For a moment, take off your Nurse Practitioner hat and put on your consumer hat. Now, ask yourself, if I were looking for information on a particular business where would I go to find it? The majority of consumers would say “the internet” or “Google”. Now, imagine if you couldn’t locate a website for that particular business what would you do? You would move on, leaving that business a figment of the imagination. Why? Well the reason is simple; in this digital era, consumers are looking for instant gratification to satisfy our desire to obtain immediate information. A website is a conduit for NP’s to deliver immediate information about their practice to potential patients. In addition, it showcases your “business personality” allowing patients to instantly become acquainted with who you are, what you offer and how to contact you.
Having an online presence in this digital age is the key to establishing yourself as a legitimate business, thus establishing credibility. Take for instance McDonald’s, a well-known brand that just about everyone on the planet recognizes. If McDonald’s didn’t have a website, in this digital age, they would quickly be looked upon as antiquated, thus losing credibility. Although there aren’t many ways for McDonald’s to interact with consumers online based on the type of business it is, the website still engages the consumer by keeping them up to date with promotions, locations, nutrition facts and so on. Its mere existence validates your practice as professional place to do business with.
Nurse practitioners in private practice also need an ironclad marketing plan to attract potential patients, increase visibility and stay relevant. Websites work; it is your digital fingerprint in the world wide web, ensuring your practice is represented, accessible and consistently promoted 24/7/365. Having a digital fingerprint is especially important with ever-changing algorithms and rules set forth by social media giants which are inconsistent and unstable for small business relying on the exposure. Your website is your consistent segment of marketing that you have complete control of, allowing you to make the rules, control the content, and express your “business personality”. A website acts as the marketing anchor between your practice and your potential patients; if it exists.
Nurse Practitioners in private practice are in competition with organizations such as hospitals, physician offices, and community health clinics to name a few. In order to compete NP’s must level the playing field. A website allows you to become competition to the competitor; it is an avenue for patients to get acquainted with your practice before stepping foot in the door. A professional website is your opportunity to showcase how your practice measures up against the competition; It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it needs to be properly optimized with the right content in order to reach the right target audience.
By: Rhonda Poplus, MSN, APRN, FNP-C