These days, most people look for information about health services through the internet. They look for websites, look at physician profiles, and even read reviews published online. Even if some of the information comes to them via a referral or through word of mouth, they will still turn to search engines for further research.
If you run your own clinic or practice and haven’t turned to digital marketing, you are missing out on a lot of potential new patients. Here are some ways that it can help improve your patient acquisition processes:
- Craft a consistent online brand for your clinic. Even if your specializations may set you apart from other clinics in your area, a new patient won’t necessarily see that right away. To them, your practice is just like all the others unless you really work on setting yourself apart from your competitors. It may be helpful to consult or hire experts in healthcare digital marketing, so you can create an effective plan that will increase your engagement and build a solid reputation for your practice online.
- Have a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Another important part of a digital marketing plan is SEO, which enables your practice to rank high in search engine results if done properly. Many searches for health care information occur online, so it is essential for your clinic to be among the top results. This will mean using the right language and keywords and incorporating that into your web copy, social media content, and metadata. Ideally, you want to focus on two things: your location and services.
Emphasizing your location is important in SEO because more patients will likely go to your clinic if they know that you are nearby. After all, some medical conditions need immediate attention and the nearest practice is always the best place to go. Services (pediatrics, oncology, etc.) also need to be prioritized in your SEO campaign because these are commonly used in searches as well. Incorporating geotags and specific keywords about services into your content will really help boost your SEO ranking.
- Improve your company website. Once upon a time, a healthcare practice having a website was already considered impressive. However, times have changed and keeping your website updated is important these days. Some areas of improvement might include the content, layout, and responsiveness to name a few. Think of your websites like the virtual front door to your hospital or practice. It is essential that your website provides an optimal online experience for visitors, so you can make a good first impression. The more user-friendly your website is, the better.
- Make the most of social media. Leveraging social media can really help you establish your practice as an authority in your industry while directly interacting with your patients. Since your clinic or hospital is in the medical field, you cannot post how you normally would with your personal social media profiles. You need to maximize the reach and influence of your online platforms to educate and inform others, so you can further position your practice as a trustworthy expert. This helps generate more purposeful engagement while helping you get more patients in the process.
- Build a program for doctor referrals. Traditional marketing methods also have a place in digital marketing, it’s simply a matter of how you convey it to others. While many medical practices get a lot of new patients from having a lot of brand visibility, nothing is quite like a doctor’s referral. The trick is to have partner physicians who function as a liaison to help get you more patients. Relying on the front desk to reach out to specialists on your clinic’s behalf is not as effective, and doctors already have the trust of their patients. If you really want an effective organic outreach program, consider making this a part of your digital marketing strategy.
- Ask current and returning patients for feedback. Even if people have good things to say about your practice, it is still a good idea to encourage and motivate them to share their thoughts. Not only does this show that your practice has a caring side, but it also indicates that you and your team are eager to make improvements too. Additionally, positive testimonials can be displayed on your website and serve as social proof of how great your services are. Digitize it by creating a detailed form that patients can conveniently fill up.
- Ensure Patients Calling the Practice Are Warmly Received. It’s important to make sure that when patients call you up, they’re received warmly and aren’t ignored, especially if it’s their first time contacting you. You should find the best medical answering service you can find so that even when your practice is closed, the call is forwarded to someone who can give them relevant information regarding things such as your opening times.
As for the negative reviews, you always have the option to reach out to the patient and ask them to elaborate on their experience. If your team was successful in resolving their complaint, they may just change or write a newer and more positive review too.
Improving patient acquisition will always be the goal that the marketing team of hospitals and clinics have to constantly work on. In the modern age, adapting a thorough digital marketing plan can greatly improve your chances of getting new patients and help you get ahead of the competition.