We often post here about the opportunity directory sites present to get extra exposure and add inbound links (great for SEO) to your website.  Recently, we learned of a hospital system that is not just taking advantage of free directory listings by fleshing out physician profiles, they’ve actually partnered with the team at Vitals.com to get even more value out of the site.

This hospital works with the team at Vitals.com to upload correct information for its hundreds of doctors — to ensure that all its physicians are represented and appear with accurate contact information, background, specialty and insurance information.  What’s more, they use call center phone numbers for each physician that are assigned only to Vitals.com profiles, so that they can track exactly how many calls come in via the site.  Web click-throughs are also tracked, using Google Analytics on the hospital’s own site.

While this extensive relationship with a directory may be overkill for (and beyond the reach of) independent practices, it speaks volumes about the changing internet directory landscape.  When a major hospital system — with a dedicated team of marketing professionals on staff — chooses to rely on a directory as a critical marketing source and partner with them, it suggests that this form of internet marketing really has come of age.  This hospital understands that a significant number of prospective patients will visit online medical directories every day for physician information.  Practices cannot afford to online physician directory and rating sites for the same reason.

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