The day of using Yellow Pages online is over, and has officially been over for a while now. People are now going to Google for everything and anything health-related. Whether a patient is googling specific healthcare locations near them or googling specific symptoms, our society is turning to the Internet first for healthcare. The options and opportunities are endless for a patient. That means on our end, as healthcare professionals, we cannot simply worry about having a presence in the neighborhood anymore; we have to have a strong presence online as well. How can you use this to your advantage? Having basic knowledge of healthcare marketing will help you get started on being the easiest to find clinic of your industry on the internet.
Do not worry though- you do not need to be a healthcare marketing professional for this to work. Read these ten tips to help you get started today!
Set up local listing with Google
Make sure that you are all set up on Google Business Listing as a local listing. This means that when a patient types in “________ clinics near me” your company name and information will come up. Patients are going to pick convenience- something close to them as well as how easy it is for them to find that information online. If someone doesn’t know that you are only a few miles down the road because they did not see you online, they may end up going 15-20 miles down the road instead. Use Google My Business to your advantage to make yourself easy to find online.
Bonus Tip: Invite your patients to review your service on your Google Listing. A plethora of positive reviews will help keep your clinic in the #1 ranking when people search!
This is the number one thing that patients are going to see before they visit your clinic. Most patients are going to Google first, then clicking on the link to your website, so make sure it is credible, you have great patient care and they will feel comfortable. Use clear fonts, and make sure basic information such as address and phone number can be easily located, and make it easy for someone with no medical training to read (aka no jargon).
Create content that educates your audience.
When looking at your website, take the time to analyze how much you are helping your audience. These people viewing your website are going to be your future patients, so how would you want to best educate them? Patients are online hours nowadays, and are constantly fed advertisement after advertisement. You can stand out as the clinic that cares by providing educational content. A lot of times this can be in form of a blog for your patients to be able to access or better yet short videos on care before and after procedures.
Look at what others in the industry are doing
There is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, right? It is important to study what techniques they are using, just like in the medical side of your practice. This does not mean copy what others are doing. Actually, it means the opposite. If you research what other clinics around you are doing, you can find a way to stand out and be different from them. You can learn how to attract patients’ attention through your healthcare marketing in ways that others are not yet doing.
Power of word of mouth
In the online world, the power of the word of mouth does not lose any credibility. Word of mouth simply changes a bit in the online world. The way you can control the word of mouth is by making it really easy to see on your website. Send online surveys to your patients a week or so after their appointment, ask for permission to use their assessment (with no personal information) and publish the overall results monthly or quarterly. Create video testimonials of patients speaking and post on your website for other patients to see. Another idea is to have a customer referral service where a patient gets something in return for sending new patients to your clinic.
Be on social media
Patients are more likely to search a clinic’s social media before visiting the location than call a friend, so it is crucial to have all social media set up and active with outstanding valuable content. It doesn’t mean spending hours a day using social media though, it can be done in as little time as 20 minutes. Make sure each are active at least daily, and then make sure you are engaging with your audience. This is not the place for you to constantly push your clinic. Instead, this is the place to give patients information and answer questions that the patients may have already been thinking. This way, they know your clinic as the clinic that cares about their patients before they even go in.
YouTube is becoming more crucial for healthcare clinics to consider. A lot of times when a patient enters a search into Google, YouTube videos are the first to come up. This can include those patient testimonials listed above, or even tours of your clinic so a first-time patient feels more comfortable walking through the doors because they know what to expect.
Email marketing campaigns
Email marketing campaigns are an amazing resource for healthcare marketing. If you can find a way to get an e-mail from a patient before they leave your website, even if they don’t call and set up an appointment immediately, you can send them more information about your clinic. Usually, this means offering some lead magnet or freebie online. Go back to the creating content and think of one educational piece that you could offer your patients for free if they click on a certain pop-up or link. Also, having an email list will keep the patients you already have up to date on your services and in the loop about your clinic.
Another way to boost yourself on Google and show off your healthcare marketing skills (whether you’re a beginner or experienced!) is to guest write for other people’s blogs. Offer to write for free in exchange for a link to your site. Make sure it is a “follow” link instead of a “do not follow” link, which means you’ll get points for your expertise in Google’s ranking system. Part of search engine optimization (SEO) is how much Google trusts your website. If your site is a verifiable link on multiple other websites, you will rank higher and patients will be much more likely to find you. Become the online expertise in your field by doing this for multiple sites.
These are ten ways to get started in healthcare marketing, but I have many more tips to come. Make sure you are following me and I will keep those tips coming your way!