85% of consumers are searching for local businesses online.* That’s a lot of people that could easily be made aware of your business by having a website. This is especially important for local pharmacies, because most people are going to already know about the major chains. Having an online presence is essential to reaching the maximum amount of people. You can use your website to become a resource or to link to other resources like The Independent Pharmacist. This blog focuses on small, locally owned, independent pharmacies and 5 reasons why they need a website.
As mentioned in the introduction, there is a substantial number of people using search engines to search for local businesses. Having a website gives you exposure that can greatly increases your pharmacy’s chances of the general public finding and choosing your business. The chart below shows how many people have performed Google searches for the phrase “pharmacies near me” over the past several years. You can easily see that the number is increasing. People are searching, and you need a chance to be listed among the results.
Being listed among the search results is a start, but it’s not the main goal of having exposure through a website. You want a website that converts someone searching online to a patient. To do that, your site will need (at least) these features.
- Hours, Directions, & Contact Info – This seems obvious, but it is one of the most important aspects of a website. It’s important that someone can go to your website and easily learn when you are open, how to get to your location, and a way to contact you. Not having this information displayed in a clear and accessible way is one of the easiest ways to lose business.
- Services – Another point that seems obvious, but is extremely important. People coming to your site will want to be able to find information about services they are looking for. Local pharmacies can sometimes offer niche services that a chain pharmacy may not be able to offer. Take advantage of having a website and use it to advertise those niche services to bring in more business.
- General Information – See #3 for the explanation about why this is important.
Once someone visits your site, you need to give them a reason to come back. The more online attention you can get, the better. And one of the best ways to accomplish this is through a blog. Examples of blog posts for your pharmacy could include updates on insurance information or drug information. If you show that you are knowledgeable on these subjects, people will come back to your site when they have questions about anything related to pharmacy. You can use your website to become a resource. And the more people that use your site as a resource, the higher you rank on search engines and the better chance you have of even more people finding your business.
4. Online Refill Requests
The best websites are useful websites. One way to make your pharmacy’s website useful is by allowing patients to complete refill requests online. People are always on the go, so making your patient’s requests easier and more convenient will be appreciated.
Once you have a successful website, it might be time to focus on a mobile application. As stated in the previous section, people are always on the go which makes convenience appreciated. Some features of a pharmacy’s application may include allowing patient’s to request refills, displaying your blog posts, and sending out updates. With push notifications, you can send out messages to anyone who has downloaded your app or even target specific groups based on their location or amount of time they have had the application.
*Statistic from http://www.slideshare.net/
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