Are you a healthcare practitioner hoping to expand your client base? Or maybe you’re just starting out and looking for brand-new patients to get your clinic off the ground.
Local advertising for medical practices can be a tricky thing to navigate, so if you’re worried about reaching the largest audience possible, here are just a few tips for spreading the word.
1. Identify Your Target Market
Even if you offer a wide range of services to patients of all ages, try to narrow down a specific demographic for marketing purposes. For example, if you’re a pediatrician, make your website bright and family-friendly.
If you practice sports medicine, court the athletes with a sleek, professional look. You want your target market to see your website and think “Yes, this is for people like me.”
2. Make It Accessible
Your website should have both a “regular” version and a “mobile” version. The latter should offer your business information in a quick and streamlined way that won’t take ages to load on phones, laptops and tablets. As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your content is accessible across all platforms.
3. Utilize SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) will improve the visibility of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs). Instead of being a forgotten link on page 112, you’ll be one of the first websites that appear on page one. Do some research about keywords and unique visitors to learn how to improve your clinic’s SEO.
4. Use the Right Buzzwords
Speaking of keywords, the right lingo on your website can make all the difference in how your business is perceived. For example, you’ll want to avoid words like “pain,” “bad” and “death” because patients will subconsciously associate them with your brand. Instead, use positive, upbeat words like “relief,” “happiness” and “recovery.” These will trigger good thoughts that link to your practice.
5. Get Listed
Put your website in every online database that you can find. Add it to third-party review sites; list it in your city’s digital yellow pages; advertise it on blogs, newspapers and community forums. You might also want to join online medical associations that will refer to your website in their directories. All clicks lead to traffic, so there’s no such thing as oversaturation.
6. Make Use of Social Media
Millions of people use social media every day. Why not tap into that market by creating your own social media accounts? You can post announcements, advertise price cuts and remind everyone about flu shots without ever having to leave the comfort of your clinic. It’s free, too, so you won’t have to worry about paying for anything. If that isn’t convenience in advertising, nothing is.
7. Emphasize Your Location
When registering a domain name, make sure it includes your geographic location. For example, your URL might be something like “PhoenixHealthcare.com” or “BostonDoctorsAssociation.com.” Not only will this immediately identify you as a neighborhood doctor to people within your community, but it will also improve your rankings on sites like Google and Yahoo.
8. Create a Newsletter
Newsletters are a form of email marketing. While they may or may not attract patients, they’ve been proven to help retain the patients a business already has. In addition to creating a sense of trust and reliability in your brand, they’ll also keep your clinic at the forefront of people’s thoughts.
9. Run Promotions
Everyone loves a freebie, and this includes a freebie from their doctor. Maybe you could slash prices for new patients until the end of the month. Maybe you could offer free shots or check-ups for children under five. Whatever promotion you decide to run, make sure you advertise it on your website or social media accounts.
10. Create Viral Content
When something spreads quickly across the Internet, it’s considered a “viral” phenomenon. You can attract a lot of press if you make something on your website go viral. The bad news is that no one has cracked the formula for why some things go viral and others don’t, but you can always do your homework and hope you get lucky.
11. Become a Guest Blogger
Guest bloggers are experts who share their knowledge on other people’s websites. As a doctor, this might mean something like contributing to a newspaper column or writing an article for a “mommy blog.” The specifics don’t matter as long as you’re putting yourself out there and attracting patients from outside your usual demographic.
These are just a few tips for spreading the word about your health care practice. Whether you’re a graduate straight out of med school or an experienced physician looking to expand your clinic, these guidelines should help you reach a larger number of patients through digital marketing.