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Why It’s Important to Optimize Your Healthcare Directory Profiles

The three healthcare directory profiles you need to claim to get found and get patients.

Local business directories are not cool. At best they’re the Steve Urkel of marketing; unappealing to look at, but very knowledgeable about all sorts of things. The bottom line is though, they work. We’ve already talked about why you should list your practice on local business directories, but to summarize the importance of listing in such directories.

Healthcare Directory Profile Benefits:

  • 85% of US consumers use the internet to find local businesses
  • It’s usually free
  • You’re often ahead of the competition by just doing the basics
  • Free inbound traffic to your website
  • Search engines will see you in a reputable directory (listed under your specialty and locality) and will see you as an authority in said area, improving your rank in search results

But there’s another level of top-tier directories: These are the A-Listers, the household names in web health, such as WebMD.com, Healthgrades.com, and Vitals.com. These websites are all both web directories, as well as knowledge pools for regular people to look for information about symptoms, general well being, and health news.

Just as local directories improve your online reputation with the search engines, these top-tier health sites promise to boost your standing even further. They all boast millions of regular users in the United States who promise to not just list your business, but actively promote you with traditional online advertising, as well as paid content. It’s not all free, but they all promise tailored solutions to increase your clientele. Let’s have a look at each of these mega-directories so you can decide which is best for your practice.

WebMD.com

WebMD.com

Blurb: “WebMD reaches more people than any other site in 23 of the top 25 health & wellness topics. When consumers, patients and doctors need answers, the community of credible experts at WebMD is the first stop and the last word on everything from headaches, to hearing, to heartburn.”

Free to list: Yes.

Paid advertising/content: Yes.

Mobile friendly website: Yes.

Mobile app: Yes.

Perhaps the most well known of health websites, WebMD.com is the self-proclaimed first stop and last word in web health, and boasts a bevy of awards. They offer their famous symptom checker, medical databases, medical imagery and animations, moderated communities as well as an army of medical journalists.

They claim to be #1 in the health category for unique users, but they haven’t updated that info since 2012- this may mean that new and up and coming competitors are starting to steal their limelight.

Healthgrades.com

Blurb: “At Healthgrades, our mission is to help consumers find the right doctor and the right hospital, for the right care… We provide consumers with the information they need to make more informed decisions, including information about the provider’s experience, patient satisfaction and hospital quality.”

Free to list: Yes

Paid advertising/content: Yes.

Mobile friendly website: Yes.

Mobile app: Yes (iOS only).

Healthgrades.com is more focused on the physician listing side of things, in that they are dedicated to helping the prospective patient find the best practice to suit their needs. Visitors can check out practice reviews from registered users, share stories and ask questions. There are over 20,000 unique health conditions for visitors to peruse, which makes for excellent targeting. Healthgrades.com trumpet one million visitors a day, with 64% of them making an appointment that week, which is probably the most important statistic you need.

Vitals.com

Vitals.com

Blurb: “Vitals has a leading voice in the national conversation on how the consumer role in health care is changing. Major publications and networks turn to Vitals when covering trends in health care consumerism and the rise of the empowered patient.”

Free to list: Yes

Paid advertising/content: Yes.

Mobile friendly website: Yes.

Mobile app: No.

Vitals.com is also focussed on directing visitors through the appointment/sales funnel, and make a point of breaking practitioners down by quality, availablilty and cost, much like ebay.com or Amazon.com. With a huge 10 million visitors a month, they’re keen to tell us that 60% of users are ages 35+, and that 65% of users have a household income of over $60k. They also have a database of over 20,000 conditions and encourage the empowerment of their visitors to make their voices heard.

So, which one of these directory behemoths should you list your practice with? Well, all of them. Once you’ve done that, spend some time becoming part of the community, and find out how the sites work, what the users are talking about, and how they interact. From there you can work out which site is likely to yield the best results if you choose to pay for advertising.

But remember, always check your metrics and see where your traffic is coming from. Use a tool like Google Analytics so you don’t waste time and money on activity that doesn’t perform. That goldmine of new patients is out there, you just need to make it easy for them to find you, and ultimately trust you enough to make that appointment.

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PatientPop is the leader in practice growth with the only all-in-one solution that empowers healthcare providers to improve every digital touchpoint of the patient journey. As experts in the healthcare technology space, PatientPop makes it easy for providers to thrive in the consumerization of healthcare and promote their practice online, attract patients, and retain them for life.

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