You don’t have to be a tech whizz to be able to see how easily your business can be found online, you just need to be able to think like a customer of a pharmacy.
To complete this self-assessment, all you need to be thinking about is:
- What are potential customers looking for online that my pharmacy could help them with?
- What are existing customers looking for online that my pharmacy could help them with?
We’ll cover off the basics when it comes to search and finding your pharmacy. We’ll jump into your website and ask a few questions about that, we’ll dive into your social media pages and we’ll take a look at your online reputation too.
Work your way through our downloadable self-assessment form, and when you’re done, you’ll have a pretty good understanding of how discoverable and well represented your pharmacy is now, and where the gaps are that you can plan to fill.
Step One: Google your Pharmacy name
We recommend doing this part of the assessment from, or nearby your pharmacy if you can. Google rewards location relevance and will return results to you that are near to the location you are searching from.
First of all, what comes up when you search for your pharmacy name?
- Is there a Google My Business listing with correct details about your pharmacy including a link to your website if you have one?
- Does your pharmacy’s website come up on the first page or is it a bit further through the results?
- What about business directory sites that feature
your pharmacy such as Healthpoint and Healthdirect?
- Click through to them and check the contact details up to date?
- Is the branding correct?
- Is there an opportunity to claim your listings, update and add to the information?
Your regular customers may search for your pharmacy name but occasional customers and potential customers probably won’t search for your pharmacy name. Think about the way you use the internet. What would you search for if you were wanting to find a new pair of shoes? Maybe “running shoes Auckland”, “Nike shoes near me”, “Shoes with good arch support”. It would be unlikely that you’d search “Nike Air Max DLX sneakers Shoe Clinic Botany”.
So, what might you search when you have a health problem to solve or if you’re looking for a particular pharmacy product?
Do a few other searches that don’t include your pharmacy name word for word such as:
- (popular pharmacy service) (your location)
- Buy (popular product) (your location)
- (health condition) (your location)
Give a few other creative variations a go and see what comes back – is your pharmacy visible in these searches?
Step Two: If you have a pharmacy website, bring it up on a desktop, and your phone
By default you’ll land on your pharmacy’s home page, this isn’t always the entry point for a customer but it’s a good place to start.
- Is it immediately obvious that your business is a pharmacy?
- Does your website appear professional and trustworthy?
- Can you make a connection between the branding of your site and your physical store?
- Is your phone number and location easy to access?
- Is your site secure or does Google show ‘Not secure’ in the browser bar?
- Can you easily use your pharmacy website on your phone?
- How long does it your site take to load – is it
less than 3 seconds
- Do all of the images load and the links work?
You’ll want to click through the pages of your website and check that what’s there, is relevant and all the links work. This includes News sections and Review pages. Sometimes these pages are well intentioned when a website is first launched, but they can very quickly send the wrong message to potential customers if the last post was more than a couple of months ago.
Take a step back and think about the information that is on your site, and what could be added.
- Could a customer see what products you have in store?
- Do they know they could chat to a pharmacist and who they might be able to talk to?
- Can they learn about the services you offer in your pharmacy?
- Can they book and pay for your services online?
- What about answers to their health questions – could they find health information?
- Could a customer buy from you if they wanted to? What convenient options do they have?
Step Three: What’s on Facebook about your pharmacy?
Before jumping directly to your Pharmacy Facebook page, do a quick search on Facebook for your pharmacy name and see what comes up.
- Are there any unofficial pages you need to claim?
- What reviews are there about your pharmacy that you may have missed?
Now open your pharmacy’s official Facebook page if you have one.
- Check the pharmacy contact details – are they correct?
- If you have a website, is it linked to your Facebook page?
- Next, look at the number of followers you have – use the number of unique customers you would typically do business with in a 3 month period as a guide to assess whether there is good representation there or not.
- And now for your Facebook posts:
- When was the last time you posted? If it was within the last week – congratulations, keep it up! If not, who owns the responsibility of keeping your Facebook page fresh and relevant?
- What about the content variety – take a look at your
last 5 posts.
- Are you keeping a balance between sharing useful and topical health and wellbeing information, local community related items, product and service promotions and competitions?
- Are your posts linking to your website where a customer can learn more about products, services and health info and maybe even purchase?
Step Four: Other Social Media Sites
What other social media platforms does your pharmacy have a presence on? Instagram? Twitter? Pinterest?
Open those and check the last time they were updated, confirm the images and contact details are present and correct, and review how many followers you have and how much they are paying attention to what you have to say.
If you’re going to be putting some effort into maintaining these platforms, they need to be serving your business. It’s not necessary to be active on each platform but you do want to point your customers to where you are putting the effort in.
Step Five: Reviews
It’s crucial pay attention to what people are saying about you online. Facebook is a common place people will voice their satisfaction and concerns, but other sites such as Yellow and Google My Business will also house reviews. Google conveniently summarises reviews across sites and surfaces them up to you on your Google My Business listing so it’s easy to see this information.
- What is being said online about your pharmacy and the service you provide?
- Have you responded to any recent reviews and questions?
- Is there an opportunity to add glowing reviews to your website or Facebook page?
The process of reviewing how your pharmacy is presented online can seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Use this opportunity simply to note the areas for improvement and don’t try to fix it all in one go.