The success of your practice depends on keeping a steady flow of new patients coming through your door. With so many ways to market your practice today, how do you know that you’re doing the most important things to grow your patient base? With over 80% of Americans starting their search for new physicians and treatment information online, the key to driving practice growth is maximizing your digital presence, especially in a local market.
What marketing tactics must you nail to ensure a dominant online presence and consistent patient acquisition strategy? Let’s find out.
Build a Strong Foundation With a Well-Designed and Optimized Medical Website
First impressions matter. Good web design is key to making the first impression count. In fact, 94% of users’ first impressions of healthcare websites were design-related. Design can have a tremendous effect on how a potential patient perceives your practice and it can set their expectations. If your website looks like it’s stuck in the 2000s, patients may think your practice is too.
Delivering a consistent user experience, simplifying your navigation, and ensuring that page speed and mobile optimization are on point will attract and engage patients.
Create Google My Business Listings for the Practice, Each Physician and Each Location
Google My Business (GMB) listings populate Google Maps. When a patient performs a local search on Google, the top three results that are returned are map results. This is commonly referred to as the “Map Pack” and is a covenanted spot on mobile devices as these listings are at the top of an organic (non-paid) search result. A verified and optimized GMB listing places your practice’s information in front of potential patients who are searching near them.
If you create multiple listings – one for each physician and office location, then there are multiple opportunities for your information to get in front of new patients who are searching online. In fact, Practis’s research has found that individual provider GMB listings actually convert users to a physician’s profile page on the practice website.
Perform Ongoing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Content Marketing
You know what they say – slow and steady wins the race. That holds true for SEO and content marketing. Investing in a long-term SEO and content marketing strategy is critical to getting and staying found by patients who are seeking care online.
Ranking at the top of page one and staying there requires ongoing work. Doing your research to identify search trends, evaluating competitors, and website and page performance provides you with valuable insight about what needs to be done. Optimizing your site’s page speed, streamlining site structure, optimizing meta descriptions, and creating unique and authoritative content keeps your site relevant and compliant. Remember your competition is most likely doing this too. It’s important not to take your foot off the gas.
Manage and Grow Your Online Reviews
In the past, a practice’s or physician’s reputation was based primarily on word-of-mouth recommendations from referring physicians, friends and family. Today many practices realize that their online reviews are also key to promoting their practice. In fact, online reputation could be the thing that distinguishes one practice from another, especially when they are very similar. Medical practices now not only need to monitor what is being said about them online but actively collect and respond to reviews.
Keep in mind that reviews management isn’t always about drowning out the bad things that are said. It can also serve to promote and amplify all the good things that are said. This can bring attention to your practice and the quality care you provide. Finally, the more reviews you have on Google and the higher your average score is, the better your Google My Business listings perform in the Map Pack.
Establish Instant Visibility with a Google PPC or Social Ad Campaign
SEO and content marketing take time to generate results. Rather than waiting, you can opt to target certain key searches to display your ad and see results immediately. Pay-per-click ads, or PPC, promote you or your practice services high on the search engine result pages (SERPs). On mobile devices, these ads show before Google My Business listings. With PPC ads, you pay when someone clicks your ad.
Developing solid keyword, user persona and location strategies, optimized ad copy and extensions, as well as an effective PPC landing page, can ensure that your money is not wasted and your results are real.
Build Brand Affinity with a Solid Social Media Presence
With almost 2 billion users, Facebook is an excellent marketing medium. Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram are great channels for building brand affinity and connecting with patients.
Showcasing patient stories, answering questions with quick FAQ videos, featuring before and after photos, and adding infographics for easy-to-understand patient education materials should be part of your social media marketing strategy. Don’t forget employees. Encourage your employees to like and share your page’s posts. Employee-generated content helps to drive engagement and authority.
Ready to take your digital marketing to the next level?
Contact the healthcare digital marketing experts at Practis today!