Finding the Right Kind of Website for Your Medical Practice (Part II)

December 31, 2011

Pick and choose what elements of Web 2.0 fit your personality as a physician. You can always do more later.

In the first part of this blog, Dr. Wong explored websites as resource sites for your practice and websites as marketing tools. Here, he continues with the third kind of website you should consider for getting your practice online.

Let’s continue our discussion with another type of website your practice should consider.

Marketing with Social Media (Blog)

Every new website should be created on blogging software such as Wordpress.org, even though you may not want to blog.

Blogging software can make your blog look like any website. The advantages of using blogging software are:

? Ease of use - you don’t need to know programming, such as HTML
? Server based - you can work on your site from any Internet connection
? Maximized Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so your page(s) rank highly
? “Comments” - the ability for a reader to leave a comment is the real strength of social media

Patients will start to leave comments on your blog. Answering and responding to start a conversation. This is the purest form of social media - having a dialogue or conversation, where each side has the opportunity to contribute.

Showing your patients that you are willing to engage with them is the best marketing tool you can create.

Personally, I now attract almost 10,000 visitors to my blog - I’ve answered each and every comment/question received over the past few years. I have become my own largest single referral source.

It’s powerful.

Advantage: Economical marketing tool in terms of ROI. I don’t need designers to “update” my page, turnkey designs are now available. Wordpress.org is open source, that is, I am not restricted by having a website on a host with proprietary software - anyone can help me with my site.

Disadvantage: Takes time to write regularly. I write two to three articles a month to maintain my rankings. I answer my comments/questions twice a week.

Social Media: Absolutely! I have an interactive website (I use blogging software and publish articles about health information). I have value on my site (credible health information). I use Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Conclusion

Not every website needs to be a superhero. All of us have different needs and expectations. While I am emphatic that everyone needs to have a site, not everyone has to have a full fledged blog nor embrace social media. Pick and choose what elements of Web 2.0 fit your personality. You can always do more later.

I engage my readers and many become my patients. My site provides a tremendous value by providing credible health information. It’s the key to an online presence; provide value, engage, and build relationships.

Best of luck! It took me a few years to evolve and understand how important and powerful these tools can be. Take baby steps. Just start.

Find out more about Randall Wong and our other Practice Notes bloggers.