Online marketing for your medical practice is a system that gets your website- and your practice – found online. But it doesn’t stop there. Properly implemented, online marketing will take your website visitors and move them along toward becoming patients for your practice. In fact, the four basic functions of online marketing are:
- Increasing the traffic to your site
- Capitalizing on that traffic by converting it to qualified leads
- Nurturing these leads into new patients and
- Closing the loop by examining exactly what is working with analytics.
As simple and intuitive as that sounds there are several pitfalls that may currently be keeping online marketing from truly working for your practice.
9 Reasons Online Marketing Won’t Work For Your Medical Practice
1. You Don’t Have Full Control of Your Website
If you have to call a web company across the country to make updates to your website and have long forgotten the login and password information for your social media profiles – there may be a problem. Since your site is the public face of your practice it really is a function of how much effort you put into it. When the information on your site is outdated and/or inaccurate, and you need to make an update to your site, you definitely don’t want that update to be delayed indefinitely.
2. You Don’t Have Calls to Action on Every Page
Calls to action are things like buttons that say “Click Here” or other prompts that tell a visitor exactly what action to take next. Most medical practice websites may have one on one page that says “Contact Us.”
Quite simply this is completely ineffective. Calls to action should be on EVERY page on your website. Whether it’s “Call us” or “Make an Appointment” or “Download our Patient Information Sheet,” every page on your website should be examined to determine what step a visitor should take next. Then, make that step as easy to take as possible.
3. You Have No Social Media Presence to Speak Of
Social media can dramatically increase the reach and effectiveness of your website; so, if your office doesn’t really have an active social media presence you won’t really get any benefit from the huge potential social media has to offer. Build up your fans/followers and share your blog articles on your social networks.
An active Google Plus page can give your local practice huge boost in the search engines. On Facebook, you can specifically target people in the same geographical area with paid advertising.
4. You’re Not Really Sold on the Whole SEO Thing
Search engine optimization, or SEO, can be intimidating. It’s pretty techy and full of geek speak. However, like it or not, SEO is an important part of any medical practice online marketing plan. Fortunately things like blogging and social media can have a positive effect on the search results for your business. Add in a little SEO know-how and your inbound marketing begins to feed itself, becoming even more effective.
5. You Don’t Have an Active Blog
The best way to regularly provide new content is to create and maintain a blog. How often should you blog? More is definitely better in this case, but once or twice per month is a minimum. Then post the updates about your blog posts on your social media profiles to give them more reach and exposure. Remember, there is no requirement to call it a blog.
6. You Don’t Offer Anything Your Site Visitors Can Download
By providing the visitor with free information download in exchange for their email address you can be collecting leads for your practice. A lead is someone who has given you permission to continue the conversation, by providing their contact information. The best way is to offer them something like a FAQ brochure or eBook or other downloadable content. If you don’t have such content offers available on your website, you aren’t getting all the leads you could be getting.
7. You Aren’t Doing Any Lead Nurturing
When someone downloads an eBook from your website there is a good chance they are still in research mode, learning about the type of treatment they may be interested in. Smart practices develop a system for nurturing those who are researching into becoming patients. Lead nurturing simply means sending your leads a series of targeted emails about the subject we know they have an interest in. These can include:
- Case studies of your work
- Before and after photos
- Important information about your practice
- Important information about a certain procedure
By creating a sequence of deeper and deeper content offers like case studies and white papers, even videos, you will lead a prospect down the path toward becoming a patient.
8. You Don’t Have a System to Call Your Leads
You need a system where any lead who fills out a form requesting an appointment is called back, immediately if possible. When you consider the fact that this person is sitting at their computer, on your website, the best time to reach them is as soon as they filled out your form.
9. You Don’t Track Analytics
Analytics can provide powerful lead intelligence that can help you better marketing to your prospects. It can also shed light on what marketing activities are working, what is not and where your true ROI is coming from.
If all of this sounds overwhelming, contact us for a consultation to brainstorm how we could help you make it happen.