Online Presence Considerations

William R. Pupkis, CMPE, Healthcare Consultant

onlinepresenceTo achieve an online presence, it is not enough just to create a website for your practice.  Your website must be visible to search engines to gain viewers and drive traffic to your site.  Search engines gauge content added to a website, as well as the number of hits it receives.  The more traffic your website receives, the higher it will appear in a search engine list.

 

Therefore, you should post updated content on a regular basis, not just add or subtract physicians and other providers once a year.  It is also important for people to click internal links on your website.  Your ranking could be hurt if a person just views the main page and leaves.  Social media sites, such as the programs listed below, are free and potentially powerful tools that can help funnel more traffic to your site.

  • Facebook is a social networking site where people can connect and interact with individuals (friends) and businesses.  The tone of your Business Fan page should be light and friendly.  Facebook marketing for businesses revolves around furthering conversations with clients/patients.  I advise posting related articles, images, videos, etc.  Google +, a site similar to Facebook, promotes the same fun, casual atmosphere for sharing photos, videos, and links.
  • A Twitter account can be used to broadcast, or tweet, short (limit of 140 characters) updates on the web.  I suggest using a mix of serious, “official” tweets and fun, quirky tweets – and be sure to “re-tweet” positive patient comments.  Twitter is a marketing tool that revolves around dialog and communication, so remember to interact as much as possible.  I would, however, advise that you set a policy not to answer patients’ medical questions via Twitter.
  • YouTube is the number one place for sharing video content, and can be an incredibly powerful social media marketing tool.  Focus on creating useful, instructive “how-to” videos, such as stretching and simple strengthening exercises.  Since YouTube is owned by Google, using the tool on a regular basis has the potential to push your site up the search engine ladder.
  • Foursquare is a location-based networking website for smart phones and other mobile devices.  Users can “check in” at local venues and share information and tips, as well as connect with friends.  These check ins can be linked to the user’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Remember, your patients carry their smart phones all the time, so they have constant Internet access.  Your online presence can be helped, or hurt, by patients’ comments. Next month we’ll discuss how to manage a negative review.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 at 6:21 pm and is filed under Practice Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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