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The doctor’s 2020 blueprint for practice growth

Download the free whitepaper

Like most doctors, you want to grow your practice in the new year. Also like most doctors, you’re not exactly sure how to go about doing this. This blueprint outlines actionable steps to attract and retain more patients. Follow these steps to effectively grow your practice in 2020 and beyond.

Build your web presence

In 2020, patients will continue to look for doctors online. Read on to discover how you can ensure your practice is visible in all the right places.

Claim online business and healthcare profiles

A review site or directory listing refers to business information found on websites like Vitals and Google My Business. Unclaimed profiles often have unverified, inaccurate business and contact information. These profiles also lack photos and business hours, inspiring little confidence in potential patients.

To build your web presence, you should claim your profile on every review website and business and healthcare directory out there. You should populate them with accurate business information as well as photos and other relevant content such as services offered.

Optimize your practice website

An optimized practice website can attract more visitors and spur more appointment bookings. Make sure your website has:

Webpages designed to be found by search engines

Many prospective patients turn to Google and other search engines to find doctors in their area. You can increase the likelihood they will find your site by creating individual webpages that clearly detail each service you offer and answer common patient questions about those services.

Webpages should also include information about symptoms and remedies for the medical conditions you treat. This information is enlightening for your prospective patients and useful for search engines.

Make sure each service is on its own individual page. This process — known as siloing — organizes a website’s content into distinct categories. Properly organizing content and keywords notifies search engines that your page is an authority, which boosts your search engine optimization (SEO). Mix up too much unrelated information on one page, and your SEO will take a hit.

Modern design that looks great on every device

How your website looks has a huge impact on whether visitors stick around. Your website should feature a modern layout with a streamlined homepage that allows visitors to focus on key areas. All photos of you, your staff, and your practice should be high resolution and professionally done. Your website should also be “responsive,” meaning it looks good and functions well on desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Calls-to-action (CTAs) that prompt appointment bookings

The goal of your website should be to get visitors to become patients. To do this, it must prominently feature several calls-to-action (CTAs) that drive appointment bookings. Additionally, it should feature one-click calling that allows prospective patients to speak with your front office staff without ever leaving the page.

Make sure your CTAs are “sticky” — meaning they can be seen even as you scroll — so visitors can locate them as they are navigating your website.

Use paid search advertising

Organic SEO efforts take time to show results. To increase your practice’s visibility in search results quickly, you can turn to paid search advertising.

Search engines allow businesses to bid for advertising space in search results. In Google results, these ads appear at the top of results and are labeled with the word “Ad.” These ads are called pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-click (CPC) advertisements. As their names suggest, you pay each time a person clicks the link. You decide how much you’re willing to spend on each click and set overall daily budgets.

Create a positive online reputation

Online reputation refers to all the information patients can find about your practice on various websites. This includes your website, business and healthcare profiles, review websites, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Patients will consider all of this information when deciding upon a practice, so you want your online reputation to be positive.

Ask satisfied patients for testimonials

Seventy-two percent of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor.1

Furthermore, 57 percent of consumers will only patronize a business if it has a 4-star rating or higher.2

Great ratings are sure to draw more new patients to your practice. One of the easiest ways to boost your ratings is to ask satisfied patients for feedback. There are many ways to do this, the most efficient being to send automated patient satisfaction surveys after appointments.

Reply to patient reviews

Asking patients for feedback is only half of the equation. You must also quickly reply to reviews, paying special attention to negative ones.

Nearly two-thirds of patients think it is very important or moderately important for doctors to respond to negative reviews.3

Be prompt with you replies, and keep all responses short and professional. Do not to share any protected health information (PHI), even if the reviewer divulges their medical history. Never admit fault for negative reviews, and direct reviewers to contact you directly to reach a resolution.

You won’t be able to salvage every relationship with a patient who leaves a negative review, but you will demonstrate to prospective patients that you listen to and make accommodations for your patients.

Share helpful content on a blog and social media

Patients are increasingly looking online for answers to their medical questions. You can attract prospective patients to your practice — and grow your reputation as a thought leader — by discussing medical topics on a website blog and social media.

Blog posts should focus on topics related to your specialty and the services your practice offers. Start by creating a list of possible topics. Then, decide on a schedule you can keep, whether it’s blogging every weekday or bimonthly. Lastly, create an editorial calendar by matching blog topics with publish dates.

Social media is another way to share helpful content with patients. On social media, you can share your own original content or content created by other reputable medical sources. Similar to blogging, you can create an editorial calendar that helps you stay organized and consistent.

Offer a modern patient experience

Thanks to businesses like online retail giant Amazon, people have grown accustomed to low cost, short wait times, and helpful online service. To grow in 2020, your practice must be able to deliver the efficient, customer-centric model patients expect. You can begin by modernizing patients’ online experience.

Enable online appointment booking

PatientPop research has revealed that nearly half (42 percent) of patients prefer to make appointments through a website or app rather than by calling a practice.4

Other industry research found that number to be nearly double (81 percent). If your practice does not offer online scheduling, you could be losing out on new patients.5

It’s not just patients who benefit from online scheduling, either. Online appointment booking reduces the amount of time your office staff has to spend answering phones and emails, allowing them to work more efficiently.

Send appointment reminders

Doctor appointments can easily slip patients’ minds. Automatic appointment reminders gently prod patients leading up to their appointments so they don’t forget to pencil you into their schedules. 

For your practice, automatic appointment reminders reduce the number of phone calls your front office staff makes to patients, while also limiting costly and frustrating no-shows.

Grow your practice in 2020 with PatientPop

PatientPop is the market leader in practice growth technology. Using the PatientPop solution, doctors can attract more patients, manage online reputation, modernize the patient experience, automate the front office, and more. Work with PatientPop to grow your practice in 2020 and beyond. To learn more, visit patientpop.com.

Download the free whitepaper

The doctor’s 2020 blueprint for practice growth

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