Internet Marketing for Medical Practices
Any business that wants to succeed online must have an established reputation, and medical practices are no exception. While much of that reputation depends on the quality of your services, the first step is simply making sure that people know your medical practice exists. To do so, a successful Internet marketing campaign is key.
People want to know as much as possible about a practice and doctor before making an appointment, and many use the web to find the information they need. If you’re not promoting your medical practice online, you’re not only missing an opportunity to find new patients—you’re missing an opportunity to build trust with them.
On this page, we'll explain why it is critical for medical practices to market online, and what you can do today to start marketing your medical practice.
Why does your medical practice need Internet marketing?
Today, you need an online presence if you want your practice to grow. Here’s why:
Patients do research online
Whether they use Google, Bing, or another search engine, people use the Internet to look for doctors and specialists. Your name and contact information should be visible in Google My Business so that you are easily and conveniently available to patients that need your services.
Information builds trust
Today’s consumers look to the Internet for information on just about everything, including medical services. An informative website gives your practice more credibility and allows prospective patients to learn about your staff's education, experience, specializations and hospital affiliations, which will help you build trust with them before they even visit your practice.
Recommendations also build trust
Before the Internet, a prospective patient might get recommendations from friends and family. Now, they can get hundreds from fellow web users. When you’re active on social media and review sites, you give patients a forum to talk about your practice and potentially catch the attention of new patients.
What are the benefits of Internet marketing for your medical practice?
Maybe you’re already perfectly happy with your patients and revenue. That’s great! But we believe that Internet marketing can still benefit your practice. Here’s how:
Online transactions happen quickly. An automated email regarding annual checkups can be sent and answered in a matter of minutes, and a scheduling tool can help dozens of patients to book appointments in the time it used to take to book one. This will not only make your employees’ lives easier, but will also make your patients happy.
If you’re currently using traditional marketing methods for your practice, you may want to consider making a switch. Traditional marketing not only takes more time than Internet marketing, it also costs more. If you’re trying to build a new practice, this is especially important, as you probably don’t have a lot of money to invest in direct mail or print ads.
More targeted reach
Traditional advertising can reach a lot of people, but not necessarily the people you want. For example, if you buy a billboard on a busy road, lots of people will probably see it. But if your target demographic is elderly patients, who may avoid highway driving, is it really doing your practice any good? Internet marketing removes that question by allowing you to market to users based on factors like age, gender, location, and interests, among many others.
How can you market your medical practice online?
Now that you know why online marketing is so important, how can you get started? The Internet provides a wide range of channels and tactics, but some are more effective for medical professionals than others, such as:
Write helpful blog posts and articles
Before visiting a doctor, many people consult the Internet to see if they can diagnose their own illness. You can provide helpful information through blogs and other content. The more helpful you are online, the more potential patients will trust you when they finally have to consult a professional about an issue.
Claim local directory listings
When people are looking for a professional, they may choose a local directory over a search engine. Make sure your practice is listed in these directories. Include your website, email address, location, areas of expertise, education and other details about your practice. Keep this information consistent from one directory to another, particularly the name of your practice, or users may have a hard time locating you elsewhere.
Be active on social media
The goal of Internet marketing is not only to generate traffic, but also to build relationships, and social media is a great way to do so. Whether you share your latest blog post or a reminder to get a flu shot, a post on Facebook or Twitter can spark conversation. If you do start a conversation, make sure you reply quickly so that you have the chance to show a more human side of your practice.
Use email as a marketing tool
One of the biggest advantages of email is that you can use it to specifically reach people who have already expressed an interest in hearing from you. Take advantage of the invitation. Don’t just use it to reach out to email subscribers and past website visitors—use it to stay in touch with current patients regarding upcoming appointments, test results and reminders about things like annual checkups and prescription refills.
Consumers aren’t likely to trust businesses that don’t have an online presence, and that certainly includes medical practices. Internet marketing might seem like a complicated task, but it’s essential if you want to develop a sustainable practice and loyal patients.
If you need help marketing your practice online, feel free to contact us. Our dedicated team has all the knowledge and experience you need to start using the Internet to grow your practice.
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