Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | January 29, 2019

Business listings For healthcare: how your online presence can impact patient care

While accurate online business listings are important for any brand’s success today, it takes on a new level within the health and wellness industry.

Imagine you’re on a much-anticipated vacation to the California coast. You stumble while roller skating down the boardwalk and are pretty sure you broke your arm. An emergency room or urgent care trip for x-rays is necessary, so you grab your phone with your good hand and start searching on Google. Just like 87% of smartphone users, you’re turning to search in your moment of need.

As a bustling area, there are definitely places nearby that can help. But what if your search doesn’t produce the right results for your situation? Without properly optimized locations, you might only see options like physical therapy, children’s hospitals, or closed clinics. The perfect ER or urgent care location might only be blocks away, but without a strong local SEO and local listings strategy, an amazing facility might not even show up on the front page of search results!

That’s bad for the patient, and the actual healthcare provider. You, the patient, want the best treatment for your specific needs at a nearby location. Healthcare providers want to provide fantastic patient care and grow their services.

To make these goals a reality, healthcare brands must provide patients with immediate information about their hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, and any other medical services on online listings.

Think that only matters for brands in the retail or restaurant industry? Think again. 21% of people use online search to find a hospital or doctor while 80% of Americans use search to research a wide variety of healthcare information according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. In an online-first world, it’s more important than ever for healthcare providers to maintain and optimize their local business listings.

Managing Local Business Listings For Healthcare

Unlike most businesses, healthcare services often have multiple listings they need to manage, even if they’re all at the same location. The average hospital could have hundreds of business listings. From the ER to the pharmacy, the physicians, to the different departments in the hospital itself like pediatrics, orthopedics, and so on. And that’s not including the clinics and specialty services that may be located at different locations.

Because there are so many services offered from healthcare providers, it’s vital their listings are always accurate. 73% of people lose trust in a business if their listing information is inaccurate.  In a time when brand loyalty is depreciating, healthcare providers can’t afford to lose patients due to inaccurate listing information.

People Turn to Local Search In a Moment of Need

From 2015-2017, Google reported a 900% increase in “near me” searches. As more and more people turn to local search in a moment of need, it’s vital that businesses are providing people with the information they are looking for when they need it. This means claiming, maintaining, and optimizing their local business listings across every search engine and online business directory. For healthcare services, people are turning to Google, Yelp, ZocDoc, Healthgrades, and many other local listing providers to find the information they need.

Whether patients are searching for healthcare plans, doctors, pharmacies or emergency services, the search starts online. That means they’re taking into consideration things like location, services offered, and reviews. And they’re doing all of this before they even make it to your website.

How Healthcare Providers Can Increase Their Online Visibility

To successfully manage multiple listings across hundreds of listing directories, healthcare providers turn to software like Chatmeter, to help manage their online information. Remember our broken arm scenario? What if the closest hospital had successfully managed their local business listings and appeared on the first page of local search results? Not only would this have saved the family time and headache, but it would have meant more revenue for the hospital.

In addition to managing their locations, healthcare systems need to manage the listings for their doctors as well.  54% of millennials search for a doctor online and rely on online physician ratings before visiting a doctor. Doctors are reviewed and searched for just as much as the healthcare system itself, and by managing their listings it increases the visibility of the healthcare system as a whole. As more and more people turn to online reviews to make important decisions, it’s essential businesses have a strategy for effectively managing their online reputation.

Chatmeter works with healthcare providers to increase their online visibility and improve the entire customer experience starting from the moment they search. Recently, Chatmeter partnered with one of America’s biggest healthcare providers to increase their page-1 rankings by 3,600%. In addition to listing management, Chatmeter worked with the client to improve their review response strategy and as a result, their average star ratings across multiple listing directories increased from 3.6 to 4.5.

It’s results like these that prove the entire patient experience starts online and if a healthcare provider is not visible online, they’re letting their patients down before they even visit. Managing business listings for healthcare means putting the patient first and providing them with easy access to the information they need when they need it most.

Accelerate your growth and create amazing patient experiences with today’s top listings and reputation management tools. Learn more about Chatmeter for Healthcare and schedule a free demo!