Consumers have quickly moved online for media and content consumption. They use the internet to search for all kinds of products, services, and concerns – even those regarding their health.
When a person feels unwell, they’re likely to consult the internet first to find out what illness they have. But apart from looking up symptoms, users now also go online to research about particular medical treatments, health insurance, prescription and over-the counter drugs, and specific doctors and hospitals.
Before, being easily searchable online gives healthcare facilities an edge. But now that people have grown more reliant on the internet for their healthcare concerns, a strong online presence has become a necessity. This is why many agencies offer hyper-focused optometrist, plastic surgeon, dermatologist, dentist, or orthodontist digital marketing services.
The Retail and Healthcare Digital Experiences
When it comes to retail purchases, consumers follow a distinct journey. They do online research, compare products and services from different brands, then read reviews from other customers before making a purchase.
These steps require brands to create a seamless digital experience, allowing consumers to go through their journeys fuss-free. If the user encounters something they don’t like, they may click out of the website and go to a competitor.
Research revealed that consumers have the same expectations when it comes to the healthcare digital experience.
The Digital Healthcare Journey
According to the Customer Experience Trends in Healthcare 2018 study of Doctor.com, 81 percent of patients conduct online research on healthcare providers referred to them. And 90 percent of these people are likely to choose a different provider if they don’t like what they see online.
A separate study by NTT Data Services shows that healthcare consumers in the US want simple and reliable digital interactions for routine transactions. These include making doctor appointments, accessing test results, browsing family’s health records, paying bills, and filling prescriptions.
The key to strengthening your digital presence is to first build your online reputation. Tech-savvy consumers rely on authority, expertise, and trustworthiness to determine which healthcare provider to choose.
Securing Patient’s Trust
Users compare brands online based on the kind of content you publish and the ease in the searchability of your business. Include photos of your clinic or hospital and staff and videos of different treatments and exercises to offer a rich visual experience in your website.
Write blogs about topics relevant to your field. And don’t discuss anything outside of your expertise. Make sure you include brief author descriptions in every blog to show the reader that this person is knowledge and industry-certified to talk about certain topics.
It would also help to create individual bio pages for each author, which include all the articles they’ve written. These help users see the breadth of the person’s knowledge and expertise in a field, building their trustworthiness.
By carrying out these techniques, you not only gain the trust of your readers, you also prove your authority to search engines. Search engines rank websites with excellent expertise, authority, and trustworthiness scores higher on results pages, which improves your online visibility.
Although these digital strategies seem inconsequential when it comes to healthcare, the online space is where consumers’ – and patients’ – journeys begin. And to provide quality healthcare, you must anticipate where your patients are and what they need from you at each stage of their journey. Digital marketing allows you to give the best possible patient care – from start to finish.