Having an online presence in this day and age is critical. Especially in the medical industry, as reports show that health topics continue to be one of the most frequently searched for subjects on the internet, with a reported 80% of all internet users (approximately 59% of the US adult population) searching online for health related information.1
According to a recently published survey from the Pew Internet Project, searching online for health information ranked third amongst online activities, behind emailing and using a search engine. The most frequently searched for topics include: specific diseases or medical problems, certain medical procedures or treatments, doctors or other health professionals, hospitals or other medical facilities, and health insurance (including private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid).2
What this means for your business
When people search the internet for a particular topic, they’re looking for immediacy in terms of information and answers. This is the perfect opportunity for your business - by providing content that is relevant to what people are searching for, and in multiple places online, your business is more likely to show up in the organic search returns (listings on search engines like Google or Bing which are ranked by relevant key words). You’re providing the searchers with the basic information they’re looking for and hopefully gaining new patients – most health topics require intervention, treatment, and/or advice from a professional at some point. Keep your contact information (address, phone number, email address) visible on your website pages to make it easy and convenient for the patient to contact you to further discuss their issue or need.
In addition to your website, social media can help build your online presence and increase your organic search returns. Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, blogging sites, etc., give you the opportunity to discuss specific topics (like the ones most frequently searched for, listed above) in real time with opportunities for frequent updates.
Mobile is important too
The Pew Internet Project also reports that people are searching the internet with their mobile phones – a reported 17% of cell phone users have used their mobile phone to search for information relating to medical and/or health topics.3 However, not all websites display correctly on mobile phones. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have apps for Smartphones and therefore are an easy alternative when searching for a particular topic with a mobile phone.
For more information on how to get started in social media, download our Social Media Guide for Eye Care Professionals:
1“Health Topics” (Pew Internet Project: February 1, 2011). Available at: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/HealthTopics.aspx
2Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August 9-September 13, 2010 Survey.
3“Mobile Health 2010” (Pew Internet Project: October 19, 2010). Available at: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Mobile-Health-2010.aspx