Your guide to showing up when patients are researching online.
Ever heard the saying, “Dr Google”? We are all guilty of self-diagnosis online. Got a rash? Suspicious mole? Persistent headaches? Dr Google knows all! My GP has even used Google on more than one visit to show me images of my ailment or evaluate the best treatment option.
Almost three-quarters of Australians have used the internet to research a health issue, including the majority of older Australians (69% of those aged 65 and over). Your prospective patients live in the digital world, so we suggest that you ‘fish where fishes abound.’
Here is our prescription for improving your digital marketing…
Spruce up your virtual reception space
Just as you strive to create a warm and welcoming space for your patients in the clinic, your digital presence needs to reflect this, demonstrating your professionalism, reputation, and reliability. Your website is more than your online reception room. It is your business’s digital hub where all of your marketing efforts stem from. If it has been a while since you refreshed your website or revisited the content, it might be time for a fresh look.
Most people turn to their mobile devices for information. If your website is not mobile responsive, we suggest you rip off the band-aid and make it happen. There is nothing more frustrating for users than having to zoom in awkwardly to read your site.
Get to know Google My Business
These days, potential clients can access information about your practice without even visiting your website. A Google My Business (GMB) page contains essential information about a business from trading hours, location, contact info, images and reviews. Claiming your GMB page and making sure it is up to date, and packed full of the good stuff is one of the most potent digital marketing remedies you can take for your business.
Now that we have the basics covered, let’s glove up and probe a little deeper.
Not only is digital marketing a lucrative strategy for getting more patients, but also a cost-effective way of advertising a healthcare service.
Improve your visibility
Over 70% of people who look up health-related searches online don’t go past the first page of the search engine. One out of 20 searches on Google is healthcare-related, including health and wellness tips, disease symptoms, diet tips, and more. The good news is that with effective digital marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO), you can increase your chances of becoming visible on Google’s first page.
SEO and user experience go hand in hand. Implementing an efficient local SEO strategy will help scale a successful healthcare business. With the help of a professional SEO agency, you can target specific demographics, including age, sex, location, and more. That way, relating to patients will be easier and more personalised. Allowing you to improve user experience, increase brand visibility, and generate more traffic to your website.
Social media marketing allows healthcare practitioners to target their desired demographics. You can put your healthcare service out there and educate people on specific health concerns, provide tips on mental and physical health, showcase before and afters and lots more. The stats speak for themselves, with 60% of social media users reporting that they love health-related tips posted by professionals online. 91% of social media users confessed that the health information they looked up on social media has helped them make better decisions.
Strut your stuff
As with many industries, content marketing has been one of the most effective tools for healthcare specialists to engage with patients. Whether it’s through articles, blog posts, or videos, content marketing allows you to share your expertise with patients. For example, if you’re a dietician, you can share diet tips, give nutritional advice, or post recipe ideas.
Avoid being too promotional with your content. Focus on providing value, and everything else will fall in place. Also, try not to use too many medical terms. It makes your content less engaging. Content with fewer medical terms will more easily connect with the audience as it is generally easier to understand.
Invest in email marketing
If you want to maintain a healthy, direct relationship with your patients, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to achieve this goal. It allows you to personalise your email messages based on demographics like age, interest, location and health condition to name a few. Always create friendly messages, enticing subject lines, and calls to action. Emails can include a call to action such as links to blog articles or video content on your website, booking an appointment, or registering interest to attend an information evening. Implementing an effective email marketing strategy can help generate more leads and more patients.
There’s no denying that healthcare marketing is the new normal for a successful health service. The importance of digital marketing in the healthcare sector cannot be underestimated. Establishing an online presence is critical to the growth of your business as it allows you to reach a broader audience who ‘hang out’ in the digital world.
In the long run, a patient’s experience will remain the most crucial factor for a successful marketing strategy, but getting them through your door is part of the challenge.