With so many things on their plates, it can be easy for providers in private practice to neglect the quality of their websites. But today’s digital consumers want to be empowered and expect their healthcare providers to have a strong web presence that provides the important information they need.
In our post about brand building through consumer empowerment, we cited digital marketing expert and author Jeff Rosenblum’s three strategies for building a great brand. In one of them, “Give customers what they want,” Rosenblum said that “perhaps the most overlooked form of empowerment is simply making shopping easier and more informed.”
And as we noted then, the same could be said for the healthcare experience, in which patients and prospects appreciate easy access to the resources they need. An optimized website is an important way to provide it.
How user friendly is your website?
Although not specific to healthcare, the recently released results of a survey of large retail and consumer brands may help providers better understand the impact of a less-than-stellar website experience.
Key findings from the survey, which was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Catchpoint, included:
- “61% of respondents said Internet disruptions (defined as downtime or latency) have resulted in lost revenue, while 64% reported damage to their brand’s reputation and led to lack of consumer confidence from these disruptions.”
- “39% of respondents said Internet disruptions cost their company between $500,000 to $999,000 due to lost revenue, compensation to customers, and extra time spent fixing the issues. 12% stated that it costs their company more than $1M.”
- “65% of respondents reported that even small disruptions in the flow of commerce can cause customers to halt their purchase cycle, highlighting the importance of identifying and resolving Internet disruptions.”
Does your website provide the “right” information?
It’s one thing to have a web presence. But it’s another to have a web presence that actually provides the trustworthy information patients and prospects want and need.
As another recent study—which examined the content of websites for plastic surgeons in private practice—noted, “Connecting patients with healthcare providers continues to grow as the digital era evolves. A successful website has the power to influence patients on choosing a practice and provider.”
Of the 532 plastic surgery private practice websites analyzed:
- “The data points found on 100% of the websites were directions to the facility and the contact for any billing questions.”
- “Most websites provided information on the practice and its surgeons.”
- “The most common web-based data points included online consultations and links to their social media.”
- “Information on expenses incurred by patients, such as cancellation policies and consultation fees, was least commonly listed.”
In their conclusions, study authors said “This information may be useful for expanding and optimizing their websites. This has the potential to increase patient satisfaction and visibility of the practice.”
The recently-released results of another poll demonstrated the importance of providing website visitors with reliable and trustworthy information.
Conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the de Beaumont Foundation, poll results revealed that almost three in four of the physicians surveyed indicated that medical misinformation hinders their ability to provide optimal care and negatively impacts patient outcomes.
Though the findings largely related to the impact of misinformation in treating patients with COVID-19, “more than two-thirds of physicians said misinformation is also a problem in the areas of weight loss, dietary supplements, mental health, and other vaccines.”
“The poll findings also suggest that Americans may trust their doctors more than doctors think,” the de Beaumont Foundation said. “Nearly 7 in 10 physicians (68%) said they think patient trust has decreased over the past two years. But among the general population, only 21% said their trust in physicians has decreased, while 75% said it has increased or stayed about the same.”
As far as where “people get their information about medical care and treatment,” results indicated that “the Internet is a primary source of information for both physicians and the public. More than 8 in 10 physicians said they trust medical/scientific journals, Internet searches, and colleagues; while other adults said they trust Internet searches much more than any other source.”
How Content Marketing Increases Brand Awareness
Studies like these demonstrate the critical need for consumers to have easy access to the reliable healthcare information they need—which provides a great opportunity for private practice providers seeking to boost brand awareness.
To stand out from the competition, a mere presence on the web isn’t enough. Instead, healthcare providers need to demonstrate their expertise through the valuable content they provide—while ensuring that the user experience is one that will help patients and prospects not only stick around, but keep coming back for more.
If you’d like to learn more about how AMG Healthcare Marketing can support your content marketing efforts, please contact us today.