As an independent medical practitioner, you’re always looking for cost-effective ways to register new patients in your office. There are a number of sustainable, and long-term growth marketing strategies suitable for healthcare that you must consider. These will give you a platform to display your practice, expose you to a wider audience and ultimately bring new patients to your office.
A successful marketing strategy rewards you with an increase in patient connections and engagement which can be nurtured into long-term relationships to boost your practice. To make these marketing strategies work for you, a time commitment and engagement into the new-age of digital marketing is needed starting with the creation of your own custom healthcare website.
Read on to learn more about four digital marketing strategies that work best for doctors. These are easy to practice and have available online tons of practical resources to learn from.
STRATEGY ONE: Creating your Custom Website.
It is not uncommon for healthcare practitioners to feel as though a website is not pertinent to their business. However, having a website for your practice can be influential in a number of ways especially including the fact it is always important to keep an online presence to be able to reach today’s patients.
89 percent of consumers today highly depend on the internet to make informed decisions on brands which influences their purchase of goods and services offered. If you are looking to be part of a patients’ decision-making process, you need to be where they are – On the internet!
Creating a website helps patients find you even if they have never heard of your practice and also helps them learn about your reputation before making a decision about your service. It basically puts your practice right in front of consumers who are searching for it.
STRATEGY TWO: Making your Website Mobile-Friendly
Nearly 60 percent of all online searches are now carried out on a mobile device, as more and more consumers are using their smartphones to do research, look up businesses, and read reviews. Transitioning your website to a mobile-friendly format can additionally affect the bottom-line of your medical practice. It is vital that your website content is designed to display properly for all visitors including those visiting from smaller screens such as phones and small tablets to avoid driving potential patients away.
Standard desktop websites do not display well on these devices, whereas a mobile-optimized site adjusts to the smaller screen size and formats the content and interface in a mobile-friendly manner.
To give mobile visitors a positive experience, your website needs to be optimized to have a faster download speed, it needs to have mobile-friendly navigation with larger easier to read text; touch-friendly buttons, and page elements.
If your website can’t offer the same kind of experience for mobile visitors as it will for any other device, your frustrated website visitors are more likely to leave for another practice’s website than they are to look you up on their desktop computer.
Since April 21, 2015, Google’s mobile ranking factors will not only label your site as mobile-friendly but will also use that to determine if your site should rank higher in the search results.
Your website is mobile-friendly if it scales to display content and navigation in a way that is optimized to be user-friendly on smaller screens. If you’re not sure, Google offers a Mobile-Friendly Test that makes it easy to cross-check. You simply need to enter your website URL and Google will let you know whether or not your website passes the test.
If your website fails the test, the immediate best approach will be to use one of two methods to optimize it to a user-friendly site. These two methods to rely on are:
- Designing a separate mobile site optimized for handheld devices or
- Relying on a responsive design that scales to any screen size.
Converting to a responsive website design requires some up-front cost, but the return on investment is enormous. A better design can prevent you from losing potential patients to your competitors, which is reason enough to make the investment!
Strategy THREE: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
With your website running, the next strategy is customizing it to be found by search engines. As already mentioned, a big part of online marketing for medical doctors involves being where your potential patients are. Now that more and more consumers are turning to search engines to look up offices, read reviews, and make decisions about their health, you need to have a solid search engine presence to get in front of them at the right time.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results. In simple terms, SEO involves a handful of practices and methods that are used to make your website more likely to show up in a search for a relevant topic, question, or keyword that is relevant to your office. For instance, if you want to rank high for a phrase relevant to your practice such as “dermatologist in Hamburg”, then SEO will involve incorporating this exact phrase or others like it on your website like your “homepage”, or “about page”. It is impossible for search engines to rank you as a dermatologist in Hamburg if this is not included on your website.
Although SEO can be very complicated and multi-faceted, there are number of SEO tutorials for beginners to get an in-depth set of lessons on how to optimize your website for the words and phrases your potential patients are most likely to be searching for.
Strategy FOUR: SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Social media allows you to be able to connect with medical peers around the world and share opinions on medical developments, healthcare policy, and even personal causes. You can be a true influencer in the course of exchanging meaningful and valuable information on social media platforms. This also keeps you in touch with your patients and ensures they keep coming back to your office.
Mainstream social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are best for private practitioners looking to market their practice. You can set-up a Facebook page at no cost and customize it with relevant information matching your practice, like your contact information, working hours, and logo if one exists. Same for Twitter. You can create a free account for your office and customize it with a logo and header image. Make sure to link your social media accounts to your website.
To keep visiting patients’ interests on your social media platforms, you need to focus on creating relevant content!
Content is Key
The content you create communicates your message, educates your readers, and persuades them to choose your practice and services over your competition. In fact, providing high-quality content is one of the most important things you can do to attract patients and create interest in your office.
It is however important to note that, users don’t visit these social media platforms to see sales pitches so you need to consider this when creating posts for your accounts. Your online content should be rather relevant to the users you are interested in following your social media accounts.
For example, if you are a pediatrician, share content like ‘must-haves, when traveling with children under 5’.
Now with the world facing Covid 19, engage your audience with general health tips by creating yourself or sharing useful links to articles about Covid 19 to help keep them safe.
You can also make it a habit to share seasonal useful information. For example during summer when most people go camping, write articles on how to deal with insect bites. In ‘flu season’, send out general health tips and invite them to visit your office for a flu shot.
Keep in mind that providing high-quality content is not only essential for your social media accounts but also for your website. Medical marketing for doctors relies on a solid content marketing strategy. Content marketing increases your overall website traffic, grows organic search, improves brand awareness, and positions you as a thought leader in your specialty. Ranking 1st, 2nd, or 3rd space in search engines for a competitive phrase like “doctors in Hamburg” or “Hamburg dermatologists” requires you to write long, helpful content on your website. Long-form content gets higher rankings. The average content length for a web page that ranks in the top ten results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words. The higher up you go on the search listings page, the more content each web page has.
Simply put, the longer and more helpful your content is, the better chance you have at ranking highly. There remains a strong correlation between ranking search results and a long content length. Creating very useful and detailed content is therefore beneficial for you if you want to rank in the top position on Google search for instance for a top phrase like “flu shots in Hamburg”.
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