In 2011, Google created the “near me” search clause, which Google uses for searches that it feels warrant geographically specific results. And since then, “near me” searches have increased almost 34 times, and even doubled in the past year. People looking for treatment will use this feature to find the nearest appropriate medical practice.
Geographical proximity is not the only important factor. As consumers make more and more decisions based on others’ suggestions, many will depend strongly on peer reviews of practices to decide, in a split second, where to make an appointment. So to attract new patients through search engines, medical practices need to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly, contain easy-to-find contact information, and also have their practice listed on customer-review sites.
Think Like a Patient
It is also key that medical professionals think about what kind of medical-related problems lead to online searches, and then modify their marketing strategy accordingly. Medical practices can take advantage of the data that tools like Google Analytics provides about how users interact with their digital presence, then implement predictive customer intelligence to anticipate the kinds of treatment that tend to people seek.
What’s more, medical practices looking to create a reputation as authorities in their fields can take advantage of the power of internet searches to share engaging and stimulating content through social media or short videos and blog posts. Even if someone finds a practice’s website looking for a flu remedy, the potential patient may stay on the site or schedule a visit if the website projects itself as a trustworthy source of quick and useful information.
In today’s connected world, medical professionals must be strategic in attracting potential patients through digital channels if they want to reach their full potential. The high usage of search engines gives medical practices a great opportunity to expand their network of loyal patients and become respected references in their specialties.