Most contemporary practices are familiar, even to some small degree, with the importance of digital marketing, but not everyone understands how to make digital marketing work effectively in their practice. There are several important and simple steps you can take to enhance the value and effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Here are five of the tops ways you can ensure that your digital marketing is garnering the results you’d like.
1 - Apply Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques: Researching your ranking in different search engines can be a complicated process, but you can ensure you’re getting the optimum results by using basic SEO principles. Simply put, SEO relies on keywords that your patients or potential patients use to find information about you. Identifying and using these keywords on your website, blog, or other digital outlet are the best way to enhance your ranking on those sites.
For example, you may want to list your specialties, common issues, location, and words or phrases that are similar throughout your site. In your blog, you’ll want to create tags for these words so you can increase the ease with which the search engine can find your site. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 30 million people search online each month to find a healthcare provider. Making sure that your site ranks high in a search will make certain you get your fair share of those potential patients.
2 - Include Key Information on All Pages: How often do you list your address, phone number(s), email address, fax numbers, or other vital information on your pages? Take an audit of your blog, your website pages, and even your email signatures to be sure that the most critical contact information is available on each page. When patients or potential patients are looking to contact you, be sure you make it as easy as possible for them. Include the information in a banner across the top of the page, a sidebar panel, or a highlighted footer. If you have a separate number for existing patients and prospective patients, make sure to clearly distinguish between the two so that contacts can quickly be routed to the best point of communication for them.
3 - Create a Call to Action: A “call to action” invites visitors to your site to take a further step. This can include the option to contact you by email, request a call back, refer a friend or family member, or even schedule an appointment. The more often you present the action step, more likely patients will be to use it, especially if they don’t have to go through page after page to find that invitation to click. Encouraging patients and potential patients to interact on your page gives them a sense of control as well as familiarity, and encourages them to take the desired action resulting in leads and appointments on your calendar.
4 - Leverage Your Website: With more than 80 percent of internet users looking for healthcare information, and the majority of those looking for information on a specific condition, healthcare providers have an opportunity to take advantage of their presence online by providing information that these individuals are looking for.
Your web sites, newsletters, emails and blogs are the perfect place to provide information on the latest research, treatment, and prevention of those things you specialize in . You can use these sources to provide wellness tips, to post videos of you or other providers discussing the latest information. Patient education is a vital part of leveraging your site. You can debunk myths and fads. You can leverage your website to create a library of information and make it available to your patients and potential patients, establishing your practice as a source of valuable information on topics that matter to them
5 - Leverage Your Social Network: Young people ages 18-24 turn to social media for a large percentage of their information. They consider it a trusted source. These young people are a large segment of potential patients, and with the proper circumstances, could be lifelong patients as well. Sharing resources across multiple channels helps ensure you are driving traffic to your website. Using your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social platforms to post information, highlight your website, and generate interest for these younger patients attracts them to your site while showing you’re trustworthy and have their interests at heart.
Digital marketing is no longer the “wave of the future” - it’s the here and now of marketing and it should be a central feature of your marketing plan. By applying a few simple strategies, you can make sure that your digital marketing is effective, targeted, and consistently delivering results.