How To Build a Powerful Online Presence for Your Practice
- Your online presence plays a crucial role in how potential and existing patients perceive your practice.
- Staying relevant online is one of the most important things you can do to attract and retain patients.
- Patient engagement and education are top priorities for building trust.
- Your website, social media accounts, and marketing strategy should all work together to build a positive brand and image.
Your practice’s online presence is one of the most powerful tools you have for marketing your business. With so many potential patients searching for doctors online, building a strong online marketing strategy is essential for practices who want to stand out from the competition.
The Importance of a Positive Online Presence
An online presence is a digital footprint that your business leaves behind on the internet. This can include your website, social media accounts, and any other online properties that you control.
Your online presence plays a critical role in how potential patients perceive your practice. It can be used to build trust and credibility, attract new patients, and grow your practice.
When patients search for a doctor online, they will often look at your website, reviews, and social media accounts to get an idea of what your practice is like. If they don’t like what they see, they may decide to go elsewhere.
Creating a strong and positive online presence is essential if you want to succeed in today’s competitive healthcare market.
How To Build a Powerful Online Presence for Your Practice
There are many different factors that contribute to a strong online presence. While some of these may be out of your control, there are many things that you can do to improve your practice’s digital footprint.
1. Create a high-quality website.
One of the most important aspects of your online presence is your website. Your website is often the first point of contact between you and potential patients, so it’s important that it makes a good impression.
Your website should be designed with both patients and search engines in mind. It should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and informative. It should also be optimized for search engine ranking to ensure that potential patients can find it when they search for doctors in your area. (More about this below.)
Mobile devices are now the most common way that people access the internet, so make sure that your site has a responsive design that automatically adjusts to different screen sizes. Ensure that all of your content can be easily accessed on a cell phone or tablet. Bonus points if they can also reach out and chat with you via their mobile device.
2. Stay relevant to your target market.
It’s important to keep your target audience in mind when creating and maintaining your online presence. Your website, social media accounts, and blog should all be relevant to the type of patients you want to attract.
For example, if your optometric practice focuses on children’s vision, your website should reflect that. Use images of happy children and parents on your site, use child-centered branding, write blog posts about children’s vision care, and share relevant content on social media.
Another part of remaining relevant is to post updated content frequently. If you have a blog, publish new posts on a regular basis. If you use patient testimonials on your home page (and you should!) replace them with new ones from time to time. If your website and social media accounts are outdated, potential patients will get the impression that your practice is, too.
3. Focus on local SEO.
Brand building for healthcare providers starts and ends at home, so maximize your local marketing opportunities. By targeting your marketing to your geographical area, you can attract patients who are more likely to visit your practice.
If you haven’t yet claimed your Google business profile, make that the next step you take. It’s free, and it makes your practice easy to find when someone searches for “optometrists near me.” If you haven’t yet signed up for yours, you’re wasting an invaluable opportunity for free advertising.
4. Use social media to your advantage.
Social media marketing is a powerful tool that you can use to reach potential patients and promote your practice.
Make sure that you are active on the social media platforms that your target audience uses and adapt your messaging to fit the specific platform you’re using. For example, Facebook is great for sharing updates and news about your practice, while Twitter is ideal for sharing short snippets of information.
Make sure that your social media accounts are linked to your website so that potential patients can easily find you online.
You will also want to have a system in place to invite and monitor social media reviews. In 2021, 75% of people surveyed said they look online before choosing a healthcare provider, and 74% said they consider a provider’s review very or extremely important. If you aren’t asking your patients to post reviews, you’re probably losing business to those who do.
5. Be responsive and get involved in the online community.
In today’s digital world, patients expect to be able to reach you online. If they have a question or concern, they want to be able to get a response quickly and easily.
Make sure that you are responsive to comments and questions on your website and social media accounts — especially negative ones. You should also have a system in place for handling patient inquiries via email or live chat.
One of the best ways to build a strong online presence is to get involved in the online community. There are many ways to do this, such as participating in forums, writing guest blog posts, and commenting on other blogs.
When you participate in the online community, you can build relationships with potential patients, establish yourself as an expert in your field, and expand your practice.
6. Educate your patients.
Patients are more likely to visit your practice if they feel like they can trust you. One of the best ways to build trust is to educate your patients about their health.
You can do this by writing blog posts, creating infographics, and sharing helpful articles on social media. When you provide your patients with valuable information, you position yourself as an expert in your field and build trust with existing and potential patients.
This also translates to an excellent patient experience when they visit your practice. When patients feel informed and valued, they are more likely to have a positive experience, become loyal patients, and refer their friends and family to you.
7. Use Patient Communication Software
Patient communication software that works within your practice management and EHR system can make marketing tasks faster, easier, and more effective.
RevolutionEHR users have access to RevConnect, a set of patient communication tools that save time, boost revenue, and increase patient satisfaction — the best marketing tool there is.
With RevConnect, your staff can automate text and email messages. You can use them for appointment reminders, recall notices, notifications of promotional events, and much more.
RevolutionEHR subscribers can also use RevIntake to send post-visit surveys and invitations to leave social media reviews. RevIntake also lets your patients complete intake paperwork online, a convenience that healthcare consumers love.
These are just a few of the ways that RevolutionEHR and its ancillary products can help you make the most of your marketing efforts.
Building a strong online presence is essential for any optometric practice. By following these tips, you can attract new patients, build trust, and grow your practice.
RevolutionEHR can help. Book a demo to learn how RevolutionEHR can help your practice put a solid practice management and marketing plan in place that will give you the freedom to focus on helping your patients — and your practice — thrive.