A few simple marketing tactics can boost a practice's online, ensuring the website grows in its reach and influence, ultimately leading to an increase in patients.
The success of a private medical practice is largely dependent on its number of patients and the positive outcome of treatments.
Ideally, every doctor or medical practitioner wants to advertise services in the best possible way so as to reach the masses, however, many are not able to as the most common forms of marketing such as TV or print ads are not affordable for everyone. This is where online marketing comes into the picture—a way to promote a medical practice in a cost-effective way.
Creating a Search Engine Optimized Website
The first step is to create a website and ensure sure it reaches the targeted group of patients. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help the doctor reach out to their target audience most effectively. In today’s fast age of internet, everybody relies on search engines like Google or Bing. If a practice does not show on the first page in search results for localized keywords, then chances of that doctor receiving patients could reduce.
To effectively market a website, it is important to ensure that the medical practice website is optimized for search engines. There are good SEO specialists who can aid in targeting a particular patient group and the location where the doctor operates. An example would be that of a dentist wanting his website to appear on the first page of Google search for those actively looking to get a root canal treatment or implants in his location. Effective SEO can aid in ensuring that a particular group of people are targeted.
Listing the Practice on Google ‘My Business’
Google has now advanced in making its search results more personalized and searchable in real time. They have made it easy to add a service provider, location and contact details along with web page search results. It is a good idea for a medical practice to be listed on Google My Business for enhanced online visibility and improved engagement with potential patients searching on Google for a suitable doctor.
Active Social Media Networking
Doctors can use social media to gain popularity and more patients. Profiles on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn help in garnering more patients for a practice. By monitoring the online activities of industry influencers anyone can make their online presence substantial. However, in essence, regular postings, professional updates and other news regarding a practice can help gain more followers.
Answering Question-Answer Sessions Online
Doctors can influence and gain popularity with many patients by answering online questions on forums such as Yahoo, Quora or LinkedIn. The goal should be not to provide answers just for the sake of gaining new patients but to actually help online readers with useful information. Many people who are posting questions online are looking for authoritative answers for medical issues and concerns. By replying to such questions medical practitioners also increase their chances of being indexed by Google. Google indexes these answers, which then show up on the search results pages.
Going Live on YouTube
Medical marketing has tremendous scope on YouTube. There are over 4 billion videos watched per day on YouTube and growing. Doctors can very easily post videos in regards to treatment options or can have a narration to help the viewer understand a complexity. The benefits of YouTube range from a wide market reach to multiple editing options.
There are also many people who specialize in uploading videos whose services can be employed for practitioners leading busy lives, however, in case of self-upload, few important aspects need to be added to the title and description such as the particular area of expertise and other related keywords.
Starting an Email Campaign
An effective email marketing campaign will cost next to nothing. It is among the most successful return on investment pursuits for professionals and small business owners. Database of potential receivers can easily be compiled with the help of appointments made, patient register and even social media followers. A simple online newsletter can help in keeping patients abreast of the latest happenings and stay engaged with the doctor’s practice and website.
Investing time in a Blog
A doctor’s day can be very long and tiring. Taking out time to create a blog and maintaining it can be difficult, but investing time in maintaining a blog has multiple advantages. It easily allows for churning new keywords on website content and optimizing results for search engines.
It also becomes a great way to connect with patients where existing patients can trust more as per the writings and new patients can begin to place their faith. It is also excellent to gain popularity by sharing information, updates or by simply offering advice to patients who might require it.
Blogging as a Guest
Apart from maintaining a self-blog, a doctor should invest time in publishing content on other people’s websites. There are numerous advantages to guest posting, which include:
Starting a Podcast
Podcasting by way of content promotion is a very effective way of reaching a large number of people at the same time. To disseminate useful information and gain trust, doctors do not essentially need to upload videos.
Podcasts can be uploaded either their own sessions or somebody else’s session, preferably from the same field. Podcasting is simple, not time-consuming and very productive in marketing a practice online or building an online reputation.
Using Yelp to Build on Patient Trust
Word of mouth has been a trust influencing force for a long time. With the advent of the internet, it has become easy to reach out to several patients at the same time and build trust. Yelp is among the best review portals online with real-life episodes.
These are some of the most affordable ways doctors can ensure that their website grows in its reach and influence, and leads to an increase in patients for the practice.
About the Author:
Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete internet marketing company that focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education and the online reputations of doctors. With a team of 180+ full time marketers, www.ekwa.com helps doctors who know where they want to go, get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call 855-598-3320 to speak one-on-one with Naren.