Jump Ahead In The Guide
Step 1 – Build a Website
Step 2 – Build Your Local Search Campaign
Step 3 – Build Your SEO and Local Organic Search
Step 4 – Digital Advertising and PPC Services
Step 5 – Follow Up With Your Patients
Step 6 – Get Started
Your medical practice needs patients. How do you plan on acquiring them?
Every medical practice is in competition with health care professionals in the area. There are proven strategies, tactics and methods for growing your practice, but online marketing has proven to be the best investment a healthcare business can make.
Lots of healthcare related businesses are behind when it comes to digital marketing efforts. Healthcare and digital strategies don’t seem to mix, but in reality, marketing is the perfect method for growth.
There is huge opportunity for any medical professional to grow a business through digital marketing. With a little bit of effort, you have an opportunity to keep patients walking through the door.
But how exactly does one go about building a healthcare marketing strategy?
Step 1 – Build a Business Website
Your website is going to be the cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy and it needs to perform a handful of tasks, all of which are intended to convert traffic into clients.
The first step to building a website is to design it. There are a few different options available when designing a website. Some options are cheaper than others, but all options have pros and cons.
Build out a Pre-Made Theme or Template
WordPress makes it very easy to upload a predesigned website called a theme or a template. Many of these themes are good looking and clean, however there are many serious limitations when using themes.
For instance, the theme will already come with design elements locked in. This means that many times the image sizes, the width of your text and the font of your text will not be as easy to change.
Building a theme is a great option for any healthcare company that is first launching their digital brand and pretense. Make no mistake, themes are great options and the majority of healthcare companies will do just fine using a WordPress theme. But it is important to know that there are limitations to a theme which can cause you to work backwards.
Using a Stodzy Theme Site
Stodzy Internet Marketing has it’s own portfolio of themes that we have already created. This is great because our team has written the code for these themes. This means that we can build an affordable website that we have experience working with.
This gives you freedom to work with some custom design changes that you may want to implement.
A Custom Built Website with Custom Development
If you are truly dedicated to building your marketing campaign for your healthcare business, this is the best option.
Building a site from scratch is the most robust option that gives you total control over the design of your website. Doing this can also give you the flexibility to make changes or add other elements in the future.
By building a custom WordPress site, we can create the site to be laid out in exactly the way you want. This means that your images, your colors, your fonts, your logo… EVERYTHING will be exactly the way you want it.
Focusing on Mobile
The mobile device has always been and continues to be the dominant factor for all web traffic. This means that you will need to have a mobile responsive web design. The chart below is a graph pulled from “Search Engine-Land” which shows the exponential growth in mobile traffic.
Step 2 – Focus on Search Engine Optimization
As one of the top healthcare marketing agencies in the country, we have learned what works and what doesn’t when converting your traffic to business.
The verdict is in. There is no question that search engine optimization is the most effective tactic for growing your healthcare business. There are many reasons for this.
- For one, when most people have a medical situation they need help with, the first thing they do is go to Google to find local professionals in their area.
- Also, unlike most industries, healthcare doesn’t translate to social media marketing in the same way that other industries do. Sites like Facebook and Twitter can play an important role, however nothing compares to Search Engine Optimization. More on that later.
Most people see search engine optimization as some kind of secret science. The truth is that building an effective search campaign means paying attention to a few fundamental concepts.
If you can learn the basics and become well versed in them, you can get pretty far. So what exactly are these basics and how will Stodzy bring your healthcare marketing to the next level?
Well Researched Content
Good content is the basic cornerstone of your search engine optimization.
To put it simply, Google (and other search engines) need to be able to read the words on your site. Google will scan (or as we like to say crawl) your website and use the text on the site to get a better understanding as to what your website is about.
In knowing this, we need to spoon feed Google the information we want them to know. In turn, we can have a better chance of ranking for specific keywords.
Additionally, keep in mind that writing content on your site is more than just trying to get pages to rank on Google. You also need to be writing for the consumer. If the consumer isn’t engaging with the content you write, then they will quickly leave the site and find a better source for the information they are looking for.
Plain and simple, when people don’t like your website, Google doesn’t like your website.
So with these two factors in mind, the best thing you can do to start climbing up the search rankings is to write well researched, sourced, informative and helpful content to your consumer.
Building Backlinks to Your Site
Writing great content is not enough.
There are lots of websites with great content that no one ever sees. Why is this? Why is it that sometimes websites with the best content don’t ever get ranked in the search engines.
Part of Google’s ranking algorithm is to consider the websites that link back to your website.
You need to find ways to put links on other organizations websites that link back to your website. Now, backlinking is an art within itself. There are many other factors to consider. When driving these links, you also need to be mindful of…
- anchor text
- which page the link is pointing to on your site
- the domain authority of the site linking back to you
- frequency of links
- much more
A benefit of hiring an expert search agency such as Stodzy is because we are highly knowledgeable and skilled in this particular form of healthcare marketing. However, if you are truly determined to build your digital marketing campaign on your own, we recommend to keep it simple.
Some simple rules to follow when building links:
- Send links to all pages of your site, not just the homepage.
- Mix up the anchor text.
- Get links on respected websites.
Step 3 – Local Search through a Google Business Listing
The majority of healthcare business depends on clients from the local demographic. Since many of these offices require “foot in the door” traffic, it is only natural to assume that marketing to your local community is the best method.
In some cases, it does make sense to market to a national audience, but in most cases you need to be found by people within driving distance.
So what is the best way to do that?
Local search marketing is owned by Google business listings. This is exactly where you need to be and there are multiple tips that can help you grow your Google business listing so that you are found by more people and increase your business.
First, let’s get you set up with a Google business listing. Follow the instructions below.
Sign up or sign in
First things first, you’ll need a Google account to create your Google business listing on Google My Business. If you don’t have one, you will need to create a profile. It’s very simple.
Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and click ‘Get on Google’ or ‘Sign in’ if you already have an account.
Find your business
Next, you will be prompted to find your business. Keep in mind, there is a chance that your medical business will not be in the Google database. If not, that’s okay.
If your business does have a profile, you can click the checkbox to authorize ownership and claim it.
But, if your business does not have a profile, you need to click on the “none of these match” link and create one.
Verify your business
Now for the fun part.
In order to verify that you are the owner of the profile you are creating, you will need to enter an access code.
Google will send you a postcard with this verification code. That post card will be sent to the address that you entered when creating your profile. The postcard takes 1-2 weeks to arrive.
Even though you will have to wait for the postcard to get here, that doesn’t mean you are stuck. Be sure to get working on your profile right away so that once the postcard does arrive, you can verify it and be off to the races!
Set up your profile
Setting up your profile is a simple process. Google makes it very easy to add the information. Be sure to be detailed oriented and don’t skimp out on any information.
Remember, the point of your Google business listing is to bring in new business. The more information the better. Consumers want to see what they are getting into before taking the action. Use high quality images and give the user as much information so they feel comfortable about coming into your practice.
Be informative, and use keywords.
One of the most important ranking factors for Google business listings is the amount of reviews on the page. The importance of reviews, especially positive reviews, can not be said enough.
It is important to understand that Google can tell the difference between a “made up” review and an authentic review from a real client or patient. Healthcare marketing and the healthcare agency are very personal experiences, so it is best to take a personal approach when building the review count on your page.
So how do you go about doing this?
Be sure you are collecting the email of each of your patients so you can continue to communicate with your base.
Sending follow up emails and asking for reviews is crucial. If you provide a great service and follow up with your clients, you will get reviews.
Step 4 – Digital Advertising and PPC Services
PPC (pay-per-click) is a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than earning them organically.
Paid advertising can work well in the medical industry. When people go to Google looking for help with a condition, they often do research and look over many different options. Paying to get some of that attention is well worth the budget. The trick is to make sure that your web design is effective in converting those clicks into clients and patients.
Healthcare marketing can carry over in many different forms. If we can create a solid return, there is no reason not to participate in paid advertising. If you are starting a private practice, you can still perform effective marketing and lead generation through PPC.
Let’s be candid here. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could potentially lose a lot of money advertising on PPC. If you do not follow crucial and important tactics, you could be spending money and getting absolutely no return. Let’s look at some best practices when using pay-per-click to build your business.
Send Traffic To A Landing Page
A common mistake people make is to send all paid traffic to the homepage. Sending some paid traffic to the homepage is great, but the trick to conversion is to make sure they are landing on a page that is relevant to their search term. We must be sure we have created a catchy page that best yields to a phone call, contact form, or walk in.
Scale To Success
PPC is all about data, measurements, and adjustments. We start off slow, do some tests and adjust our campaign with real data that has proven to work. We continue this process over and over again until we have built a successful PPC campaign.
This process can be the same with social media advertising. Facebook can be great for this, however we don’t recommend spending too much time with organic social media traffic, we have seen great success with advertising through Facebook.
Again, as long as you are converting on that traffic, there is no reason not to do it.
Find The Perfect Position
Being the top bid doesn’t have to be the main goal. It’s about adjusting to make sure we get the best bang for our buck. Sometimes this means floating around position 2 or 3. Additionally, it could even mean going further down. Finding the sweet spot of our PPC advertising is what will get us the lowest cost per acquisition.
For Google PPC, being that top spot means that you are spending the most money for that click. Sometimes this is the best bet, other times it is not. As long as your conversion rates and your return are at max capacity, we can experiment with different options.
Step 5 – Follow Up With Your Patients
Like most businesses, you can grow a great deal by building a referral network and a great word of mouth reputation.
Even though a lot of this happens organically, we have also built and developed concrete and digital techniques to create a word of mouth referral base.
Collecting Contact Information
It is amazing how willing people are to make a call for their check-up when they see an email from their healthcare provider.
So it is crucial that each time you see a new patient, you should be getting their email address. Sending a newsletter once a week is a great way to keep your patients informed of what is happening as well as the services you provide.
Follow Up Phone Calls
Emails are great, but nothing beats a personal relationship with you and your customer base.
Build a phone schedule. Create a follow up routine for patients when you haven’t heard from them. An email list is valuable but it means more if you or a representative calls every few months to check up.
Caring goes a long way.
Step 6 – Get Started
The world of business and marketing are changing. No longer can private practices and medical offices continue to remain in the old world of healthcare marketing and advertising. Stop paying for ads in magazines. Stop buying radio spots and commercials. Your next client is looking at his or her cell phone right now.
There is no time like the present to get started. Someone once told me that, “This time next year, you will wish you started today.” How true that is.
There are proven strategies, tactics and methods for growing your practice, but online marketing has proven to be the best investment a healthcare business can make.
Let us help you. Fill out the contact form below.