely to trust a reputable business directory.

Consider searching for your practice or name online and see what information is available. Your information may have been loaded onto a site, but it could be incorrect. This is confusing for prospective patients and may cause them to refrain from making contact.

5. Advertising

Advertising on Google, Facebook and websites allows you to reach a specific target audience and ensures that your content is viewed. Online advertising has become a highly effective tool for reaching patients and potential clients. You can also determine how many people you want to reach and what demographic is most likely to respond.

In order to grow your practice and reach new patients, it’s vital to understand and utilise the advantages of online healthcare marketing. As technology advances, patients will continue to seek out information online. Even virtual consultations are growing in popularity as patients continue to utilise the online space.

Keen to start your healthcare marketing journey? Find out more about our services here.