With increasing health care costs and wait times, it’s only natural that people will do a quick search to find out if bronchitis is contagious, what the symptoms of meningitis are, or how to identify signs of a concussion. We all know that Dr. Google is no substitute for a hands on examination and qualified medical advice, but if you have a medical clinic and you know that people are searching Google first, you'll want them to visit you second.
43% of visits to a hospital or clinic website originate from a search engine (source).
How many people use Google to conduct health searches?
- 86% of patients conducted a health related search before booking a doctor’s appointment.
- Of those, 80% used a search engine (94% searched Google)
- Only 13% said they went directly to a site that specializes in health information such as WebMD or Mayo Clinic.
Health conditions continue to be among the most common things people ask Google about. So much so that Google introduced health information into the Google Knowledge Graph to give “quick, accurate answers” to commonly searched health issues and have recently doubled the number of health conditions that they provide answers for.
How can you use this knowledge to increase website traffic to your healthcare website?
First you need to make sure that you’re covering all the search paths that people take to get to your website. Searches for symptoms, diagnosis, clinics by location and reputation, and more. Have you covered all your search paths on your website? Ensuring you include website content that ranges from the top to the bottom of the patient’s journey can keep your clinic in consideration as they make their decision.
Your website is your #1 sales representative. Like any good sales representative, it needs to answer questions and solve the problems of the user. What are common questions that your patients have about you and your clinic?
- Are there certain insurance companies that you do or do not work with?
- Are certain patients not eligible for your services?
- Do people have a hard time finding your clinic?
- Have you or your staff won any awards?
Laying all that out on your website can qualify your potential patients quickly, saving you time and money.
While most health related search paths originate with symptoms and conditional terms, nearly all patients finish their search paths with a branded term. Could it be your business? Having content related to diseases and symptoms, making you present in the early stages of the search journey, increases the chance that your clinic will be considered when they patient is ready to see a doctor.
While consulting Dr. Google is not the best way to diagnose a health issue, it’s what people do. Leveraging that with more symptom related content for your clinic’s inbound marketing strategy can help you get those potential patients into your clinic to give them the professional diagnoses that they need.