How patients search online for specialists

There is a common misconception within the healthcare industry that when you set up your new website, new patients will automatically follow. Practitioners are fast learning that unless patients already have their website address, they will need to ‘search’ to find the healthcare practitioner they’re looking for. Below, we take a look back at the last 12 months of Healthshare’s website data to provide insight around how patients are searching online for Specialists.

Patients are using mobiles and tablets more than their desktop
A look at data from the last 12 months revealed that patients are using their mobiles and tablets to search for healthcare professionals more often than not. This may not mean that they are out and about when searching as mobile phones and tablets are sometimes a convenient alternative to desktop computers, even when at home. What this means for healthcare practitioners is that websites, online profile listings and digital marketing efforts need to be mobile-optimised. If not, you run the risk of potentially missing the patients who prefer searching in this way.

Patients are searching more at the start of the week
Data shows that the highest number of searches for healthcare practitioners are performed on Mondays, followed by Tuesdays and then Wednesdays and so on. On weekends, total searches decrease dramatically to about one third of those performed on Mondays. This is interesting as it suggests that patients search online for healthcare professionals when they are busiest, as opposed to when they finally have some down time on the weekend.

Patients are searching more during 11am and 3pm
Without looking at the data, you might guess that patients are predominantly searching for healthcare practitioners at night once they’re comfortable at home and have finished their dinner. But this is not the case. Another interesting insight is that patients are consistently searching for healthcare practitioners most during the hours leading up to and following lunch time. After dinner, website visits typically drop to less than half of what they were during the day.

Patients ‘shop around’
When patients are searching for healthcare practitioners on, they consistently view multiple profiles before making a call to a professional. This highlights the importance of making your profile stand out, so that you can achieve the maximum impact on patients who find you.

The number of patients searching for healthcare practitioners is growing
Compared to the same time last year, there has been more than a 40% increase in patients searching for healthcare practitioners online through Healthshare’s Referrals Directory.

Looking to get in front of new patients?
Healthshare specialises in connecting Australian Healthcare Practitioners with patients in need of care. Healthshare’s platforms are visited by over 500,000 unique visitors per month including patients, GPs and Specialists. To find out about how you can market your medical practice to these audiences, watch a demo video.