If you are an office manager for a private medical practice, you are well aware of the single most common goal all offices have in common: acquire new patients to maximum occupancy. In order to draw more patients, you need to achieve the following:
- Gain the public’s trust
- Showcase a superior bedside manner
- Demonstrate the physician’s expertise in his specialty area of medicine
- Publish patient reviews
- Convey exceptional patient care and service
- Establish a sterling reputation in the community
According to a study conducted by the Pew Institute, 93 million Americans turn to the Internet to find a doctor or search for answers to health questions; that’s 80 percent of all Internet users in America. If you aren’t working with a digital marketing agency specializing in private medical practices, you are missing out on a cost-effective and efficient way to enroll new patients.
Blogging Isn’t Simply Blogging, When it Comes to Private Medicine
One of the biggest marketing mistakes made by medical private practices revolves around their digital presence. Often, office managers believe that blogging is as simple as throwing up some content (whether written in house or through some paid content mill) and share it through Facebook hoping to get a few weekly bites. In actuality, running a successful blog for a doctor’s office is difficult because it requires having an advanced knowledge of the following:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Maintaining the right and consistent voice
- Understanding patient needs and how to meet them
- Establishing a balance between an academic image and a warm tone
- Knowing HOW, WHEN, and WHERE to share blogs
The most successful medical practices hire SEO experts well versed in the medical field who not only know HOW to draw more patients through a well-optimized blog, but have working knowledge of the legal system in terms of what you can and can’t say in a medical practice blog.
First and foremost, even if you think you’ve written the greatest blog content ever to grace the arena of private practice, if it’s not properly optimized for SEO rankings, your blog will flat-line. This is where a Google-partner SEO agency becomes your marketing effort’s greatest caregiver. Optimizing websites and blogs is complex and combines an art and a science they don’t cover in medical school, or even in most business degree programs.
So what is “SEO rankings”? This is an industry term referring to keywords or search query behavior used by online searchers discovered through researching analytics and implementing a strategy designed to list the website in the search engine results pages (SERPs) when users type in various questions. For example, “podiatrist near me” or “best family doctor in Los Angeles” may be popular terms appropriate to your clinic, but if you aren’t properly optimized to attract these patients, you will be missing out. Some of the things SEO agencies take into account when optimizing a medical practice website includes;
- Google algorithm updates and best practices
- Local SEO considerations
- Google Best Practices
- Domain Authority growth
- Consumer modeling and marketing psychology
- Technical SEO audits
While you may have some gifted bloggers in your office, a lack of SEO knowledge will waste your dollars and resources. For example, knowing how Google RankBrain crawls content with machine learning and artificial intelligence technology is crucial for SEO ranking, and getting your valuable content in front of a large audience.
Establish a Voice and Personality
Since choosing a doctor is such a personal decision for any patient, you must use your blog to establish a voice and personality that not only puts your bedside manner and compassion on display, but also gives a potential new patient confidence in your professional skills and abilities. In your blog, emphasize your credentials, new and innovative treatments you are able to offer patients, and topics related to current research that may peak their interest. Also, reveal that “personal touch” you give all patients, young and old. Establishing a voice that demonstrates superior knowledge and genuine care will garner new patients. By showcasing your caring side in a professional manner within the context of experience and innovation, you’ll impress one reader after another.
Know What Patients Want and Need, Remove the Fear Factor
Private practice marketing experts agree that when potential new patients visit a website, they must immediately see something that relates to them and their issues AND that kills any fear or anxiety they may be having with health problems. Otherwise, they simply move on to the next website in search of answers. To keep this from happening, it’s vital to be a resource of information for each and every client who comes your way, while conveying a degree of comfort with positive messages. Digital marketers in the niche medical industry engage in comprehensive consumer research to determine the real pains your potential patients have, their fears, and know how to deliver content directed to meet their needs in a format that converts online readers to new patients scheduling appointments.
Shed the Cold, Academic Image
When most people think of doctors, they automatically assume everything has to be serious and humor-free. However, as more and more healthcare professionals are finding out, being a bit creative, humorous, and playful within their blogs can pay big dividends with patients. Not only can this approach break down the barriers that often exist between doctors and patients, it’s also a great way to put everyone at ease and show new patients that the doctor is also a caring human being with a sense of humor. If you graduated from Harvard Medical School by all means showcase this, and let your patients know BUT also portray your academic side next to a personable persona.
Know How and Where to Share Your Blogs
Since the world wide web sometimes seems as vast as the universe itself, it’s quite possible to send your blogs into a black hole if you don’t use the proper strategy. By working with an SEO agency, you’ll have the advantage of having top experts who know the best ways to share blogs that produce excellent results. For example, rather than posting blindly to various social platforms, make sure your blog is posted to social groups centered in active health and wellness communities. By sending content directly to readers who have an interest in your topics, you’ll have a practice that’s receiving one inquiry after another each and every day.
Do You Have a Medical Blog Code Blue?
Is your website and its blog crashing fast in need of immediate triage? With the best team resuscitating organic rank life into your content, you can be up and running growing a healthy practice in less time than you think. Let trained, educated professionals drive. Just as doctors stay updated in new advancements in their industry by reading the latest publications, attending seminars, and going to conventions, so too do the best digital marketing agencies. Contact WEBITMD today, and let our team give your site a free checkup, no insurance required!