By Carla Turchetti
Thanks to popular all-in-one medical sites like ZocDoc and Healthgrades, patients only have to make one stop to compare physicians based on geography, education and other factors. Add in the possibility of seeing available appointments and booking online, and the convenience factor soars.
In part 1 of our series, we looked at two all-in-one sites — DentistDirectory.com and Betterfly — that charge businesses a fee to be listed. What other industries are following this model, yet doing it for free? Check out ways to get qualified sales leads through the convenience of all-in-one sites.
The website Avvo was originally dedicated to pairing customers with lawyers. Just as on the medical sites, Avvo profiles list details on each lawyer’s education, certifications and specialties. Pie charts give searchers a graphic picture of the types of law that attorneys practice. There are quick links to email forms, Facebook pages, even personal photos.
But Avvo takes the information process a step further with its sometimes controversial lawyer rating number. The company says each lawyer’s ranking is based on a mathematical formula that factors in experience, education and board certifications. Not surprisingly, attorneys with higher rankings like the unique Avvo system, and those with lower rankings dismiss it.
Lawyers on Avvo are able to answer legal questions that are posted on the site. It costs nothing for an attorney to claim his or her profile and add information to the searchable database. Searchers have free access to the information on the site, and it costs nothing to post a question.
While Avvo began as a site just for lawyers (“avvocato” is the Italian world for lawyer), it has expanded to include doctors and dentists.
Your Listing: What to Include
There are other free sites out there with online directories that will increase your businesses visibility. Businesses should claim a directory listing on Google+ as well as complete the information for Merchant Circle and SuperPages.com, the digital version of the old yellow pages.
Model the information that is available on the medical and legal sites so that potential customers know exactly what it is you do or sell. Those directory listings should go a little deeper than just name, address and phone number. Post any information about education, special training, experience and certifications that might be relevant for someone considering hiring you.
And encourage happy clients to post reviews on those sites. Reviews provide another opportunity for search engines to find you and help potential customers learn about you.
Consumers rely on Internet searches to seek out service providers of all kinds. The success of medical sites such as ZocDoc has shown how an all-encompassing site that moves directly from search to key information to reviews to booking appointments is just the convenience so many busy people are looking for. The concept isn’t just for doctors anymore, and industrious entrepreneurs and professionals should learn from these sites in determining what it is that prospective customers consider helpful — and important.
To help you refine your marketing strategy, take some cues from “The Infusionsoft Guide to Sales and Marketing.”