In this episode we share the online marketing strategy we use with our medical and dental practice clients.
This episode is designed to be a broad strokes guide for businesses in this space and is similar to what we’d present in one of our online marketing workshops.
A warning upfront: the strategy outlined here could easily be a 12 month project so important that you take this into consideration while you’re listening and not get overwhelmed.
The episode is split into two sections, quick wins and low hanging fruit and then the more broad higher level business strategy.
Quick Wins and Low Hanging Fruit:
A basic web presence!
While you may not be actively chasing new patients you really still need to be online even if it’s just a single page website with your contact details.
With a large proportion of people walking around with smartphones and internet in their pocket today the easiest way for them to find your phone number and your contact details is to Google you and get it from your website.
Having an email address and contact form on the site that’s answered daily will also reduce the amount of inbound calls your practice gets and ultimately the workload of front office staff too.
Google, Apple & Bing Maps
An up to date listing that has your full contact details, your address and correct opening hours is critical. As a medical practitioner people are visiting you every day so your online maps listings are getting a workout!
True Online Booking Capability
True online booking capability ideally linked directly to your practice management software. By “true online booking” we mean someone can visit your website, make an appointment online and have a fully confirmed appointment the same as if they had called and made it over the phone.
Even if you’re not actively chasing new patients, existing patients benefit because they may be looking to book an appointment after hours, and as a practice you benefit through increased bookings and less workload.
Online Review Management & Monitoring
It’s inevitable that you’ll get a bad review online at some point in your business life – it’s almost unavoidable and a part of doing business in today’s world.
Given this is the case it’s important that you have a least something in place to check to ensure negative reviews are handled appropriately. At the entry level this can be as simple as Googling the business name once a month and looking at the search results.
In many medical fields actively encouraging reviews is against the law or governing body regulations however if you’re operating in a field that can solicit online reviews, using a tool like getfivestars.com can be very worthwhile.
Having website content that matches the market expectations is critical, pages you’ll commonly need:
- home page
- appointment booking page
- contact us page
- location page for every location with an embedded Google Map and link to Google Maps
- a detailed page for each product, service or experience you offer
One simple technique for building content is to brainstorm all the products and services you sell or want to promote and make sure there is a page for each of them. The page needs to be at least 1.5 scrolls long with images and video. Fattening out the page with say the top 3 most commonly asked questions about that particular product or service is an easy way to make the page bigger.
High quality email and web hosting
There’s no excuse for email problems with today’s technology. Our email hosting providers of choice are Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 is the better one if you’re used to using Microsoft Outlook. Google Apps is the business version of Gmail.
Many businesses try to get the cheapest web hosting possible which is a terrible idea. You know yourself, if a website is slow to load or unreliable you quickly lose patience and click away. Visitors to your website behave in exactly the same way. Slow and unreliable websites also hurt your Google ranking!
Brendan’s company has built a high performance, search engine friendly hosting product specifically for this reason: https://www.thesearchengineshop.com/website-hosting/
For more detailed information on hosting check out our hosting episode:
Google Analytics is the defacto standard for measuring website performance, it’s also free too! You might already have Google Analytics installed but are just missing the logon for it – definitely one to ask your existing web developer or whoever built your website about it.
High quality photography
This goes without staying that you need the best possible quality photos on your site but so many businesses have horrible photos on their website so there’s still a first mover advantage in a sense for businesses with high quality photos.
Our episode with Matt Reed is a fantastic one if you need to up-level your photography or are simply not sold on the power of photos, here’s the link:
Click play on the video below and here from Matt directly about why photos are so important:
Video can also be an extreme powerful online marketing tool, a brief about us or “tour” style video can really up-level your sales and marketing game (if the video is done well!)
Here’s a great example from a DidgeridooBreath.com, a didgeridoo shop and popular tourist destination in Fremantle, Western Australia.
New patient strategy & existing patient retention strategy.
SEO & Adwords (aka a search engine strategy)
If you’re planning on getting traffic from the search engines then you’re going to need an SEO and Adwords strategy.
Adwords and SEO are great for problem solution products and services where a prospective customer/patient is Googling a solution to a problem or looking for a service provider.
Google Display Network, Social Media and Email Marketing
The Google Display Network and Social Media (eg Facebook ads) are a great way to promote non-problem/solution types of products and services, for example a smile makeover service or cosmetic procedures. They can also been good for advertising new products to existing patients or reminding existing patients it’s time for a checkup or clean.
Click here to listen on iTunes or click the Play button below to play from your web browser.