Increasing patient numbers for any medical practice through healthcare marketing requires a strong online presence. SEO is just the beginning. A comprehensive search engine marketing (SEM) program is increasingly important in a highly productive patient acquisition strategy.
Potential patients are searching for healthcare providers like you in diverse ways. Practices that are successful at acquiring large numbers of new patients to fuel their growth understand the value of using a cohesive digital marketing plan that includes a combination of SEO and SEM.
Websites for Doctors – The Role They Play in Patient Acquisition
Your website is the face of your practice to new patients searching for a new healthcare provider. Your website should show a high level of professionalism, patient care, and compassion while being informative. However, the best website in the entire field of medicine will do you very little good if no one can find it.
Here's an example of our work Physical Medicine of Oklahoma This site is aesthetically pleasing and has over 1300 first page rankings on Google alone. What would it do for your practice if your website was found on Google nearly any way a potential patient could search for a practice like yours?
Search engine optimization, when performed correctly and judiciously will have your website found high in the organic rankings when someone searches for the services that you provide. There are more ways for someone to search for a Dr. in your specialty than you may be able to imagine. So, a good healthcare marketing agency will have your website found for many terms and phrases. It’s not unusual for a well optimized website to appear on page one of the major search engines for several hundred relevant terms.
Some of the relevant aspects of SEO for doctors include:
- Proper technical structure of the website
- Content that has been written to provide excellent value to the site visitor as well as for Google
- Honest, ethical, earned backlinks (never purchased)
- Optimized load speed
- Schema mark ups
Content Marketing as an Integral Part of Healthcare Marketing
Potential patients search the Internet for all manner of information regarding their healthcare concerns. This is no longer limited to Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Facebook and other social media platforms now receive a tremendous number of searches daily that are related to healthcare.
Content marketing is an extremely effective way of reaching these people, providing legitimate value to the potential new patient while positioning yourself as the expert provider that is worthy of earning the right to provide the healthcare the patient needs or wants.
- Creating a “magnet” to compel potential patients to reach to you
- Utilizing Facebook ads that deliver traffic to a well written blog post that addresses their exact concern then introducing them to your “magnet”
- Before and after pictures on Facebook and potentially other Social Media platforms like Pinterest and onto the “magnet”
- Social media posts regarding relevant healthcare information
- Retargeting of those that express interest in services like yours
- Establishing “look-alike” marketing lists that enable you to market to a larger interested audience
Here’s an example of using a magnet to attract new patients. Let’s assume that you are practicing regenerative medicine. A potential patient searches for lower back pain treatments and finds your website. He or she visits the site but does not reach out to your practice to set an appointment.
Later, as the potential patient uses Facebook, he or she sees an ad about a report on the 3 alternatives to spinal surgery for those experiencing lower back pain. There’s a good chance this person will click on this ad. When the ad is clicked, the interested person lands on a page that offers a report on the 3 alternatives as a download. Once they download the report they have taken advantage of your magnet. The report that is downloaded subtly nudges the potential patient towards an appointment with you.
The next step may be to redirect them to a well written page about regenerative medicine and why it may be a viable alternative to surgery. We can also now email market to this potential patient as well as offer more information to them on Facebook and Google. Statistically, it takes up to 9 “touches” to get a person to become a new patient. Your healthcare marketing program should touch potential new patients for you while you treat current patients.
Social Media Assists in Healthcare Marketing Too
Social Media isn’t just for teenagers anymore. Did you know that you can target subtle advertising to people that have searched for things related to your area of practice? This is especially helpful for regenerative medicine, cosmetic surgeons, oncologists, cosmetic dentist’s, pediatricians and others. Think about it for a second; if someone is considering a stem cell procedure; wouldn’t you like to position an ad exactly where they are looking daily. If you are a pediatrician, new parents or parents to be might be a wonderful group to target on Facebook. If you are an oncologist, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to offer some valuable and very helpful information to someone confronted with their worst nightmare? There are many more uses of Social Media – call us and we can share them with you.
Do paid ads online work for Physicians?
They can work wonderfully well or they can flop very badly depending on how your campaign was designed and how the follow up is managed. If you set up a paid ad campaign to bring people to your home page and then simply hope for a response the campaign will fail. Did you know that only 2% of site visitors take action on their first visit?
The key to paid ads is to have the visitor land on the perfect page and then to retarget them with relevant and valuable content – if they didn’t take action on the initial visit. This helps move them through your marketing funnel from a cold acquaintance to a warm potential patient then on to a patient and ultimately bring them back to you for ongoing services.
When a Doctor, office manager or marketing manager at a medical practice asks us if we perform SEO for Doctors we say yes…but there is so much more that can help scale your practice. If you would like to discuss any of the numerous areas of digital marketing for your practice set up a consultation with one of our healthcare marketing specialists.