Most people who start medical practices are incredibly smart and well-educated. The problem is that chances are, they spent a lot more time in science classes in school than they did in business classes. When it comes to creating and growing a successful medical practice, a solid marketing plan is key. Marketing is as much an art as it is a science though so it may take some trial and error before you home in on the best marketing strategies for your business. If you follow these general tips though, you will be off to a great start.
Tip #1: You Need a Website
It is now the year 2020, which means the internet has been a huge part of all our lives for 25 years or more now. If you already have a great website for your practice, good job! You can skip ahead. If you do not have a solid website, what are you waiting for? 85% of consumers conduct online research before making a decision. If you don’t have a strong web presence, you are not capitalizing on an easy and efficient way to teach people about your business.
The best part about websites nowadays is how easy they are to start. If you have a little bit of computer-savvy, it is relatively easy to build a website yourself through companies like Wix or Squarespace. If you want some help on a budget, check out freelance websites like Fiverr or Upwork. Or, if you want the best of the best, it is easy to find skilled, professional companies who specialize in building business websites. There is no excuse for not having a website.
Tip #2: Learn the Letters SEO
Once you have a website, you need people to find it. As a doctor, you need not be a wiz at SEO however you should have a little bit idea so that so called SEO experts who you will engage, do not fool you. Here is a very nice article, should not take 45 minutes to read: https://neilpatel.com/blog/simple-guide-to-seo/
The way people find things on the internet is through Google. There are over 3.5 billion searches on Google every day, which breaks down to 40,000 searches per second. During these searches, 90% of users stick to the first page of search results. 60% will only click the top two or three results. This means that it is so important to get your website to show up high on the first page when people search for keywords related to your practice. How do you do this? SEO. Get business listed on Google Maps and request positive reviews from patients.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your website so when Google “crawls” your site to find out what it is about, the search engine believes that your site is reputable, high-quality, and offers value to people who are searching for terms related to your business. Your site needs to load fast, offer links to useful content and sites, and contain relevant content to your field. Having a helpful and interesting blog on your site is a great tool to help boost your SEO.
Tip #3: Get Social
You may have heard that we are in the age of social media. This is just as true for businesses as it is for individuals. If you are not leveraging some form of social media for your practice, you are missing out. This is not to say you need to be on every social media platform all the time. On the contrary, using social media poorly can be just as bad as not using it at all. Think about what you want to use social media for and pick the platform or two that works best for your needs.
If you want to do targeted social media advertising or leverage word-of-mouth and positive reviews, Facebook may be the platform for you. If you want to connect with a professional referral network of other medical professionals and specialists, it may make sense to give LinkedIn a try. For a more top-line brand building experience, check out Instagram if you want to share stories and photos or Twitter if sharing tips and articles are more your thing.
Tip #4: Build Your Profiles
In addition to websites, search engine positioning and social media, there are several online profiles you can create and keep up to date to make your online presence better. One best practice is to make sure you take advantage of Local Business listings in search engines like Google and others. This will help your practice show up in “near me” searches, which have grown over 500% in the last 2 years. Also, it is a great place to be able to track and manage patient reviews which are so important in driving business.
Creating and maintaining a profile on medical booking sites like Zocdoc, PatientPop, or Localmed or Opencare (both for dentists), will allow you to find patients who may not otherwise find your practice. Just be aware of what sorts of fees these sites charge and how they charge them before you sign up.