Google-NewLogo-300x200Google is the most common way current and prospective patients find more information about your practice. Do you know what’s in the first page of your search results? Research shows that less than 10 percent of searchers look beyond the first page, so it’s important to focus on your first-page presence.

There are four key areas that should be listed on the first page of your results

  1. Website  — This should be the first thing a current or potential patient sees because it has everything they need to know about what you do. Plus, you have control over the content shown so that’s always a plus.
  2. Bio Pages – Every organization, association, hospital or medical practice that you have an affiliation with should have a biography of your background and current specialties. If they do not, consider submitting a unique biography to each one for them to post.
  3. Your Written Content – Creating content can help reinforce your expertise in a field. Anything that you have written for other websites, particularly those that are credible, should show up in your results.
  4. Social Media Profiles – These profiles are not to friend or follower patients. Social media profiles are a good tool to estable a professional list of services and specialties in a social space online. For doctors, LinkedIn, WordPress and Doctors Hangout can be a good place to start.

What You Need to Do to Move Up

  • Start a Blog – Blog posts should be compelling and well-written. The first step is finding content that people want to read and publishing it in a space on your website. Since a physician’s audience is typically made up of current and potential patients, the content should be engaging, educational, and most importantly, easy to understand. For example, a good start is blogging about frequently asked questions or the best preventative measures for patients.
  • Edit Your Work – Google can penalize a site for poorly written content.No matter how good you are at writing, have a second set of eyes look over your work to ensure the ideas make sense and are easy to understand. Ask a colleague who is familiar with the material to edit for content, and then ask another unfamiliar with the subject for a second perspective.
  • Avoid Repetition – People do not want to keep reading the same things, so keep the topics focused but specific to the different areas of healthcare you offer services for. Also, if you are listed on different websites, write a different bio for each one and focus on what you do for each organization.
  • Share Your Content – Spread the word about your new content. When you first begin writing, be sure to promote your content to individuals that will enjoy it. Additionally, ask friends, family, patients and colleagues to share your work with their connections and social media channels.  The more content you produce and the more regularly you send it out, the easier it will be to build following.
  • Ask Others to Share Your Content – When others link to your content, it’s like a high-five in the eyes of Google. Ask affiliates, medical associations, colleagues and other credible sources to link to your material. It will further demonstrate authority to Google and build a larger following for others to read your material.
  • Be Relevant and Avoid Spam – Share your content on websites that are relevant to your material. If a website seems “spammy” and you suspect its owners are participating in suspicious activity, stay clear of that website.A mention on a relevant website such as a top association in your speciality will increase your credibility in the eyes of both readers and Google.

Building your online reputation is an ongoing process. But if you take action with these tips, you will begin to see improvements. Monitor your progress and check your google searches weekly.