The importance of online visibility for healthcare professionals. Medicine, dentistry and other health professions are noble professions, but they are still professions like any other. To improve a business and give it a chance to succeed, it must be visible and known. If patients don’t know you exist, they are less likely to come to you.
Many health care professionals still rely on tools of the past to market themselves. This includes word-of-mouth and information transmission through oral communication, distribution of business cards or even the making of outdoor signs. However, they always forget a very powerful tool at their disposal: the Internet.
Indeed, the Internet can be an excellent tool to promote a health professional. Many doctors, dentists and pharmacists, to name a few, have adopted this strategy and are actively developing their online presence or visibility.
Why do healthcare professionals need to improve their online visibility?
Improving online visibility can be beneficial for several reasons:
By having an online presence as a healthcare professional, you give yourself and your practice the opportunity to be seen, known and found. Potential patients can contact you at any time and from anywhere.
Having an online presence also improves communication with patients. In this sense, your patients can get to know you both as a health care professional and as a person. For patients, this makes medical care more accessible, health care professionals less intimidating, and appointment scheduling easier. As a healthcare professional, this strategy can help you stay connected to even the most distant patients, while increasing your chances of attracting new patients, which can be especially helpful if you’re young or just entering the field.
Now that we’ve established the importance of having an online presence for healthcare professionals, the second question is: How do you get one?
How can healthcare professionals increase their online visibility?
Creating an online presence and improving online visibility can be done in many ways:
Doctors and other health care professionals can use an online appointment scheduling platform. These platforms, such as Zocdoc (USA) or Doctena (Europe), are both useful for patients by allowing them to easily book their appointments online; but also for healthcare professionals by providing them with a practical tool to manage their appointments.
Creating a profile on professional review sites such as Yelp or Google business is also a good idea to create an online presence or reputation, attract new patients and allow former patients to share their experiences. However, it may be necessary to monitor this profile closely to answer questions and respond to misunderstandings.
Creating a blog and sharing content on a regular basis is another great idea to improve online visibility. This tool, combined with a correct knowledge of search keywords and search engine optimization (SEO) can effectively help increase online presence.
We can’t talk about online visibility without mentioning social networks. Indeed, these are probably the best way to reach a wider target audience and make yourself known, and are even more effective if used in conjunction with the tools mentioned above.
However, some countries have specific regulations regarding the use of social networks and the Internet as a means of improving the visibility of health professionals. So be sure to find out what the rules are in the country where you practice before you try to establish an online presence.
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PS: Doctena allows you to make free online appointments with thousands of doctors in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.