Your Medical Practice’s Website May Be Its Most Important Digital Marketing Tool

Don’t neglect your medical practice’s website in favor of its Google My Business listing. Both are vital elements in your patient conversion strategy.

As competition among healthcare providers continues to increase, Google My Business has emerged as the near-gold standard for attracting local business. The free service allows medical practices to reach and engage with nearby patients via Google’s Search and Maps functions, offering key information such as hours, address, and reviews in one easily-accessible location.

For this reason, many small business owners — healthcare providers included — focus much of their digital efforts on keeping their Google My Business listing updated, from responding to reviews to uploading pictures to promoting upcoming events.

These measures — and more — can drive powerful results, as your Google My Business listing is often the first impression a potential patient will have of your practice. That said, your GMB listing shouldn’t be the only component of your digital presence; in fact, it shouldn’t even be the most important. Instead, that top spot should be reserved for your healthcare practice’s website.

Patients Want Information Straight from the Source

According to a new report from marketing firm BrightLocal, Google My Business still can’t hold a candle to business websites when it comes to converting leads into customers. Though 28% of consumers reportedly begin their hunt for a healthcare practitioner on Google, the search engine is just the starting point.

While 32% of consumers expect Google My Business to offer the most up-to-date information on a business, almost twice that number — 56% — believe that the business’s website will offer the most accurate information. In addition, only 8% of consumers never look at websites when choosing a business, while 22% always do, and a whopping 76% do at least half the time.

In fact, when survey respondents replied with which Google My Business features they’ve used, “visited the business’s website” was the fourth most-popular answer. Clearly, it’s vital that healthcare practices’ GMB listings and websites work hand-in-hand to attract new patients, with the former acting as a funnel to the latter.

However, directing patients from a GMB listing to a website is only half the battle — and many healthcare practices lack follow-through. 91% of consumers are put off by out-of-date contact information, poorly-written content, out-of-date pricing details, lack of images, poorly-designed pages, lack of testimonials or reviews, or sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. In fact, just one of these missteps is enough to send a potential patient packing.

Your Website as a Marketing Tool

If your medical practice’s website wasn’t built with the end user in mind — or if it’s been a while since it was last updated — it may be time for a virtual facelift. Consumers’ digital expectations are rising every day, and a website that doesn’t meet their standards is sure to cost healthcare providers valuable business.

Your website forms the cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy, so treat it as such. If your site is slow to load, features outdated information, or just isn’t easy on the eyes, consider making a change — a digital refresh may be just what your medical practice needs.

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