In 2016, medical practices need to become innovative in attracting new patients. With people using Google to search for doctors and review them, it’s more important than ever to get a handle on your online presence.
Here are 7 ways to manage your online presence and grow your medical practice:
1. Invest in a Strong Online Presence
If you don’t have an online presence – you might as well not exist. That is the harsh reality of the digitalised world we find ourselves in. Patients shop online for doctors the same way the would shop for the newest tech gadget. This makes it essential to have a great website.
Investing in search engine optimisation (SEO) your website, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, social media and blogging are some of the most important things you can do to grow your practice.
2. Join the conversation on Social Media
Love it or hate it – social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s time to embrace hashtags and status updates to market your practice to the world. It allows you to engage with clients on a personal level and reach a network of clients you might otherwise not have reached.
Keeping your social media accounts up to date is also an important part of helping your practice rank better in search engines. This is because Google has placed more emphasis on social media in their ranking algorithm.
3. Check in on your Competition
To keep ahead of your competition, you need to know how they are performing. Underestimating their strengths and not capitalising on their weaknesses will lead to you missing out on referrals.
Make sure you check up on the following and review it on an ongoing basis:
- What do they charge for similar services?
- What insurance plans do they accept?
- What is their availability to schedule patients?
- Do they have a physician liaison promoting their services?
- What is their online presence like?
- Are they on social media?
4. Rack Up Those Patient Reviews
Review sites like RateMyMD and RecoMed are a great way for patients to let others know about their experience at your practice. Not maintaining your presence on review sites can lead to a gross misrepresentation of the care you provide.
Encourage your happy patients to leave you reviews on these sites to outweigh the few negative comments you might receive. You can take this a step further and even incentive this as part of a marketing campaign.
5. Have a referral bonus system in attracting new patients
After going through all that work of attracting your new patients – reward them. Motivate your patients and staff with incentive offers.
If you aren’t able to afford a gadget or gift giveaways, think about offering a discount on consultation fees for every patient referred. It will strengthen your brand loyalty and give people a reason to talk about your practice.
6. Educate your patients
Provide education value to your current and prospective clients. Give them tips and ideas to stay healthy that they can benefit from immediately.
Help them decide what to look for in a prospective medical practitioner, the benefits of flossing or educate them on foods that lead to high cholesterol.
By educating your clients you will be perceived as valuable, create a personable connection and set yourself apart from your competition.
7. Track your ROI
The final step is tracking your ROI (Return on Investment). After implementing all these new marketing efforts, it is essential to determine that you are getting the desired outcome. To track your ROI, set a specific goal and track the steps that will help you achieve it.
Here are some questions to see if you are getting the most out of your efforts:
- What was the percentage of growth in the last year?
- Did your medical practice gain or lose income that month/quarter/year?
- Did you accomplish your goal of attracting new patients?
- Did your website improve its organic ranking after implementing best practice SEO tactics?