Medical practices have to approach marketing differently than other businesses. It is easy to sell a good cup of coffee. You are working with a descriptive product that promotes itself if presented well. Small practices don’t have it quite that easy.
You are not selling a product, but a relationship. To do that, you have to make a connection, and that starts with the Internet. If you are a pediatrician building a practice in Muskogee, Oklahoma, you want your name to be the first thing patients see when they type “pediatrician muskogee” into the search box. Search marketing makes that happen.
Create a Keyword List
Keywords work like magnets to pull your name out of the search engine pile. We suggest you create a list of 100 or more keywords to target over time that will help develop consistency in your marketing efforts. Go beyond the obvious name of the doctor and practice, as well. The pediatrician, for example, will want terms like:
- baby doctor
- child wellness care
- newborn care
Include subspecialties like adolescent medicine and professional associations, too.
Be a Blogger
Maintaining a blog for the practice has a two-fold effect. It establishes your website as a place patients can turn to for helpful information and tips; which should help with increasing traffic. If you write a post explaining the link between diets and type 2 diabetes, you fortify your connection and work towards positive patient outcomes.
Blogging also intensifies your search engine presence. Pick keywords from your list to use along with the names of the physicians, practice and city in each blog post.
Jump on the Google Bandwagon
Did you know that there are over 2 million Google searches every minute? Google My Business is a free service that puts your practice on the map, literally. When you sign up and give Google all the relevant information, the practice will appear on maps and in local searches. You can add separate listings for every doctor and one for the practice, expanding the business exposure even more.
Use Social Media to Communicate
Set up a page for the practice and the physicians on the mainstream social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. By interacting with prospective patients online, the practice solidifies the connection and creates “like” options. Search engines love “likes.”
Every time a patient clicks a button, comments or shares a post, the practice gets a little search engine brownie point. You might even pick up new patients as friends see the name of the practice on their news feeds.
Paid ads are a practical way to improve search engine ranking. We always suggest testing several ads to see which one performs best. Develop an ad campaign that focuses on heart health, for example. Let it run via several platforms such as Google and Facebook, then examine the metrics. The ad that converts the most runs again.
There are many online assets available to a small medical practice, but it all boils down to exposure. The more the name of the practice and doctors show up on the Internet through search marketing techniques, the better the search engine ranking and the more new patients for your medical practice.