The internet is used for a variety of things, such as shopping, gaming, streaming video, photo sharing, interacting on forums, dating, and more. You name it, it happens on the internet. That’s changed the way people hear about local businesses and health care providers. Ten years ago it was far more common to get a doctor referral from a friend.
Consumers and patients are turning to the internet to find the business or health care provider of their choice. According to a comprehensive 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey, the increase of users turning to the internet to search for a business has increased by as much as 90% in just 2 short years (2011 to 2013). Dentists are seeing a jump from 20% of prospective patients searching online for business in 2011, to 35% in 2013. That’s an estimated increase of 75%. It’s not unreasonable to predict the number of users searching for dentists or doctors online will reach 50% by early 2015. The same rapid upward trend exists for Hair and Beauty Salons.
The takeaway from this is that businesses need a web presence beyond review sites and directory services, where a business vision and mission, photos, and message can be communicated to consumers and patients.