We know how it is, you want to grow your business and you know how. You see it every day on your Facebook feed, in online blogs (such as this one), and on forums such as reddit. People and businesses are reaching out using digital marketing and online advertising, and oh boy can it work. The beauty of digital marketing is that it creates business, which makes money, which can be spent on more marketing. This cyclical loop might seem concerning in several respects but can provide massive growth if all the gears click, as many companies have demonstrated in the past. Luckily, it isn’t that hard to market your medical practice and we’ll show you the ropes with 6 simple medical practice marketing tips you can do on your own or outsource to a medical marketing service.
1. Make A Website
If you don’t have a website for your medical practice yet it’s about time for you to arrive in the 21st century by setting one up. Having a website is the first place to start internet marketing for local business owners and is quickly becoming a necessity in this day and age. With a website you can have a place for customers to refer to your information and services, read your credentials or publications, find directions to your office, take a look at pictures of your office, and much more. Your website will be your businesses base of online operations and virtual asset that your marketing campaign will revolve around and draw web traffic too.
You can purchase a domain name on a site like GoDaddy (or test out a free one above) which matches your practice name, but there’s a lot more to having a website than just the domain name, such as deciding on your physician website design. We would recommend using a medical marketing agency or service to help you decide where to host the website and how, if you don’t plan on running the website yourself. It can save a lot of trouble in the long run to have a dedicated web master from the beginning.
Where To Buy, Host, Manage, and Learn to Maintain A Website
If you want to take a shot at making and designing your own website (or at least retaining a lot of direct control) we are big fans of the Wealthy Affiliate platform which has all the tools, training, community, and technical support you need to grow a business website. We highly recommend this tool despite appearing more pricey than something like GoDaddy because it offers everything you need to learn, host, and manage a website all in one place. This will end up saving you time, money, and hassle in the long run.
If you need our help or a free consultation on building a website, improving a website, or starting and growing your brand online please feel free to contact us here.
2. Make Organic Content
Making organic content might seem like an arduous task but it is the base of any digital marketing strategy since it’s basically free to make and can be found through Google for years after it is made. When organic content is made it should be optimized for Google and other search engines (which will be discussed in step 3). Despite the personal effort required, it doesn’t have to be hard and can include several things you might enjoy or already do such as participating in online communities like Quora or LinkedIn; or having your own website with a blog of your case studies, publications, and thoughts. What’s great about organic unpaid content is that it’s cheap and can be highly personal and effective.
You might be saying ok I can write about my case studies sure, and I can even comment in a local Facebook group related to my practice but time is money and this sounds like something I can’t take on long-term. Well that’s fine, as long as you’re putting some personal touch on the content and have the base personal descriptions outlined you can put the rest in cruise control. You can use a service such as freelancer.com to find a med student looking to earn extra cash or professionals experienced in medical practice content marketing to create your content for you at an affordable rate (it’s recommended to make new content at least 1-4 times a month). Having a consistent flow of content will help your website show up on search engines in more and more searches and build trust and recognition in your community and online.
3. Optimize For Search Engines Like Google
So now you have a website with the basic info about your practice, have chosen a few platforms to post and update your content, as well as developed a plan to create new content regularly, so when exactly do we start to market our services to new customers? Well with steps 1 and 2 in place you can now start marketing on the biggest online marketing tool in the world, Google (and other search engines). Optimizing is done through a set of techniques called search engine optimization, or SEO. Out of many marketing strategies medical practices can use, optimizing the content on your site for search engines should be a priority due to the importance of Google for finding information by consumers. When optimizing for search engines the goal is to have a good SERPs or Search Engine Results Page (basically your position in Google results), which directly affects how easy it is to find your business.
Optimize For What People Are Searching For (Keyword Optimization)
There are two major factors in SEO that can greatly affect the SERP of a webpage and how much traffic a site receives, keywords and backlinks. Keywords are Google search query terms, for example “best orthopedic surgeon”. That search term in particular is highly competitive and is hard to focus on, and highlights how keyword search engine optimization comes into play. By focusing on specific keywords that have high search traffic but low competition, you can greatly increase your exposure to Google users searching for topics relevant to your practice. This requires researching relevant keyword terms to be incorporated into your website descriptions and content, which can be done rather easily using keyword tools such as Jaaxy.com. You can also track how well your keywords are ranking and how much traffic they are generating using free Google tools such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
Backlinks are also very important to Google’s and other search engine algorithms for ranking your contents SERPs. Backlinks are simply how often your site and its web pages are linked to from other parts of the internet, and are a good determinant to Google on how trustworthy and useful your webpage is to users of the internet. It is an essential part of how high your content can rank and should be done in addition to keyword optimization. It is important to focus on building backlinks to your content in relevant and active locations in order to draw meaningful traffic from those sites as referrals, as well as playing a big factor in the SEO of your web pages. As you can see in the chart below, external backlinks and Google SERP position are very highly correlated.
Getting backlinks isn’t always the easiest thing to do, and often requires you to actively promote your content to other content makers online. A good method is to start with lower hanging fruit you can easily get links from, like online physician directories or using your content as a reference on Wikipedia (in a relevant location). Make sure your content from step 2 is quality content though or nobody will find it worthwhile to link to, even if you ask nicely. You can check out a more comprehensive guide to building backlinks here.
4. Utilize Google My Business
Google has been a fantastic tool for consumers to find local businesses. To improve the quality of this Google started Google My Business which allows local businesses to edit and control how their google business listing appears directly through their Google My Business page. This gives greater control to a business of what people see on their google business listing and google search results, allows the business owner to respond to comments and reviews, and allows Google’s location database to stay up to date with input from the business owners themselves.
By using Google My Business in your medical practice marketing strategy you can improve your search results on Google Search and Google Maps, as well as monitor and control your practices online presence. Don’t underestimate how many customers a high ranking, well reviewed Google Maps search result can bring to your office. The great thing about Google My Business is how easy Google has made it to use.
5. Engage In Social Media
Engaging in social media can be very important for many businesses. Let me be clear though that you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. Some people like using social media more than others and it might not be the right marketing strategy for you. Physician social media marketing is competitive but if you can build a presence in your niche, it can prove highly effective.
The major recommendation I have for the social media marketing path is too develop a strategy or focus that can be repeated, then automate that process. An example of this would be deciding to use Twitter by posting specialty specific and relevant articles once a day, following 50 people tweeting about relevant keywords, following local twitter accounts, and copying competitors followers. Now this might seem like a laborious task but by having that strategy in place, an automation tool can be used to streamline this into a 5 minute a day task. For example Crowdfire provides a web and mobile app that sends you a daily reminder with a to-do list of twitter tasks. These tasks include, you guessed it, the tasks I listed above automatically set up for you.
Daily Twitter Growth From Simple Five-Minute Tasks
Some other effective strategies I’ve seen is using user generated content platforms such as Quora and LinkedIn to talk about your expertise and important issues in your field of medicine. By providing advice and expertise by answering questions on Quora you draw people to view your website and appreciate your expertise in your field, which can help bring in customers, partnerships, and connections. LinkedIn is great for writing keyword articles apart from your own site. It will be directly linked to a professional community that is LinkedIn and can draw awareness and connections from that. LinkedIn also helps its content creators show up Google Search Results since it is a popular site and liked by Google. An SEO optimized post on LinkedIn often can have a better chance or ranking well on Google compared to one posted on a standalone blog.
Facebook and Twitter are the default thoughts of social media platforms and for good reason. While Twitter use is declining in general it’s use as an exchange of ideas in the business and academic community has been doing well. It is also an easy channel to promote your own website and meet national and international people/organizations working on similar problems to you. Facebook on the other hand is strictly becoming a consumer based experience and in my opinion, is the hardest to build a following on. Having a presence on Facebook is almost as important as one on Google though and can be built by creating a page for your practice and group relevant to your specialty.
6. Pay to Advertise
Everything I’ve shown you so far is relatively free or cheap to do with a little time commitment from you and some of your staff. or can be done professionally by a medical marketing agency for a reasonable price. However, we haven’t discussed directly paying for medical practice advertising yet, because I believe without some of the previous steps in place first, you will be wasting money on paid digital advertising. This is because you will draw attention but won’t have the backbone structure in place to keep the attention and convert into sales and growth of your business.
Advertising can be very extremely effective through the channels we’ve discussed such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and many more. With a paid campaign on these channels you can get hundreds and thousands of targeted audiences to be exposed to your content. They will only stay and interact with that content though if it is well made and good content though, which is why I recommend paying to advertise after you’ve put serious effort into organically building your web presence.
Still Need Help?
I hope these medical practice marketing tips will help your grow your business and highly recommend at least starting a digital presence if you don’t take the full-on plunge to marketing your medical practice. It takes a lot of time and effort to market your medical practice but starting small and just getting a few basic things done like having a website and configuring Google My Business can create drastic improvements. Thanks for the read and feel free to contact me directly or comment below with any additional questions.