Patients used to go to the nearest doctor's office for most of their medical needs. These days, patients have more options. While location still factors in, people now use other criteria to select their doctors. That's why medical marketing is critical for practices of all sizes.
Even if your current patient count is satisfactory, you still need medical marketing. Patients switch doctors all the time due to relocation, dissatisfaction with wait times, insurance changes, or a bad experience. Marketing helps keep new patients coming through the door.
What medical marketing strategies should you use to pump up your patient count?
Optimize Your Patients' Online Experience
A good looking website is worth very little if a user has a poor experience with it. Confusing navigation, hard-to-find information, and lack of options are just a few problems many practice websites have.
Optimizing the patients' online experiences makes all the difference. Location and primary services should be easily found within seconds. Contact information should be prominent. Wording and imagery should be specific and inviting to average patients.
If your website is not mobile device friendly, it's time for a major update. People use any number of devices to research medical practices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop. Your website needs to display properly on any size screen. This is called responsive design.
Google is making a responsive design a priority when it comes to website rankings. It penalizes websites that aren't responsive. So, if your website isn't responsive, you will rank lower than your competition. Updating your website to a responsive design is a must-have among medical marketing strategies.
Make Your Website Attractive to Search Engines
Besides being attractive to potential patients, your website needs to attract search engine bots. These bots crawl through your website and use the information gathered to rank you in search engine results.
How do you make your website attractive to search engines?
- Using keywords organically in content
- Linking pages together
- Gaining backlinks to and from reputable sites
- Managing your Google My Business
- Keeping links from going dead or getting lost
Ask for and Respond to Patient Reviews
Patients often review medical practices only when they have a reason. In many cases, it's due to a negative experience. What kind of reviews would potential patients see about your practice?
Ask all of your patients for reviews. Ideally, you can direct them to a computer or device in your office where they can rate their visit on a scale from 1 to 10. A high score can generate an email to ask them to leave a review on your website, that you can use for a testimonials section.
A lower score offers an opportunity for a direct contact to ask for the patient's feedback on why their experience wasn't better. It opens up the chance of improving service to your patients.
Be Consistent with Branding
From a patient's perspective, one doctor can look like any other doctor. To counter this, you need to decide what differentiates your practice from others. This helps you build your practice branding, which is key among medical marketing strategies.
Think about what makes your team unique. Are you a family friendly practice? Do you offer special services? Do you emphasize preventative care? It may take time to get the branding completely defined, but it will be well worth it for future marketing.
Speed Up Your Website Load Time
People are impatient these days. They don't like to wait for websites to load. If it takes more than five seconds for a web page to load, people are very likely to go elsewhere.
Make sure your web pages load in less than five seconds. Less than three seconds is even better. Talk with your web designer about ways to make it happen.
Use Paid Advertising in a Smart Way
Paid advertisements display above and to the side of the top results from a Google or Bing search. Pay-per-click advertising is one way to get your practice name at the top. You can target keywords with precision.
Paid social media ads are another option to consider. It helps place your social media posts in front of potential patients.
Get Personal with Your Patients
Word-of-mouth referrals are priceless. People trust the word of their family and friends when it comes to which doctor is better than others. Patients always appreciate a special touch.
Send birthday cards. Follow up after an appointment or procedure with a phone call. Send emails to remind of upcoming appointments. Ask about their families or special events in life.
Medical marketing strategies should be part of a larger marketing plan to get your practice in front of patients. For assistance, contact Best Edge Medical Marketing today.