4 Online Strategies to Make Your Practice More Approachable

By   |  February 3, 2017

Whether you're a practicing physician, dentist, or other health professional, one of the biggest hurdles you must overcome when representing yourself to your prospective clients is fear. Many patients feel wary of medical professionals due to negative past experiences or phobias. In fact, studies suggest that as much as 20% of the population feels anxiety each time they visit any doctor, and that fear keeps 30 to 40 million American adults away from the dentist specifically every year.

To combat these preconceptions of your field, you have to make your medical practice appear not just competent, but approachable as well.

Luckily, the trend toward online advertising and communication gives healthcare providers plenty of opportunities to create a compassionate and welcoming company persona. In this blog, we discuss four strategies that can make you the practitioner that patients will choose, despite their fears.

1. Create Your Own Content

A patient who is wary of healthcare providers may see these professionals as all being the same. Part of the goal for your online presence should be to set your practice apart from your competitors. One of the best places to start is with content creation.

When you create content specifically for your clients and prospective clients, you show that you care about their questions and concerns. Write informative blogs, create infographics, or start a video series to start connecting with your patients more effectively. You may also want to create your own patient education materials to improve your website in the way detailed in our last blog, "5 Benefits of Including Patient Education Materials on Your Website."

Not sure where to start? You may benefit from working with an SEO content creation team, professional corporate writer, or other experts. These allies’ help can ensure that the content you create is readable and approachable for your audience.

2. Introduce Your Staff

Many patients go through all of the information that they can find about your practice before they make their first appointment. In addition to a general “about” page, you should also consider including short bios and current pictures of your staff members.

Bios may include information about an individual's qualifications and specialties, but should also be written in a personable, conversational tone to make the content more readable. For the accompanying image, use either a professional-looking headshot or a picture of the individual at work in the office.

Look for images that show your staff members in a likeable way. For example, if you choose to use headshots, opt for pictures of each person smiling and looking directly at the camera as if they are interacting with a patient.

You may also want to dedicate some space to a gallery of your office space, including the exterior, lobby or waiting room, and at least one of your exam rooms.

3. Prioritize Social Media Engagement

While your website is a vital foundation for your online presence, it's not your only tool and should not be the only online representation of your business. You should also choose several social media platforms where your patients can interact with you in a more casual way.

Start by creating a Facebook page and Twitter account for your practice. These platforms are the ones that prospective clients usually look at first. It may also be smart to use LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media options.

Decide how to portray yourself on social media and be consistent. You may need to work with a social media consultant to ensure that you find the right balance of likeability and engagement versus professionalism and authority.

4. Use Real Photographs

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but stock photos don't always use the language that your prospective patients want to hear. In addition to the images used in your staff bios, you should use appealing images throughout your web content.

Try to limit the amount of standard stock images that you use on your website. Images that are immediately recognizable as stock photographs can seem cold, staged, and overly clinical. If you do choose to use some stock photos, look for images that perfectly fit your website and company persona—don't settle!

For your other images, use professional photographs of your office and staff. These pictures give your patients a peek into your actual practice, which makes them feel as if they know you personally. If appropriate in your field, you may also want to include patient pictures with testimonials or real before and after images in a gallery.

Use these tactics to ensure that when potential clients see your practice name, they see a genuine, approachable professional who can help them get the care that they need.

Ready to improve your online presence and more effectively reach your patients? Consult with the online marketing team at Dr. Leonardo today.

Interested in Learning More About Making Your Website More Approachable? Contact Dr. Leonardo Today.

For more information, contact Dr. Leonardo today. We can also be reached directly at 516-586-1300. We look forward to hearing from you soon.