Importance of Practitioner Listings for Healthcare
The world is fast changing. Gone are the days when people relied on offline reputation alone while choosing a healthcare provider for themselves and their families. Research shows that over 60% of patients look for a new health provider online via internet searches and healthcare organization’s websites. While most patient journeys begin on the mobile phone, half are for specialties and are location-specific. As a healthcare institution or multi-specialty hospital, isn’t it critical that you be present where patients are searching and researching?
Why Practitioner Listings?
The irony is that while more than 50% of patient searches are online, multi-specialty hospitals that can fulfill these needs do not have their practitioners listed on platforms like Google! 76% of these searching patients take action within 24 hours, which shows that their need is immediate. So, not being listed for a multi-specialty hospital means a loss of high-potential leads and valuable patients to competition.
In an era when the key source of leads is digital, and the discovery happens on search and social platforms, your hospital must stay caught up. Even if you have been listed online in medical directories like Practo and similar forums, listing on Google and other ubiquitous local business directories is what will boost your visibility like never before.
Welcome to Practitioner Listings!
What are Practitioner Listings?
Let us understand this concerning the most popular local business directory – Google Business Profile (GBP) . GMB is a tool for organizations and businesses to manage their online presence across Google and is extremely easy to use. By just adding your organization to the listings, editing the information, and verifying the business, you become visible and available across all Google services and products, mainly Search and Maps. These listings also provide valuable information, including the practitioner’s qualifications and ratings, which adds credibility to the doctor.
How does a multi-speciality hospital create these listings? Very simple!
- Create and manage practitioner listings on Google, including the qualifications, expertise, and experience.
- Ensure a 3-pack ranking to ensure patient discovery and selection.
- Seek reviews and ratings from patients to build a reputation.
This same feature can also be used to leverage an individual’s personal (professional) brand in local searches! Just like a business listing, you can create a practitioner listing by ensuring that the following conditions are met:
- The person operates in a public-facing role and is not a support staff.
- The person should be directly contactable at a verified location during stated hours.
- The person should have only one listing.
At the same time, make it a point to include the following points.
- The practitioner’s full name with all the qualifications and the services/categories in which the doctor has expertise. Note that listing the qualifications is especially important.
- Photos of the doctor and valuable short-form content that the doctor posts from time to time.
- The working hours should be accurately mentioned because Google only shows your clinic/practice/hospital based on whether the doctor is available at the time of searching.
- Constant and continuous reviews and the doctor’s responses to them are huge bonuses. Adding a “Book Appointment” is extremely helpful in converting the searchers immediately.
Such individual practitioner listings also add up to the reputation of the hospitals’ listings.
Multiple Benefits of a Practitioner Listing for Healthcare
Without the practitioner listing, no healthcare marketing can be deemed complete, comprehensive, and well-rounded. A practitioner listing is separate from a business listing. Here, the practitioner becomes a brand by themselves. Thus, the doctor also benefits and achieves growth as a good brand even if they choose to work elsewhere. The following are the other benefits to be derived.
- Expanding online footprint
With more than 75% looking up online to either find or verify a doctor, there is a greater probability of patients finding you if you are listed in more online spaces. Local directories become critical because all your patients and potential patients will mostly be in the locality. This becomes incredibly beneficial for the hospital and medical establishment because people search for doctors and specialists – not hospitals and medical care centers.
- Ranking high in online searches
Directories always tend to rank higher in search engines than medical websites because they are more solution-focused. The priority is also because all the major search engines also possess their listing directories. These will prominently display your business information, including location, business hours, contact, etc. The practitioner starts to rank high in searches. Even if you are a hospital or clinic with highly rated doctors, the establishment automatically begins to rank high.
- Generating trust in (potential) patients
A third of all patients use the information on listed directories while choosing and evaluating their health provider. It cannot be emphasized enough that the most important things to mention are the qualifications of the doctor – MS, FRCS, etc. – which enhance credibility. Adding pictures of the clinic, waiting room, and other facilities will add to the trust factor. This is a fantastic way to demonstrate the state-of-the-art facilities for bigger establishments like hospitals and medical centers.
- Gathering reviews
Every directory provides options for customers and clients to post reviews. Apart from benefiting from positive reviews, you can clarify and respond to negative reviews. Surveys show that 81% of the negative reviewers feel very satisfied or satisfied with receiving a response from the practitioner. In fact, this becomes critically important if you are a healthcare facility trying to establish a reputation. The reputation becomes cumulative of all the individual practitioners’ reputations.
- Costs nothing – Why miss an opportunity that is absolutely free?
Since online directories are free to claim or list, the ROI from this activity is bound to be very high. Of course, the process is time-consuming, and you may choose to list in the top 3 or top 5 listing directories.
- Multiple listings
Imagine you are an orthopedic surgeon in a specialty hospital and a consulting doctor at a walk-in clinic. Now, you will be able to have separate practitioner listings for both – as a practitioner of orthopedic surgery at the former and as a doctor at the latter. As a medical professional, this allows you to cast a wider net.
Creating a Google Practitioner Listing
Creating a Google My Business (GMB) listing is quite easy. Creating a free account allows you to register yourself as a practitioner in the directory. The site will offer a simple and detailed step-by-step process to provide your name, country/region, address, principal business phone number, and category. Once these steps are completed, Google will verify this information by sending a code to the provided address. Once you input the code, you are good to go.
Additionally, here are some best practices to observe while you create the practitioner listing.
- Do not create a practitioner listing if you are the ONLY practitioner in your clinic/medical business. The business listing would suffice.
- Only create multiple practitioner listings if there are numerous offline locations that you operate from.
- Keep your practitioner listing distinct from your practice listing.
Leverage your own brand
Building individual practitioner listings alongside your business/multi-specialty hospital listings offers an incredible opportunity to synergize. This is because a practitioner listing is not considered a duplicate, and Google (or any other search engine) will not remove or merge them. So, this is a win-win where the individual medical practitioner gains exposure, and the hospital or medical establishment can showcase their highly reputed surgeons, doctors, and practitioners.
Healthcare providers must understand the importance of location marketing in today’s mobile-first world and how patients seek information. Not being present where patients are searching puts healthcare organizations at a disadvantage. Creating a list of practitioners is one of the fastest, zero-cost, and among most powerful marketing tools available for a multi-specialty hospital and a medical practitioner.
Start with creating your practitioner listing today. Or you could contact us at Zceppa to create a professional and impactful listing that will dominate local search and significantly enhance your business.
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