If you want to keep your current patients loyal and win more prospective patients, you have to ensure your practice locations and physicians can be found online. 77% of patients who schedule an appointment use a search engine before they select a hospital. And 73% of consumers lose trust in a brand when they find an incorrect address or contact information. Consistent, accurate, and updated listings are the key to winning those search moments, especially in local search. But with a task so important and time consuming, it’s doubtful you can do it alone.
5 Reasons You’ll Need Help Managing Your Local Listings
1. Continuous Physician Roster Changes
Your physicians are the face of your brand to your patients and should be promoted appropriately online in local and healthcare directories. So, when a new cardiologist comes on-board, your team should be able to create new listings or claim and update existing listings to ensure prospective patients can easily find your new physician.
But, with practice location changes, additions and removals of employed physicians, physician data changes – like when a doctor adds a new specialty or changes a last name after marriage – and more, managing this work load for your entire roster can get very overwhelming, very fast. If you can’t stay on top of your local listings through all these changes, there’s a good chance practice information from old organization affiliations or from inaccurate data sources will be listed on your physician profiles.
2. Organizational Changes
Your organization will likely experience changes over the next 5 years that will affect your local directory listings. Maybe you’re going through a website redesign or migrating sites, which result in URL changes. Or maybe it’s time for a brand refresh or rebranding a specific practice or your entire health system due to a merger or acquisitions. Whatever the cause, you need to be prepared to handle changes across all locations, all brand iterations, and all URL restructures.
3. Industry Knowledge and Tools
Knowing what needs to get done is just a piece of the battle; the real fight begins when you need to complete the work. In order to make updates to reflect physician and organizational changes, you’ll need to have an understanding of:
- • How each directory works (what data does each accept, what format should be used for submitting data, etc.)
- • How to create an account and verify listings in each directory
- • How to get access to a listing that is already owned and verified
- • How to submit your listings data to each directory
- • Who to contact when you see issues you’re unable to resolve through your account
- • What tools to use to understand presence and accuracy of your listings
- • What tools to use to find/resolve duplicate listings in each directory
Without an intimate knowledge of local and healthcare directories, you’ll face roadblocks in creating new listings and making the corrections needed to each.
4. One-Off Issues
Inevitably, issues will arise for both accuracy and local search ranking, and duplicate listings is one of the largest. Whether it’s an old practice location for your star cardiologist in Google Local or a patient-created Facebook page for your urgent care location, working to remove or merge these duplicate pages is just as important as making sure the correct data is shown in each local listing.
If a duplicate page exists, you’re muddying the local footprint of your business, which could cause issues in other directories. Directories pull information from other data sources, which could include other directories. These inaccurate or duplicate entries could show in local search, confusing any prospective patient looking to schedule an appointment.
As you think about the mountain of work consistently maintaining accurate directory listings will take, your first question is probably, “Where am I going to find the time to do all of this?” The answer is, you won’t.
Updating your directory listings is not a one-time task that is completed in a few hours on a Monday afternoon. It’s an ongoing initiative that requires a knowledgeable team to review, update, create, merge, and optimize your local listings in coordination with physician roster changes, organizational changes, one-off issues shared internally from your organization, and changes with best practices and directory policies.
Finding Experienced Help
When you partner with a team experienced in directory listings management, you’ll be better equipped to market your practice locations and physicians to local consumers across the valuable local search real estate. Plus, your organization will have the time and resources left over to work on larger marketing goals and campaigns.
To learn more about Directory Listings Management, download our recent webinar – Paging Dr. Google: Why Maintaining & Optimizing Directory Listings Helps Your Health System Win.