Whether you’re starting a new practice or it’s time to bring in some new clients to your existing healthcare business, simply having a website is no longer enough when it comes to building an online presence. In the highly competitive medical sector, patients have the freedom to shop around for healthcare services online before ever making an initial appointment.
So what can you do to grow your healthcare business online? What strategies offer the highest ROI when it comes to both time and money invested?
We’ve put together a list of twenty of the best ways to bring more traffic to your site, target the people that are most likely to be interested in your services, increase brand awareness, and generate leads for medical and healthcare businesses.
Back in 2012, only a little over 10% of web traffic came through mobile phones. Fast forward ten years to November 2022, and mobile phones are responsible for a whopping 60.28% of all web traffic.
Google has changed its algorithms accordingly in the last several years with the implementation of mobile-first indexing. In a nutshell, this means that Google chooses which search results to display based on the mobile version of a website first rather than the web version.
For anyone trying to grow a healthcare business digitally, creating a mobile-friendly site should be one of the highest priorities.
There are a number of different ways that you can design your site to make sure it displays properly on all devices:
You can decide which strategy makes the most sense for your business, but there isn’t one right answer for making your site mobile-friendly.
When you look at some of the biggest healthcare brands out there, you’ll notice that they all have something in common: consistent branding.
There are a number of key assets that you’ll want to develop for your medical practice, including:
You can create a brand standard guide or “brand book” that you can turn to when making design decisions for your website, social media pages, ad campaigns, and email newsletters.
When working to grow your healthcare business digitally, it’s easy to become totally consumed with design decisions. While it’s important to have a visually appealing site, you’ll lose potential clients if your site isn’t easy to use for your audience.
The goal when it comes to user experience should be to make your website as intuitive as possible. Prospective patients should be able to navigate your site without putting much thought into it, which means being thoughtful about the way you name menu items, group content and pages, and organize possible actions users can take.
Another essential action you’ll want to take is to claim and optimize your Google Business Profile, formerly known as (and still frequently referenced as) Google My Business.
This is an easy (and free!) step to ensure your business can show up on Google Maps. It’s worth taking the time to fill out as much information here as possible to fully take advantage of its benefits.
When filling out your Google Business Profile, it’s very important that the name, address, and phone number (NAP) exactly match how your NAP is listed on your website and elsewhere. If your NAP listings are incorrect, it can negatively impact your local SEO rankings.
You’ll also want to take the time to select the main services that your practice offers within the Category and Service sections. This way, Google can help direct people to your business when they are searching for relevant services.
When people are looking for healthcare services, they often enter search queries like “dentist near me” or “dentists in Denver.” When users make location-based searches, search engines will use the searcher’s geolocation or IP address in order to present the most relevant local businesses in the search results.
If you want to gain substantial online visibility, local SEO is a powerful tool. The ultimate goal is to win a spot in the top 3 local pack in search results on Google, which means that your business shows up in the map box at the top of the search results when users enter relevant queries.
Local SEO is a multifaceted practice that includes optimizing your Google Business Profile, performing local keyword research, creating consistent NAP listings, creating local landing pages, building links locally, and more.
A number of years ago, Google instituted the Medic update to their algorithm. This is a healthcare-focused update with the purpose of setting higher standards for websites that offer information that could impact the health and well-being of users.
For more information about the Google Medic update and how you ensure your site won’t be penalized for its content, check out our full guide here.
When it comes to user experience, one of the things you can do as a medical practice to ensure that your prospective patients have a seamless interaction with your site is to allow patients to book appointments online.
While you also want to have the other usual channels available (via phone, email, or in-person,) you’ll likely find that a portion of your target audience prefers the convenience of online booking.
No matter what type of business you’re running, the most effective marketing strategies begin with having a deep understanding of your audience. Healthcare and medical practices are no different. Before you start revamping your website, building social media profiles, and creating content, you’ll want to define your ideal patient profile.
When you understand your ideal patient, you can create perfectly targeted messaging aimed at their needs. Your patient profile should include the most common demographic traits like gender, location, age, marital status, financial situation, and health characteristics. Beyond that, you’ll want to brainstorm the problems you can solve for these ideal patients and how your target audience decides when choosing a new healthcare provider.
If you’re committed to growing your medical practice digitally, boosting your search result rankings, and increasing your online presence, developing and implementing an SEO strategy is a must.
SEO is a robust, complex, and ever-evolving field, which can make it pretty daunting for someone who doesn’t work in digital marketing. That being said, it is something individuals can take on themselves, but it comes at the cost of a lot of time input, a fairly steep learning curve, and the need to stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends. Luckily, you can also hire an experienced digital marketing and SEO agency to do the job for you.
Developing and implementing an SEO strategy is essential for building your online presence and increasing organic traffic in the long term. However, it’s something that takes time to start working and doesn’t return overnight results.
On the other hand, PPC marketing can increase your traffic practically immediately but doesn’t have any staying power once you turn off the ad campaigns. Using a strategy incorporating PPC marketing and SEO can help you get an initial push of new traffic and clients when you need it while also allowing you to increase traffic over time.
Social media is a powerful and free tool you can use to create more digital touchpoints with potential patients. If it seems overwhelming to create and maintain social media pages on all of the major platforms, don’t worry. It isn’t nearly as important to have pages on all of the big social media sites as to have a consistent presence on the networks your ideal patients are most likely to use.
Once you’ve chosen the most relevant platforms to your audience, you’ll want to ensure that you keep your profiles up-to-date and regularly post to share engaging content and connect with your community.
In addition to having social media pages on your ideal patients’ platforms, you can create social media ad campaigns to boost traffic, generate leads, and increase brand awareness. There are ample targeting options for social ads, which means that you can target exactly the right people that might be interested in your services but haven’t found, liked, or followed your page yet.
When running social ad campaigns, it’s important to have a set goal in mind. Ad campaigns work best when you focus on one goal, whether generating more calls, driving more traffic to your site, increasing the number of scheduled initial consultations, or building brand awareness.
When people find your medical practice online, they are often eager to learn as much as possible about your business before making an appointment. When your site is barebones and sparse, potential patients feel like they’re gambling with their own healthcare. The more information you offer in the form of pages, blog posts, testimonials, and even videos, the more assured your patients can feel that they are making a good choice.
Not only does content help your audience get to learn more about your practice, but it can also increase the likelihood that they’ll find your site through organic search. Even if you don’t have a big budget to put toward content marketing, you’ll want to at least have a blog where you write consistent articles that answer questions your patients might have. This both can help cement your place as an authority in your local niche while also helping search engines understand what your medical practice site is all about.
The topic of healthcare content marketing deserves a full guide in its own right, but, in brief, you’ll want to create a content calendar to plan out the topics you’re going to write about, publish your posts in regular intervals, and ensure that you’re using the best medical keywords for your site.
Having a website that loads quickly, offers awesome content, and delivers a great user experience is an awesome foundation to begin with. To increase your chances of showing up on page one of Google, you’ll want to build new pages for your site.
Creating landing pages for your individual medical services and different local markets you offer services to can help you boost web traffic over time.
Another important aspect of your online presence as a medical practice is your online reviews.
You’ll want to claim all of your listings on major review sites and medical directories, encourage patients to leave reviews, and come up with a response plan regarding positive reviews, negative reviews, and questions and concerns posed in reviews.
It’s easy to focus on gaining new patients when you’re trying to grow your medical practice, but it’s just as important to maintain good relations with your existing loyal clients.
This is a great way to collect data to build customer personas, continue to establish your brand identity, and reward your patients for their loyalty.
If you’ve been seeing an increase in your website traffic, that’s great news! However, it’s important that you create avenues for people to give you more information about themselves and slide down the sales funnel.
Some good options include including contact forms in strategic locations and incentivizing your social media followers to offer their info in exchange for being entered into a contest where they can win a prize.
97% of Americans own a cellphone of one kind or another, with 85% of people in the country owning a smartphone.
Text messaging has become the number one way that a majority of the population communicates with each other and even with businesses, so opting into a HIPAA-compliant texting platform is a no-brainer.
Site speed is incredibly important these days, as people simply don’t want to wait around for a website to load.
Even if a site takes several seconds to become fully usable, a large chunk of users will hit that back arrow and head to one of your competitor’s sites.
Have you ever been looking online at a product that you didn’t end up buying, only to be presented with ads for that exact product on different sites across the web? That’s no coincidence– that’s remarketing.
You can use the power of remarketing to target potential patients that have already engaged with your site in the past. As you might imagine, there are some HIPAA implications of this practice, so you’ll want to work with an experienced healthcare digital marketing company to make sure that you avoid HIPAA violations.
When you want to grow your healthcare business digitally, you don’t want to hire any old digital marketing or SEO company. There are a number of specific and high-stakes factors to consider when it comes to the way that search engines relate to medical websites, and you don’t want to hand this job over to agencies that have no experience in the field.
At Blue Pig Media, we specialize in growing medical and healthcare practices through digital marketing. If that sounds good to you, contact us to get started today.