Get More Online Referrals By Optimizing the Digital Patient Journey

patient path to treatment

Today’s patients expect seamless, high-quality digital experiences — here’s how to give them what they want and generate more new appointments.

Patients have come to expect that the medical information they’re looking for will be easily available when and where they want it. They’re looking up information about their health conditions and treatment options on their computers and phones, conducting extensive research and making informed decisions about their care.

What does this mean for medical marketers? That they’re competing every step of the way for every patient’s attention and ultimately, their business. Reduce friction for prospective customers by optimizing every step of their digital journey and you’ll be rewarded with improved patient satisfaction, conversion rates, and digital ROI. Here’s how it works:

Draw Them In

Before you can convince a prospect to become a patient, you have to get their attention. As the competition within the digital adscape continues to heat up, this has become an incredibly difficult thing to do.

Success or failure on this front depends on a wide variety of factors, including a nuanced understanding of your target audience’s needs and interests; how those needs and interests shift depending on which ad platform you’re operating in (Facebook vs. Google, for example); which keywords and/or phrases yield the highest rates of engagement and conversion; and how to segment your messaging and marketing materials in accordance with demonstrated consumer intent. This might sound a bit daunting, but if you can nail all of these individual elements, you’ll end up with a campaign that delivers better results at a significantly lower price point.

Keep Them Interested

When you set up your ad campaign correctly, that means you’re going to be delivering a lot of qualified traffic to your website. As such, you need to ensure it’s optimized, both in terms of usability and informational relevance/quality.

Make sure that the landing pages your ads are sending users to are highly relevant and informative. On the one hand, Google will penalize ad campaigns driving traffic to websites that it deems to be low quality or unhelpful to its users. If most of your traffic is bouncing from your landing page, or if you don’t carefully link the keywords between the ads and their ultimate destination, chances are you’re going to get dinged.

On the other hand, you need to convince your prospects that you’re a trustworthy expert in your field. If they arrive on a low-quality page without useful or relevant information, chances are they’re not going to convert.

Maintain an Active Presence

Of course, your ad campaign and your website are vital components of any digital marketing campaign, but they’re not necessarily enough to generate optimal results on their own. Proactive engagement across a wide variety of channels is key to boosting online visibility, patient trust, and peer referrals. That means active social media posting, blogging, review site management, and more.

Write informative, keyword-rich blog content that addresses patients’ questions and concerns, and post regularly. Interact with social media followers and reviewers — both the positive and negative — to demonstrate your responsiveness and receptivity to feedback. If users know they can trust you to respond to them and provide consistently helpful information, you’ll earn trust among your user base and increase patient retention.

Keep It Consistent

Omnichannel consumers expect seamless digital experiences across all devices and platforms. That means not only optimizing your site for desktop and mobile, but also ensuring a consistent brand voice and message across your websites, social media handles, business directory listings, etc. If you put forward a uniform presence, people will come to know what to expect from your brand.

By creating compelling ad campaigns, an informative site, curated communication channels, and a consistent brand voice, your medical practice will stand out in an increasingly crowded field.

Medical Marketing Guide: Google Advertising