Jul 8, 2017

Do doctors really need a website?

If you ask us this question, we would answer with a definite YES. However, if you ask the same question of doctors or dentists, every second one will probably tell you "no".  It is hard to believe, but as of 2015, 50% of physicians still didn't have their own website. [1, 2, 3]. How can that be? Why do doctors still not have a large presence on the internet, when practically everyone uses a smartphone to access information on the internet?

About 50% of doctors and dentists do not have a website

In our experience, this is usually due to the following reasons:

1) Long-time doctors often have the attitude that there is no need for a website, since they have never had one in the past

2) They believe that a good reputation is more important than a website

3) Reports of warnings (for example missing mastheads) have led to the idea that websites can be legally risky

What are the arguments against these points?

1) Long-time doctors and dentists have a large patient base, which they have built up over decades, and are particularly popular among the older generations, with a high degree of recognition and, depending on the filed, also a wide range of specialties.

In this case, the fact that a practice website isn't high on the priority list is understandable.

However, established doctors also need to start thinking about what will happen with their practice in the future.  For example, it can be disadvantageous if the majority of patients are "older" Because the fact is: younger patients are more demanding and are increasingly understood as customers. And as is always the case with a  "customer", they are looking for the best offer on the market - and this information is almost always available online.

2) Practices do not have any free appointments for months (even if they do have website) are usually more concerned with dealing with the patient workload than with the creation of a website.

These are usually practices that have either a single service within their branch or have no competition in the region, or benefit as a result of referrals. Whether or not this situation can change in the short/mid-term (for example, if a new practice opens in the area or the referral rate drops because the referring practitioner is no longer available) must be decided by each practitioner. In marketing the same principle applies as in medicine: prevention is better than a cure.

3). It is true that there are regulations which need to be taken into account when setting up a website as a physician. We work with marketing agencies who specialize in practice-marketing, and none of our customers have received a problem due to one of our websites. However, if the website is a home-made project, or a student is given some pocket-money to create one,  the result is not only an unprofessional website but also runs the risk of a legal faux pas.

These Doctors need a practice website

As a practitioner, you should also consider the following points:

- More than 70% of patients search online for a suitable physician [4].
- Every year 8 million Germans are mobile. As a result, a new doctor is often sought [5].
- 86% of patients inform themselves online about medical topics [4].
- One in four 60+ patients use Google to search for a physician [4].
- 66% start their medical searches at Google and then check out the websites of the doctors' practices found with google [6].

Those born after 1980 are referred to as digital natives (see Wikipedia), who can not imagine a life without Internet anymore. This target group will become more important for physicians in the future due to their age.

Doctoria – Medical Website Template