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Google+ and Marketing Your Practice

I recently came across an article written by Katie Matlack called Google+ for doctors: Why and How you Should Use Google+ Now.  In a very brief summary, Katie talks about the perks that signing up for a Google+ account has.
 
Simply stated, Google+ helps you and your medical practice get found.  Content shared on Google+ is favored in searches made using Google’s search engine.  According to Search Engine Watch, searches are performed in Google 91 million times per day compared to other search engines such as Yahoo! (60M), MSN (28M), and AOL (16M). 
 
When you Google your name, what comes up on the first search query?  Secondly, are you happy with the results that show up?  If your answer is no, there are easy steps you can take to make sure that you own your name on the web.
 
Besides signing up for Google+, you can also claim your practice’s address on Google Maps.  When you Google your name, “Jim Smith MD, do you see a ton of second-hand healthcare websites like Manta and Health Grades displaying your name with most likely incomplete and incorrect information about your practice?  Maybe it is even a different person with the same name giving you a bad reputation.  You can actually own your name on those websites and update them with your most current information, increasing your name in search results.
 
Another way to market your medical practice, and your name, is through your website.  If you have a website, which you should, make sure the Meta tags and keywords are search engine optimized for your specialty.
If you are reading this and have no idea what I am talking about, it’s okay.  If you are one of the many practices who implemented an EMR, check with your EMR Vendor – they might have a service where they can actually optimize your website for you in order to make sure you are listed in the top search results.  Waiting Room Solutions provides their clients with both a marketing website and a patient portal that can be easily customized right in the EMR Interface. 
 
Once again, I can’t stress this enough – You can control the content your patients see on the web. Don’t let them rely on secondhand data.  Provide them with the most complete and correct information and I promise you won’t be sorry.