More often than not, people turn to the web to solve their problems before seeking out the help of a professional. Health concerns are no different. In 2012 alone, more than 70% of people sought answers to their health concerns online using the power of internet search according to Pew Research. The information these individuals are looking for range from information about a disease, symptoms and treatments to specialists and physicians.
With so many people researching health-related information from behind the comfort of their keyboard, hospitals and physicians are wise to incorporate some basic SEO strategies into their business plan in order to ensure that their facility ranks high on search results.
Below are four reasons why hospital marketing directors ought to consider using SEO to reach potential patients:
1. New patients are only a search away
The rising cost of healthcare is at least partly responsible for turning people from their physician’s office to Google for answers to their healthcare questions. Websites like WebMD—which is where a large portion of healthcare concerned people end up—are capitalizing on this need. However, it seems people are not relying on the sites alone. Most internet browsers (as much as 77%), ultimately turn to Google in hopes of being directed to an appropriate website.
2. Make advertising easier
Word of mouth is still important when you engage in SEO because without authority, you won’t be able to attract new users to your website. In addition, word of mouth and searching online for information are connected because once one person has located helpful information, they are likely to recommend that information to their friends and family.
3. A high-ranking website can increase appointments and reduce anxiety
Most people experience a certain level of natural anxiety about visiting the doctor. If they’re sick, usually the first step people take is to Google their symptoms to see if they can find a diagnosis on their own. This leads either to relief (possibly unjustified) or to panic. Hospitals and physicians can use SEO to their advantage by listing stories of successful visits and treatments, as well as information about physicians. This can help to alleviate some fears your patients will have about coming into the office.
4. A strong staff = patient trust
Typically, you can trust the information you receive about healthcare from a hospital’s website. The same can be said for your physician’s office. This is especially true if physicians partner with an SEO expert who knows healthcare topics. These SEO professionals can create very informative content that will help to develop relationships between patients and doctors before they ever meet.
To speak with an SEO professional specializing in medical marketing and search engine optimization, please contact us today. In the meantime, you can also learn more about us by browsing our website and blog.