You probably know about ZocDoc, Healthgrades, and other doctor-focused listing sites. Thousands, if not millions, of patients use these sites every day to find and learn about doctors for general care and across every imaginable specialty.
A solid profile with up-to-date contact information for your practice is an invaluable asset when it comes to your medical office’s online profile. But doctor-specific sites aren’t the only places patients use for referrals.
Many more generic sites are also treasure troves for patient acquisition, and they’re often less crowded—which gives you more opportunities to stand out.
So just where are your patients finding you? Here are eight surprising sites that lead to plenty of referrals.
42% of today’s patients use social media to look up doctors and other medical professionals, and Facebook is far and away the most popular social media platform when it comes to patient-to-patient referrals. You can’t control the conversation your patients have on social media, of course, but a strong Facebook presence and stellar in-office service can see your reputation and your referral business soar.
This members-only service gives consumers a way to read trusted reviews and recommendations about a variety of professionals, from contractors to pet sitters and yes, physicians, too. It’s free to register your practice or medical office with the service, and you can promote yourself directly to local patients seeking your services.
Phonebooks are a thing of the past, but there are several websites that take the phonebook experience and make it relevant, useful, and full of opportunity in the Internet Age. DexKnows is one of the best, and you definitely want to make sure you have an accurate and current listing on this site.
You might try becoming Featured Business and looking into other promotions, too—people searching on these sites are ready to make the call and schedule and appointment, so prominent placement tends to pay off.
SuperPages is owned and operated by the same folks that run DexKnows, and they’re fairly similar in terms of how they operate both for doctors and for patients searching for a physician. Make sure your listing is accurate on both, because it isn’t just patients who read sites like these. Google’s search bots use these sites to validate address and contact information, which can impact your ranking and prominence in local search results.
Yep, it’s one more phonebook-like website that helps patients conduct local searches for doctors (and other businesses). And it’s just as important, both because it will lead directly to phone calls from potential patients and because it will help in your local search results.
Insider Pages lets you claim and customize your medical office’s profile for free and also offers paid promotions; definitely take advantage of the former and try experimenting with the latter to see what works for your practice.
Want an easy way to network with other local businesses and get your practice in front of interested patients looking for a reputable physician? MerchantCircle boosts your online marketing efforts on both fronts, making it easy to secure referrals from other area professionals while also giving you yet another profile for patients to find you and to improve your local search results.
It’s a win-win-win, so don’t pass this one up.
What started as a location check-in app quickly blossomed into a successful referral service. Foursquare uses data about where people go, what they say about the places they’ve been, and direct reviews of local businesses to offer recommendations to its users. Prospective patients can get information about doctors they’re considering and decide who they want to visit based on reviews and even foot traffic.
Again, like Facebook, you can’t exactly control the conversation on Foursquare. But by ensuring your contact and location details are up to date and providing outstanding service, you’ll likely see an uptick in website and in-office traffic from Foursquare.
Local Forums and Websites
Lastly, poke around your local webspace. Chances are you’ll find some popular neighborhood Facebook pages and other local forums where people talk about local businesses and professional service providers like physicians. Check out any rules or guidelines they have before promoting yourself, and you can always chime into other conversations as a community member yourself.
Be a pillar of the local medical community, and you’ll find plenty of places online to reach out to prospective patients. It all helps you get in Google’s good graces, too, and that’s never bad!