The focal point for today’s medical marketing and branding is a video screen. It may be on a mobile device (and most often is), tablet, or laptop, but the first experience a prospective patient has with your healthcare practice probably takes place online.
Your practice’s ability to attract new patients depends on how well you’re positioned in the competitive online landscape. What does it take to get your practice in front of more patients — and then convince them to come see you?
In a recent PatientPop live learning session, two of our strategy experts discussed the steps any practice can take to increase and expand upon their online presence. The goal is to become more visible in your area, and to be part of patients’ choices for care as frequently as possible. (Watch a recording of that learning session now.)
Here are five featured tips to help build up your practice’s presence where it really counts: online, with patients in your local market.
This may sound remarkably obvious, but it’s the most important aspect of how businesses are featured online. To understand your web presence, check every online location that includes a profile of you or your practice. On every site listing for your practice — or for you as a physician or provider — ensure the following information is correct: your practice name, practice address, and main phone number.
This is often referred to by the acronym “NAP” (name, address, phone). (Hint: there are plenty of business listing websites you may not even be aware of. To conduct an informal audit, search for your practice name.)
Getting these basics updated everywhere accomplishes two critical goals:
While it’s important to confirm accurate, consistent information everywhere, it’s also essential to make the most of your Google business profile (often referred to as your Google My Business profile). The more detail and flavor you can provide, the better chance you’ll surface in patient searches for your specialty. (Watch a learning session on how to optimize your Google My business profile.)
The details that make up your Google My Business profile can add up to be one of the most influential search result factors. In a recent analysis of search factors from an expert panel (including Joel Headley, PatientPop director of local search), Google My Business is the #1 factor affecting the Google “local pack,” which refers to the format of local search results seen here.
Some quick Google My Business tips: add a photo album, provide plenty of links back to your practice website, include review summaries from other websites, and get specific with your business category selection. For instance, “hand surgeon” is better than “orthopedic surgeon” is better than “surgeon” — and Google knows they’re all related.
One way to better position your practice website — to attract search engines and curious patients — is to meet today’s standards of a well-performing website. In short, these four characteristics are imperative to compete online today:
Two of the key elements of Google search are relevance and authority. When you take the right strategic approach to your practice website pages, you can help improve your website standing for both.
Each care service that your practice offers patients should be featured on its own web page. In the example below, each service listed on this web page for West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic links to a separate, comprehensive page on that service or medical condition.
With this strategy, your practice can then provide in-depth information about each service or condition, as well as your approach to care. This sets three business benefits into motion related to branding and visibility:
For a combination of visibility and immediacy, it’s hard to beat the power of social media. Whether you prefer Facebook — which we recommend for healthcare practices — Instagram, YouTube, or even TikTok, social media output gives you an added outlet with a typically engaged audience.
Like most healthcare practices, you’re probably already active on one or more social media channels. To optimize and even amplify your presence, keep these best practices in mind:
Getting your healthcare practice online is easy. Optimizing that presence to attract patients — the right patients for your practice — and establish your brand as the leader in your market takes work. But with a focused online marketing strategy and time spent interacting with patients and followers, you can see improvements to some of your practice’s key business metrics.
Social media for healthcare providers: 9 statistics you need to know
Two overlooked strategies to expand your healthcare brand
Instantly see how you compare to other practices in your local area and specialty.