1. Invest in a State-of-the-Art Website
A website is the most important digital asset of any business or organization as it is the one you have complete control over and can tailor to suit your needs. Healthcare professionals should invest in a state-of-the-art website that reflects their professionalism and dedication to providing quality health services.
Your website is the foundation of your marketing strategy and the efficacy of all other strategies will depend on the quality of your website. In addition to this it is also your 24/7/365 connection to your patients and to prospective patient that should be able to assist them with information, advice, and the ability to book appointments whenever they need to.
The website for a medical practice should be personal and tell your story as well as provide information about all the treatments you offer. It should also have a regularly updated blog section filled with engaging content and the ability for patients to easily book an appointment online.
- Your website is responsive and can be used on any device.
- You have a clear call to action for people to book an appointment.
- Your services and treatments are featured on your home page.
- Your blog has original keyword-rich content of a high quality that is of sound educational value which will encourage patients to visit your site as well as improve your rankings on search engines.
- You have a page dedicated to your staff so that patients can see who will be handling their care.
- You have a page dedicated to each healthcare provider so that patients can find out more about who is going to be treating them and to boost your SEO so you rank well when people search for providers by name.
- You have done keyword research and your website SEO is well optimized to compete for high search rankings.
- You have patient testimonials on your web pages which will reassure and encourage new patients to schedule an appointment with you.
- You are building a database of patients and potential patients with a call for them to subscribe to your newsletter.
- If appropriate, and with patient permission, you showcase before and after case studies of treatments you provide.
- You have informational videos featuring your healthcare providers on your blog.
- Your website is speedy and user-friendly so that users can access your website quickly.
2. Invest in Professional SEO
Having a great website and not having it properly optimized for search engines is like printing brochures and keeping them in your garage instead of distributing them. SEO is probably the most efficient way of increasing patient volume for your practice because that is where 80% of people are looking for medical information, treatments, and practitioners.
Investing in professional SEO for your website will make your website perform well in local organic search results and get more patients to your practice. After your home page, the pages covering the treatments and services you offer are most important so that you rank well when someone searches for “knee surgery near me”, or “opthamologist near me” etc.
- You have done thorough keyword research for each of your hero pages.
- Your content is original and optimized for search engines with keywords in titles and headings.
- Your content is well-structured for easy reading and high rankings.
- Your images are appropriately named, have ALT text, and have been compressed.
- You have set up your Google Search Console and Analytics so you can track website performance.
- Each of your pages has both internal links and external links to quality websites.
- You’re using https:// and not http://.
- You’ve checked for crawl errors.
3. Use Social Media to Build and Grow your Online Community
Social media is one of the cornerstones of your marketing strategy because it is one of the factors that search engines take into account when ranking your site and it is where you prospective patients “hang out”. Social media profiles also often rank higher on search engine results pages than individual websites and are where people love engaging with or recommending their favorite healthcare providers.
Social Media Checklist:
- Do you have a Facebook page for your practice?
- Do you have a LinkedIn page for your practice?
- Are your social media profiles complete and appealing?
- Do you have a content calendar planning what content you need to produce for your various social media profiles and when you are going to post them?
- Have you assigned someone to manage and nurture your online community so that queries are responded to promptly?
4. Appoint a Physician Liaison Officer
Appointing a staff member who is dedicated to physician liaison is an excellent way of increasing the volume of patients coming to your practice. They can proactively reach out to healthcare providers of different disciplines to promote and establish mutually beneficial referral relationships.
Physical Liaison Check Officer Checklist:
- Does your liaison officer have all the information they need about your practice and your service providers?
- Do you have a database of potential referral partners?
- Do you have an info pack to give to referral partners so they have all the material they need to confidently recommend your practice?
5. Monitor and Protect Your Reputation
With 80% of patients reading reviews about a new healthcare provider before they book an appointment it is vital that you continuously monitor your online reputation. A major part of this is by proactively getting reviews on social media from existing patients. You can easily do this by building requests for reviews in your patient care workflow like sending a follow-up email to each patient which includes a review request or including a regular post asking for reviews in your content schedule.
- Do you respond to all reviews, positive and negative?
- Have you claimed or set up your practice on Google My Business so that you are informed of and can monitor any patient reviews?
- Are you using Google Alerts to notify you whenever your practice is mentioned online?
Using these 5 strategies will not only have a dramatic impact on the volume of new patients coming to your practice, they will also enable you to nurture and retain your existing patients as well as protect your online reputation.