Having an online presence is essential for virtually every company in every industry – even industries as solid as medicine. Research conducted by Pew Research found that 35% of adults in the US report going online to find information about a health condition they or someone they know is dealing with, while a Think with Google survey revealed that 44% of patients who researched a medical facility online ended up making an appointment. Putting a website up, however, is just the beginning of curating a successful online presence. Your need to update the content on your website. Often.
Fresh Web Content Keeps Your Practice Relevant
People visit your website to find specific information – whether that be administrative information about your practice, specific services your practice offers or news about a trending health topic. If your website does not contain up-to-date information then people will not think of you as an authority and will ultimately be less likely to keep your practice in mind when they have questions. A lack of information, or even having incorrect information, is an instant indication that your website and practice are unreliable. They may go find another practice that does provide what they need quickly and easily.
Useful content can attract and engage visitors, which can ultimately affect your placement in search results. To stay relevant and reliable, your website must provide patients with up-to-date information and timely health content. One of the best ways to foster the idea of your practice as an “authority” could be to include a News and Blogs section on your webpage. The content of the posts can be related to almost anything that would be of interest to your patients. If your practice primarily offers orthopedic services, then a blog post about ways to protect spine health could be effective and serve as evergreen content for your patients to refer to time and time again.
Beyond blogs, effective ways to communicate fresh content to your patients can include:
- Guest articles
- White papers
- Videos and podcasts
- Infographics and slideshows
- eBooks and apps
- Conferences and seminars
Investing in Social Media Platforms Can Help Alert Your Patients to New Content
Search engine placement is important, but creating and maintaining an active presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are essential for increasing your visibility. Choose the social media platforms that align best with your target audience – older patients tend to use Facebook more often than younger patients, who are more inclined to scroll through Instagram for news and views. Embedded videos, relevant news and evergreen content on social media can serve as call-to-actions that have great link-back potential. Patients are more likely to stay loyal to your practice if your provide them with timely content on their platforms of choice.
Frequent Content Updates with SEO and Mobile Optimization in Mind
Developing relevant and helpful content is just the first part of making investments in your website’s information potential. It needs to be optimized so people will actually find it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more than just a buzzword – it’s an important part of how prospective patients are able to find you and your practice when searching the Internet.
For the most part, your medical practice probably relies on attracting prospective patients who live in the area you’re located – so managing your local presence on mobile is key. Having updated content is definitely important, but it is also in your practice’s interest to make sure the user experience is friendly for mobile. Mobile optimization and responsive design can help keep users engaged with your content for longer, which is critical given the fact that a survey from BrightLocal reveals that 61% of people with cellphones prefer to contact businesses through functionalities on their mobile websites. Results from the same survey show 38% of people are impressed with the fact that any business even has a website.
SEO is important, but at the end of the day, your readers are your patients – not search engines. A steady stream of new patients, along with a cohort of satisfied current patients, make up the lifeblood of any successful medical practice. Keeping the content on your website fresh and smart can help to separate your practice from the crowd and solidify your place in the market.