Why do doctors need a website?
Why do doctors need a website?
Do doctors with flourishing private practices really need a website? Many doctors have a very busy schedule with appointments for new patients either not being available or with a wait period of days and weeks and in some cases months. When there is no shortage of patients do they need a website?
There are several reasons why even busy doctors need a website.
a) Finding the best doctor to treat a patient condition.
Finding the best doctor to treat a particular condition is no longer restricted by geography. In the past one used to rely on word of mouth, doctor referrals or simply on the advice of friends and relatives. It is no longer the case in this digital age. The best doctor may not be in the vicinity and yet the patient does not have to travel across cities and states to consult with that doctor. During the pandemic teleconsulting became more acceptable to both patients and doctors. The doctor and the patient could be very far apart. The doctor may not need the patient, but the patient needs to know about the doctor with the right expertise to treat.
b) Doctors need new patients.
The doctor is running a medical practice – a business. No matter how well known or well entrenched the doctor is, there is always a need for a steady stream of new patients. New patients come in the way they used to come in the past – word-of-mouth referrals from existing patients, doctor referrals, listings and classifieds on the internet, and most of all from your own website. Patients are digitally aware, and it is more likely that the younger generation would use the internet to search for a doctor. Customers expect to find their doctors online. A website can be used to showcase and talk about competencies and expertise so that the patient awareness levels improve.
c) Building credibility and trustworthiness.
A well designed and rich in relevant content helps in building trust and credibility among patients. Educating patients about symptoms and conditions helps in building a connect with patients. A good way of maintaining connect with the patients is to send emails with news, articles, and information on say Do’s and Don’ts regularly. In organic searches on search engines, your website should be ranked high. It is important that your website is optimally built so that search engines can easily find your website. The website should be secure, mobile responsive, easily searchable, organised carefully with an easy-to-understand menu structure. The design should be unique to your practice. The site should open quickly with the facility to book appointments.
d) Too much reliance on aggregators.
Many doctors rely disproportionally on aggregators for patient traffic. These patients come at a steep price as aggregators charges can be quite high. While we do not advice completely shutting down traffic from aggregators, we do recommend that doctors diversify the sources for new patients. There is nothing better than their own website as it is unique to them. There is no dependence on anyone. Besides, patient appointments from your website are FREE! Depending on aggregators is akin to outsourcing your entire clinic to a third party. Their business model is to list doctors depending on the agreed commercial terms and many times you might end up ranking way down in their listings. Your own website helps in protecting your professional
e) Build your brand presence.
It is most important to build your own brand presence. It helps in reducing reliance on other sources of patient traffic. Patients research online before zeroing on a particular doctor. They check reviews as well. You have complete control on what patients see on your website. An optimised website is the key to a powerful presence on the internet or digital presence. Being invisible is not an option. Your website helps in maintaining your professional reputation. Appropriate and relevant content with videos and diagrams adds a lot of credibility to your website. We also suggest adding information on conditions, symptoms, and frequently asked questions.
f) Patient education.
When a patient is aware of the medical condition, the do and don’ts, symptoms and how you can help in treating the problem, it automatically makes the patient comfortable and gives the patient a feeling of being in safe hands. You can opt for a website created using a content management system where the content can be displayed in multiple languages if necessary. The website can also be integrated with Clinic Management Software which provides a patient portal. The patient can look for relevant information pertaining to the consultation, thereby reducing phone interactions with the clinic staff or yourself.
g) Available 24*7
A powerful digital footprint works for you 24*7. Discovery becomes easy. Patients can find you and book an appointment if your website is integrated with an online appointment booking software. We have already seen the disadvantages of just getting listed on an aggregator site. To take care of the asymmetry, it is important to have your own website that will work without any break. It does not matter if your front office staff is available or not.
At Genamet, we help doctors across different countries build powerful multilingual websites that are SEO optimised and mobile friendly for a monthly subscription. We maintain the site and update your content free.