As a follow up to his webinar, 5 Marketing Tips to Get New Patients Now, speaker John Lynn has answered the questions posed by participants about medical practice websites.
Q: Do you recommend asking/surveying current patients about what they would want to see on an updated website?
A: While it is always nice to get direct feedback from patients, it can be hard to get that input. I recommend asking your staff what questions they get most often and trying to address those issues and items on your website. Those are probably the things patients are looking for most. However, if you do want to also get direct feedback from your patients, I suggest doing it face to face as opposed to through some electronic survey.
Q: Do pictures of practice staff on the website have more impact than stock images?
A: I think it is great to use pictures of your practice staff on your blog and social channels since they’ll show the human element of your practice, but I’d use some caution on your website. This is often the first impression a potential patient gets of your practice so you want it to impress. Stock photography may be a better fit. However, if you can get professional high quality images of your practice employees, that can be a good option, but be sure the quality is there if you go that direction.
Q: Do you think practices should add a personal number for referring providers and patients on the website to increase accessibility?
A: Sharing a personal number like a cell phone with referring providers is fine and great way to strengthen those relationships but it may not be something you want to share across the board with patients. Use some discretion there. Provide it on more of a case by case basis as you are comfortable but don’t publish it for all to see. Also, keep in mind that when patients call you in off hours you may not have your EHR handy. So have a plan in place for documenting anything that needs to be documented to protect yourself against liability.
Q: Do you recommend reposting blogs from other sources? What about guest blogging?
A: There is some risk with reposting an entire post that your website will get a penalty from Google for what they call “duplicate content” that could do you more harm than good. To avoid this, consider just picking some key highlights from the other source to share on your blog. A paragraph or two is good and you can weave some text around it to introduce and close it out. Getting guest posts is a good strategy as long as they are high quality posts and relevant.
Q: How do you know if a website or SEO vendor is any good?
A: Always look at rating and references. Consider asking another person whose website and online marketing you like who they used. Ask a lot of questions and request that specific key metrics be set out in the contract as a requirement for full payment. If someone isn’t willing to provide references or work towards some specific objectives then look elsewhere.