Is Online Marketing For Doctors Really Required?
When it comes to online marketing for doctors, you might think that is it really a thing or do people actually go by Google’s suggestion? There were days when word of mouth used to be everything. However, the trust that we placed in word of mouth has been transferred to word of Google. Word of mouth still matters a lot but it is safe to assume that if you require medical assistance at 2 in the night, you will probably turn to Google for help in finding the doctor near you rather than calling up your friend for a suggestion.
Importance of Online Marketing for Doctors
The Healthcare industry has been evolving at a great pace and so is the concept of Healthcare marketing. There are plenty of doctors out there, but the patients don’t even have a clue about their existence. This is where online SEO for doctors come in to action. Below are few points which show how marketing plays an important role in the medical world:
- Be Aware Where Your prospects Are
Your patient is not going to wake up one day with an illness and magically find you out of nowhere. Their first instinct will be to search on the internet for a doctor and if you don’t have an online presence then you will surely miss out on a lot of prospects. It is also a common fact that all healthcare needs that lead to picking a doctor or a hospital begin with an online search so why to miss out on such a huge market!
- Almost 45% Of US Users Look Up Online For The Doctor’s Information
You will be surprised to know that health info is the third most popular online search activity in US. More people use the Internet for health matters than they do for social media. So if you are lucky enough to get a patient out of the blue, they are surely going to go back home and look you up on the internet and if you don’t have an online presence then their chances of returning are minimal and this is a risk not worth taking.
Local SEO Can Be Highly Utilized
With the help of affordable local SEO services, your patient can find you exactly when they require the services offered by you that too in a specific geographic location and a close radius. With the help of local online marketing for doctors, you can reach the target audience by effectively using your budget.
Digital Metrics Are A Blessing?
You know how important it is to track your patient’s recovery cycle and the success rate of the medicine. In this same way, digital diagnostic plays an important role too. You can actually get to know the success rate of a digital campaign and see for yourself whether your money is being used wisely or not and have alterations done accordingly.
Change Is The Only Constant
The Healthcare industry has changed significantly in recent times so why use traditional marketing methods, right? If is very important to communicate these changes to the audience for their awareness and there is no better way than the digital way especially in the times when the whole world is facing a pandemic. There is no denying the fact that only digital marketing and advertising tools are adaptable, flexible, and reactive enough and don’t seem to stop when it comes to delivering effective marketing results.
Healthcare Marketing Trends
There is no denying the fact that there is a great deal of competition in the Healthcare industry. People have access to all sorts of information just a click away, be it treating cold or delivering a baby. It is a no brainer that they use this to their disposal to make well-informed healthcare decisions. In this digital era, if you continue to use obsolete marketing methods then the chances of growth are negligible. This eventually results in the evolution of healthcare marketing trends so that they can match up to the prospect’s level. Some trends to keep in mind are:
Voice Enabled Search And Zero Clicks
There are times when people don’t have a lot of time on them to carry out extensive research and just go with the top results. You will be shocked to know that they practically form a decision with zero clicks. According to research, in 2019, 48.96% of all U.S. Google searches ended without a click. People go to Google to ask questions and they’re often given responses through the Featured Snippets or the Google listing which eliminates the requirement of clicking through a website.
There are situations when healthcare clients would still want to conduct deep research to understand their symptoms and treatment options. However, the influence of zero-click search may be experienced when people are making low-consideration healthcare purchases like ordering new eyeglasses or scheduling their yearly dental checkup. In an emergency, it is quite understood that people don’t have time for thorough research. In order to keep up with the trend, you can take the following suggestions into consideration:
Claim Your Google Listing
Healthcare providers should claim their Google listings and ensure that the information is correct. Search users may not click through to your website and may decide to call to schedule an appointment directly instead. It is always a good idea to update the opening hours if you have plans of changing them so that people know you are open.
Optimize content for the snippet- While Google’s Featured Snippets might end up reducing click-through to your website, they’re still highly valuable and you should form a strategy in such a way that you are able to claim the top spot with any of your web pages. You can consider adding FAQ sections to address commonly asked questions as well. You can also utilize it to guide searchers to additional information. As people are researching, they often don’t know what the solution is as they are just on the lookout for symptoms. If you rank well for search terms that fall within the problem awareness phase, your answers can lead the consumer to possible answers and turn out to be positive for you.
Keep Content Intent and Quality Matter Under The Radar
Google released a new algorithm at the end of 2019 which is BERT- Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers which has a great impact on the organic search. Google’s search algorithm is fundamentally a machine trying to comprehend how humans talk which is surely not an easy task.
This update helps it understand the subtle tones of context in a better way so that it can deliver better search results. It affects complicated long-tail search queries that depend on context.
Google says: “Particularly for longer, more conversational queries or searches where prepositions like “for” and “to” matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you.”
It is no secret that Google is focused on intent and want to provide the best possible search results to its users. When developing content, focus on the interest of your patients and make sure you provide quality matter and not just anything for the sake of it.
Increase In Digital Video Consumption
If you’re a healthcare marketer and you’re not using video to promote your practice then you are seriously missing out on a lot of opportunities. Videos are driving a great deal of engagements in today’s time. Many people enjoy watching videos over reading articles. HubSpot released a report which shows that about 45% of people spend more than one hour a day watching videos.
It is also a fact that 39% of potential patients call to make an appointment after watching a video on a healthcare topic.
When you are creating a video, make sure that it has the ability to engage the viewer and provide relevant information to the target audience as well. One of the main goals of your videos should be to educate the audience. Discuss medical conditions using layman terms, review treatment options and don’t forgot to inform them about the different services offered by you.
You can also show positive emotions through the videos which will help strengthen the relationship between potential patients and your medical practice. Try to create content that activates positive memories to surge their level of trust.
Use Of Social Media To Spread Awareness
Every now and then fake medical claims and advice circulate on social media. People rely on what celebrities and non-medical professionals claim on their YouTube channels or social media handles. However, doctors can combat this by also using social media to share realistic information and to update the public of important health issues and other medical topics. This places them as a treasured source of information and strengthens their relationship with patients.
Social media can also be used to share information on ground-breaking medical treatment and expertise. This will demonstrate that your practice is on the front-line of new research and attract patients who are in quest of modern treatments.
Apart from sharing information, social media can be a place of community as well. Many people turn to Facebook Groups or Instagram hashtags to connect with others who are in the same boat. Healthcare providers should contemplate how they can help these networks and inform their patients of their existence. These channels and groups can be especially valuable for patients who suffer from chronic ailments.
Lay Emphasis On Reputation Management
It must have been pretty clear by now that people turn to Google for their searches. Online reviews play a major role when it comes to making a decision.
A negative review can discourage prospective patients and be unfavorable for the business. Healthcare providers are well aware and they are also executing programs to improve the patient experience. From their website to the waiting room, progressive healthcare providers are seeking ways to optimize the patient experience by using new appointment booking technologies, EHR software solutions and voice supported technologies. Providers are also increasing employee training that highlights the importance of customer satisfaction.
The billing process is often a stinging spot for many healthcare consumers and the root cause of destructive reviews. Many people don’t understand how insurance, deductibles and co-pays work therefore when they receive a large invoice, it might taint their opinion of the company irrespective of the services they received. Therefore a major push is required for healthcare professionals to work harder to inform their customers on the billing system so that these misunderstandings don’t occur in the future.
Consumers demand transparency therefore you should not try to hide information from them. It will definitely have a positive impression on your practice in the long run if you can communicate billing information clearly and answer patients’ questions in a positive style.
Negative reviews have a powerful impact on healthcare institutions therefore it is advised to develop a process to prevent them and to address them when they occur so that you can safeguard yourself.
Digital Marketing Strategies For Doctor In USA
Now that we know the importance of healthcare marketing and some famous trends, we should also know some strategies which will work in your favor and help you gain clients. Some doctor digital marketing strategies in USA are:
Use Facebook Advertising
Facebook is a powerful advertising platform with more than two billion active users. Over the years, marketers have increased their ad spend to reach more consumers on Facebook. Research shows that firms are investing up to 75% of their social advertising budget in Facebook ads because people spend so much time there. While other industries have made heavy investments into Facebook advertisements, healthcare marketers have not kept up with the trend and tend to miss out on opportunities.
If you want to connect with potential patients and shape your medical practice’s status then you need to go where the people are and invest in Facebook advertising and see the results for yourself.
Make Sure Your Website Is Responsive
A responsive website automatically adjusts to the size of a screen so the experience is the same whether the site is accessed on a computer, tablet or any mobile device. Apart from being user friendly, it is something search engines are looking for when crawling any medical website to determine how and where you’ll rank.
Google is all about providing an excellent experience to its users therefore it will prioritize competitors who have a site optimized for mobile users. In general, responsive sites work best for the mobile digital healthcare experience.
The website is the first thing that a patient observes and they might end up judging you on the basis of your website as well. Therefore, if it’s not optimized for great user experience, it may also be the last time a person considers you for medical assistance.
Make sure you have a website which looks nothing like a puzzle. Have a website that’s easy to navigate so that the users can find what they are looking for without wasting a lot of time. Be it booking an appointment or reading a blog or knowing about various medical conditions, it should be all effortless.
Make Sure Your Patient Leaves A Review
Most of the times, patients leave reviews when they have a motive or if they have had the worst experience ever. Unless you ask for reviews of your healthcare services, you miss an opportunity to feature positive feedback from patients who were satisfied with your services. This might be difficult for your front office staff to do but you can probably ask them to leave a review on their way out.
That’s why automated reviews as part of hospitals and medical practices’ Healthcare Marketing strategy. Poor scores allow healthcare practices or hospital a chance to ask the patient to elaborate and, hopefully, reach out and resolve the issue.
Become An Authority In Your Specific Field
Forthcoming patients think of you when you establish yourself as a specialist in your medical line. Your PR strategy should involve reaching out to the suitable media platform when you have something relevant to share.
Stay up-to-date with specific healthcare industry niche through LinkedIn groups and other online forums. Submit healthcare community press releases from time to time and you can also consider hiring a digital marketing agency to boost your visibility.
It might have been pretty clear by now that online marketing for doctors can boost up their database to a great extent. You can get in touch with us and we can work on customized digital marketing strategies for doctors which will benefit you in the best way possible.