When competition is heavy, a medical practice needs all of the web traffic that it can get. You’ve got a staff to pay and expenses to cover — your office needs to remain as busy as possible every day. More people than ever search for local businesses such as doctors’ offices online, so online medical digital marketing is the ideal way to keep new patients flowing in at the most reasonable price possible. With a little creativity, you can find a virtually endless array of ways to market your medical practice online. These are a few of our favorite best practices for medical digital marketing.
- Social Media
Becoming active on social media is an excellent way to market your medical practice to your existing patients. Use your practice’s Facebook and Twitter feeds to tell patients about new services you’re offering, remind them that it’s time to come in for their flu shots and share advice about how to live in a healthier way. If your followers find your posts useful, they’ll share your content with their friends. Keeping your practice at the top of existing patients’ minds is also an excellent way to keep your office busy when you aren’t getting a lot of new patients.
- Community Outreach
Sponsoring a community event such as a jog for heart health is a great way to get the word out about your medical practice and increase awareness of common health issues. When you sponsor a community event, contact all of your local newspapers. You can also submit a press release online. The event should produce plenty of new inbound links to your website. Over time, the links can increase your website’s search engine rankings.
- Business Directories
Does your medical practice appear high on Google’s results pages for local keywords? If it doesn’t, you may need more pages online that mention your address and reinforce the relevance of your practice for local searches. The best way to increase your number of local citations is by claiming your practice’s profiles on local business directories and ensuring that each profile correctly displays your office’s name, address, and phone number. The accuracy of the business listings on Yelp and Google are of particular importance.
- Website Content
Website content is one of the most powerful marketing tools that your medical practice has. Every time you publish an article on your website, you create the chance that your website will appear among Google’s search results for that article’s target keyword. If you fill your website with genuinely useful information, it’s inevitable that your traffic will increase — and every website visitor gives your practice a chance to potentially earn a new patient. If you aren’t sure what to write about, you can start by describing some of the services that your medical practice offers. Explain the benefits of the services that you provide, and describe what your patients can expect when they come in to have those services performed.
- Search Engine Advertising
In spite of your best efforts to create compelling content that website visitors love, your medical practice can’t possibly rank first on Google for all of its target keyword phrases. Advertising can help to make up any shortfalls in your search engine optimization efforts and ensure that your website has a chance to appear in the featured areas — for a price — on the results pages for your most important keywords. Although Google is the most popular search engine, Bing and Yahoo also have keyword-based advertising features. With search engine advertising, you pay only when people click your advertisements — so search engine advertising can be a very affordable way to attract new patients to your medical practice.
Some of the people who visit your medical practice’s website won’t call for appointments immediately. Some may only be looking for general information. Others are still considering their options and aren’t ready to commit to a doctor yet. If people are interested enough in your practice to visit your website, though, they may ultimately become patients with a little coaxing on your part. Retargeting is an advertising system that follows people on the web after they’ve visited your website. After a person visits your website and leaves, he’ll see advertisements for your medical practice when he visits other websites on the same retargeting network. Some of the most popular retargeting networks are AdRoll, Chango and Perfect Audience.
- Guest Blogging
Are you having trouble coming up with new blog topics for your own website? Try writing for someone else’s website instead. Health websites, newspapers and other publishers love to accept guest posts from doctors. A doctor’s words are always authoritative, and content from a doctor enhances the publisher’s reputation. The fact that you’re a doctor can also help you get your content published on websites that might not accept guest content from ordinary writers. When you write guest content, pitch it to high-value websites with large audiences. Don’t forget to ask for a link to your website in exchange for providing free content. If the publisher has a large audience, your content will likely generate plenty of clicks. A high-quality link to your website can also improve your search engine rankings over time.
- Live Events
Hosting a live event can be a great way to increase website traffic and generate interest in your practice. If your practice already has a Facebook page, using Facebook as your streaming platform is an easy way to allow people to attend your event. You can also use Facebook’s advertising features to let people know that you have an event coming up. If you’re not on Facebook — or don’t want to use it to stream your event — you can also use YouTube as your streaming platform. You can hold an event in which you discuss how to live with — or avoid — a chronic medical condition. You could hold a discussion about how to avoid the flu during flu season. You could even hold a joint event with other local doctors in which you discuss current medical issues of importance.
- Answer Questions Online
People go online every day to ask medical questions on websites such as Quora, LinkedIn and Yahoo Answers. Most of the answers that they receive aren’t authoritative. As a doctor, you have an opportunity to join question-and-answer websites and provide authoritative answers that help people. You can also link to your website when providing answers on question-and-answer websites. Although the links that you gain from your answers won’t do much to improve your website’s search engine rank, they will generate a constant trickle of clicks from people who read your answers and want to learn more about your practice. If you answer questions online regularly, the traffic that you gain from your answers can eventually become significant.
- Video Marketing
Google gives special priority to YouTube on search results pages. People love videos because videos provide fast access to information — and YouTube provides advertising revenue for Google, so Google loves YouTube. Take advantage of YouTube’s popularity by uploading informational videos. You don’t need a large budget to create videos; your smartphone likely has a camera that’s good enough. Consider purchasing a microphone, though, for improved audio clarity. If you aren’t sure what your videos should be about, look at your blog posts for inspiration. You can also summarize the content that you’ve posted on question-and-answer websites. Your videos will increase awareness of your medical practice and generate traffic for your website. Video marketing can also help you rank on Google for highly competitive keywords.
- Email Marketing
If you have a database containing your patients’ email addresses, you have a valuable resource that you can utilize to turn casual website visitors into new patients and keep your existing patients coming back – the SPC, or Social Patient Center. If you’ve never experimented with email marketing before, it’s easy to get started by training yourself and your staff on our software and utilizing our client support portal to send in your monthly specials. If you are an existing Crystal Clear client and have not yet submitted your patient database to us, reach out to us to do so we can get started! To market successfully by email, you’ll want to add forms to your website inviting visitors to join your mailing list. Your existing patients won’t want to see the same content as people who aren’t patients yet, though, so you’ll need to segment your mailing list for the best possible results. The SPC makes it easy for you to segment your list and send different content to different groups of people.
Get Help With Your Medical Digital Marketing Now
As the leading provider of medical digital marketing and website development services for the medical community, we are happy at Crystal Clear Digital Marketing to empower you with information that you can use to increase your website’s traffic and generate new business. Effective online marketing can easily consume all of the time that you have available, though — and more. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, contact us now for help with your online marketing efforts.