Choosing a new doctor isn’t an easy decision. Advice from friends and family members can help, but many people looking for doctors will conduct some of their research online even if they’ve received advice from others.
When a potential new patient searches online for a doctor, how many times do you think that your name will come up? Research suggests that a company needs to touch a potential client as many as eight times before that person will become a legitimate sales lead. If a potential new patient spends some time searching for a doctor, visits many websites and only sees your name once, it’s unlikely that he or she will even remember you.
So, how does marketing for doctors work in the modern era? We’re going to provide some pointers that can help you do a much better job of getting your name out. If you feel overwhelmed, contact us now. Crystal Clear Digital Marketing is a comprehensive digital solutions company that works only with members of the medical community. We understand the unique challenges of marketing for doctors, and we know what it takes to ensure that your name is the first one that people see when they search for local doctors online.
Content Marketing for Doctors
By far, creating website content is the most effective method of marketing for doctors. Every time you publish a new article or blog post, you give Google hundreds of new words to index — and you can only appear on the results page for a search if words related to that search appear somewhere on your website. Google’s ranking algorithms are unpredictable, and some articles will generate more search engine traffic than others. If you publish new content regularly, though, it is absolutely certain that your website’s traffic will increase.
Publishing informational content on a website to increase awareness of a business and attract new customers is called content marketing. Investing in website content almost always brings excellent long-term returns — that’s why nearly every business website has a blog section.
For a content marketing campaign to generate traffic for your practice’s website, you need to publish articles answering the questions that people ask when they search online. If you aren’t sure where to begin, try writing articles that answer some of the common questions your patients ask. Article titles such as these might generate good results for a medical practice’s website:
- Do I Need to Get a Flu Shot Every Year?
- What Can I Do to Avoid Heart Disease?
- Does Family History Affect My Chance of Developing Cancer?
- How Do I Know if a Cut Requires Stitches?
At the bottom of each article, insert a note inviting the reader to call your office for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Email Marketing for Doctors
Posting informational content is a great way to attract website visitors who might one day become your patients. Some visitors may not call your office right away, though. A person searching for information about stitches, for example, might not have a severe cut. After reading your article, that person might decide that he or she doesn’t require medical treatment that day. Nearly everyone visits a doctor eventually, but a person who visits your website reads an informational article and leaves may not remember your name when he or she requires medical treatment in the future. Email marketing can help you solve that problem.
To get started with email marketing, send us your monthly specials and patient database so our team can help you create email marketing that reflects your brand and message and reaches your past, current, and future patients in ways you couldn’t achieve before.
Getting email addresses from your patient base is easy. During the intake process, ask your new patients for their email addresses. Even if you do not discount your services, sending periodic emails to your patients to tell them about new services you’re offering or encourage them to come in for yearly checkups. Email marketing can greatly increase the average revenue that you earn per patient. If you increase your average revenue per patient, you can spend more acquiring new patients — which will make your paid advertising campaigns even more effective.
Search Engine Marketing for Doctors
Publishing great content can help your practice’s website rank well on Google for many different keywords — and search traffic is the best kind of web traffic because it’s free. The problem with free traffic, though, is that all of your competitors want it as well. As long as the Internet exists in its current form, you’ll spend much of your online marketing time jockeying with your competitors for search engine rankings. One search engine algorithm change will boost your practice’s rank and send plenty of new patients your way. The next algorithm change could wipe out all of that free traffic, though — so you can’t depend exclusively on free traffic to keep your practice afloat.
Google earns most of its money by giving businesses the opportunity to advertise on search results pages. To advertise on Google, you’ll first select the search keywords for which you would like your advertisement to appear. Next, you’ll enter a bid for each keyword. The bid is the amount you’ll pay if someone clicks your advertisement. The bid amount also determines in part how often your advertisement will appear if other businesses are bidding on the same keyword. If a keyword has competition, Google will tell you how much you’ll need to pay to outbid your competitors.
When you advertise on Google, you may find that some of your competitors’ bids are startlingly high. That’s because a new patient often brings great value to a doctor’s office. How much is your average patient worth? You can get an idea by dividing all of the money your practice has ever earned by the total number of patients you have served. You’ll profit overall if you spend less than that amount to acquire a new patient.
Social Media Marketing for Doctors
Like search engines, social media websites can provide your practice with both free and paid traffic. In our years of marketing for doctors, we’ve found that social media services are some of the most valuable sources of paid traffic because social networks know their users extremely well. Social networks know their users’ ages, genders, educational backgrounds, and income levels. Social networks even know the products and companies that their users like. From looking at your patient records, you can identify the characteristics of the patients that usually bring the most revenue to your practice. On social media, you can pay for advertisements that target only those people.
Social media is also a great way to market to people who are already your patients. By including links to your social media profiles on your website and asking patients who visit your office to follow you on social media, you’ll quickly build up a base of followers. Once you have a follower base, you can use social media as a means of marketing to those patients for free. During the slow months of summer, you can remind your patients on social media to come in for routine checkups. During winter, you can tell your patients that it’s time for them to get their flu shots. Posting on social media takes just minutes, and if your follower base is large enough, doing so will almost always earn revenue for your practice.
Business Directory Marketing for Doctors
Do you ever skip Google entirely when looking for a local business, going instead to a business directory such as Yelp? If your medical practice isn’t active on Yelp and other business directories, you’re missing out on an important potential source of new patients. Try searching Yelp now for medical practices in your city. Where does your office rank? That’s right — even if you’ve never used Yelp before, your office most likely has a Yelp profile already. If patients have reviewed your practice, your average review score is a factor that helps to determine your office’s ranking.
Open the Yelp pages for some of the doctors’ offices that appeared on the list of search results. You’ll likely see a mix of claimed and unclaimed pages. When a business claims its Yelp profile, it can add information such as a text description, a website link and pictures. A completed Yelp profile functions almost like a miniature version of a business’s official website. The same is true of your office’s pages on other business directories. Take the time to claim and complete your practice’s pages on as many business directories as possible. A claimed profile tells a business directory user that you are serious about your practice’s online image. It also invites the user to visit your website and learn more.
Contact Crystal Clear Digital Marketing today to learn more and get started with marketing for doctors in the 21st century!