Is your digital marketing strategy attracting new patients online? Enhance your online results with these 20 vital steps for boosting new patient numbers.
When it comes to healthcare, patients now have more options than ever before. With so much information available online that people are often Googling their healthcare questions before even visiting their GP, you’d be foolish not to be utilising digital marketing to its fullest potential to drive new patients through your door.
We all know that Google is no replacement for a doctor, but a lot of people find it the perfect place to start when it comes to researching and collecting information related to a health condition. With so many potential customers heading straight for the web and researching their health-related conditions online, it’s important that your healthcare clinic stands out.
Let’s run through the top 20 ways you can start attracting healthcare patients online today.
1. Know Your Target Audience
First you need to consider your existing customers: their age, gender, profession, location, etc. Assessing and defining your current customer base will provide you with important information to help you work out the best marketing techniques to promote your practice with the view to attracting new patients.
You might find that a large percentage of your existing clients are hairstylists between the ages of 30-45, mainly women. This kind of information can sometimes be overlooked or disregarded for its significance when it comes to targeting new clients, however it’s clearly valuable. Already there’s some clue about the profession, age and gender of other potential clients you could be targeting.
Another important factor to consider is how did your existing patients find you? Were they referred to you by an existing client, did they find you via a Google search or perhaps they found you on social media.
2. Know Your Business
You know your business better than anyone. By simply identifying your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) online & outlining the benefits of your services, you’re one step closer to successfully attracting more patients. You might be feeling confident that your expertise is what sets you apart from other healthcare practitioners, but is this the only reason why your existing patients keep coming back to you? It might be because of the way you treat them, maybe your clinic is family friendly, or perhaps the environment is spa-like.
Don’t forget that convenience and flexibility are big drivers for attracting new patients with busy lives. Consider what is unique about your clinic and why your customers choose you. How does the patient benefit from visiting your clinic and receiving treatment? These are important factors in determining how to target new potential customers.
3. Research Your Competitors
Researching your competitors is one of the most important activities you can undertake to assist you with developing a successful marketing campaign. How is your competition marketing themselves? What’s their Unique Selling Proposition? How are they attracting new patients online? Are they enticing new customers with an offer? If they are, then you’ll need to provide an offer that’s just as appealing, if not more!
4. Stunning, User-Friendly Websites
Successful healthcare websites that attract new patients always consider a basic set of proven elements: simple layout and design, multiple forms of contact, easy navigation, as well as being mobile responsive. An effective website contains photos, videos and graphics, a Frequently Asked Questions page (FAQ) and social media links. A website with these features highlights your professionalism as commitment to quality care.
5. Regularly Update Website Content
Keep your website content fresh and relevant. Does it tell customers everything they’ll want to know about your business? Update your web content regularly, including your URLs and metatags. Edit for credibility ensuring that the copy is clear and intent-focused. Add sources and statistics to improve its validity. Post up-to-date news and authoritative information regularly.
6. Personalised Clinic and Staff Photos
Personalise your business by posting real photos of yourself and your staff. You’ll be surprised how warmly received a smiling photo of yourself, or other staff members, can be to a potential new customer. Personalising your business in this way will ensure your clinic is perceived as being honest, approachable, accessible and welcoming of new patients.
7. Use effective messaging in your website marketing copy
Your marketing message should reflect your brand and promote your service. Copy should be well written and have an accessible, relatable tone of voice. Use clear, strong calls to action to drive customer behaviour throughout your website and make it easy for patients to contact you.
8. Improve Your Site Speed
With nearly 50% of consumers expecting a webpage to load in less than 2 seconds, fast page load speed is crucial to ensuring customers stay on your site and convert. Don’t forget that your competition is a simple click away.
Regularly blogging relevant content can build authority and improve your ROI. After all, you’re a healthcare practitioner, an expert in your field, so why not share some of that specialist knowledge with both existing and potential new patients. A blog will improve your organic ranking in search engines (SEO), bringing visitors to your site even when they’re not in need of medical help.
10. Use Lead Generating SEO
Generate leads via healthcare SEO marketing strategies to ensure that your practice website appears in the top five slots of a search engine, essential for attracting new patients. Follow SEO best practices and research relevant keywords related to your audience’s search intent and incorporate them into the content. Some long-tail keywords can be easier to rank for than other more common competitive terms.
Using lead magnets or free offers to entice your audience to give their details is helpful for attracting new patients and acquiring information for remarketing strategies. Some attractive enticements that are sure to appeal are free consultations, free in-clinic health assessments and discounts for booking online. Along with using strong enticing calls to action, perform A/B tests to ensure your campaign’s success.
11. Google My Business Profile
With customers being 70% more likely to visit businesses with a Google My Business listing, your GMB Profile is clearly a powerful tool for improving your business’ credibility and attracting new patients online. Great online customer reviews in your GMB profile will build trust and drive new patient conversions for your business.
Research from Think with Google shows that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. There’s also the added benefit that a GMB accounts has strong local SEO, improving your rankings on search engine results page (SERP), and driving new patients online.
12. Get Instant Results with Pay-Per-Click Advertising
GoogleAds campaigns deliver some staggering results for healthcare clinics; significantly increasing bookings and providing a surge in new patient numbers as well as improving brand awareness. Google Ads provides a fast, flexible option for converting customers quickly – with almost instant results in acquiring impressions and clicks.
With the right set-up and management of your Google Ads campaign, you’ll see your ads appearing top of page, above the organic search engine results! What better way could there be to attract new patients online?
13. Provide New Patient Offers
Special offers are a great way to attract new patients. If you’re prepared to use one, your offer should be comparable with your competitors and it needs to stand out. If your competitors are providing a “gap free initial consultation”, then your offer needs to be comparable to be effective. A discounted initial consultation can be a great incentive to entice new patients!
14. Connect with the Community
Connecting with your local community through social media channels, events and organisations to will give you the opportunity to inform and educate, as well as expand your access to potential patients. Consider hosting a seminar for kids on how to care for their health and hygiene at the local school or kindergarten. Parents won’t just appreciate this, but it will keep you top of mind next time they need a healthcare practitioner.
15. Leverage Social Media
Social media is a great way to connect with potential patients, whether you’re a physiotherapist, a dentist, or a podiatrist. You can leverage your social media presence to maximize its potential for attracting new patients by posting shareable content, photos and videos, commenting and liking or retweeting your follower’s posts, and following or adding patients on social media. Other ways to leverage your social media include responding to tweets and posts to/about your business and connecting with other professionals in your field or local area.
16. Online Directories listings
With over 70% of people using local listings in online directories, such as Google+, Yelp, White Pages etc, when searching for healthcare practitioners, listing your practice in an online local directory is a great way to drive targeted traffic to your website and increase new patient numbers.
17. Monitor Your Online Reviews
It goes without saying that the more positive reviews you can receive, the more calls and bookings you’ll get from potential new patients. Show that you care by responding to both positive and negative feedback. And if your clinic does receive negative reviews, then look for the most common reasons for the complaints. If you take this feedback on board, you could improve your business in this area and attract potential new patients.
18. Utilise Web Analytics & Track Your Marketing Strategy
Analyse and track the behavior of your website visitors, including the number of visitors to your site, the number of new visitors vs returning visitors, the length of visits, how people find your site, and what pages they view on your site and for how long. The bounce rate will inform you of the percentage of visitors that leave your website soon after visiting a single page on your site.
You can use this information to test different pages and find out what works and what doesn’t, use referral statistics to know where your traffic is coming from, and see what search words people are using to find you organically so that you can target these keywords with SEO.
19. Provide Online Booking
Providing online bookings is a sure-fire way to attract new patients. It provides busy people with an immediate, quick, convenient way to book an appointment. It also gives your business added integrity, by showing transparency of available booking times you’re being open and honest with your patients. The inclusion of any additional trust indicator is a big driving force in attracting new patients online.
If you’d like to know more about how your business can attract more healthcare patients online, contact practiceedge.