Many medical professionals are great doctors but not so good at attracting new patients or expanding their client base. With insurance changes, pharmaceutical reps knocking at your door, and patients to see, marketing often falls to the bottom of the priority list.
Does this sound like you? Maybe it does now, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Marketing your medical or chiropractic practice can be a full-time job in and of itself, but it’s an important one. Your potential patients are out there searching for doctors online. If you don’t come up in their search results, someone else will.
Know your market — and your competition
Before you can dive into specific marketing tactics, you need to understand who you are up against in the marketplace. A little bit of benchmarking can go a long way. Let’s use pain management as an example.
According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, there are more than 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain. That’s nearly four times as many as diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. More importantly, it’s a huge number of potential patients just waiting to receive treatment.
What do these people see when they search for a doctor online? Head to Google and find out. Look for which doctors or practices appear first in search results and what ads appear as part of the search. Then, look at the websites and social media platforms for the top results and determine how they differ from yours.
Content + reputation = success
While it’s important to make sure your site lines up with search terms, it’s equally necessary to ensure your site has a high Doman Authority ranking. Domain Authority is a 100-point score that determines how a website will rank on search engines.
One key driver of this ranking is having your site linked from high-value websites, such as those that end in .gov or .edu. Those sites are viewed highly in search engine algorithms. If they link to you, it is a signal that your website is trusted.
According to Lathan Fritz, president and founder of Millennial Tech Services, getting your content linked on reputable sites can be the difference between showing up on the first page of Google search results or, well, a page that will likely never see the light of day.
“It is primarily through building your online presence where you can dominate the front page of Google for related keywords,” he says.
How do you make this happen for your site? Connect with friends and colleagues who may have access to .gov or .edu sites, or hire a digital marketing firm to assist with those connections.
Quality content is a key part of this equation as well. Reputable sites will not link to content that is unreadable, overly technical, or filled with spelling and grammar errors.
Look beyond content
Along with SEO-rich website content, your website should be easy to navigate and work on any type of screen (laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.). It should also help prospective patients get to know you and your office.
To take your site to the next level, consider adding a virtual tour of your office, photos of you and your staff, and a contact form that makes it easy for new patients to connect with you.
Features like online scheduling and video appointments are also great additions that can help differentiate your practice from others in the area. If you do add these services, make sure they are prominently featured on your website and on social media.
When was the last time you bought something or even went to a restaurant without reading a review first? Choosing a doctor or chiropractor isn’t any different. In fact, reviews are even more important given that your patients trust you with their health and well being.
To build a base of reviews, ask current and/or former patients to rate your practice on Google and social media. The reviews should be detailed enough to let prospective clients know that they’re authentic, but not so detailed as to compromise any personal information.
Think bedside manner for the 21st century. Social media is an opportunity to connect with your patients on a more personal level and further your reputation as an expert doctor or chiropractor.
Are you passionate about a particular area in your field? What are your interests and hobbies? Blog about it, or post links to relevant articles on Twitter. Use Instagram to show photos of your life outside of work.
Along with good reviews, social media will help new patients foster a connection with you before they even walk in the door. It will also cultivate long-term relationships with them by creating a deeper bond.
If maintaining social media accounts seems too time-consuming, consider recruiting help from your staff or a digital marketing company.
A success story
While upping your marketing game can be a big investment at the start, the benefits of doing so will set you up for more patients and a better bottom line in the long run. Even making a few small changes can have an impact.
Community Chiropractic, a group of practices in Indiana, recently worked with Millennial Tech Services to revamp its website and social media presence — and it’s already paying off, according to Dr. Terrence Waggoner.
“The Google results we have seen have been way more than we ever expected! We are bursting at the seams with new patients and our income has gone way up, which is the whole point of marketing,” Waggoner says.
Millennial Tech Services specializes in digital marketing for the medical field. The company is committed to working with one chiropractor or doctor per city and will create a tailored marketing plan specific to each client’s needs, Fritz says.
Services range from reputation management to social media management and everything in between. If you’re interested in growing your chiropractic practice using proven digital marketing strategies and techniques, get in touch with Lathan at Millennial Tech Services to have them craft a custom roadmap for your unique situation.