Online healthcare searches have increased at least 15% year over year for the past 2 years. With the spike in online activity, it is crucial to have a listing management plan for your healthcare practice. Claiming and maintaining your online listings allows you to take full control of your business and additionally ensures that your valued patients always have access to accurate and up-to-date business information.
Healthcare practices often underestimate the impact of incorrect or incomplete listings. If your online listings are left unclaimed, there could be misinformation on your business that you’re unaware of. Duplicate listings and false information can have disastrous results! That’s why DSG’s covering the 5 essential steps that your healthcare practice must take to manage listings.
1. Audit your Online Presence
The first step in taking control of your online listings is to take a good look at what you’re working with. Audit your business by performing searches for it on various platforms like Google, Yelp, Bing, Facebook, and Apple Maps. Take note of the results you find; is the information accurate, and is it consistent from platform to platform? Do you see multiple listings for your business on a single platform? Are listings for your individual practitioners appearing in your search results, too?
Obviously, this process can be laborious and time consuming. Many practices will partner with an experienced agency like DSG to perform a thorough audit of your business’ presence across the web. This can give you an in-depth look into which areas of your online strategy need improvement.
2. Claim your Listings
If you find that your listings are unclaimed, don’t delay – begin the process of claiming them as soon as possible. If an unknown party were to claim your listing before you do, it could cause complications down the road. You can also begin requesting the removal of duplicates, by reporting duplicate listings or by directly contacting the platform’s support team. Duplicate listings are dangerous for healthcare facilities, as they can lead to patient confusion and a loss in overall traffic, so it is important to keep them under control.
It is a good idea to start out with claiming your business on some of the larger platforms mentioned earlier – Google, Yelp, Bing, Facebook, and Apple Maps. For a few tips on the process, check out this DSG blog. As a healthcare practice, it is additionally crucial to claim your business listing on healthcare specific sites such as WebMD, Vitals, DocSpot, Wellness.com, and more. These sites are trusted by patients as a high quality source for business information, therefore it is important to treat it as such.
3. Optimize your Listings
Once you’ve secured all of your online listings, it’s time to optimize them – by “optimize”, we mean making your listings as informative and efficient as they can possibly be. Add any information that was missing previously, and be sure to add any relevant business highlights or COVID updates / protocols.
Healthcare facilities can benefit from highlighting the following areas in their listings:
- Areas of specialty
- State of the art equipment
- Insurance accepted
- Branded images and videos
- Featured messages
- Safety information (special protocols)
Ensure that the information you’re putting into each listing is identical to that found on your website. Consistency of business information is a very important factor in search engine ranking.
Additionally, consider adding a business logo and high quality photos to your listing. This will make your listing more pleasing to the eye, and more recognizable to potential patients. DSG can help to fully optimize listings for healthcare practices so that they deliver maximum impact to your business.
4. Strategize for Maintenance and Long Term Goals
For multi-location healthcare facilities, it can be difficult to decide if listing management should be in the hands of corporate, or the individual location managers. It’s important to make this decision and to ensure active communication with all locations.
It is also crucial to monitor your healthcare facility’s reputation. Patients are leaving more business reviews than ever, and reputation management has become an important practice for all businesses.
Plus, managing your reputation comes with more benefits than you might expect. Here are just a few of them:
- Competitive Advantage. People trust a brand or business with a good reputation.
- Search Results. Acquiring good reviews increases Google search ranking.
- Increased Sales. Companies with high star-ratings and reviews get more business.
- Business Intelligence. Strengths and weaknesses can be identified, impacting customer service needs, marketing campaign targeting and potential new streams of revenue.
Make a plan for monitoring and responding to all current and future reviews so that your healthcare facility can see these benefits.
Example of a Yelp profile displaying Business Highlights and COVID safety protocols.
5. Monitor and Continue Regular Upkeep
Online listing management is not a “set it and forget it” deal. It’s important to update your online listings each and every time your business information changes – whether it’s your hours, address, or any other information that patients need to see.
You may consider investing in a listing management software to facilitate keeping your business information updated. Or, partnering with an agency can keep your listings updated and optimized as well as track performance, spend and ROI.
As a healthcare facility, your priority is to keep your patients happy and healthy. Managing your online listings is a crucial step towards gaining your patients’ trust and continued patronage. If you’re interested in a listing management program with DSG, reach out to us!