Attracting patients online, especially in a competitive market, can be tough. Online research includes both search engines and social media, as long as the information they’re finding is trustworthy and answering their questions.
Below, I am going to provide 6 top-level tips on marketing your healthcare practice to get your practice showing up everywhere potential patients are searching.
1. Your website is your practice window
If you don’t currently have a website for your practice, or it’s so outdated it doesn’t work, you’re going to want to begin developing a new and strategic website.
A strategic website should act as your practice window. It needs to work to achieve your marketing goals and objectives. When developed correctly, a strategic website can be the highest performing marketing initiative you have.
Here are some must-haves for a strategic website:
Appealing design and easy-to-navigate pages
For many users, it will be the first thing they stumble upon, so you’re going to want to make a good impression with a welcoming design. Typically, when prospective patients turn towards search engines, they’re searching for something or someone specific, and they’re looking to get information as quickly as possible.
Make sure your website is structured in a way that users can easily and quickly discover the information they’re searching for. It is also very important that your website design is optimised for mobile and tablet users.
Give users information on your practice
This may seem like obvious advice, but your website must contain the location(s) of your practice, phone number, and map/directions. Users will be searching for practices that are closest to their location (whether it is their home or their place of work). This can easily be remedied by providing all the information on your website, upfront. This way, you’re only bringing in leads who are relevant to your market.
When a prospective patient is on your website, it’s important to think about the action that you would like for them to take. Do you want them to book an appointment? Fill out a contact form? Call your phone number? etc. Your CTA can vary throughout your site depending on the context of the page. Also, make sure what you’re asking of them is relevant to the information you’re providing on the page. This will help maximize conversions.
Content is key!
Developing content may be one of the hardest parts of configuring a strategic website, but it’s one of the most important. Users want trustworthy and educational content. Users will want to learn more about what to expect, the typical length of the procedure, and of course pricing. Content should be focused on answering questions.
When content is developed around this strategy, readers gain a sense of reassurance and associate your practice as a credible expert. One thing to note, you should consistently publish and revise content.
It’s a continuous task to ensure that your website is providing up-to-date information for prospective patients. Have a new tool you’re using for procedures? Make sure your website is up to date with that information.
2. Search engine optimisation (SEO)
Once you have a website set up, ensuring it’s search engine friendly is vital. You will want to think through both on-page and off-page SEO contributors as well.
Here are some best-practices for on-page SEO:
Content relevance and keywords
In conjunction with your content strategy, your content should rank for materials relevant to your industry, topics, and competitors. You should also formulate a keyword strategy to guide you through content building.
On every page of your site, you have page title tags, meta description tags, header tags (H1, H2’s) and more. Best practice is to optimise those tags to be as relevant as possible. These tags tell Google what your page is all about.
URL Structure and page speed
During the development process of your site, make sure you’re building out optimised URLs relevant to the page it’s directing to, and ideally, include one to two keywords. Though having an optimally-built and appropriately tagged website is a great start to stand out from your online competition, make sure you don’t overlook your website’s loading speed. When consumers are searching for information, they want information quickly. If your page takes too long to load, the user will leave and find another page that loads quicker.
Here are some best-practices for off-page SEO:
The more content you have, ranking with high-quality keywords and relevant tags, the more authority your page will have and the higher it will rank organically (non-paid). The higher it ranks, the more traffic you’ll receive, but you’ll also potentially beat out your competitors’ organic ranking. Your goal is to be anywhere on page 1 of organic search results since the majority of online users don’t click on to page 2. The first organic search result is ideal, or at least in the top three.
I’ll touch more on how to be successful with social media marketing below, but social sharing and reputation play a strong factor in off-page SEO and authority building, so be sure you’re active on social media and adding sharing icons to your website’s pages.
3. Local listing
Having your practice listed on Google My Business is also important. Google My Business is great for establishing local traffic. Adding this listing will help potential patients find your practice and help you stand out from your competition.
4. Video marketing
To stand out from your competition, you should invest in video marketing. A great way to use video marketing is with customer testimonials. Clients like to see success stories and being able to see real-life stories builds trust and credibility.
You could create a testimonials page on your website where you display the video gallery. Another option is to create a YouTube channel for your practice. You could also offer educational content via videos in addition to success stories; explaining how a certain treatment is administered.
5. Social media
Social media provides another method of visibility and credibility to your practice. The goal of social media marketing should be to maintain contact with your followers and increase engagement. If you think social media isn’t important to stand out from your competitors, think again – 57% of patients choose their healthcare provider based on social media presence alone.
A great start to leveraging social media is to share the content you have already created for your websites, such as procedure expectations, success stories, or blogs. You can also look into seasonal posts, such as tips for withstanding flu season.
6. Reviews and Testimonials
The goal of healthcare marketing is to convince your consumers that they need the service you are providing. Testimonials and patient reviews are organic and beneficial additions to your marketing strategy. The influence of organic patient reviews can be the difference between a person choosing your practice over your competitor’s. Quality customer service equals quality reviews.
Video testimonials provide greater insight into your practice. Potential patients are more likely to visit your facility after watching a video and more likely to spend more time on your website with a video. Developing your reputation, increasing brand awareness, and trust can be directly influenced by unbiased testimonials and reviews.
Read more on: Why Online Reputation Management is Important
There is no “one strategy fits all” within the world of healthcare marketing. These marketing strategies work together as one well-oiled machine. Evolving with the times and consistently engaging with patients spill over into creating visibility and establishing trust.
Whenever possible, be present and extend the hand of helping a patient in need. The payoff is long worth the reward. All of these strategies work together with the main functioning purpose of helping other people and growing your business.
So there you have it! 6 top-level tips on marketing your healthcare practice and standing out online.