In this fast changing world we live in now, businesses are redefining the way they reach their potential customers. The same holds true for the healthcare business and individual medical practices. No longer does a newspaper ad or being listed in the phone book draw new patients. As businesses look to digital marketing and social media, so must the healthcare industry. With stringent rules those in the medical field must be careful in how they market themselves online. There are ways to do just that while still staying within regulations.
When a person has an ache, pain or has been diagnosed with a new illness, what is the first thing they do? They start searching on the Internet to find diagnoses or information on what ails them. In fact, 80% of patients diagnosed with an illness go straight to the web to inform themselves. If you are a medical practitioner and you don’t have a website, how will they find you? Your first step when starting a digital marketing campaign is to set up a well-organized, attractive website. Think of it as the front door to your practice, it is after all your online office. You want to establish the trust of potential patients and get them to make an appointment. A poorly designed website doesn’t project a professional or trustworthy image to potential patients. Provide information on your practice and treatments, yourself and staff, the ability to make appointments online and contact information.
For a medical practice, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical. Potential patients will begin their online search for your type of service. Do research on words that patients would use for your type of business. For example, you may have a dental practice in Ottawa. You could use the search words “dentist” and “Ottawa.” A step further would be “dentist in Downtown Ottawa.” People tend to search in the same way they think, so really brainstorm search terms. The better your keywords the higher you will rank on search engines like Google. There are keyword programs that can assist you with finding just the right terms.
Social media should also be a part of your digital marketing strategy. Figure out the platforms that are right for your target audience and start posting on those sites. At minimum develop a Facebook page and post there. Research what services your customers are coming in for most frequently. That information can be utilized in your social media posts. Every month you can offer a special on a different service for patients who follow you on social media. Posting videos of common procedures, before and after pictures or patient testimonials is a great use of social media.
Mobile devices and tablets are just the norm these days. Not only are they for personal use but in more and more medical offices the staff uses tablets and mobile devices when interacting with their patients. When developing your website it is vital that you have a responsive web design. This type of design automatically adjusts itself dependent on the type of device it is being viewed on. Whether they are using a desktop, smartphone or tablet they will have no problem viewing your site. Don’t lose potential patients because they couldn’t access your site on their mobile devices.
Digital Marketing is Possible
While starting a digital marketing campaign may be overwhelming, it will get easier. Start with our tips stated above and you’ll be on the road to Internet success. If you have questions about how to create a digital marketing strategy for your practice, Contact Us, for you online marketing needs.