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Why Doctors Need a Strong Online Presence

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by Staff Writer

It's true, to some degree, that medical services are immune from market forces; as long as people are ill, they're going to want to see a doctor. And many doctors assume that this makes them, for lack of a better term, marketing-proof; they don't need to worry about building an online presence as a doctor, or marketing themselves, because they feel that networking with fellow doctors and insurance company referrals are more than enough to keep them in business for a long, long time. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Why Doctor Online Presence Matters

Patients choose their doctors for any number of reasons, but a patient can't choose to see you if they don't know that you're available. This is where a strong medical practice online presence first makes itself known; if you invest in a professional website and local search engine optimization, your name will be among the first that prospective patients will come across when searching for a doctor in your field, or even just a doctor in general. Being foremost in a patient's mind is the first step to a patient finding their way to your office.

Secondly, the Internet gives you the ability to connect with patients not just as a medical professional, but as a person. Any doctor knows that many patients are scared of them, whether because of bad experiences in the past or phobias, and these patients look for a doctor with a strong bedside manner. It's hard to establish that with just a referral from a fellow doctor or a listing in the phone book, so having a doctor's social media presence or blog available, where you discuss medical issues in a fun, open way, can help to put potential patients at ease.

A Medical Practice's Online Presence Can Help You Do Your Job

A medical social media presence can make your job easier as well; you can clear up misconceptions about conditions you treat, discuss new medical research as it hits the news, and field questions from patients and their families about general medical advice and medications. Having an online reputation as a trusted source of information and comfort will both invite more patients into your office and help those you've already treated put their minds at ease.

Similarly, being online allows patients to better connect with you as both a doctor and a person. It's been shown that the more trust a patient has in their doctor, the more likely they are to follow that doctor's advice and the less likely they are to skip appointments, forget medication, or avoid medical care. So, establishing that trust will not only help your patients, but help make you a more effective doctor.

That said, it can be difficult for a doctor both to evaluate their online reputation and work out strategies to improve it. That's where ReputationDefender comes in. At ReputationDefender, we have years of experience in developing a doctor's online presence in all fields, helping them to better connect with patients, and find more patients for their practice. So, if you're a doctor who wants to leverage the power of the Internet to better help your patients and your practice, call ReputationDefender today; we'll put you in the medical limelight.

Photo credits: World Bank Photo Collection, Mercy Health