I’m here to talk about how search engines are impacting your practice. That’s right. In fact, we’ve all been impacted when it comes to how we research our health. Did you know that 68% of all consumers begin researching their health in a search engine? And that’s huge. That means us as consumers…we actually do trust the internet. In fact, 60% of patients use search engines to validate the information that they’ve received from their physicians.
The fact is search engines are either positively impacting your practice or they’re negatively impacting it. So let’s dig in to see how this may be.
Healthcare Searches continue growing.
For starters, search engines are easily accessible when the consumer is ready to research their healthcare needs. We want things now and unfortunately, we’re not willing to wait. Whether it’s when you find a knot on your head or you have an earache, it’s important for us to find what we’re looking for in a convenient non-intrusive way.
Let’s take a look at Google trends and evaluate the growth that’s happening for a few health-related searches. You’ll see that I’m reviewing 3 commonly searched terms: Dermatologist near me, OBGYN near me, and Eye doctor near me.
You’ll also notice that I’m evaluating January 1, 2010, to January 1, 2020, and the interest over time is rapidly increasing. People are leveraging search engines more today than they ever have before for health-related searches.
Consumers use search engines to research online reviews.
Secondly, consumers use search engines as a tool to research other people’s experiences at your practice. And what I mean by that is online reviews. Ninety-four percent of healthcare patients use online reviews to evaluate providers.
Now let me restate that again because it’s extremely important that you hear it. Ninety-four percent of all healthcare patients use online reviews to evaluate providers. If you as a practice aren’t taking your online reviews seriously, and I’ll even go so far as to say if you’re not being intentional about cultivating positive feedback from your patients online, you’re putting your practice at a serious disadvantage from a growth perspective. Patients trust other patients. And it’s important that we take the time to ensure that our prospective patients can find many positive online reviews.
Search Engine Dominance is a key factor in growing your online presence.
And lastly, now that I’ve covered the importance of search and how consumer behavior is rapidly changing when it comes to finding a provider, I want to discuss the importance of ranking in a search engine.
Fifty percent of all clicks on Google happen within the top 3 search results. Consumers not only trust other patients. But they also trust Google’s recommendations. As a practice it’s crucial for you to think bigger than just ranking within Google for your primary services. We need to not just show up on the first page of Google but rather, dominate the first page of Google for your primary services.