Marketing your medical practice online is all the rage. Are you in on the secret of how to fill your appointment schedule with new patients regularly?
A professionally designed and optimized website is the best investment a physician can make in order to boost patient acquisition and retention.
Once upon a time, a physician didn’t need a sophisticated website in order to attract more patients.
But those days are gone.
Nowadays patients are discriminating consumers who are looking for an easy and informative user experience that gives them a taste of what to expect in the doctor’s office.
People who are suffering from an illness are also hungrily looking to learn about the newest treatments and what to expect…
The physician whose website provides the information they seek will most likely win their trust and their appointment booking.
As my friend Jen says: “I wish more doctors listened to you – right now it’s impossible to find reliable information about doctors on the internet. And that means anyone who DOES put their info up has a major advantage!”
Here are the components necessary for a professional and profitable medical website.
Responsive – Most people are looking for you on their tablets and cell phones. You need a responsive and updated website. They want to be able to contact you easily from their phones, find out where you are located, and be able to access things properly no matter what device they are using.
Speed – Your website loading time needs to be lightning fast. You only have a few seconds to capture their attention, and we all know that patients are rarely patient.
Positive User Experience – UX for a medical site means lots of links to phone numbers, e-mails, maps, appointment setters, forms, and important information.
When patients believe that you are sensitive to their needs and comfort they will believe that you will provide the same kind of medical care.
When people are not feeling well, their frustration tolerance is low.
This makes ease of use that much more vital for patient acquisition.
Compelling yet Professional Copy – People want a clear picture of what to expect when working with you. A professional medical copywriter will convey your personality and expertise in a way that establishes your authority and builds trust.
Design – Images, font, and color are very important! Here is where you sell yourself subliminally. Images of a happy staff, caring doctor, modern medical technology, and healthy & youthful patients send a message that your practice will make them very happy too.
Colors and fonts speak volumes in the same way that voice inflection and tone say more than words.
When someone recommends you, the first thing a prospective patient will do is go on to your website to get your contact info and to see what you are all about. If your site looks old, unmaintained, and missing vital information visitors will assume that your practice is not keeping up with progress and will look for someone who does.
SEO -Search Engine Optimization
Make sure people find you when they are looking for you!
It’s not always so simple.
Let’s say I get a recommendation for a physician.
First I’ll go to Google and type in his name. If he is not showing up on the first page, I will check other business sites like Yelp.
If he is not registered or updated on any of those business sites, that already sends me a discouraging message…
Meanwhile, my eye is caught by other doctors in the same area that do show up and are listed. So I decide to take a look.
If the other practice is registered and has a website that is professional and user-friendly, you have most probably lost that golden referral right there.
When you are easy to find, patients will assume that you are popular and easy to reach.
Great SEO on your website is one of the surest ways to get new prospects while spending less on PPC and retargeting ads.
That’s because if you are coming up organically many people will click on your actual listing rather than an ad and this will ultimately save you a lot of money.
Blogs – Bring in new patients, provide added value to current patients, and improve your ranking naturally.
Whether you write your blogs yourself or you have them professionally done, you want to keep fresh, relevant content on your site.
A dermatologist that publishes an article on their website about the latest treatment options or explaining a common ailment will get more visitors and keep them on the site longer.
This method establishes you as an authority while directing patients to your practice and contact info.
Testimonials – yes, people actually read them and if your SEO is done correctly there will be lots of great testimonials that will help bring those new patients in to see you.
Newsletter- Email marketing is still the most cost-effective method to increase customer retention and reach out to new prospective patients.
Done professionally and tastefully, you can use it to remind patients that they have an appointment coming up, that they need to make an appointment, or that there is a new service or treatment that you offer.
Keep yourself connected to your patients and top of mind when they need treatment or are asked for a referral.
Remind them that it is Breast Cancer Awareness month, or that school and camp shots are just around the corner.
Monthly newsletters are golden and will keep your name in front of them on a regular basis.
Physicians can benefit from other marketing channels as well.
Social Networking Business Pages
Many types of doctors will benefit from social media marketing.
For example, dermatologists, dentists, orthodontists, plastic surgeons, pediatricians etc. do very well with highly targeted social media ads.
PPC and Retargeting
Tacky you say?
The right kinds of ads will bring loads of new patients your way and keep the ones you have coming back for screenings, tests, and treatments.
Visitors may visit a website several times before taking any action.
In fact, research shows that a consumer needs 4 touchpoints or interactions with a brand or product before making a purchase decision.
Don’t let them just window shop!
Visitors to your site can be retargeted with:
- Special offers,
- Reminders for people to get screenings or tests
- Announcements for a special function or presentation you are having.
These work especially well when you are establishing, expanding, or moving your practice.
When you consider the lifetime value of a new patient, paid advertising starts to sound like a really good investment.
The bottom line is:
All healthy marketing begins with a highly optimized professional website.
Look at some samples at rheacohenwebdesign.com and book a consult today!