Do you primarily rely on word of mouth and advertisements in local media to bring new patients to your medical practice? If you do, It’s time to change with the times. More than ever, people use the Internet to find a local business of every type — including doctors’ offices. Your potential patients are reading reviews of your practice online. They’re visiting your website to learn more about the services that you offer. You need a digital marketing plan to get the word out about your practice and ensure that your name comes up when potential patients search online for your areas of expertise. You also need a marketing funnel to ensure that the people who find you online ultimately become new patients. This overview will help you get started.
The medical industry is extremely competitive. Each new patient is worth a great deal of money to your practice — but you have considerable expenses too. To keep your practice running smoothly, you need a steady supply of new patients. You can’t count on Google to send free traffic to your website consistently — you need to advertise to ensure that your website has a chance to receive traffic from people who search online for the services that your practice offers.
Some of the websites that sell advertising space to doctors include:
Most of the websites that sell advertising space sell it on a pay-per-click basis. The website will show your advertisement on search results pages — or on users’ social media feeds — based on the targeting parameters you select. You may also need to specify the search keywords that will trigger your advertisement.
Let’s suppose, for example, that you are a general practitioner in Toledo. These are some of the keywords that you might choose when advertising your practice online:
- doctor in Toledo
- clinic in Toledo
- family practitioner in Toledo
You should also advertise some of the specific services that your office provides. For example:
- Blood work in Toledo
- Medical checkup in Toledo
- Flu shots in Toledo
When you use a pay-per-click system to advertise your medical practice, you’ll pay a fee each time someone clicks your advertisement to view your website. The amount that you pay will depend on the conditions of the market in which you’re advertising. Pay-per-click advertising uses a bidding system in which advertisers compete against one another to have their advertisements shown. When you create your advertisements, the advertising network will show you how much you’ll need to bid to maximize exposure to your ads.
What’s the Key to Success?
Success in advertising your doctor’s office online depends on these factors:
- Knowing how much a new patient is worth
- Choosing keywords that allow you to spend less than you’ll earn
- Creating great landing pages that convince potential patients to schedule appointments right away
We’ll discuss landing pages in the next section. To bid effectively when advertising your practice, you need to know how much a new patient is worth. If you don’t have detailed data, you can estimate the average lifetime value of a patient by dividing the total amount of money that your practice has earned by the total number of patients that you have served. As long as you spend less than that acquiring a new patient, your advertising campaign should be profitable.
It’s important to remember, though, that not everyone who clicks your advertisement will ultimately become a new patient. Track the results of your advertising campaigns so you know exactly how much you’re spending to acquire each new patient.
When you advertise your medical practice online, you’ll need to provide a landing page URL. The landing page is the first page that people will see when they click your advertisement. Although you could use your website’s homepage as a landing page, it’s better to create a page specifically tailored to the advertisement. If you’re advertising blood work in Toledo, for example, you’re far likely to maintain a visitor’s interest if the first page that he sees is a page about blood work. What conditions can you detect with a blood test? How much do blood tests typically cost? If you create a page that directly addresses the visitor’s needs, you’ll maintain that person’s interest and increase the likelihood of earning a new patient.
The text on your landing pages is important for maintaining the interest of your visitors and reassuring them that you are a skilled and trustworthy doctor. When someone clicks one of your advertisements, though, you’ve paid to receive that traffic. Your primary goal is to convince that person to schedule an appointment and become a new patient immediately — so every landing page should have a strong call to action.
A call to action is a section of your landing page that tells a visitor what to do next. “Contact us now to schedule an appointment” is an example of a call to action. Every landing page should include your phone number and a form that visitors can submit to request a call from your office. Make your contact information as prominent on the page as possible, and use compelling language to tell visitors that they should take the next step without delay.
What’s the Key to Success?
Success in creating landing pages for a doctor’s office depends on these factors:
- Using catchy headlines that grab visitors’ attention immediately
- Writing compelling content that informs visitors and provides reassurance that you are the perfect doctor for them
- Providing a way for interested visitors to schedule appointments immediately
How much traffic does your practice receive from Google’s search results pages? If your website doesn’t receive as much traffic as you’d like, it’s probably because your website doesn’t have enough compelling content. If you write more text for Google to index, you can turn your own website into an effective marketing vehicle. You simply need to write useful content and optimize it for keyword phrases related to your medical practice. All of the keyword suggestions above would make great article titles for a doctor’s website. In an article about flu shots in Toledo, for example, these are a few of the subtopics that you could cover:
- How much do flu shots cost?
- Why are flu shots particularly important for people in Toledo?
- When is the best time to get a flu shot?
- Does a patient need to receive a flu shot each year?
- What strains of flu does the flu shot guard against?
- Can a person get the flu even if he has received a flu shot?
- How long does an appointment for a flu shot typically last?
- Does receiving a flu shot have any potential negative side effects?
- Are there any people who shouldn’t receive flu shots?
By choosing a main topic and answering all of the most common questions that your patients ask about it, you can easily create a detailed and lengthy article capable of serving as a definitive guide to that topic. Google’s algorithm is designed to identify high-quality content and rank it accordingly. If you establish a trend of publishing great articles on a regular basis, your website’s traffic will increase.
What’s the Key to Success?
Success in creating website content to increase your medical website’s organic traffic depends on these factors:
- Great content
- Strong keyword focus
- Calls to action
- Inbound links
Great content: If you want your articles to generate traffic, they need to be better than the articles you’re trying to outrank.
Strong keyword focus: You should consider your word choices carefully as you write. If you’re targeting the keyword phrase “flu shots in Toledo,” you should use that keyword phrase naturally within the content. You should also use a variety of words and phrases closely related to that phrase.
Calls to action: You’d like your readers to become patients, so insert calls to action telling them what to do next.
Inbound links: Links from other websites can increase the search engine ranking of your content. When you write a great article, tell news websites and medical bloggers about it.
Doctors: Take Your Digital Marketing to the Next Level
At Crystal Clear Digital Marketing, we are committed to helping doctors around the world learn how to market their practices online more effectively. An approach to digital marketing that involves creating compelling website content and selectively paying an advertising agency for website traffic will create two reliable streams of website traffic that provide your practice with a constant supply of new patients. You’re a busy doctor, though. If you spend most of your time with your patients, you may find it difficult to execute an effective digital marketing strategy on your own. We’re here to help. Contact us now for digital marketing services specifically tailored to the needs of the medical industry.