If you have searched for the name of your practice, you may have found that it already exists online – even without you doing anything.

This may happen for a number of reasons. For example, business directories may list you on their site based on public information, social media users sometimes create pages for locations they visit so they can ‘check-in’ and some social networks even recommend their users create pages for businesses they may not already have.

When it comes to your practice’s online presence, your website should be your foundation. Websites are one of the main ways that you can maintain your online presence and how people will discover you online. It’s the place online where you can control what is published, how it looks and what features it has.

Using a website, you will be able to provide better communications with your patients, promote your services in your local area and even provide new services online.

When taking your practice online, it’s important that you have a plan. Taking some time at the start to map out your efforts will help you know what you’re trying to achieve, provide enough to maintain your presence and measure its effectiveness.

The internet is quickly replacing the traditional directory book (e.g. Yellow Pages) for many people. When they’re looking for a doctor, people may use the internet in different ways to find the information they need. There are search engines such as Google and Bing, social networks such as Facebook and online directories such as Yelp and TrueLocal.

Want to get noticed online? Paying for online advertising can help you cut through all the "noise" on the internet. The great thing about online advertising is that it can be more targeted to a specific audience. This means you’ll be able reach the right people easier.