Improving the digital marketing strategy of your TMS clinic can dramatically increase patient volume. In fact, the healthcare industry expects digital advertising spend to surpass television advertising spend for the first time ever in 2021, so digital marketing is clearly effective.
However, if you’ve ever taken some time to dive into marketing, you probably noticed that there are a lot of different channels and strategies. So which one should you choose?
In addition, if you have tried some channels and failed to see results, it is likely because of execution issues.
Here, we’ll discuss proven strategies that have driven real results for TMS clinics and key insights to illuminate why a strategy may not be working and how to fix the problem.
Thousands of people are searching Google for TMS solutions daily:
Therefore, despite some claiming that SEO is dead, people searching for these queries still need results, and the websites earning these clicks will continue to generate new business.
So SEO should be a top priority.
In addition, SEO enables you to shorten your sales cycle and generates higher quality leads. For example, while paid ads are effective, someone that has never heard of TMS and then fills out a contact form for a consultation five minutes later will require much more education in the sales process.
However, someone that read the content on your website and understands the value of TMS is more likely to convert on the first sales conversation.
So, where should you start with SEO?
There are three main components to SEO that are essential (in this order):
If you try to rank for keywords, but your pages aren’t crawlable, it won’t matter if you have excellent keyword research. Therefore, run through this little checklist:
You can check most of this in Google Search Console, and Ahrefs also has a handy technical audit.
If you want a more in-depth look at technical SEO, you can check out this guide.
Google announced that they will start rolling out the page experience update in June of 2021, so the first step to on page SEO is ensuring that you have a great user experience. Fortunately, Google will provide a report in Google Search Console to help with this:
However, this report likely won’t account for things like tiny font, walls of text, and confusing images/direction. Therefore, you should still go through the page yourself or use a heatmap tool to understand where users are dropping off and how you can create a better experience.
Once each page has an excellent user experience, the next step is keyword research.
However, this step is twofold. You have to:
Most people gloss over step one, and it hurts them in the long run. For example, ranking for “TMS therapy” may not be as high quality of a keyword as “TMS clinic near me.” This is because while “TMS therapy” may generate more search volume than “TMS clinic near me,” the second keyword will probably drive more conversions making it the higher quality keyword.
Therefore, you may have to do some customer research to figure out what keywords patients always search before purchasing.
Next, once you have a keyword, look at the searcher’s intent.
For example, if the user is searching for TMS treatment, you can see that the search intent is for a guide on TMS.
Therefore, ranking a service page for this keyword likely won’t work because people Googling this keyword clearly want more information on what the treatment does and how it helps with depression. This keyword is also a fairly beginner keyword, so it should speak at the level of someone that has never heard of it before and shouldn’t use technical language.
Now that you have your keyword and understand the search intent, optimizing your page for this keyword is relatively easy– simply add the keyword in the title and ensure that you’ve sprinkled it in a few times throughout the post. You can also use a tool like Clearscope to help you.
Finally, Google only ranks websites that it’s fairly certain are credible resources. Therefore, even if you have great content on your website, it’s unlikely that it will rank.
So how do you show Google that you are a credible resource?
Similar to how referrals work, Google will begin to trust your website if enough other high quality websites are willing to send traffic to you. For example, if you receive a link from a credible website like Harvard, Google will be much more likely to rank your website.
However, generating links from any random website won’t necessarily help you. Specifically, you want to earn links from:
Think of it this way: a hairdresser giving you the card for their TMS therapist might make you check them out, though a neurosurgeon giving you a card for a TMS therapist will make you much more likely to call and schedule an appointment.
To earn links from relevant sites, there are a few different tactics you can use. Here are some of our favorites:
While this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, it’s a great place to start. In addition, you can also create statistics pages or studies to drive a lot of links and then internally link from those pages on your website to the other pages you’re trying to help rank.
Let’s chat about how you can get the more admissions through digital marketing. No pressure. No sales gimmicks.
While local SEO is indeed part of SEO, it does entail a little extra work as you’ll want to fill out a Google Local profile. This is what a Google local profile looks like:
This will also give you the ability to show up in the map results like this:
The Google My Business profile is relatively easy to fill out, though that doesn’t necessarily guarantee rankings in the top spot for the map results.
While the searcher’s location certainly plays a role in the rankings, you can do other things to boost your local rankings. For example, earn links from other health clinics and businesses in your area. To do this, you could sponsor a health event or form partnerships with other healthcare professionals. This will confirm that you are a reputable local business worth showing to searchers (and it could bring you more business in the process).
In addition to optimizing for rankings in the map results, you can also create location pages if you have multiple clinics. For example, this website has a dedicated location page for their New York City location:
As you’re creating individual location pages, try to make the copy unique to that location. For example, you might mention the doctor at that location or particular case studies from that location. If you use the same copy across all the location pages, you’ll find yourself in trouble with Google’s duplicate content penalty.
Facebook ads are also efficient at generating more TMS clients because it’s easy to laser target your ideal customer, and you can easily invest x dollars to generate y dollars.
To make your ads effective, we recommend targeting people based on the insurances you offer. Here’s what that looks like:
Once you’ve defined your target audience, you can use Facebook’s ad library to see your competitor’s ads for inspiration. Specifically, you can analyze:
You can also look at the offer and landing page they are sending people towards.
Here’s an example of a high converting TMS Facebook ad:
While quizzes are excellent for qualifying candidates, sending them to a video is a great nurture strategy if your target audience isn’t quite at the purchase phase.
You can also run ads towards a high converting piece of content (such as a guide to depression treatment with TMS).
Another tip is to run mobile ads only as this will enable you to follow up with them immediately and close the consultation:
Another great marketing strategy for TMS is Google Adwords. Google Adwords operates on a similar model as Facebook and Instagram in that the highest bidder typically wins the most visibility, though there are some differences.
First, rather than targeting groups of people (as Facebook allows), you target keywords with AdWords. Therefore, thoroughly understand the intent behind each of these keywords before bidding on them.
For example, a term like “symptoms of depression” could generate more visitors than a term like “TMS clinic.” However, “TMS clinic” will ultimately produce more conversions than a broader keyword like “symptoms of depression.”
As you’re paying per click, be sure that the keywords you are bidding on are actually converting because you’ll soon realize that traffic alone doesn’t generate sales.
To track conversions, you can simply enable “conversion tracking” in Google Analytics. From there, select your goal. A goal can be an email signup, a phone call, or a consultation request.
Another key difference between Facebook and Google ads is that Google cares a lot about your SEO (Facebook cares about user experience, but not necessarily SEO).
For example, let’s say your competitor who has a poorly optimized website is paying $2 per click while you, with a highly optimized website, are just paying $1 per click. In many instances, Google will still rank you higher even though you are paying less.
Therefore, improve your SEO before you start running campaigns and make sure that your landing page is sticky.
Click through rate is also a key signal to Google that users like your result more, so optimize the copy for your ads. To do this, simply look at the top ranking ads for your desired keywords and analyze their language and style:
Ideally, you want to take up as much real estate as possible in the search results, so take advantage of ad extensions like:
Google AdWords is one of the easiest ways to create a quick ROI as it’s essentially x dollars in and y dollars out. However, increasing that margin can be tricky, and you may want to hire an expert to do it for you if you don’t see the desired ROI.
Email is still the only marketing channel that you can own. Despite many people claiming that “email is dead,” there are plenty of newsletters that have recently experienced dramatic growth and sold for millions of dollars.
Therefore, email marketing is clearly still a profitable business channel as plenty of companies continue to invest. In addition, it’s very cheap (even free) to get started. I recommend a tool like ConvertKit if you’re just starting out, as they have a free plan for your first 1,000 subscribers.
Now that you have your email set up, how can you create an email marketing strategy that will increase your patient volume?
Simply emailing generic tips or bombarding customers with promotional content likely won’t work.
So your first task is to refer back to your customer research. What are their biggest pain points and common concerns?
From there, create emails that provide solutions to those pain points and deliver the value in a fun and entertaining way.
When I say “entertaining,” I don’t necessarily mean adding a GIF or putting jokes in your emails. Instead, entertaining might be something like using a story about a customer that struggled with depression before trying TMS and how TMS helped them achieve a higher quality lifestyle.
While it is entertaining, it is also relevant to your audience and a great way to subtly pitch them.
Creating engaging content that keeps subscribers hooked is half the battle, though the other half is generating more subscribers. So how can you increase your subscriber count?
First, create a CTA in the footer of your website.
However, one CTA alone with no additional value may not be enough to convince people to sign up– remember that most people don’t like handing out their email address as they already receive hundreds of emails daily. Therefore, focus on giving them something valuable in exchange for an email address. For example, you might create a quiz and offer to email their results after completing the quiz.
Many companies also offer lead magnets like guides or whitepapers in exchange for an email address, though we’ve found that quizzes are typically more effective at generating conversions as they qualify people.
If you don’t have time to execute these strategies yourself (or you want someone to help you avoid learning pitfalls), another option is to hire someone to execute a TMS marketing strategy.
However, the marketing partner you choose will determine whether or not your strategy is a success. Therefore, here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re hiring a marketing partner.
If you’re hiring a marketing partner that has never worked with a TMS client in the past (or at least a similar healthcare client), you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.
First, it could lead to legal problems if they don’t have a strong understanding of HIPAA compliance and medical marketing laws.
In addition, they’ll be experimenting with your website as they learn about your customer.
Therefore, you’ll probably see better results if you select a marketing partner that has already helped a TMS client or closely related healthcare client.
Marketing agency structures vary, but there are some red flags that you should find a different agency. First, does the agency outsource any work?
While some agencies hire great freelancers that are very niche experts in a field, many agencies hire cheap freelancers to increase their profit margins. This strategy ultimately sacrifices the work quality.
To determine the quality of these freelancers, ask questions like how they vet freelancers, examples of past work, and if you can talk to the freelancer directly.
However, even if the team is in-house, that doesn’t mean you’ll have an expert working on the account. If the agency has hundreds of employees, an intern will likely be doing the majority of the work as most larger agencies spend higher salaries on management positions.
Therefore, you may be better off working with a boutique agency with a smaller team of highly skilled professionals.
Marketing is all about connecting the right people with your product. However, if the agency doesn’t know anything about your customer, it will be very difficult for them to execute an effective marketing strategy
Therefore, ask them what their customer research process looks like and specific steps in the process. Ideally, they should be willing to listen to sales calls and interview key team members to get a clear picture of your target audience’s pain points.
You can also ask who is involved in this process. If the people writing your messaging and creating your ads are not involved in the process (or relayed the information), it’s still unlikely that the work will accurately target your customer’s pain points.
Another common issue with agencies is that if an agency staff member leaves, you’ll have a new staff member on your account. If the agency doesn’t have a strong process, the new person won’t be able to immediately pick up where the other person left off.
Therefore, every time one of the agency’s staff members churns, you’ll lose a month or so of work.
Processes also make it easier for collaboration purposes. For example, if three people are working on the account and they all have a clear workflow, you can be sure that deadlines will be met and work quality is consistent.
In addition, make sure that they track milestones and have smaller KPIs that indicate success. If they only produce deliverables (X blog posts, etc.), it will be difficult to hold them accountable.
Your marketing partner is essentially an extension of your team, so if something happens or a major launch is approaching, you want to make sure that you can get in touch with your point of contact.
Therefore, the typical response should be within 24 hours (though don’t abuse this either).
You should also ask if they do weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly calls and if you will be charged for any additional calls as some marketing agencies have a similar policy.
The first several weeks, in particular, can require significant client involvement as the agency learns about your customer, so clear and efficient communication is key.
If you’re struggling to increase patient volume, digital marketing is one of the best ways to generate a reliable stream of leads. Even if you’ve tried digital marketing in the past and failed to see an ROI, use these tips to avoid common pitfalls and reevaluate your marketing strategy.
If you need more help, you can also contact the team here at Stodzy. We can look over your current marketing strategy, analyze what’s working and what isn’t, and identify low hanging fruit to tackle.
Our team of in-house professionals has decades of experience in digital marketing and we’ve helped other clinics just like yours achieve impressive growth and transform their business. Schedule your free consultation today.
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