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Finding Patients Online
Written by Amy Jorgensen   
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Finding Patients Online
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Also, include photographs of yourself, your staff members, and your facility. When a potential patient sees a picture of a pleasantly landscaped exterior and an inviting waiting area, plus the warm smiles of your caring staff that will have a huge impact on their decision-making.Your newsletter is another important medical practice marketing ingredient. If you don't already have one, you should begin developing one. Newsletters can and should provide several different types of information. First, it can include small stories about changes to the practice, such as the addition of a new staff member or a change in hours. Second, it should include articles which would be of interest to your patients. For example, if you specialize in pediatrics, then your newsletter should include articles relating to children's health.

These newsletters do not need to be published frequently. If you create your own, then once per quarter is enough. If you decide to have someone create them for you, then could go monthly or bi-monthly.Let your current patients know about the newsletter as well. This is a good way of building a relationship with them also.

Generating Web Site Traffic

“Traffic” is the term used to describe visitors to your web site. If you just let your site sit there and do nothing, it won't attract much traffic.

One way to generate traffic is through links. Any time you are listed online you should include a link to your site. For example, ask the insurance companies you work with to include a link to your site in their directory or ask to have the link adding to your existing free page. If you've published any articles online, make sure to include a resource box with your name, professional details, and a link to your site.You should also have your site listed in any online physician directories you can find, including the AMA's Doctorfinder directory. You should also submit it to Yahoo's directory and to the Open Directory Project. These listings will make it easier for potential patients to find you.

Additionally, your web site address should be listed on everything: appointment reminders, bills, business cards, advertisements, etc. If you do something newsworthy and a story is published about you, ask that your web site be included in the article. If you make donations or help out with a non-profit or charitable organization who wants to show their appreciation, ask them to include a link to your web site. The more people see your web site address or a link to it, the more likely they are to go there.The Bottom Line

Your professional web site is your primary tool in finding patients online. By developing an informative site, you are helping potential patients make decisions that otherwise would be more like a guessing game. Once your site is up and running, you can eventually expand its role to include contacting your clients via email, setting up appointments online, and more. All of these services will help you more effectively reach and maintain relationships with a growing number of the 200 million Internet users in the United States.

Resources Used in Article

Marketing Your Practice on the Internet

Professional Practice Marketing

Marketing Medical Practices

About the Author

Amy Jorgensen is a freelance writer based in southern Indiana. Her articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including Southern California Physician magazine.

The author has no financial relationship to any of the companies listed in the article. 

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