How do you Increase Patient Volume in a Medical Practice?
Getting the leg up on the competition and attracting potential patients can be difficult and deciding which actions you need to take can be even more daunting.
But if you have found yourself asking, “What are creative ways to increase patient volume?”
Well here are 6 highly effective medical marketing strategies you can implement to increase patient volume and get more patients to your practice.
1. Invest in a High-Quality Medical Website
Your practice website is one of the most critical digital assets of your business, and that is an investment that needs to be taken seriously.
If you think of building a healthcare marketing strategy like building a house, your practice website is the foundation. It is what every other strategy is built upon. Invest in a great foundation, and the program will reap the rewards. On top of that, your website serves as a 24/7/365 salesperson that is always ready to deliver information to potential patients right when they need it.
To create a well performing medical website that will drive patients to your practice, you need to communicate a few critical things.
Make sure you tell your unique story
All the awesome conditions and treatments you address
Make it easy and clear how to book a new patient appointment
Blog and video content to engage potential patients
Make sure your medical website is unique to the patient experience of your practice and user-friendly.
Good questions for websites that want to increase patient volume:
-Is your website fully responsive to mobile devices?
Its crucial patients can easily view and use your website while on the go.
Potential patients search for physicians and medical practices on their phones or tablets, making it essential that patients can easily navigate your site, and collect information.
And most importantly, there needs to be a clear and straightforward call to action to schedule an appointment.
-Have you highlighted your featured services/treatments on the home page?
This may seem obvious, but this is your opportunity to promote your high revenue services or procedures. Consider down selecting your services to feature your core high revenue procedures.
Are you an ENT physician that can improve the quality of life for someone suffering from sinusitis with a non-invasive balloon dilation procedure that reduces patient recovery time?
Maybe you’re an Ophthalmologist that helps patients see clearly with Lasik, whatever your specialty take advantage of this sales opportunity.
-Does Your Website Have a Blog?
Ensure that patients visit and stay on your medical practice site with a robust educational blog area. The more original and keyword-rich content on your website, the more love you get from Google search results.
-Do you have a designated staff and provider page?
Patients want to know who will be handling their care and want to learn about their physicians. To boost the medical SEO for your practice physicians; dedicate individual pages for physician bios, credentials, and more that way you guarantee when patients do specific physician search your medical practice website shoots to the top over review sites.
-Do you have the proper SEO & Keyword Research?
This is a biggie! A solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for a medical or dental practice starts with the foundation of your website.
-Are your patient testimonials featured?
Patient reviews are a HUGE influencer to generate new patients for a practice.
Potential patients want to hear from others who have been treated at your practice.
Here is an example from a client we do orthopedic marketing for and we have added a simple carousel to showcase new patient reviews.
Simple yet extremely impactful considering 80% or more patients read reviews before booking appointments.
Wrap Up – Increase Patient Volume at Your Practice & Get More Patients
If you have been wondering how to get more patients just following these strategies and you will be well on your way to increasing your patient volume.
Need some help on creating a strategy? Or executing the initiatives discussed in this post? We can help!
We are an agency that focuses exclusively on medical marketing services and has the experience and skillsets to help you reach your goals and drive patients!
Top Healthcare Content Marketing Strategies for Providers
Last updated: February, 20, 2021
Healthcare content marketing is an essential part of any great marketing strategy. We have seen the likes of Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic become synonymous with answering medical questions for patients, and as a result, become brand powerhouses in the industry.
Over the last few years, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes have become a major problem in the US. Coupled with the rising costs of healthcare, more and more Americans are starting to think about their health.
In today’s digital age, if someone is beginning to realize the importance of health and wellness, what do you think they do first?
They go online to look for answers. That is why healthcare content marketing is so powerful.
According to research by Pew, approximately 8 out of 10 Americans use search engines as their primary source of health-related information. More often than not, though, they don’t find information that will actually help them.
This is where healthcare content strategy comes in. By developing superior content marketing strategies, you’ll be able to provide helpful information to your audience and drive traffic to your website—boosting your revenue in the process.
Don’t know where to start? Here are proven healthcare content marketing strategies that will help you get a headstart.
What is Healthcare Content Marketing?
Healthcare content marketing is the strategy of developing various forms of content to help educate and reach new patients. This healthcare content can take many forms such as blog posts, videos, quizzes, infographics, podcasts, and more. Healthcare content marketing has many benefits including brand awareness, thought leadership, patient education, and SEO.
Patients are more hungry than ever to engage and consume content from medical practices in many different forms.
If effectively used, healthcare content marketing can be one of the most effective healthcare marketing strategies you can leverage as a healthcare organization of any size or specialty.
The Best Healthcare Content Marketing Tips
Now that we have set the stage as to why healthcare content strategy are so important let’s dive into some of the actual tips you should be using to get the most out of your content.
1. Invest in Video Content to Connect with Patients
Video is a powerful healthcare content strategy that a provider can leverage to establish thought leadership and connect with existing and new patients.
Youtube is the second largest search engine so not only is it a great tool to educate patients but another opportunity to increase SEO rankings.
Check out these Youtube SEO tips for uploading your first Youtube video…
The big things to keep in mind when creating videos are to keep them short and sweet.
Typically under 5 minutes but generally more in the 2-3 minute range.
Number 2 is to make sure you are answer questions patients care about.
To get started, the easiest thing to do it to write down FAQs that patients ask you through the month.
Do that and I bet you can come up with 6 months worth of video content in a matter of minutes.
2. Write high-quality blog posts
Blogging is the cornerstone of health content marketing. No healthcare content strategy would be complete without a blog, and your facility is no exception. In order to reach your intended audience, you should have a blog page on your website.
However, blogging is more than just posting articles on your website on a regular basis for the sake of publicity.
All healthcare providers do that, so it’s nothing new. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to offer your audience something else.
Instead of generating new content just so you can promote your brand of healthcare, use your blog page as an opportunity to both educate and help your audience.
Here are 7 of the most important on-page SEO optimization strategies to keep in mind when creating blog posts
A healthy, active blog should make up a solid portion of your organic search traffic and should support the conditions and treatments pages that you have on your website.
Just check out this screenshot of a hyperbaric practice. You will notice some of their top organic traffic pages are all blog posts.
Not only does it allow you to leverage someone else’s audience for brand exposure and thought leadership, but it gives you major medical SEO benefits via the backlinks gained in the post.
For example, one of the large orthopedic practices that we do orthopedic marketing for we were focusing on increasing the search rankings of their knee surgery page.
What we did was secure a high-quality guest post opportunity on CareDash, a leading physician listings and reviews website with over 2-3 million website visitors per month.
As a result of the article, not only did Tennessee Orthopedic Clinics’ and their surgeon receive a large amount of exposure as experts in knee pain but we secured a high authority backlink to a knee surgery treatment page on their website.
As an orthopedic marketing agency, we knew the result of this would be a major boost for the site in organic search and particularly the knee surgery page in organic search.
5. Create visual infographics for your healthcare content marketing
Regardless of the quality of your blog posts, your audience will soon get bored of reading plain old text again and again. Change it up once in a while by creating infographics.
In terms of what your infographics are going to be about, you have no shortage of options. You can do an infographic on healthcare marketing trends to watch out for in 2019 or new medical technologies that will benefit patients around the world.
You can even create infographics based on data you already have. To communicate the quality of healthcare that you provide, you can do an infographic that shows data such as the number of patients you’ve treated in a certain period of time, the number of successful operations performed in your facility, or how many doctors or nurses have tenured at your facility.
The possibilities to create infographics that your audience will find helpful and enjoy reading are literally endless. If you need some inspiration, take a look at this infographic.
Creating an infographic takes time and effort.
You’ll have to collect all the necessary data, create meaningful content around that data, and work with your design team (whether in-house or outsourced) in order to produce an informative and well-designed infographic.
Despite the challenge, the time and effort you spend will definitely be worth it. If you did your infographic right, you’ll drive more traffic to your website, increase awareness for your brand, and more easily engage with your audience.
6. Promote your healthcare content strategy via email
Here’s a scenario: you’ve just released a wide array of brand new content. So how do you get people to read them and drive more traffic to your site?
You can maximize the reach of your content by promoting it with email marketing.
Send newsletters to your subscribers and let them know that you’ve just published new content. A good number of your subscribers most likely don’t visit your website and check your blog every single day, so informing them of new content is always a good idea.
You can also segment your lists to determine which of your subscribers will be interested in a specific blog post. Sending relevant content to your subscribers increases the likelihood of them opening the email and consuming your content.
To get rid of the hassle of creating the emails you’ll need to send out, take advantage of email templates.
The great thing about email templates is that they’re not just for creating emails to promote your content. You can use them to create other types of emails such as event announcements or company updates.
Wrap up Healthcare Content Marketing Strategy
Revamp your healthcare content strategy by keeping these simple yet effective strategies in mind. You will gain the trust of not just your existing patients, but also other people who might be looking for a new healthcare provider.
When you create meaningful content, you’ll encourage your audience to keep coming back to your website and therefore get more traffic.
SEO for Doctors: A Complete Guide to Search
Now more than ever, SEO for doctors is extremely doable, even if you are a small or brand new practice, because of the seismic shift toward local SEO.
In years past, you needed to have clout, backlinks & great website traffic to have a fighting chance to outrank your colleagues and their established medical practice.
Now, armed with the proper knowledge, time & consistency, you can not only quickly show up in the Google local “3 pack” but you can be right up at the top.
What would it mean to your practice as a physician to dominate local medical search results for your practice type?
Increase in new patients?
More high revenue procedures?
More consultations or appointments?
Overall practice growth?
It is now within your grasp all you need to do is jump into the local medical search engine optimization a.k.a. SEO for doctors game and know what you are doing.
Knowledge is power when it comes to ranking doctors in search results and with this guide, you will be well on your way to new calls, website visits & direction requests.
Follow these SEO for doctors tips and benefits & bask in the increased search results. All you need to do now is track the results am I right?
Make sure you have a dedicated contact page that contains your NAP (name, address, phone) contact details that will be uniformly used on all other listings & reviews sites moving forward.
Uniformity is vital in the whole scenario so start on the right foot here. Put the contact details in the universal footer of the site & nestle it again on the contact page of your website because this is one of the first places Google will reference for these details.
2. Online Reviews Play a Big Role in SEO for Doctors
This is a carryover from the first point but it is so critical it deserves its place on the list.
When addressing SEO for medical practices & ranking first on Google make sure you have a reviews/testimonials page on your website.
Make it a right blend of what we call “first party” reviews, which are those that people have given straight to the practice and third-party reviews, which are pulled off sites like Facebook, Google & Yelp.
Reviews are a strong indicator of page rank in Google’s eyes so make sure you have some on your website. We will be addressing off-site reviews again in a few minutes.
3. Claim the Provider Google My Business Listings
To rank first on Google as a physician, you need to make sure you are listed on Google My Business.
To do so, you need to claim, verify & update your listing or create a listing if Google has not already done so for each provider.
You may be surprised to see you are already listed in Google Maps even though you have never done so yourself.
This is why it is critical to be proactive with SEO for medical practices because Google is doing it for you whether you ignore it or not.
You do not want people to receive incorrect information, so take it into your own hands.
Providers tend to move several times from residency to fellowship to practice, which can cause a lot of errors in your Google My Business profile.
Once you have claimed the listing make sure to take the time to complete the verification process as this will get your updates live on Google and unlock critical analytics.
After the verification process, complete the profile in its entirety using the same information for NAP that you used in tip #1 on your medical website matching provider page.
4. Create a Practice Facebook Business Page
If you do not have a Facebook business page for your practice, you are WAY behind the curve for numerous reasons, but you may not have considered one of those reasons being medical search engine optimization.
Correct. Facebook is critical for first-page search results.
Why? Because 9/10 times, if you do a quick search of a competitor’s dermatology practice (for example), their Facebook page will be one of the highest-ranking listings on the first page.
The same goes for every other specialty or primary care practice out there.
Facebook has ultimate clout in search ranking, and you are losing landscape and visibility by not having a practice Facebook page so do it now.
5. Claim Third Party Reviews & Listings Profiles
Claiming your physician Google My Business and creating your practice Facebook are a giant step in the right direction for successful SEO for doctors and making it on the first page of Google for your practice.
However, it does not end there. There are 50+ additional listings & reviews directories that should be claimed, verified and completed using the same NAP information that you have used above.
To stress even further, UNIFORMITY is critical in all things medical SEO related.
This is because Google has much higher confidence in returning your practice in search queries if it has a slew of information confirming that the details it has been accurate.
Start with essential listings, including Healthgrades, Vitals, CareDash, etc. & move down the list to the lesser-known yet still critical provider listings platforms.
Video is a powerful way to create increase engagement and develop a know, like, and trust relationship with your potential patients.
The most successful content medical marketing programs (which we will discuss in more detail later) have the providers directly engaged in the content development process.
Patients have taken the research process into their own hands and want to hear directly from providers they will potentially be seeing.
Adding videos into your blog posts also increase on-page time, which is a critical ranking factor.
When posting your new videos onto Youtube, make sure to follow the tips in the video below to optimize the video for maximum reach.
Remember, Google owns Youtube, and SEO matters a lot as it is the second largest search engine.
Are you struggling to come up with initial video content ideas?
Start by jotting down common FAQs and questions you get asked by patients throughout the week.
I bet if you pay attention, you can quickly come up with 4-6 months’ work of video content in 1 hour or less.
The best thing?
You know, for sure, patients are seeking the answers to these questions.
7. Do Extensive Keyword Research for Local SEO for Medical Websites
Keywords are the backbone of great local SEO for medical websites.
Many people fail right out of the gate by never utilizing the resources available to them on the web for FREE to do keyword research.
Ubersuggest has come a long way since Neil Patel purchased and retooled it.
All you need to do it pop in your focus keyword and the tool gives you insights into search volume, backlinks, top pages and much more.
Another easy way to find related keywords is simply doing a Google search and scrolling to the bottom of the page to “Searches related to [keyword]”.
These keywords should be taken into consideration as section titles for your piece of content.
Another great tool you should leverage is LSIGraph.
Just pop in your focus keyword and check out the LSI keywords that you need to include in your content.
This will spit out a list of long-tail keywords that people search surrounding the topic, in this case, “butt lift.”
Here is a video on more information about LSI Keywords and how they help with SEO for medical websites.
You want to take those keywords and make them section titles on the page you are creating on the topic of butt lifts. For instance, make sure you have a section in an H tag for Brazilian Buttock Lift Cost as people are searching for this.
The more of these long-tail related keywords you can include in your page the more well-rounded Google will grade your content and offer it up in not just “butt lift” searches but other related topics too.
Greatly extending your reach.
8. New Patient Reviews Play a Big Role in SEO for Doctors
Now that you have followed the instructions above and added a reviews section to your website and claimed 100+ third-party directory and review site listings it is time to put a significant emphasis on collecting new patient reviews from your satisfied patients.
Reviews are one of the most important ranking signals for Google and often in the Google “3 Pack” the ones near the top have several solid 5-star patient reviews.
This is one of the main areas you need to focus on if you want to grow your local SEO as a doctor.
As you see between Google My Business and reviews they make up 40% of local search ranking signals so the matter a TON.
Google sees that as sort of a social proof that says other consumers in a given area have enjoyed the services that they have received at your practice so they should send other people that same medical practice’s search result.
Doctors frequently give push back on addressing new patient review generation because of the fear of bad reviews from disgruntled patients.
While this concern is justified, it is often unavoidable, so you need to work continuously to counteract this by generating new, high-quality reviews consistently. It is one of the most important things to be done to show up on the first page of Google for medical practices or providers.
Check out the client above.
He has 228 reviews and as a result, is one of the top search results for “primary care” provider related searches in the West Orlando area.
We recommend starting your review generation focus on Google My Business but always give a secondary option.
Whether that is Facebook, Vitals or Healthgrades not every person has a Gmail and you want to give them an option to leave a review elsewhere.
While this is one of the most common types of content marketing there are 50+ types of content marketing including medical podcasts, videos, graphics, and much more.
A blend of several mediums works the best as different patients prefer to consume their content by various means.
However, it is important for you as a doctor to find a mode of content that you believe you are likely to produce the most of and focus you time and energy on that avenue.
Investing in a well-thought-out, strategic content marketing strategy that is backed by keyword and competitor analysis may be the most crucial long-term ranking factor.
Note: Make sure you are utilizing Google Analytics to track which content is most successful and what avenues are the best delivery so you are not wasting your time and efforts and optimizing resources.
Here are some fantastic tips for optimizing new blog posts that you post on your website.
Check out this Google Search Console snapshot from one of our clients. It shows the power of content marketing.
We began a monthly content and medical SEO strategy on their website in November.
This shows their search impressions (purple) and organic search clicks (blue) from October 2019 – April 2020.
Their impressions have nearly 2.5X and their organic clicks are up nearly 3X.
That is all despite being smack dab in the middle of COVID at the time of this screenshot.
10. SEO for Medical Websites: Backlinks are Critical
Backlinking is another critical on-going portion of a robust local doctor SEO strategy to get a medical practice ranking first on Google.
What is a backlink exactly?
Moz defines a backlink as a backlink, also called an “inbound link” or “incoming link,” is created when one website links to another. The link between the two sites is the backlink — so named because it points back to the linked-to page.
Ever quality backlink serves as an additional validation point (similar to a review) that another credible website is giving your practice the “thumbs up” so to speak.
The better known the site or relevant to your particular business, the better local SEO juice you will receive.
Example: a reference in a WebMD article to a doctor in the practice is a significant backlink compared to a local listings website that is linking to your medical website.
Note: Buyer beware of agencies and people claiming to be able to acquire 100s of backlinks a month for your medical website to increase your SEO ranking. These are generally a scam and considered a black hat approach to SEO for healthcare organizations. Google not only frowns upon this practice but it can get you demoted, worse case even banned from Google so be very cautious.
Wrap up SEO for Doctors Strategies
Following these steps will get a physician and their medical practice SEO on the path to search success.
Start with claiming listings, proper structure with your website, and roll into a solid on-going SEO strategy for your doctors.
While showing up at the top of organic search results is not an overnight fix it can be done quickly if the proper process is followed and consistency is achieved monthly.
Investing the time and energy in local SEO for medical practices will increase website traffic, phone calls and overall new patient leads that are generated for the practice. Trust me it will be worth the investment.
If this all seems a little overwhelming to you or you want us to perform and review SEO evaluation to find out exactly where the practice is at and how you could improve your ranking and website traffic book a practice acceleration session with a team member.
Intrepy Healthcare Marketing offers industry-leading expert SEO for doctors to generate new website traffic and patient leads to your practice. We use a variety of techniques and strategies to create impressive, measurable results. We are here to help! Give us a call at 678-250-4757 or fill out our contact form.
Best Medical Marketing Strategies in 2021
Putting together innovative medical marketing strategies for medical practices can be a daunting and often downright confusing endeavor.
With what seems like endless marketing and advertising channel options and oftentimes contradictory information online about what is the best fit navigating these waters can seem treacherous.
The last thing you want to do is end up making a wrong decision and spending time, money, and valuable resources to find out the initiative was a waste of time and ineffective at growing the practice.
That is why I have put together a list of 12 medical marketing strategies for doctors; every practice should not do without.
1. Optimize your practice website for patient experience
Today more than ever, potential patients are searching on the web for local physicians and healthcare services.
Patients are taking their health into their own hands and by doing so care more and more about establishing a know, like and trust relationship with a potential practice before walking through the doors or book an appointment.
Improving your patient’s experience on your website will significantly increase patient leads and retention.
Your website design should have customized features, fast page speed, be mobile-friendly, and interactive.
A. Designed for Mobile Devices
Most searches are done via mobile or tablet devices, so having a fully responsive medical website design is crucial.
Check out this primary care client example. You can see the menu, a clear call to action, and what they do all above the fold on mobile load.
Make sure your website design includes flexible images and website structures.
The practice website should be built for all platforms, so you capture the maximum number of website visitors and not just limited to desktop searches.
Page speed can be the #1 reason for a high bounce rate for your medical website.
B. Speed Matters
Slow website page speed will irritate your online users and deter them from staying on your website.
Websites that are difficult to navigate with slow page speed will give potential patients a negative experience.
A negative experience makes users more likely to leave your website to go to a competitor’s. It is critical to evaluate and put a plan together to improve website page speed to lower bounce rates and increase lead conversion.
C. Make Treatments & Services Visible
Layout practice treatments and services on the practice homepage.
When patients are visiting your practice website, they should find all your services and treatments quickly if your medical practice offers a wide variety of services down select to the main procedures and services that you want to feature.
We do ENT marketing for an otolaryngology practice, and we made sure that their core services are right on their home page.
When deciding on what treatments to promote, think of your ideal audience, key differentiators, and high revenue procedures.
Use lead forms to make it easy for patients to request appointments and to create a call to action for high revenue services.
Lead forms a big for driving leads in your medical marketing strategy.
When designing lead forms on the website, make sure they are accessible and straightforward. Patients don’t want to fill out long and unnecessary forms to schedule an appointment.
Your practice website needs to be built with proper medical SEO and keywords.
To stay competitive and show up in search results, your website design needs to have all the essential keywords and proper SEO structure.
A top-performing website will have a solid SEO and keywords at the foundation of the website design.
Search engine optimization will be built page by page for all aspects of the website through image optimization, accurate meta descriptions, H tags, page structures, and more.
A medical SEO expert will spend their time building out each page of your practice website and do competitive keyword research to make sure your site is on top of local search results.
2. Invest in Social Media Marketing for Doctors
Social media marketing is an essential part of great medical marketing strategies and will help you share content and reach your ideal patient base.
Social media marketing for doctors is a massive contributor to driving traffic to your medical or dental practice website and search engine rankings.
Social media will help medical marketing strategies reach a broad audience and can be used as a critical lead generation tool.
Utilize the available analytics tools that social media platforms provide to track your efforts and modify the social media marketing campaigns for your dental practice.
Did you know that Instagram analytics will tell you exactly what times of day your followers are most active?
That is a BIG advantage for optimizing exactly when to post to ensure the highest level of visibility.
Not all social media platforms are alike, and not all social media is a good fit for your medical practice. Each healthcare social media marketing platform is different and created for a specific audience.
Take the time to evaluate the social media profiles that are the best fit for the medical marketing of the practice based on the target audience and the makeup of the audience that each platform targets.
Check out the age demographics in the graph below for the major social media platforms. What age do you target?
You do not want to waste precious time and energy on profiles that don’t reach your audience. Instagram tends to be a great fit for marketing a plastic surgery practice, aesthetics, or dermatology marketing; however, Instagram may not be an excellent fit for urology practice marketing.
To be successful for medical marketing for doctors on social media, you need to be:
Consistent and organized
Contain unique images and content for your practice
Create consistent brand continuity
Share content that drives patients to your website
If you are investing in video content, here are some fantastic Youtube SEO tips to keep in mind when posting new videos.
3. Develop a local search engine optimization strategy
Medical marketing for doctors has gone local.
That means that you need to invest time and energy into ranking your website in the 15-20 mile radius around each location for your practice.
A big thing is if you want to rank for it locally. YOU NEED A PAGE FOR IT.
That is a very dumb down version as to say you need well structured and optimized pages for each of our core treatment and services pages.
Take a look at this orthopedic client that we handle medical marketing strategies and local SEO for.
We optimized their orthopedic urgent care page to be well structured and contain local ranking signals such as “Knoxville” on the page.
As a result, they are ranking #1 in search results, and it is one of the top organic traffic generating pages on their website.
Here are some essential tips to remember when creating or optimizing new pages on your website for SEO.
Another critical medical marketing tip for local SEO is to make sure you have individual pages for each location.
If you are a multi-location medical practice, develop a landing page for each dedicated location that you have.
Make sure you include the following items on the page:
A well structured, well-performing blog can and should generate up to 50% of a websites organic traffic.
Take a look at a women’s health client we have in Atlanta.
Last updated on 5/13/20
They specialize in vaginal rejuvenation procedures, so we created an informational blog post on the Mona Lisa Touch Procedure they offer.
As a result of this blog post, they now rank #2 for “mona lisa procedure” on Google and drive 30+ people per day to the website looking for information on mona lisa touch.
That is the power of content marketing in your overall medical marketing strategies.
Leverage data at the center of your content marketing strategies.
You can use free tools like Ubersuggest to punch in keywords for topics you want to write about.
It will tell you things like:
Top pages ranking for that keyword.
You can use this information to ensure you are writing about topics people are searching for and take a look at that is already ranking well and make sure you write a more detailed post.
Also, remember that when it comes to medical marketing and content, blog posts are not the only format!
There are dozens of types of engaging content that you can develop to attract and engage patients.
Video is one of our personal favorites.
6. Email is still a viable medical marketing strategy
Stay in front of your patients and website visitors with email marketing! Email as part of your medical marketing strategy is a great way to retarget patients or reach new patients that have expressed interest in a particular procedure or treatment.
Utilize email marketing to create touchpoints with your practice website visitors and share new promotions, specials, blog posts, and the latest practice news. Grow your practice patient email list by encouraging website visitors to sign up for a newsletter.
A newsletter will help you share monthly content about your medical practice and keep your practice in front of mind for patients.
Another powerful way to leverage email as part of your medical marketing strategy is by creating nurture sequences for your lead generation campaigns.
We have a saying here at Intrepy, “you paid for them, nurture them!”.
That means on a good day; you may convert 30% or 3 out of every ten leads to book an appointment.
However, you paid for the other seven, so get them into a 10-12 email sequence that provides value and establishes trust with them.
Doing so can help ultimately get them to book an appointment and walk through the door.
7. Generate new patient reviews
Patient reviews are one of the top 3 most important local SEO factors when it comes to local search rankings.
Let’s go back to this graph again.
You will see reviews are listed at a close 3rd BUT considering that Google My Business is 1st and reviews are a top-ranking factor for GMB; I believe it to be a #1 or #2 most crucial medical marketing strategy to improve local SEO.
Video content created by your physicians is one of the most powerful and engaging ways to content with potential patients.
Video medical marketing helps physicians and medical practices reach potential patients and easily market themselves.
Video now receives substantially higher engagement rates than any other type of content, including images and blog posts.
On top of that, Youtube is owned by Google and is the second largest search engine online.
Giving you another avenue for search growth for your practice to pursue.
Building a video content marketing strategy will help you, as the doctor promote your practices, talk specifically about medical conditions and your treatment approach and create a know, like and trust relationship with potential patients before they ever walk through the door.
If you are struggling to come up with topics or ideas for your first round of videos, we recommend starting with the low handing fruit: patient FAQs.
Think about it…
As a physician, you probably get asked hundreds of questions per month by your patients.
Just jot those down, and I can guarantee you could very quickly come up with six months worth of topics.
The great thing is…you know people are wondering about this!
I highly recommend you get on the video training as part of your medical marketing for doctors.
9. Create procedure based content that relates to patients
Sharing high quality before and after pictures of actual patient results can be one of the single most important medical marketing strategies, a practice that provides aesthetics services can do.
Search based ads allow you to target specific keywords in search and present ads to those people in a particular geographical area if you outbid competitors.
Above is a sample of search ads for a client we do mental health marketing for that is a psychiatrist in Manhattan.
We were focusing on bringing in new telepsychiatry clients for them during COVID.
Facebook Ads Manager allows you to create highly specific audiences to present ads based on the data Facebook ad pulled from their personal profiles.
Above is a sample of an ad from a women’s health clinic focusing on driving in new menopause consultations.
We took into consideration things such as age, geography, and interests when targeting our ads.
Therefore, we were able to target only those people that best fit our client’s potential patient base of a specific procedure we are promoting.
Digital advertising has revolutionized the medical marketing industry with platforms like Facebook and Google Ads.
Both PPC and Facebook advertising allows you to customize your advertisement to reach your exact potential patient base and provide specific tracking and analytics to gain great insights into the success of the advertising program.
Not only can you customize your medical practice ads but also monitor the ROI.
Analytics will help you adjust the ads to improve results based on data that has been received.
Digital advertising can be interactive and allows potential patients to engage with advertisements making it easier to capture contact information and convert leads.
Not only can you use digital advertising to drive in new leads and conversions, but you can also use it to boost your organic reach.
Google Ads and Facebook advertising are considerable drivers in converting new patients, growing high revenue procedures, and increasing overall practice revenue.
11. Grow new patient referrals through physician outreach
Physician referrals can be the lifeline of a medical practice, so developing a physician liaison marketing program is essential for sustaining strong doctor referral relationships.
Successful medical marketing for doctors will include efforts to expand your healthcare network and increasing patient growth.
Physician liaison marketing is hiring a representative for your practice to meet with local referring doctors and medical practices to increase patient referrals for the practice.
As the physician relations representative, they extend the bridge of communication between referring doctors and their medical practice.
Referral outreach can result in a significant increase in patient referrals and overall practice growth.
Physician liaison marketing is especially an excellent fit for hospitals, surgeons, and specialty medical practices because their patient base is majority referrals from general practitioners.
Other medical practices can significantly benefit from having a physician relations manager to help grow their healthcare network and meet with local physicians.
Benefits of a Physician Liaison Program:
Skilled physician liaison representative to promote the practice
Connects medical practice and doctors with referring physicians
Helps introduce new physicians to the healthcare community
It provides a way to streamline referrals for primary care providers easily.
Accessible point of contact for referring doctors for questions, concerns, or any other needs
Marketing director for practice
Increases patient referrals
Increases high revenue procedures
Increases overall practice revenue
Track visits and builds the physician’s network
Provides physician referral analytics
Evaluates practice growth and creates a marketing strategy
12. Depend on marketing analytics to make decisions
Understanding the medical marketing efforts that are most effective for your medical practice requires proper tracking and data and analytics reports.
Tracking and analytics will give you a fully comprehensive report on the progress of the medical marketing for your practice.
With tracking and analytics, you can target and re-invest in the marketing efforts that have proven successful.
We recommend utilizing software or CRM that provides marketing attribution so you can not only track how patients got into your funnel but see all their points of interaction that caused them to convert ultimately.
Dashboards are a fantastic way to see the executive-level health of your medical marketing program quickly.
At Intrepy, all of our clients get access to their very own marketing growth dashboards so they can see where they are at in their program at all times.
Take a hard look at each of these medical marketing strategies and formulate a plan to either implement or update these tactics in your overall healthcare marketing initiatives.
If you do, I think you will be plenty surprised at the amount of new patient growth the practice will experience.
The beauty is that many of these items play directly off each other, and the effectiveness of one dramatically contributes to that of another.
As we mentioned in many other articles, whenever you add a new digital marketing campaign to your arsenal test, test and retest one more time to make sure you are correctly optimizing all aspects of the campaign.
Give us a call or fill out a form and get a FREE practice assessment where we look at where you are at, what you need to do and what your competitors are doing.
We hope you found these medical marketing insights and tips helpful! Thanks for reading.
Justin Knott, President & CEO.
Last Updated: 10/30/20
Top Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2021
It is very important to stay up to date on the top healthcare marketing trends that are working in the medical space to grow healthcare organizations.
It can be tough to know which digital marketing trends in healthcare really do make the most growth difference and it can be frustrating because you can feel that by the time you implement one it is out of date.
That is why we have compiled a comprehensive list of the top digital healthcare marketing strategy trends that you need to focus on that we believe are here to stay for the next several years.
It used to seem like a foreign concept even 10 years ago for a patient to go online and research and find a practitioner-based of reviews and schedule an appointment, especially for a specialty physician.
However, we see it more and more every day with our clients that people are self-diagnosing, or even if they do receive a referral they do not just take their primary care doctors word for it.
They turn to online resources to read reviews and research the overall reputation of the practice and providers. Therefore it is critical to put a major emphasis on gaining control of the reputation management and review generation of the practice.
This is one of the healthcare marketing trends that appear here to stay until some kind of really major Google algorithm update that says otherwise.
Just take a look at the breakdown of local ranking factors based on research.
As you can see from the pie chart, reviews are the third most important ranking factor in local SEO.
Therefore, they cannot be ignored. You need to start implementing a dedicated program to gather new reviews on Google, Facebook and healthcare-related sites.
Not to mention that Google’s algorithm can read the content of these reviews and pull related keywords out of the reviews for searches you want to rank for.
Take the screenshot below for an example.
You will notice the review mentions “knee replacement” which is a major boost for this provider when people are looking for knee replacement specialists in his geographical area.
Video marketing arrived several years ago but has seen a slower adoption rate across the board by physician practices as a consistent part of their content marketing strategy.
A video is a powerful way of bringing potential patients “into the practice” and allowing them a peek behind the curtain to develop a know, like and trust relationship with the dentist before ever stepping foot in the practice.
And with that, Google is becoming increasingly more focused on local SEO which is great news for practices that invest in proper medical SEO for their business.
In the past, if you did a query for a local provider you would get a lot of nationally focused materials on the first page.
However, in recent years, those search results are dominated by Google’s local “3 pack” right at the top and either practice listings or directory listings (Yelp, Healthgrades) after that.
This means that it is critical to creating a well-rounded local SEO for medical practices strategy to dominate local search for your keywords and outperform the competition which drives new patients to your website and generates new calls.
Google focuses on a few components for local SEO that matter most.
On Page SEO Optimization
Google My Business
Check out this video on on page SEO strategies that you should be leveraging on your website pages.
Pro Tip: Making the Featured Snippets in Search Results
Google’s updates have made it to where you don’t even need to leave the platform to get a lot of your questions answered anymore with featured snippets.
Zero Search is up for 2020, so does that mean website clicks are down?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be in the #1 spot to earn a featured snippet.
How do you get website clicks out of a featured snippet?
By offering more information.
Google shows 8 items in their featured snippets, by offering more than 8 points google puts a link to your page where people can learn more.
Micro Influencers Can Extend Your Social Media Reach
When it comes to social media marketing strategy it can be difficult to come up with a way to reach a new audience and drive high levels of engagement. Enter influencer marketing.
What is influencer marketing? Influencer marketing is the act of utilizing someone else’s sphere of influence to act as a brand ambassador to promote your products or services to their audience.
The key to successful influencer marketing it that the influencer’s audience you are utilizing lines up really well with your target demographic. It would be great to have Tony Robbins post a promotion for your new botox special because of his reach. However, that is not the right target market for aesthetics services.
His followers are engaged with him because of his self-help, entrepreneurial style things that he does. A botox special would fall on deaf ears and even goes as far as to confuse his audience.
However, finding a local influencer who followers align with your botox offer could garner thousands of new followers, inquiries and new visitors to your website.
Take the plastic surgery marketing example here. A local facial plastic surgeon was able to reach out and score Kim Zolciak Biermann (Real Housewives of Atlanta) to come in an receive Ultherapy treatment. My guess would be in exchange for a complementary treatment the share her honest experience with her follows.
The result? 18,425 likes and hundreds of comments on her page. I can guarantee you local women (target marketing) came in droves to the doctor’s Instagram page to learn more. It immediately gives street cred to the practice because “if it is good enough for Kim Zolciak it’s good enough for me”.
Being to integrate an influencer strategy into your healthcare marketing.
Content Marketing Fuels Organic Website Traffic
After a well-built medical website, the most important thing when it comes to ongoing SEO and website traffic generation is probably a content marketing program.
Many think content marketing equals blog posts. While long-form blog posts are a highly effective form of content marketing that is far from the only effective form of content a practice can create. In fact, there are 40+ forms of content and having a good mixture is the most effective.
Each form has its own benefits and levels of engagement so while you may want to choose video or blog posts as a main focal point of content production make sure to mix it up frequently to keep people engaged.
You may be thinking, “wouldn’t paid advertising drive more people to my website”? It seems like such a long and uphill battle to drive traffic by producing content.
A recent study by Kapost found that, per dollar, content marketing generated 3X more leads than PPC advertising.
Therefore, make the investment this year in a consistent and well-documented content marketing strategy.
A properly structured and active blog on your website can generate 50% of more of your over organic site traffic on your website.
Check out this hyperbaric oxygen practice.
Their blog posts make up over 51% of their total organic website traffic.
This showcases the reason you need an active blog on your website.
Not convinced? Watch this video on how we more than doubled our site traffic updating old blog posts.
Social media is where your patients are active
Social media is now a given when it comes to digital healthcare marketing for a healthcare organization. Then why did I think it should make the list as a trend?
I think it has become not only a given but something that needs to be better utilized and made a more substantial focal point of healthcare marketing strategies.
While it is rare nowadays to find a practice without a Facebook page. We find it rare still to find a practice getting the most out of the platform and often end up feeling like it’s a waste of time and resources.
However, this is just because the proper content, time, and processes were not implemented to engage potential patients with the things they are looking for.
More than ever before patients are turning to social media to find recommendations to providers or do research prior to booking an appointment. With that said social media should be a gold mine to find new patients then. Right?
First, it starts with investing in the platforms that are the best fit for YOUR practice. You do not need to focus on everything. If you are going to be on the platform make sure it fits your target demographic and you can create the content that performs well for the social media platform.
Secondly, using the tips above for content marketing create the best of the best, better than the rest content that your readers cannot help but digest.
Thirdly, distribute that content consistently across social media and utilize research to know when the best times to post to reach your audience are.
There are a few main tips when building a social media program you need to keep in mind:
Bring people into your practice (i.e. show them what you do behind the scenes or in the OR)
Leverage video as much as possible
There are no shortcuts. It takes time, and it takes real engagement. You get out what you put in.
Vary the messaging and follow the 80/20 rule. 80% focus on providing real health-related value. 20% focus on the “hard sell” or driving appointments or other actions
Have fun and collaborate it is called “social” media for a reason
Claim and Unify Business Directories for Local Search
Doing a quick search result for “best internal medicine doctor in Atlanta” or “top orthopedic surgeons near me” is not going to return a set of local doctor’s offices. Instead, it will return a slew of listings and reviews websites.
Among them will more than likely be Google My Business, Healthgrades, Yelp, RateMDs.com, and more.
What does this mean?
That you need to make sure you are claiming and unifying business listings for both your practice locations and your providers.
I see this healthcare marketing trend continuing to become the norm as Google looks to return review based listings as a top priority because it is how consumers want to make purchasing decisions.
The unique thing about the healthcare vertical is physicians can have Google My Business and listings as well.
Therefore you need to focus on both sets of listings.
Unified listing for doctors send ranking signals to your website and Google My Business which aid in increasing your localized search results.
Voice Search is Being Adopted By Patients
With the rapid growth of items like the iPhone’s Siri, Amazon Echo, Google Home and more the use of voice search is rapidly becoming one of the common search engine trends in healthcare marketing.
In a recent survey, 71% of the participants said they would prefer to utilize a voice assistant to search for something instead of typing in their search queries.
Voice search arrived years ago but has been mainly utilized on mobile devices. However, as in-home devices have exploded over the past 2 years it voice search has become a more integral part of how we interact with search engines.
This is especially true of the millennial generation and people under the age of 49 who say they utilize voice search 92% or more a few times a month.
Take into consideration that millennials now own the majority purchasing power in the US economy it is time to take notice that voice search has arrived.
Digital healthcare marketing is an ever-evolving and changing industry and staying up on the latest trends is critical to developing effective strategies to grow your healthcare organization.
I hope you found these healthcare marketing trends insightful. Often times if you wait and react to a new trend it can be too little too late or you are left playing catch up to competitors.
Intrepy Healthcare Marketing offers a range of medical marketing services focused on growing medical practices and generate new, high revenue patients. Give us a call 678-250-4757 or fill out our contact form.
Doctor Marketing Agency Guide for 2021
Physicians are inundated with options and decisions for the best route to go when marketing or advertising their practice.
There seems to be endless strategies and platforms and countless agencies to help them execute these tactics. When shopping for a new agency why should you consider hiring an agency that exclusively focusing on health, medical and dental practice?
Is there a real advantage to hiring a doctor marketing agency? We explored 10 reasons why they can be the best fit to grow your practice and generate new patients.
1. Unique healthcare market insight
A doctor marketing agency has the expertise in all channels of marketing but also the direct, high-level knowledge of the healthcare industry. A professional healthcare marketer understands the medical space, physician competition, and the patient journey.
Medical and dental marketing requires a unique approach and knowledge of the current healthcare ecosystem. A healthcare marketing agency recognizes the role insurance companies and healthcare laws play in crafting the overall medical marketing strategy for your practice.
Healthcare marketing agencies understand the competitive marketing needed for small privately owned physician practices as well as large hospital systems.
Market insight is key to executing a successful medical marketing plan and attaining knowledge of the local physician competition. A healthcare marketing agency will attain market research to understand competing doctor’s marketing campaigns’: budgets, rankings, advertising channels, and promoted services.
The doctor marketing agency’s insight gives the physician a comprehensive competitive analysis and helps navigate marketing efforts moving forward.
2. Understanding Patient intake process and flow
The best doctor marketing agency understands the patient journey from what information they are looking for on your website, differentiators that matter, where they go to read reviews to make decisions to the importance of streamlining the appointment scheduling process.
This is critical because developing effective marketing and advertising strategies to target the exact potential patient base for your practice requires a vast knowledge of what the patient’s journey looks like and what, where and how to communicate an effective message to them that converts.
Not all patient scheduling and treatments are the same, so working with an agency that understands value per patient is a huge advantage. Some patient treatment options are one-off and some are returning patients for continuous care.
A marketing agency for doctors uses this information to develop marketing initiatives most effective for driving in new patients, increasing high revenue procedures, and staying in front of current patients.
3. Increasing Patient engagement
Direct patient engagement is a great way for physicians and medical practices to set themselves apart from the competition.
The most successful agencies develop marketing strategies, generate content and build advertising campaigns that drive new patient engagement and deliver value to potential patients.
A physician like Dr. Pimple Popper has mastered the art of delivering content that their target patients base cares about and therefore wants to engage with.
The result is building a large audience, extending the brand reach, and driving new patients into the practice.
4. A Focus on Patient Referral Volume
Patient referral volume is simply the process of gaining and obtaining patients through physician referrals and tracking that growth. Doctor referrals are the foundation of a majority of specialty medical practices and maintaining a solid patient base may rely on the volume of those patient referrals.
Building strong relationships with referring doctors is critical in growing your medical practice and gaining new patients.
A healthcare marketing agency should understand the value of not just digital marketing initiatives but the role that physician referral plays in practice growth. One should complement the other as even when a patient gets referred to a practice often times they will go online to research the practice and physicians.
Therefore, it is critical that you have positive reviews, your website is performing well in search so it’s easy for patients to find you and the right information to educate themselves once they do find you.
5. Doctor Marketing Agencies have experience working with physicians
A doctor marketing agency, with some exceptions, works exclusively with healthcare-focused organizations, vets, dental and medical practices.
Therefore, physicians can have confidence that the healthcare marketing agency understands the medical and dental industry and what marketing will be most effective for their practice.
Healthcare focused agencies also understand the life of a provider and have the flexibility to work around a doctor’s schedule. Deciding to go the route of higher an outside agency instead of an internal marketing employee should make your life as a provider easier, not harder.
Unfortunately, we all too often hear from providers that higher an agency that it just created unnecessary headaches for them because they were constantly telling them what they legally can and cannot say or how to reposed to patients in a HIPAA compliant manner.
These are things that are streamlined with an agency that focuses on health and medical marketing.
6. Knowledge of the major medical marketing channels
A marketing agency for doctors is dedicated entirely to improving healthcare organizations by enhancing practice reputations, drawing in new patients, and amplify their overall practice success.
They use customized and data-driven strategies to drive their marketing and advertising campaigns. Working closely with physicians and hospitals, an agency identifies benchmarks and goals needed for success and defines metrics to track progress.
Not all marketing and advertising channels are the most effective for every healthcare organization. Healthcare marketing and advertising agencies know from experience and data which channels and services will deliver the best results for your given demographic or specialty focus.
Below are some of the channels often used by a doctor marketing agency to cultivate new business for physicians and hospitals:
Stark and HIPAA law violations are very serious risks for hospitals and physicians in their marketing efforts. Having a marketing and advertising agency focused on the healthcare industry ensures physicians and dentists their agency is well versed in the parameters of Stark and HIPAA requirements.
This prevents providers from violating laws in their marketing campaigns and that all marketing and advertising is done within the strict guidelines of Stark and HIPAA.
8. Importance and Realistic Pain of reputation management and reviews
Research shows it only takes 1-6 online reviews for 68% of potential patients to form an opinion about your practice. What this means is potential patients are making decisions about what doctors they want to see based on the reputation your practice has online.
When you perform a Google search and the local “Google 3 pack” is returned (the map and the three listings) the top ranking signal next to proximity is the number of reviews and the quality of those reviews as compared to your competition.
Therefore, it is critical to put a high-level emphasis on collecting reviews on Google as well as other third party websites such as Yelp, Facebook, Healthgrades, Vitals, etc., as well as, on your website.
A marketing agency for physicians knows that developing a medical marketing plan that focuses on generating reviews is often a pain point for physicians despite it being such an important component of any local SEO strategy.
Physicians are hesitant to put an emphasis on collecting new patient reviews because of the possibility of receiving negative reviews. This is not because physicians are not confident in their level of quality when it comes to patient care, but because patients can put blame on the practice for things that are oftentimes unrelated to patient care.
Basically, physicians can receive negative reviews because patients do not understand copays and insurance reimbursement for their treatment or if it was completely covered by their insurance plan.
Despite a practice’s best efforts to communicate all charges with a patient, it can still result in a bill from the insurance company and a disgruntled patient taking it out on the practice.
Most negative reviews given by patients are centered on treatment costs and not understanding their insurance coverage. These are circumstances that are not controlled by the medical provider or practice, but they are the ones who receive the blame.
With this being an unfortunate reality of patient care doctors, for obvious reasons, are hesitant to further encourage leaving reviews because of the potential for these types of occurrences.
The truth is, unhappy patients, are going to leave a review whether you ask them to or not and it is a proven fact that reviews are one of the top 3-5 most important ranking factors for local SEO for doctors.
Therefore, it is absolutely critical to push forward and generate positive, well-distributed reviews across medical and non-medical focused reviews platforms.
We recommend leveraging a physician reputation management solution to help streamline the workflows and be able to seamlessly send text and email requests out to patients.
9. Budget Conscious
Marketing budgets frequently decide the marketing channels and efforts that medical practices will use. A healthcare marketing agency is familiar with reasonable marketing budgets for all sizes of medical practices and healthcare organizations.
By understanding the reality of marketing budgets for single provider privately owned practices all the way to large hospital systems, healthcare marketing, and advertising agencies can select the initiatives best suited to maximize patient growth and results.
10. Patient experience on your medical website
Your practice website is the foundation and most essential digital marketing asset for growing your practice. It is the “digital billboard” that represents your practice and engages with your potential patient base.
That is why it is so critical when a physician is going through the medical website design process that they concentrate on some fundamental design elements that will attract potential patients.
A healthcare marketing agency knows the critical components of UX/ UI for patients and how to build a responsive website that increases engagement, traffic and patient conversions.
Doctor Marketing Agency Wrap Up
There are many options to choose from when selecting an agency to market or advertise your practice. A healthcare marketing agency can provide a high level of expertise that may be hard to find from other marketing agencies.
They can understand your pain points, the patient journey, and what will work best to generate new patient traffic to the practice.
If you are looking for a doctor marketing agency to help you grow your practice or improve your marketing and advertising efforts, we are here to help! Intrepy Healthcare Marketing is an award-winning doctor marketing agency that offers a wide range of medical marketing services.
As the world grows more accepting and encouraging about “looking your best,” more and more plastic surgery practices have sprung up all over the country. Which means ever more competition for the plastic surgery leads you’re trying to attract.
How do you make sure you’re drawing in your fair share of leads and converting them into patients with such fierce competition in the industry? The first step is to master plastic surgery SEO.
What is plastic surgery SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which basically means making it easy for Google to see what your website (and your practice) is all about.
When Google gets a clear picture of what you do, who you serve, where you’re located and what services you offer, it can more easily deliver your plastic surgery website in search results to people who are searching for what you’re selling.
Google’s high-tech and ultimately mysterious algorithms are built to provide the best answers to whatever users are searching for. That’s why Google has taken over as THE be-all-and-end-all search engine that blows other engines like Yahoo or Bing out of the water.
The algorithm works. Your job, as a plastic surgery practice, is to make sure Google knows what you’re about so you can use its algorithm to your advantage.
That is where plastic surgery SEO comes into play.
Why is plastic surgery SEO important?
Expert SEO for your plastic surgery practice is critical to its long-term success. That’s because SEO is the link between you and all the potential patients out there who are looking for a plastic surgeon.
The way SEO works is that someone types something into Google like “plastic surgeons near me” or “breast augmentation cost Austin, TX.” If your website provides that information and your SEO is done right, your plastic surgery website will pop up in the search results.
If your SEO is done really well, it’ll pop up at the top of the search results page – above your competitors. That exposure translates into more leads, more consults, and more procedures done at your practice.
Effective SEO for your plastic surgery practice starts with these 10 strategies. Of course, there’s more where this came from. But these are the first 10 you’ll want to start with today to build a strong online foundation that gets your practice loads of exposure to the right web visitors.
Top 10 plastic surgeon SEO strategies
Today, we’re going to walk you through 10 plastic surgery SEO strategies you can use to grow your practice starting today. Once you start seeing the rapidly growing numbers of plastic surgery patients coming through your door as a result of your SEO efforts, you’ll be hooked.
1. Make sure your website is SEO optimized
Just having a website isn’t good enough these days. You have to optimize it for SEO.
Luckily for you, people searching out plastic surgery want lots of information before they step into a clinic – which means endless opportunities for you to create content that they can interact with via SEO.
Think “before and after photos” of all your cosmetic procedures, information about cost of procedures, blogs about pros and cons of plastic surgery.
Having plastic surgery isn’t something people typically jump into – they do a ton of research first. That’s good news for you.
Answer their questions on your website with SEO friendly terms, and you’ll explode the number of visitors to your website as well as your SEO rankings.
Adding a strong section of commonly searched FAQs to your treatments and surgery specific pages will help strengthen the overall SEO of those pages and help you rank higher in SERPs.
Here are more specific on page plastic surgeon SEO tips for how you can rank your treatments and conditions pages in Google Search.
2. Use a Local SEO for Plastic Surgeons Strategy
Most people are not going to look for a plastic surgeon outside of their local area.
For that reason, it’s imperative that you tap into the all the local plastic surgery SEO strategies for plastic surgeons when optimizing your online presence.
Make sure you work in the name of your city or region into the copy on your website, as well as in title tags, meta descriptions, photo file names and more.
Also, don’t forget to claim your Google My Business Listing, because it will allow your business to show up on Google Maps and improve your search engine rankings.
Plus, as we said before, people don’t want to travel a long way for plastic surgery. Showing potential patients that you’re right close by will help you book more consults that lead to more procedures.
3. Get a killer blog
Did you know that nearly 80% of visitors to your website will get there because of a blog? When someone has a question about plastic surgery, they’ll type that question in. If you’ve got a blog that answers their question that’s properly set up with SEO so it shows up high in the search results, that’s where they’ll click to get information.
Check out this website that ranks 3rd in the US on search results for “recovering from a butt lift surgery”. Guess what? It’s a blog post.
If they were an Intrepy client, however, that blog post would be updated with new 2020 content to work them toward taking over the #1 ranking spot for butt lift recovery related search terms.
And while they’re on your blog getting the answer to their initial question, they’re likely to browse around at the other content on your site. In general, people consume 11 pieces of content before they take action.
All that time that they’re browsing around on your website also helps your search engine rankings.
Google can see that they clicked on your link and then stayed on the site – which tells Google that your website provides helpful, useful information.
Since Google is in the business of delivering the best information to its users, they’ll push your site rankings higher because it can see that your website is useful to visitors.
By regularly posting new blogs to your website, you’ll also show Google that you take an interest in keeping your website up to date and providing current information to your visitors.
Google hates old content. If you’ve ever tried to find out information and been directed to something from 2002, you probably do, too. The more you post fresh, high-quality content, the better your search engine results will be.
4. Make your plastic surgery website mobile friendly
Not only do nearly 60% of all internet searches occur on a mobile device these days, but Google will also bump mobile-friendly sites up higher in search engine results.
Having a mobile-friendly site means your website looks good on any device. So if a customer is searching for cosmetic surgery on their phone while waiting to pick up the kids at school, or on the train, or in the locker room at the gym, they can.
In today’s online marketplace, it is quite often a case of “the first one gets the prize.”
If your site isn’t mobile friendly, potential plastic surgery leads will bounce off and find your competitors. Fast. Your market is way too competitive to rest on your laurels when it comes to plastic surgery SEO, mobile marketing, or anything else you do to market your practice on the web.
5. Double down on social media
No, we’re not talking about Facebook ads, though those are worth their weight in gold, too.
We’re talking about having a strong social media presence on all the major platforms for plastic surgery social media – Facebook and Instagram in particular. As a plastic surgery practice, your business is all about visuals.
People come to you to feel better because they look better. So showing off your work is quite simply the best possible advertising you can do. And on social media, it’s free.
How does having a social media presence tie into SEO for plastic surgeons? Backlinks.
Every high-quality link you have on the internet that leads back to your site gives fuel to the SEO fire. High quality links are the key here – don’t ever buy black hat backlinks, which are essentially fake links that go nowhere but attempt to trick Google into thinking you have lots of links to your site.
If Google catches you using black hat shenanigans, they’ll blacklist your site and you’ll lose all the SEO work and momentum you’ve built. Just don’t do it.
6. Make Youtube videos
Google owns YouTube, so for every video you have on there, you get a little bump in Google’s SEO algorithm.
Plus, when people are researching plastic surgery online, your videos, with proper, professional plastic surgery SEO, will pop up in the top of search results – the most valuable real estate on the internet.
Make sure to always include a link in the YouTube description to your website. Like we said – the more backlinks to your website, the better.
7. Get professional keyword research
Guessing isn’t as good as knowing. Sure, you can guess what plastic surgery keywords people in your area are searching for, but if you’re wrong, you’re going to waste a lot of time and money figuring it out.
It’s better to start with professional keyword research from a reputable plastic surgery SEO company. Maybe in your area, breast augmentation isn’t huge (pardon our pun), but facelifts or tummy tucks are. The only way to know is with professional keyword research.
8. Don’t set it and forget it
Once you finish with the SEO on your website, claiming your Google My Business listing, getting videos on YouTube, and hiring a brilliant content writer for your cosmetic surgery blog, you might think you’re done. But you’re not.
What keywords are “hot” changes all the time – from season to season and even from month to month. Watch what happens when an event happens, like a terrorist attack, a protest, or a celebrity baby being born. In minutes, the “most searched terms” on Google will change!
That kind of “turn on a dime” keyword shifting isn’t likely to affect your plastic surgery practice, but it’s just a good example that things on the internet change fast.
Every month or so, you’ll need to have new keyword research done to make sure that you’re still going after SEO keywords for cosmetic surgery that are getting a lot of traction. You always want to cash in on whatever people are searching for at the moment!
9. Make sure you’re “up to speed”
Google research says that the average website takes 15 seconds to load yet a user expects a less than 3 second load time.
That means users have a slow attention span and can result in poor SEO and high bounce rates.
A slow-loading website isn’t just frustrating to your visitors, it’s bad for your plastic surgery practice’s SEO, too. Page-loading speed is one of the things Google takes into account when ranking your plastic surgery website for SEO.
If your website is slow-loading now, there are plenty of things you can do to speed it up that don’t include redesigning the whole thing. Talk to a medical website marketing company that does web development, and they can help you trim and tweak your current site (if you like it and don’t want to change it) so that it loads faster.
10. Don’t let all your plastic surgery SEO work go to waste
Getting people to your website is one thing. Turning them into paying customers is another. Include calls-to-action that get your website visitors to do something like book a consult, download a report, or claim a free gift.
Don’t make them pick up the phone to interact with you! Picking up the phone and calling is actually one of the LAST things consumers do before making a purchase. Therefore, you’ve got to give them ways to interact with your brand in the interim to warm them up until they’re ready to schedule a consult or book a procedure.
Make sure you’re capturing the email addresses of as many site visitors as possible by offering “freebies” they’ll be happy to trade their email addresses to get. Physical samples of your products can be pricey to send out, but virtual products like a 10-step skincare guide from your top surgeon can be a big hit that costs you nothing to make and nothing to deliver.
“Freemiums” like this can help you collect valuable email addresses you can use to market to your customers until they’re ready to buy.
Plastic surgery is a big purchase.
So it takes a while for a potential plastic surgery lead to go through the buying cycle – from the moment they first consider a procedure until they actually buy it.
By harvesting email addresses from all of your website visitors, you can communicate with them and send them valuable, helpful information while they’re making up their minds. That puts you front and center when they’re finally ready to buy.
Need help with SEO for Plastic Surgeons?
At Intrepy Healthcare Marketing we specialize in marketing for plastic surgery practices. We leverage localized plastic surgeon SEO, paid advertising, marketing analytics and automation to develop highly engaging patient-centric marketing programs for aesthetics practice.
Let us know if we can help grow your practice and reach new patients.
Tips for Improving the SEO and PPC of your medical practice
No matter what practice you own, SEO and PPC can be vital for reaching new patients.
While traditional marketing used to be enough to get by and keep your practice growing, nowadays an effective healthcare marketing strategy means everything.
If you aren’t present on the web and you don’t work hard to build your online presence, you could see your revenue start to decline.
The digital marketing mountain is a tough one to climb. Especially in the medical space, finding the right healthcare marketing strategy isn’t easy. When it comes to understanding digital marketing, it’s essential first to understand the many aspects of SEO and pay per click (PPC). In this post, we’ll discuss what you need to know to improve your SEO and PPC for doctors.
How does SEO Work?
Medical Search Engine Optimization involves optimizing a website to improve rankings on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines. Whenever we search for something through a search engine, we generally click on one of the top results that we see.
Search engine optimization is the strategy to get your website to land in the top spot in search. Given that users click on the links located at the top of the list, it’s vital that you make a strong effort to appear in one of those top results.
Many technical and non-technical factors help boost the ranking of a website, but there are a few things that stand above the rest in terms of importance: high-volume keywords, quality content, and useful title tags and meta descriptions.
An Active Content Marketing Strategy
The first step in developing a healthcare content marketing strategy should be to complete keyword research to find the keywords that users are searching for the most. It’s essential to use a variety of keywords that are focused on the services and care that you provide. After you found the keywords you would like to target, it’s time to add these words to high-quality content. Google is becoming very smart as they will rank websites higher if they have more relevant, quality content on their pages. However, you never want to overstuff your content with keywords as you might see a drop in rankings.
Keep in mind that length is a critical factor in ranking well for a particular piece of content that you create. Take for example you want to target the search traffic for “cost of breast augmentation”.
To do so, it would be a great idea to create a 2,000-word blog post on “What is the cost of a breast augmentation?”. Make sure it is in-depth, contains long-tail keywords and includes proper H tags.
Based on research the average blog post in the 1st position is 1,890 words. See the graphic below.
A great local SEO strategy doesn’t just include focusing on your website. You need to make sure you turn your attention to critical 3rd party sites and influence search rankings.
The #1 place to start is claiming, verify and completing in ENTIRETY your Google My Business. Make sure the NAP info (name, address, phone, etc) all match exactly the information on your contact page on the website.
After you have done that, make sure to emphasize building new reviews on for GMB page as this is one of the most critical local ranking factors when someone searches for your type of practice.
What is PPC (Pay Per Click_?
SEO involves reaching the top of “organic” search results which are the non-sponsored searches. To move your way into the top slots, you have to enter the world of pay per click healthcare digital advertising or PPC. The top 2-3 results that contain the word “Ad” are paid for via the Google Ads platform.
While it’s possible to reach the #1 spot on Google search results, it can take a while to reach that spot with organic SEO efforts.
Therefore a faster, more direct solution is called pay-per-click. PPC (pay-per-click) is a strategy where companies are charged a fee each time their link is clicked on. These are sponsored links that are put at the very top of Google search results and can produce a large number of clicks.
While SEO earns those top organic spots over time, PPC is a shortcut to the front of the line — for a fee of course. Using PPC, advertisers bid on the perceived value of a click. This value is determined by the keywords used, search volume, the platform, and the audience type involved. Typically, if you’re trying to target a highly-searched keyword such as “healthcare,” this will cost you more money per click.
A Blend of Both Worlds
Now you may be wondering; should I focus on SEO or PPC? The simple answer — a combination of both can be ideal. While an effective SEO for healthcare campaign will bring you the most cost-effective exposure over time, an effective PPC strategy can bring you highly targeted results in the near term.
As PPC continues to grow in popularity, it will become increasingly expensive to advertise on Google and Bing. This means, while PPC is a critical component of a successful strategy, you do not want to rely on it long term to drive revenues.
However, depending on the geographical area and focus of your business it can take 3, 6 or even 12 months to grow your SEO organically and that is time you cannot wait to drive leads to the business.
Therefore, leveraging Google Ads is an excellent solution for businesses as they implement a long-term organic SEO strategy for their business. As you begin to bear the fruit of your SEO labor, you can shift more of the budget in that direction lessening the monthly ad spend.
We have seen this strategy gainer high levels of results and revenue for our clients while staying in line with their budgets long-term.
Improve SEO and PPC for your medical practice wrap up
Improving your SEO and PPC strategy starts by understanding the values that both serve and learning how to leverage each or ideally a blend or both to develop a successful marketing strategy for your practice.
Medical Practice Marketing Tips to Reach New Patients
Practice marketing has evolved to a more digital landscape over the last 3-5 years are patients have become more involved in their own health journey.
This rings even truer during a crisis like COVID as patients are now forced to turn to digital avenues like telehealth and online content for their care.
Unfortunately, many practices have struggled to make the transition and become better digitally integrated to improve patient adoption to digital technologies.
This has cause practices to keep their “virtual” doors closed for longer and miss out on much need patient care and revenues.
However, it is not only possible to grow and reach new and existing patients through effective medical practice marketing but it should shine a light on the importance, moving forward, of growing an engaged online community of patients.
In this article, we are going to look at some medical practice marketing tips that you should be looking at to reach new patients as we move into a “new normal” over the remainder of 2020 and beyond.
1) Evaluate and Adjust Marketing Campaigns
The first thing to do is to evaluate your current medical practice marketing plan. During these sensitive times, it’s crucial that your medical marketing and messaging be helpful and focused, rather than self-promotional. The medical industry prides itself on trust, so it wouldn’t be responsible to turn a blind eye to the pandemic in favor of self-promotion.
The first thing you need to do is to re-examine your content marketing. Comb through your current content and decide if you need to re-write current content to be more responsive or sensitive to the pandemic.
For example, let’s say your practice specializes in elective surgeries but has suspended them during this time. You can incorporate relevant content that alerts potential patients of the changes in service. You can also directly link them to the Centers for Disease Control website for further information on the pandemic, even if you don’t have additional information.
We will get into more in-depth on it later but you also need to make sure there are ample amounts of content on how your practice is handling COVID and patient safety.
In this regard, it is better to over-communicate through content marketing across an omnichannel approach on your website, social media, video, email, etc.
Check out this hyperbaric medicine facility that is a client that we developed a COVID-19 landing page and pop up on their website so patients can easily locate more information on how they are handling the crisis.
2) Introduce Over-the-Phone or Video Chat Medical Services
Telemedicine can be beneficial for keeping existing patients and acquiring new ones for practices closed to in-person visits. Talking with patients over the phone or a video chat allows your practice to continue patient care even when the physical office is closed.
In turn, your patients feel cared for during a very confusing and stressful time.
You can advertise these new video chat services to your patients (and potential new ones) via several methods:
Create a prominent banner or pop-up announcement on your website
Email current and potential patients
Promote your new service on social media
Add the information to your site’s landing and contact pages.
If you use over-the-phone or video chat medical services, your practice can adhere to CDC guidelines and address your patients’ health concerns. Remember to communicate with your patients through your website and other digital channels to keep your patients well-informed of this new feature.
Fortunately, many of these mediums of video and chat communication are reimbursable by insurance so it is a great way to continue to bring in revenue in a digital setting.
3) Update Your Practice’s Website
Your practice website is arguable your most important medical practice marketing asset.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your website is communicating easily and clearly the things that matter most to patients.
Are you open and seeing patients?
How do patients book appointments right now? Online? Over the phone?
If I book via telehealth, how do I get into the telehealth visit?
What are you doing to follow safety measures if you are physically open?
One of the best things you can do is create a page exclusively dedicated to resources. Patients and other site visitors will find solace in having a list of local and national resources they can use for information. This resource page can contain a short introduction and a list of resources, such as:
A direct link to the CDC’s website
Update Practice Info & Office Hours on Listings
You also need to update your office hours if they have changed due to COVID-19. Make sure you post your changes on your website as well as local listings and all other channels (Yelp, Google, etc.).
Google My Business has added some additional point of care fields that you need to make sure are completely filled out including “COVID-19 Info Link” and “Virtual care link” for specific info pages you have on your website.
The more of these features that you fill and complete on listings like Google My Business the better you are going to rank in local SEO and the more patients will being able to find helpful information to book with you.
4) Leverage Email Marketing to Improve Patient Communication
If you’re not already doing email marketing, now is an opportune time to start. Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies to get new and existing patients to visit back in the practice (in person and virtually).
People have been at home due to stay-at-home orders and are consuming information through digital channels, including email. News and updates on COVID-19 are happening quickly; the best way to stay connected with your patients is through email marketing.
Along with updates on your operations, you can send helpful information on COVID-19 from reputable sources. These updates can show your patients that you’re there for them while keeping your practice in their minds.
They will trust you as a valuable resource not only for healthcare but for information as well.
Investing in growing your practice email list will prove invaluable over the coming months and years.
A few of the best ways to do so is by offering downloadable resources, free webinars, and exclusive content.
Patients eat up provider level content and are happy to give away their email address in exchange for relevant, value-add resources to make them happier and healthier.
5) Share Info and Updates on Social Media
Have you been investing in social media as part of your medical practice marketing strategy?
If not, you may have missed out on a big line of communication and engagement after the physical doors of your practice closed.
During the stay-at-home orders, more and more people are browsing through social media to get updates on the COVID-19 situation.
This is a perfect opportunity to begin to invest in a content and storytelling program to develop videos and blog posts about what you do, how you help patients and interesting FAQs surrounding your specialty or practice type.
In order to found out what platforms or content medium would be the most effective, start by evaluating your existing patient base.
This will tell you if Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, or LinkedIn would be the best avenues.
Generally, consistent video content is always a winner with your target audience if you can get into a rhythm of producing high-quality videos 2-3 times per week and post it on social media.
Struggling with content ideas? Start with the low handing fruit by asking yourself what are the common FAQs that patients ask me on a monthly basis?
Start there and I bet you can come up with months worth of video ideas.
The best thing is? You know patients are asking those questions.
6) Utilize Local Search Engine Optimization
During and after the pandemic, you’ll need to rely on growing local organic search for your inbound marketing strategy.
It is an investment well worth making as it puts you more in the driver’s seat for attracting new patients versus relying on the costs of advertising to keep leads flowing in.
The chart above gives you a peek into what Google’s algorithm deems most important in terms of ranking well in local search over your competitors.
One of the most important factors in addressing on-page website optimization.
On-page SEO refers to the structures of the pages on your website to ensure they are following Google’s best practices.
That includes your title tag, URL, H tags, body copy, website speed, on-page time, and several other factors.
We generally start with auditing the existing pages on a new client’s website to identify areas of improvement and running an audit on the top 5 competitors to find out what is driving the more organic traffic to their website.
That allows us to utilize data to determine what needs to be done versus guessing what patients are searching for to find your services.
Want more tips? Here are 7 of the top on-page medical SEO strategies you need to keep in mind.
7) Get started with Video Marketing
Video is one of the most powerful mediums and medical practice marketing tools you can leverage.
It is the preferred way patients want to consume information and it helps to establish a know, like, and trust relationship with potential patients before they ever walk through the practice doors.
Getting involved as a provider in the video content creation of the practice is critical to the overall success of the program.
Patients want to hear from the point of care providers talking about their knowledge and expertise as it relates to their health and wellness.
Make sure you are not only postings these videos on your website and social media but getting them up on Youtube and properly optimizing them for Youtube SEO.
This will ensure you get the biggest reach out of each video and go back in and insert them into related blog post articles.
That not only increases on-page time for each blog post as patients watch the videos while they read, but it also increases the number of video views.
A win-win scenario.
Not sure where to start with Youtube SEO? Check out this video with the top tips.
8) Know Your Responsibility
The most crucial point is to remember your responsibility as a medical practice during a global pandemic.
Prioritize everyone’s health and safety and avoid instilling fear in people or adding to the information clutter.
You can build your practice’s credibility by providing truthful, relevant information, and reinforcing your position as a trusted authority in your specialty.
You also need to remember to have empathy when marketing and communicating with patients.
In this sensitive time, people are looking to healthcare organizations for assurance. Remember to keep your tone delicate, positive, and empathetic. Take care with the language you use because everyone is dealing with the pandemic differently.
Wrapping Up Practice Marketing Strategies
As we continue to navigate the waters of a new normal that COVID has created it is important to continue to look to digital strategies and software that your practice can leverage to connect and grow your patient population.
Telehealth tools are only a portion of the fix. What good are tools if patients don’t know how to find them, leverage them, or connect with you on them?
If COVID has taught us one thing in the marketing world I hope it is the value of growing an engaged “tribe” of patients that you can communicate with, teach and care for no matter what time we are in.
In today’s episode, we are joined by the CareDash CEO, Ted Chan. CareDash has become one of the leading provider directories for helping patients connect with local, quality providers. We are discussing the role of reviews on the patient decision-making process, what makes up a good provider listing profile, and more marketing advice for doctors.
Welcome to Ted Chan from CareDash. If you’re a physician provider or healthcare marketer out there, I’m sure you’ve seen their meteoric growth over the last couple of years as now one of the largest physician provider directories.
Tell us a little bit more about CareDash.
CareDash is a patient review website and a physician directory. Last month, before all the coronavirus mayhem, we had over two million patients a month searching for care all over the US.
We started CareDash in 2015. The original genesis came because I have a loved one that has some chronic health issues. We found a lot of the review sites don’t care about stopping fake reviews. We saw both review spam, meaning physicians sending multiple, hundreds, sometimes, of five-star reviews, or reputation attacks, unhappy patients (or not) sending hundreds of one-star attacks.
If you scrutinized the review sites that existed two or three years ago and were indexing the top five in Google, you would have seen that they really didn’t care. 80% of patients are Googling their doctor, and having bad information impacts the patient-physician trust dynamic.
CareDash uses artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to weed out fake reviews and overlay interesting datasets to make the healthcare experience more transparent, to make our site most useful.
We started the CareDash in 2015 and launched in 2016. For two years we had no traffic. So imagine going to your board as a venture-backed startup with that. In ’17, we had less than 10,000 people for the whole year on the site. By 2018, CareDash was getting more reviews, and some of our value-added features were coming online. Since then, it has really been meteoric growth. Last February, 30 days, we had two million patients on the site.
Many providers just want to look the other way and just ignore reviews. But they play such an important role now in search, as well as research when it comes to patients. Talk a little bit about why they need to be focusing on growing their reviews as a provider.
To get discovered on a site like CareDash or any other directory, I think one of the first things patients are looking for is reviews.
CareDash sorts physician profiles based on strong reviews, strong biographies, and headshots. Reviews are a starting point. Having great bios helps a patient or a prospective customer get a more profound sense of who the physician is, what their expertise is.
The way I look at it is CareDash, and the other review sites are part of the patient journey on the web. So everyone’s Googling their doctor or practice. The behavior that we see is the patient searcher is putting in the query, the practice, the doctor name, or a structured search query like “top primary care physician” and “Corpus Christi.” Then they are looking at every page with reviews. Google’s the UI, hitting back after they look at the page, or looking at a few pages on the site and building a mental model in deciding whether this is the physician they want to book an appointment with, or keep as their doctor.
In a month where we get about two million folks on the site, we’ll send out over 100,000 clicks and calls to physician websites or phone numbers.
Any interesting analytical search trends shifts related to COVID-19?
The two most prominent query shifts from the patient search are way more telehealth and emergency. Telehealth makes sense.
We’ve seen an overall drop off in traffic because we get many of the queries right before or right after appointments. Right now, since people aren’t doing that sort of standard, routine care, so those queries aren’t happening at nearly the same volume. We’ve seen a massive lift in telehealth.
Emergency is an area that’s way up. The big one we’re seeing is emergency dental. The saddest one I’ve seen and one that worries me the most is queries around loneliness.
Mental health has one of the most natural transitions from a B2C marketing standpoint is now, without geographical borders, psychiatrists, and mental health therapists can see people all across the country. Have you seen teletherapy grow a lot?
CareDash has a great teletherapy search experience that focuses on helping patients find the right individual counselor. That area has grown a lot. We index high. We typically index in the top five for therapy.
So that’s one place where the trend is crystal clear of people looking for mental health support. Family strife, marital issues, depression are definitely things you see with the quarantine. Unfortunately, we’ll also see some of the bad things that happen with economic slowdowns, drug abuse, and alcohol. Mental health is going to be an area where patients need access to the right care.
Does CareDash use paid traffic to build its audience?
We do. As a scrappy startup that had no organic search, we had to start somewhere. To build up our initial user base and review base, we do mostly Google, Bing, and Facebook. We’ve been buying a fair amount of traffic for a while. We’ve stayed between 10% and 20% of our traffic being paid even as we have scaled.
What are important things for a practice to focus on right now?
It’s an excellent time to take a mid or long-term view. Right now is an opportunity to do the work and set up a big inbound funnel. Invest in SEO, on optimizing directories. At least the directories that bring patient traffic like CareDash and the other major ones
How should physicians and practices think about telehealth?
Telehealth is a huge shift and a new competitive paradigm. Specialties like dental may always be mostly local, but others can be highly virtual.
Whether it’s statewide or nationally, there’s potential gain to that or benefits to that.
If you’re an expert in something and those are the cases you want to work on, you probably don’t have critical mass locally to do that. You might nationally, statewide. It is an opportunity for physicians to be more focused, work in higher-margin areas to build a better lifestyle. Some doctors might like to telework more.
How does telehealth impact competition for patients?
The flip side of that is it means that big brands that carry authority and expertise with them, like say, a Mayo Clinic or a Cleveland Clinic, or a strongly branded local system can present itself anywhere and compete against you.
In the new telehealth paradigm, you want to be an expert. You want to have authority on specific medical topics that people are looking for. Whether that’s word-of-mouth, through directories, through search, you want your brand, your marketing, to present that expertise in a world where competition is just. You can have a health system in Cleveland competing against you for the same patient.
How does this change how people will look for patients?
These next three months to two years, it’s a new paradigm. People are going to be looking for healthcare in a completely different way. There will be a lot more “patient liquidity,” right? I’ve had the same primary care physician forever. This is the first time I’m even looking at things like tele-urgent care, tele-primary care.
I never thought about having a virtual primary care physician. Now I’m looking at SteadyMD or one of these virtual concierge practices. I can get a doctor that fits me better, and I don’t have to leave the office to see them so I can go right back to work. Maybe my primary care physician here in Boston is a badass CrossFit athlete, but he hasn’t told me.
Certainly, the local health system practice isn’t putting that in his bio. They might say hobby biking or something, but these digital health players are marketing better – this is about making a personal connection.
The art of storytelling, that’s why it’s so crucial for providers to be engaged in this process. As raw and authentic as you can be, the better.
How do you create a good profile for a site like CareDash?
In an excellent physician profile, a doctor communicates their expertise in a personal way that meets the needs of the patient that they want to bring into their practice.
Imagine you’re a shift worker with limited transportation and child care, and you’re paid hourly, and your boss is not understanding, you might just… The most important things to you might be price, courtesy, and timeliness.
If you are the world expert in some topic and patients, wait months to see you, and then two hours in the waiting room, just say it. “I’m the world’s best rheumatologist for people who have severe elbow pain. That’s a thing. Look, it’s very… I can be busy, but I can guarantee you this expertise.”
Just provide an authentic view of what your expertise is, map it to real patients’ needs in a way that resonates. Other data points like reviews are just going to corroborate that position.
What would you like to say even be remembered in 2020? Pick one word.
If I had to pick one word, it would be “hospitals.”
CareDash has become one of the leaders in hospital reviews. We have some very big initiatives in that area that we’re rolling out, that allow patients to see a different outcome and ranking metrics for hospitals. That’s a big push, that’ll come out later this year.
How do your hospital reviews differ from others?
We built our hospital review set through patient surveys and we found the average review is something like a 4.2 out of 5. If you look at the GMBs for hospitals, they’re ones and twos, a lot of systems don’t bother managing them, but everybody’s, even just for directions, they’re Googling and seeing that low GMB rating. It sets a bad mindset going into care, right?
If you work with hospitals and health systems, there’s a lot of people who really care and they’re really passionate about their job.
The American healthcare system’s not perfect by any stretch, but I think that sort of 4.2 out of 5.0 or 8 and a half out of 10 patients being happy with their care, feels about right to me. With the large horizontal sites, there’s a lot of complainer bias.
Hospitals do struggle with things like billing and communicating billing, and you see tons of complaints around that. So, that’s always gonna be an area where somebody is mad about getting overcharged. They are going to leave a negative review. The first place to do it, it’s GMB.
What should practices do about negative reviews?
CareDash has a reply function to reviews. Something like 15 or 20 of negative reviews get revised upwards after a thoughtful reply. They either get to leave it or revised.
So, it’s patients wanting to be heard. That’s interesting.
Yeah. Well, it is incredibly incoherent way I’ve just said, [chuckle] but 15 to 20% of negative reviews that get replied to results in that negative review getting removed or improved.
There are a few reasons for that. One is the patients want to be heard; two is they feel bad or realize the issue wasn’t a big deal. Three – it gets resolved. The reasons people write negative reviews, they want something resolved, and once it’s fixed, they don’t want something out there or to harm a physician’s reputation.
It’s why review management is so important. You see the review right away, it’s within a day of the appointment, and you resolve the issue quickly. If the review is up the day of the appointment and you don’t reply for two, three, four weeks, then it’s been festering, and the person might not be paying attention anymore, and it might be there forever.
Ted Chan Bio
A skilled innovator, strategist and social entrepreneur, Ted Chan has more than ten years of experience in management consulting and information technology solution architecture. He has dedicated his career to creating user-friendly digital solutions, data science, and analytics to transform everyday challenges facing consumers.
Ted created CareDash after noticing two troubling trends on healthcare review sites: healthcare providers serving certain segments of the U.S. population were underrepresented and many existing sites accepted financial compensation in exchange for removal of negative provider feedback. These practices have made access to information about the quality of provider care more difficult for large segments of Americans. Utilizing his background in creating consumer-facing technology and personal interest in social entrepreneurship, Ted created CareDash to address the need for transparency and improve the quality of healthcare information available for all Americans.
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