Your Digital Footprint: The First Step in the Patient Journey

Think about the care you put into your in-office patient experience. From the layout of the waiting room down to the color of the walls—every choice is deliberate because you know it has an impact on their comfort and initial impression. A front-office team member is often their first point of contact, and you trust yours to be kind and professional over the phone and in person. During every visit, you take the time to answer patient questions, and you hold that information as confidential. What many people forget is that each one of those touchpoints is mirrored online, and a potential patient experiences every single one of them before they walk through your door.

Take a Comprehensive Approach to Improve Your Online Presence

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And when it comes to a patient’s initial perception of your practice, it’s true. Their first impression happens as soon as they search online. They see practice ads when looking for medical information, local Google Business listings when comparing reviews and the way your website functions on their phone, which might be the final deciding factor once they’re ready to schedule. That’s because your practice’s digital presence is a crucial part of an individual’s decision to become your patient.

A robust digital strategy that includes a user-friendly website, social media, reputation management, SEO and PPC puts a practice in front of new patients at every step during their provider search. So what first impression are you making, and when in the patient journey are you making it?

Get in Front of Patients From the Very First Search

Paid advertising puts your practice at the top of the search results. Some searches don’t show MAP listings, and many don’t show any local practice listing at all, but every search displays an Ad Pack. That’s one of the easiest ways to get in front of searchers whether your website is firmly established or not. It can be used to target specific search areas and searches, so you know any clicks you get are from local residents looking for your specific services.  

Secure a Prime Position in the Google MAP Pack

For better or worse, people trust reviews. Having good reviews and collecting new reviews don’t just help patients understand what a patient experience is like at your practice—they help your website rank in Google’s MAP Pack too. Anytime you do a search and a map displays, that’s a MAP Pack. The language used in reviews can help your Google Business profile display more often and higher up in the Pack.

When you have a reputation management system in place, it can help you get new reviews and respond to bad ones before they ever get online. Since you can’t control what people write, collecting as many reviews as you can increases the likelihood one of them will contain valuable key terms like “caring audiologist” or “pain-free sinus examination.” Our review management system also helps to direct reviews below a certain rating through your practice instead of a public review system so you can work with the patient directly to address their concerns.

Wow Patients (and Search Engines) With Your Website

SEO (search engine optimization) can help your website rank well in Google search rankings, making it easier for patients to find you online. Optimizations cover a wide range of areas, from how quickly your website loads to how accurate your business information is on other websites.   

To build trust, you need an easy-to-navigate website that’s free of visual clutter, spelling errors and out-of-date design elements. Just like your front-office team, your website should make it easy to schedule an appointment or find the answer to a question.

Your content should contain detailed, helpful information about your services, history and experience on pages that are easy to locate and clearly labeled. Adding new pages by regularly posting blogs is ideal, as this lets Google know your site is active and provides the opportunity to show up for new search terms. 

You also want a website that works for every patient by being:

  • Mobile optimized for patients who access your site when they’re on their cellphones
  • HIPAA compliant if you collect, store or transmit personal health information (PHI)
  • ADA adherent for patients with disabilities

Create a Good Patient Experience at Every Touchpoint

If you’re ready to improve your online presence, Fuel’s digital team is here for you. We can help you create a personalized website that accurately reflects your overall brand as a whole, seamlessly transitioning the patient experience from the internet to your office.

Our PPC management team ensures new patients know about your practice as soon as they start searching, and our SEO team works to put all of the extra technical and on-page signals into place that Google looks for when populating the search results. Review builder helps to ensure that a happy in-office patient can share their experience with the neighbor next door, even if they never cross each other’s path.

Before a patient walks through your door, your website is your practice. When you partner with Fuel, you’re choosing an online experience that matches the incredible service and care you provide in person. You deserve it. We can help.