Yes, we know there’s still a few weeks left of 2020, and with what a year this has been, you’re probably just hoping to make it through with ease. Even if that’s the case, it’s important to make sure you’re thinking about your 2021 marketing goals so you don’t fall too far behind. Online marketing will continue to be a huge part of the patient acquisition puzzle, so here’s a quick checklist for you to get started!
Focus on Your Website and Content
It may seem like we say this a lot, but that’s just because we absolutely do, and we mean every bit of it.
As with any year, content will continue to be a driving force for your website and will allow you to rank and convert searchers into patients. One key term that you should really take into consideration in 2021 is intent. It’s crucial that your website and your content match your patients’ intent as far as how they are searching for and using your website. For example, if a patient is looking for a specific answer about how to help ease the pain of sinus headaches, you’re going to want to make sure your site and content match that intent. Think about:
- Does your content answer the question they’re asking?
- Does your content read scholarly and as if it were written by a human (no keyword stuffing, rogue links, etc.)?
- Does your website quickly and easily have the answer to that question available?
- Is that specific page with the answer ranking? If not, have you optimized it properly?
- Can the user take a next step after answering the question?
Of course, one of your ultimate goals here is to gain a featured snippet (the answer that is highlighted in Google), which is the no-click search that people want at this time. However, if you’re not focusing on your site and content, it’s doubtful you’ll make it that far.
Don’t forget, Google is coming out with new page experience signals that will impact your rankings as well, so there’s a bit more to focus on outside of simple content. If the word of the year is intent, are you aware of what Google’s intent may be? If not, here’s your chance to learn!
Take a Look at PPC Opportunities
PPC is sometimes an expensive move, and can often be the first thing that people cut from their marketing budget if they have to reassess. This year is a perfect example as to why that shouldn’t always be the case.
Even though COVID caused certain healthcare groups to shut down or cut back on hours, people were still searching for information. As practices started to adopt certain online resources like telehealth, patients went back to scheduling appointments as normal as possible. During that period in between the chaos and the return to normalcy, those that still maintained their PPC campaigns and ran them normally saw that their results stayed in tact. In fact, many saw an increase in relevancy from Google and found themselves getting new patients looking for treatment as things reopened, simply because their ads were maintained and their websites were perhaps mentioning their COVID protocols.
As you go into 2021, take a look at potential areas in which you could benefit from having a PPC campaign running. You can make these as specific as you would like in most cases, and they can be altered based on budget in the case that you need to pull back on any sort of funding. However, at the end of the day you’ll have an efficient process for marketing new procedures or services to potential new patients almost instantly!
Promote Your Online Health Resources
As mentioned above, the search for online health resources like telehealth was a huge part of the intent of a website user in 2020. We anticipate that this will continue into 2021, so it’s important that you stay organized.
Your website is a key area on which patients will look for information about your COVID procedures at the office, how you are accommodating certain patients, and how you are making it easier for patients to get assistance. Your goal in 2021 should be to proactively promote all of this information in as many ways as you possibly can. Of course, PPC is a great way to push certain things, and your website should be top of mind when developing that funnel for your patients, but where else can you promote?
Look to Google My Business (remember the no-click search!), social media, and email communication to your patients as a few different avenues. In your messaging, make sure to include that you created this for the sake of making it easier for your patients to receive the care they need, and that you’ll continue to make adjustments as the year progresses. Patients (and potential patients) will love the personalized approach and will be even happier to see that your practice is being proactive and technologically sound!
Answer Your Patients’ Questions
Remember our blog on whether questions or statements are better for SEO? Well, here’s an example of when answering questions is going to be of huge benefit to your practice.
Things shifted in 2020 to become much more digital. We saw the adoption of more telehealth, the use of online forms for patient intake rising, and the need for online chat increasing daily. At the end of the day, people wanted to avoid making contact with large groups as much as possible, and healthcare facilities wanted to keep their patients safe. This will continue in 2021, so it’s important that you’re answering your patients’ questions with ease and making sure the answers are right at their fingertips–or their keyboard.
Use your content to answer things for your patients on your website, social media, and beyond, but take it one step further and listen. Remember, there is always an intent with your user, just as there is with a patient in your office. Find out what questions they have and then determine if more patients will have those questions. If they do, there’s another reason for you to be proactive and post answers on your site. FAQ pages are an easy way to accomplish this, and the added value of schema can lead to great featured snippets for your online presence!
Stay Secure on All Levels
In healthcare this is basically the first thing you should know and abide by at all times, but in 2020 some people didn’t. Here’s your shot to change that up in 2021.
First and foremost, make sure that your forms are secure and HIPAA compliant. If you’re operating on old online forms, or just no online forms at all, this is your time to change. Not only will it be more convenient for your patients, but it will also save some time for your office staff. Of course, the added peace of mind that those forms are fully secure (Practis Forms is a good solution!) will help you out too. Beyond that, make sure that your site is HTTPS, do not email patients with PHI, continue to keep internal security tight, and make sure you’re responding to reviews and media comments with HIPAA compliance in mind.
Does that sound like a lot? If so…
Invest in Some Help!
2021 is going to be a big year for healthcare and online marketing in general. Google will be updating algorithms, patients will be looking for new things, and healthcare providers and facilities will simply be looking for ways to accommodate it all. There’s an easy solution, though, and that’s to invest in some help! Contact Practis today to learn more about plans for 2021 and get your campaign started! Cheers to a new year and new patients!