As a society, we have become heavily reliant on technology across all facets of our daily lives. As the volume of medical information online continues to grow, this translates to patients becoming more reliant on online searches to find health information and healthcare providers. This is part of the bigger shift from healthcare being a purely provider-driven system to becoming a consumer-driven system.
Studies by the University of Sydney Healthcare Choice Research Project conclude that for patients with high health literacy, the trend towards seeking credible online information is a valuable addition to helping people becoming more active and involved their own healthcare.
Your Digital Presence Matters
In response to these shifts, it is vital to understand how to promote your medical practice and get in front of patients at the start of their journey. This involves using a set of effective digital marketing strategies that are tailored to the services that your practice delivers. Developing a strong and healthy digital presence helps to build trust and establish your reputation. Here are our top 5 strategies that will help you get there:
5 Digital Marketing Best Practices You Should Follow
1. Make sure you start with a professional website
Your website should be modern, easy to navigate, and up to date. Visiting your website will often form the first impression that potential patients will have of your practice so it is important that you make a good one.
2. Ensure your website is search engine optimised
Search engine optimisation (commonly known as SEO) includes both the technical and creative elements required to improve your website rankings on search engines, increase visitor traffic, and raise awareness of your practice. SEO includes many aspects including the keywords used on your page, links featured, or simply structuring your website in a way that search engines can properly categorise and understand..
When selecting keywords to improve your SEO, it is important to understand the differences between “short tail” and “long tail” keywords. Short tail keywords or “head” terms are more commonly used terms and are usually around two words in length, such as “general practice”. As these head terms are searched more often, they attract more traffic and can be more advantageous, however they are therefore also more open to competition from other sites using the exact same terms. In contrast, long tail keywords tend to be more specific and 3-5 words in length, such as “finding your ideal general practitioner”. Although these terms are less popular, they are more targeted to specific searches and also benefit from reduced competition for those phrases, which increases your web page ranking for those terms.
To ensure your website is both professionally presented and the content is SEO optimised, consider having your website development and maintenance undertaken by specialist developers and SEO experts to ensure your website isn’t getting buried amongst the competition.
3. Ensure your website is user optimised
The user experience (or UX) of your website is a measure of how accessible the information is so that people can easily find what they’re looking for. Your website should offer a straightforward window into your practice so the interaction begins positively before the patient ever physically walks through your doors.
Some practices complement their website with a patient portal, through which patients can update their personal information, access appointment schedules and review results. This allows them to seamlessly manage their healthcare through a digital extension of your practice.
4. Ensure it is mobile optimised
The latest Nielson Digital Landscape Trend Report indicates that more than two-thirds of all Australian online sessions are now conducted via mobile devices compared to just 33% using desktops. This is a clear indication of the ever increasing importance of properly optimising your site, layout, practice information, and blog content for mobile so the user experience is as seamless as possible.
5. Increase your content marketing efforts
Content marketing via a blog and social media is a highly effective way to engage with existing and potential patients. For example, the Mayo Clinic Center invested in social media back in 2005 and used podcasting as their content outlet. Within 6 years, the clinic gained more than 260,000 Twitter followers, 65,000 Facebook fans and their YouTube channel attracts 5,000 visitors per day. This goes to prove that in an environment where there are multiple sources of information, healthcare providers have to utilise all avenues to interact, educate and engage with patients..
Over to you
Developing strong digital marketing strategies for medical clinics is imperative in attracting and engaging today’s tech-savvy patients. This type of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking will ensure your long term success as it embraces the evolving digital landscape and uncovers new ways to increase practice efficiency and improve patient experiences.
For further information about how to run your practice like an entrepreneur, download our latest guide by clicking the image below.