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Prospective patients and those who are planning to come to Malaysia for Medical Tourism are using Google to search for clinics and medical centers before they make the trip to the clinic.
A probable scenario would be for the “e-patient” to whip out his tablets (Samsung, iPad or HP) or mobile phone and start “Googling’ for clinics in a certain location.
Research shows that one in three searches has a location or a post code attached to it. In this case, patient may search for “clinic” and a location say “Bangsar” (that’s an affluent township in Kuala Lumpur).
The first to show up may well be paid advertisement with Google. These are the ones with a highlighted background and the word “Ad” at the top right corner. These appear first as search results.
Then we have the Local Search results. These are given a free online Place Page by Google and they look like this.
These local listings have a lot more information than the organic listing e.g. link to website, tab to call phone numbers, and an entire online page.
Next comes the organic search results of the clinics listed with Google. They do not have the little red teardrop icon and are not linked to any map or tab to call numbers. They look like this:
People are using search engines to look for information besides checking for recommendations with friends. Hardly anyone I know use Yellow Pages hardcopy or online.
It is interesting to note that listings of local business centers are showing up even without the owners’ knowledge – yes sometimes businesses are not even aware that they have a Google Local Listing.
And it is a pity because they have not made use of the free online asset that Google is handing out to them! Google crawls the web and scraps relevant information of businesses and puts them into these local listings.
These are sometimes not accurate and very often incomplete. As a business establishment owner you will want to:
- Make sure that your clinic/medical center/hospital is showing up
- Make sure that it is showing up on the screen “above the fold” that is without your visitor having to scroll down the tiny mobile screen
- Hopefully your listing is showing up on Page 1 in the top few places
An equally important question is to ask if your medical center’s listing is populated with accurate and relevant information. This is so that your prospects find what they are looking for and will want to visit your center and not that of your competitors?
If we look back at Figure 1, and we click on the first listing, “Polikinik Bangsar”, we will be greeted with something that look like this (at the time of this writing):-
It has very little information.
So even if some of these clinics are showing up on local searches, prospective clients or patients cannot find much information and they will likely go somewhere else, in search of other medical centers or hospitals.
They may search for the Malaysia Medical Association or Medical Council and hope for a list of medical centers. And this is what they will see when they Google for the “Malaysia Medical Council” on Google Local Search.
While the medical professional has stayed away from actively advertising or canvassing, their clinics, medical centers and establishments are already listed on Google Local Searches – by Google.
The concern here is to optimize your online listing given by Google so you have a constant stream of new patients. You will also want some good patient reviews as social proof.
You can start owning your online listing today and see more visitors coming to your centers.
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