As a healthcare marketer, you understand the competition for patients’ attention and trust. A robust digital strategy is how you can set yourself apart. Let’s look at five proven healthcare marketing tactics that can empower you to thrive in today’s digital landscape.
1. Optimizing Your Google Business Profile
Google has emerged as the most important place for patients to find and choose a practice, so having a positive online reputation on Google is essential if you want to increase patient acquisition. Depending on how impactful your Google Business Profile (GBP) is, you can extend how far your profile will reach in local search. Google says, “our algorithms might decide that a business that’s farther away from your location is more likely to have what you’re looking for than a business that’s closer, and therefore rank it higher in local results.”
Here are some ways to improve your GBP and get noticed by Google:
- Add all essential information to your profile including address, phone number, hours of operation and a link to your website.
- Write an impactful practice description that’s ~250 characters and incorporates keywords for the search results you want to appear in.
- Include clear/high-resolution photos and videos of your practice building, waiting room, exam rooms, employees and practice logo.
- Add specific attributes, opening date and available services that your practice offers.
- Choose a primary category that best summarizes your practice and add up to 9 secondary categories to help Google determine the search results you would like to appear in.
You can also download this digital GBP checklist from PatientPoint.
2. Obtaining an Abundance of Online Reviews
No matter how many ads or word-of-mouth recommendations people encounter, they almost always turn to the internet before making any final decisions. With 90% of patients using online reviews to evaluate physicians, ratings and reviews are the foundation to building instant confidence (or skepticism) with prospective patients. Research shows that 72% of patients will only choose a doctor if they have a 4+ star review on Google. So not only will having more positive reviews increase the chances of a potential patient wanting to visit your practice, it will also increase the number of people who will see your practice in local search. A recent study found that reviews are the second highest ranking factor when trying to appear in Google’s 3-Pack or Local Map Pack.
Being proactive with online reviews is a simple way to increase attractiveness and reach of your practice’s online profile, and it also doesn’t have to be time consuming. By using a reputation management platform, you can automatically send feedback requests within 24 hours of an appointment. The best reputation management platforms allow you to adjust where the reviews will be sent depending on your goals. They’ll also integrate with your Practice Management System or EHR so you know where your new patients are coming from, allowing you to track how much revenue you’ve generated from patient acquisition efforts.
3. Refine Your Website
Your practice’s website is the cornerstone of your online presence. Website’s must be optimized to keep patients’ interest and attract them to your practice. According to Forbes, you have as little as 50 milliseconds to make a positive first impression, so it’s necessary to create a website that provides patients with the information they need without being overwhelming.
Here are some key practices to keep in mind when reviewing your website:
- Prioritize simplicity and seamless navigation, ensuring that visitors can easily find the information they need, like insurance accepted and pricing and services offered.
- While incorporating graphics can be helpful, use them sparingly to avoid visual clutter and information overload.
- Regularly update your website with fresh and relevant content, such as videos, blogs and educational resources.
- Exercise caution when linking to external sites because this can divert patients away from your practice. If you do link to other websites, make sure to open links in a new browser window.
- Offer conveniences that patients have come to expect in the digital era, such as click-to-call functionality, HIPAA-compliant online form completion, digital appointment scheduling and linked directions to popular mapping services like Apple or Google Maps.
4. Implement a Content Strategy
Content is king in the realm of online visibility and search engine rankings. With Google’s advanced AI search, the importance of high-quality content is amplified because the new algorithm considers website ranking and how closely website content matches a search query when piecing together an answer. By consistently updating your site with topical blogs, articles, videos and infographics, you can dramatically enhance your SEO performance. Not only does quality content increase website traffic and browsing time, but it also attracts backlinks from reputable websites which is an essential criterion for search engines. To generate content ideas, explore commonly searched questions in your specialty’s space and analyze the “People also ask” questions suggested by Google. Google Trends is also a valuable tool for identifying the most searched words in your specialty.
Content shouldn’t just be for your website, though. 63% of patients said they would choose one provider over another based on a strong online presence. To connect with patients on a deeper level, leverage social media channels to share office updates, recommendations for dealing with symptoms, new health findings, inspirational stories, personal anecdotes about providers and respond to comments.
Establishing yourself as a thought leader can be accomplished by submitting articles to trusted publications and participating in interviews with local media outlets.
Engage existing patients by creating a newsletter that shares information that piques their interest, such as practice updates, info on public health topics, product reviews, recipes and helpful tips. Quarterly or monthly editions can effectively disseminate your practice’s message and foster a loyal patient base.
5. Reach Patients when They’re Ready to Act
Once you have patients in the office, your marketing efforts don’t stop. You need to help persuade them to come back, and in-office marketing is powerful because it reaches patients when they’re already thinking about their health and are ready to act. Waiting room and exam room screens can be a powerful marketing tool. These screens require minimal time investment but have a high impact. They allow you to showcase informative and engaging content, such as educational materials, promotional offers, practice updates and information on procedures and services. By leveraging your waiting room and exam room to display custom messages, you can effectively communicate with your audience and reinforce your brand message.
In the competitive landscape of healthcare marketing, implementing these five proven healthcare tactics can substantially enhance your practice’s online visibility, attract more patients and ultimately generate revenue. By optimizing your Google Business Profile, actively seeking positive online reviews, refining your website, implementing a robust content strategy and reaching patients at the right time with the right message, you can establish a strong and effective marketing strategy. To learn more about how to reach patients at the right moments, visit PatientPoint’s website.
PatientPoint® is the patient engagement platform for every point of care. Our innovative, tech-enabled solutions create more effective doctor-patient interactions and deliver high value for patients, providers and healthcare sponsors. Through our nearly 140k unique healthcare provider relationships, PatientPoint’s solutions impact roughly 750 million patient visits each year, further advancing our mission of making every doctor-patient engagement better®. Learn more at patientpoint.com.