In the past when selecting a new doctor, patients would primarily rely on referrals from their primary care physician or from friends and family members. Today, patients are taking a more active role in their healthcare and turning to the web to obtain information about new providers.
For most medical practices, optimizing their online provider directory is key to promoting themselves online. Implementing a solid SEO strategy that enables provider listings to be easily found in local online searches and users to interact with the information they seek, is key to driving results. Learn what the “must haves” are for an effective provider directory.
Detailed & optimized provider profiles
Complete, detailed, and accurate information allows your physician profile pages to perform better in search. While most practices will present a provider’s specialty or subspecialty, they fail to classify and promote clinical-specific data that patients may use when searching. Even fewer practices provide provider directory details such as languages spoken, alternative sites of care, presentations and articles, virtual care options, and whether or not they are accepting new patients.
At a minimum, provider profile pages should include the following:
- metadata – title and description
- specialty, sub-specialty
- structured data (schema) which help search engines better understand the content and context of the page
Adding this detailed information allows Google and other search engines to index very unique content that may match a user’s search query.
For example, a patient seeking a retina specialist in Charlotte may never find your provider profile if you only optimize for an ophthalmologist with no mention of locality. Adding this additional level of data to your provider profile that mirrors the intent of your user’s search query, allows your provider’s information to show up in those search results.
Finally, remember that a provider’s profile is not meant to be static. Your providers may complete additional training for new procedures, see and treat patients at new locations, develop new videos, or participate in new clinical trials. Don’t forget to update their profiles with these changing details on an ongoing basis.
Easy searching by provider
An intuitive search feature should be a “must-have” of any online provider directory. When patients visit your website to seek provider details, they want to easily filter the information that is most important to them. Allowing users to filter by the following criteria will enhance your user’s experience:
- provider last name
- specialty or sub-specialty
- location – either by location name, city or GPS for “near me” searches
- accepting new patients
- languages spoken
Additional tagging around clinical expertise, treatments, virtual visits, insurances accepted or even an average star rating improves not only your ability to stand out, but also enhances patient-provider matching.
Seamless integration of your provider directory with other areas of your website is a “must-have”. For example, in an orthopaedic group that has providers with different sub-specialities, automatically displaying related providers on a service line or location page allows visitors to quickly find related information.
It also minimizes the amount of maintenance you need to do as a practice when you add and or remove related details. With integration, adding one simple line of code auto-populates these changes across your website.
Convenient digital self-service
Millennials and others are increasingly looking for convenience, especially when online. Capturing this demand by allowing new and existing patients to book appointments without needing to log into a portal or completing forms before arriving for their visit is meeting the needs of the modern consumer. Developing a robust online directory that promotes this seamless experience can improve your practice’s reputation.
By investing in your online provider directory, you can meet modern consumers where they are.
For an easy-to-use, completely customizable provider directory that directly integrates with your WordPress site, our Practis Provider Directory is a feature-rich, effective solution for your healthcare website. Learn more by contacting Practis today!