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Medical marketing mistakes doctors don’t even know they’re making

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You understand that healthcare marketing is integral to attracting new patients to your practice, but you also know it’s not easy to develop and implement a comprehensive medical marketing strategy. How do you know where to spend your time, energy, and money? And how do you discern whether your healthcare marketing efforts are translating into revenue for your medical practice?

Although you’re an expert in medicine, you’re probably a marketing novice. As such, it’s understandable that you’d make a few marketing mistakes when promoting your practice and its services. The problem is, little marketing mistakes can have big business ramifications: You could unknowingly be hurting your search engine ranking, confusing prospective patients with outdated information, or even focusing on the wrong marketing tactics entirely.

This whitepaper describes common medical marketing mistakes doctors unknowingly make. Learn where your marketing efforts to attract new patients are falling short and what changes you can make today to better reach your desired audience, promote word of mouth, and boost your online reputation.

Medical marketing mistakes doctors don’t even know they’re making

1. You haven’t defined your target audience

The first step of a strong medical marketing strategy is to define your target audience, or the intended audience for your marketing efforts. This will help you select and prioritize your medical marketing strategies and tactics. If you haven’t defined your target audience, you could be wasting marketing dollars, time, and energy on reaching people who have no interest or need in your services.

An ideal target audience will vary per specialty. To define your target audience, think first about the patients you currently treat. Are they of a certain age range or gender? What geographical areas do they live in?

Next, think about the patients you would like to attract through your marketing efforts, if they are different from your current patientbase. For example, if you’re a sports therapist who is interested in attracting more Millennial athletes to your practice, you might consider marketing your practice on Instagram, as 64 percent of Instagram users are between the ages of 18-34.1

Start defining your target audience today by analyzing your practice and who you want to attract as new patients.

Beyond demographics, also think about the healthcare services you want to provide more of, and the types of people who would be most interested in those services.

2. Your healthcare website isn’t optimized

There’s more to a successful medical website than good design. Although your medical website should be visually appealing, it won’t be found by new patients if it’s not optimized.

Having an optimized website means it is easily found by search engines like Google, and it is organized in a way that encourages site visitors to schedule appointments.

Your healthcare site should also load quickly, contain valuable content with keywords, and respond to a mobile or tablet view.

Review your medical website and consider the following questions:

  • How long does it take for your healthcare site to load?
  • How does your medical website look on your mobile device?
  • Is there a clear and obvious call-to-action (CTA), such as an online scheduling tool or a phone number at the top of each page?
  • Do you have individual web pages for all of the healthcare services your medical practice offers?
  • Are all of your healthcare practices’ locations clearly listed?

For example, if you’re a fertility specialist in Chicago, you might use the keyword [fertility specialist chicago] on your home page and about page. You will also want to ensure your healthcare practices’ locations are clearly listed and that you have a page for each of the services you offer your patients.

3. You haven’t claimed your profiles on online directories

Private medical practices can be listed on dozens of online directories like Google and Foursquare. Doctors may also have profiles on sites like RateMDs. Profiles oftentimes can be created by anyone and, as a result, often include incorrect or outdated information.

It’s important that you claim and update your online profiles on important online directories. Why?

Search engines consider these sites highly reputable, and they use the information they find on directories to build your practice in the online world.

When different directories contain different information, search engines do not know what information it should surface to searchers, so they often won’t surface anything.

Additionally, some 16 percent of patients say they start their search for doctors on directories or social media sites like Facebook.2 Incorrect information could frustrate patients enough to choose a different doctor, whereas a missing profile means they won’t find you at all.

4. You’re not asking satisfied patients for reviews and testimonials

Satisfied patients can be one of your biggest assets when it comes to marketing your practice. That’s because about three out of four people (72 percent) use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor.3 Furthermore …

78 percent of people generally trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.4

Ask your satisfied patients to leave reviews on sites like Google as part of your medical marketing strategy. Start today by collecting your patients’ email addresses and sending an email campaign encouraging them to share their experiences at your practice.

You can also begin emailing patients immediately following their visit asking for their feedback. Try a script such as: “We’d like to know how well we’re meeting your needs. Would you be willing to share your experiences on one of these websites?”

5. You’re not blogging about your services

Companies of all industries are investing in content marketing — which is the act of creating valuable content to drive interest in a product or service — and you should be, too. Blogging is great online marketing for doctors, because it gives you the opportunity to educate your audience about your specialty and to provide prospective patients with information they are looking for.

By blogging, you’re constantly refreshing your website with content, which can help with your search engine ranking.

You are also adding pages to your website, which increases the chances that prospective patients will land on your site when they’re searching for information on search engines.

Start with blogging today by making a list of keywords with conditions you treat and services you offer. Then, write blog posts about the services that you provide most often, bring in the most money, or that you’d like to expand. For example, if you’re an optometrist who treats dry eyes, you can attract patients in your area who are looking for [dry eyes treatment] by publishing blog posts on the topic.

Use this information to analyze your current approach to medical marketing, and then take action on the items you can implement today. For more hands-on help, consider partnering with PatientPop.

PatientPop helps doctors enhance their web presence, improve their search engine rankings, and boost their online reputation scores. Additionally, PatientPop also helps streamline providers’ front office with an integrated and HIPAA-compliant online scheduling tool.

With PatientPop, you can rest assured that you’ll avoid medical marketing mistakes doctors commonly make. For more information, visit patientpop.com.

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Medical marketing mistakes doctors don’t even know they’re making

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