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Health care practitioners must market to patients

Amplified Medical's Director of Business Development Elias Saucedo addresses the crown at the Advanced Medical Marketing and Internet Strategies Seminar Friday in Hammond.

People often end up finding a doctor after searching online for a symptom like bunions, varicose veins or difficulty breathing. 

Health care professionals learned how to jockey to get to the top of search results Friday at the Advanced Medical Marketing and Internet Strategies Seminar at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond. Speakers from Amplified Medical, The Times Media Co. and local health care providers addressed subjects like building a brand, growing revenue, reaching future patients online and learning how people typically find doctors on the internet.

Marketing professionals addressed a wide array of subjects such as maintaining brand consistency, how to handle negative or inaccurate reviews, advertising online and offline, and using videos to reach prospective patients.

Amplified Medical Director of Business Development Elias Saucedo said it was critical for health care providers to design websites that are easy to navigate, especially on smartphones.

"Basically if your website isn't optimized for mobile, it's going to be non-existent," he said. "More people use mobile devices than ever before. It's past the 50-50 mark. If it's not mobile-friendly, where does it go? The third page, the fourth page, the fifth page."

He advised physicians and other health care providers to offer clear information on their websites, such as the phone numbers of various departments, and to hire a photographer instead of using stock images so that patients don't feel misled.

Amplified Medical health care marketing specialist Amanda Ooms said health care was the most searched subject online, and it was critical to try to land one of the top spots in search results, including in competitive sponsored ads, to ensure their business is visible. She encouraged health care providers to use up-to-date search engine optimization tactics, such as providing a wealth of useful information that Google's algorithm currently prioritizes. 

"Google is easy enough to be used by a toddler, but technical enough to stump Ph.D.s who wonder how to get to the top," she said.

For more information, visit amplifiedmedical.com or call 866-363-5728.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.