Online marketing for doctors   — Why your medical WEBSITE is not getting you any new patients

This is what most doctors’ relationship with online medical marketing often looks like:

1.  They realize the power of the internet and how—if done well—medical marketing can grow their practices;

2. They invest a lot of time and money to get a perfectly designed medical website;

3. And the end result? No new referrals! The frustration is growing.

If you are one of these doctors, you are most likely wondering why your website is so ineffective. As an online marketing agency for doctors and medical practices, we are here to help.

7 Reasons why your Medical Website is NOT Generating New Patient Referrals 

Based on our experience an agency providing digital marketing for doctors for over 15 years, we have listed below 7 of the most common factors underlying a lack of referrals.
Medical SEO for Doctors - Red Castle Services

1. Your Medical Website is NOT SEO-optimized

Perhaps you have the best medical website—but if nobody can find it, then what is the point?

This is why medical search engine optimization (SEO) is so crucial. If your practice's website is not optimized for the keywords patients use to look up a doctor online, then your site is unlikely to show up in Google’s Top 10 search results. And if you are not on the first page of Google, then—let's be realistic—patients are not going to find you.

However, you should remember that SEO is not immediate. It takes time. Nevertheless, in the long run, it almost always has a higher Return On Investment (ROI) than Google Ads for Doctors, Facebook Ads for Doctors, and most other digital marketing strategies.

Read more about SEO for Doctors and Medical Practices.

How to perform SEO on a medical website?

In order for your medical website to appear higher on Google search results, you need to SEO-optimize your website. Some doctors think this is a simple case of clicking the "on switch" and then suddenly a site is optimized. Unfortunately, the process takes longer and is ongoing (at least if you want to stay at the top of Google search results).

However, the results are well worth it. By positioning your website at the top of search results for your keywords (for example "orthopedic surgeon Miami") you will notice a considerable increase in online traffic to your site and—subsequently—patients.

Read our 10 SEO Tips to get your Medical Practice Top of Google.


Medical SEO for Doctors - sample search

2. Your Medical Website is over-optimized

What does it mean that the website is over-optimized? Over-optimization occurs when the website is stuffed with keywords or content that is not relevant or useful to the readers.

It can happen if you outsource your SEO to a non-reputable company that uses so-called "black hat" practices. Put simply, it means that they are cheating to get your website to appear higher than it should. Sooner or later Google recognizes these desperate SEO attempts and punishes the website by making it drop in its search engine ranking results.

That’s why it is so important to delegate SEO optimization of your website to an online marketing agency you can trust. As one of the best digital marketing agencies for doctors, we are trusted by physician practices across the US.

Online marketing for doctors - SEO over optimization
A/B testing email marketing for doctors

3. Your Medical Website is not mobile-friendly

What does it mean that the website is mobile-friendly? Basically, it is built in a way that enables the patients to view it on their cellphones and tablets. Why is it so important? Nowadays, most people use their phones to browse the internet and if you fail to acknowledge that, you are missing the opportunity to reach out to them.

Importantly, Google’s algorithms take the “mobile-friendliness” of the website into consideration when ranking the website. In other words, if your website is mobile-friendly, it will appear higher in Google’s search, hence, make it easier for the patients to find it.

Google even provides a helpful tool to check if your website is mobile-friendly. If you have an existing website which is not mobile friendly, do not worry. Our web designers can convert it into a mobile-friendly version. Read more about our Medical Website Design services.

4. Your site is running too slowly

Nowadays, people do not like to wait. The same is true of patients browsing your medical practice's website. The longer your site takes to load, the greater the chance that patients will 'bounce'. 
Not sure if your practice's website is loading too slowly? You can check the speed of your website for free using Google's PageSpeed Insights Tool. Google will provide you with a score out of 100 (both for mobile and desktop).

If your score is below 70, then you should definitely take steps to speed up your site. There are many ways to do this, including:
  • upgrade your hosting;
  • compress the images;
  • identify and fix specific code that is running slowly;
  • update your plugins;
  • switch to a faster template;
  • and many more!

Read more about our Medical Website Design services.

Medical marketing online - Google PageSpeed Insights Tool
Google & Facebook Ads for Doctors

5. Your ad campaigns are not set up well 

If your practice is paying for online ads and you're not seeing many new patient conversions, then something is wrong. It is quite likely that the campaigns have not been set up well.
Not sure how if your ad campaigns are set up correctly? Ask your digital marketing agency to talk you through the campaigns and see if you can identify any issues. Common issues include:
  • geo-targeting not defined or defined badly;
  • the landing pages have low conversion rates;
  • contact details listed incorrectly; 
  • unattractive ad copy;
  • wrong keywords being targeted;
  • budget limitations;
  • and more!

Read more about Google Ads for Doctors or Facebook Ads for Doctors.

6. Low conversion rates

What is meant by a 'low conversion rate'?

A low conversion rate refers to the scenario whereby, even if your practice's website has a lot of traffic, a very low % of that traffic schedules an appointment. 

What causes low conversion rates? 

Low conversion rates can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Slow-loading site;
  • Unattractive landing pages;
  • Poor online reputation;
  • Many more!
Digital marketing for doctors - Low conversion rate
Prevent negative reviews

7. Poor online reputation

Did you know that 62% of patients now research their next doctor online? Do you really think they will want to schedule an appointment with you if they see you have a 2-3 star ranking online?
Red Castle has an automated Online Reputation Management System for doctors which gathers authentic reviews from patients, allowing positive reviews to be displayed online, while allowing you to deal with negative reviews and resolve negative patient experiences OFFLINE.

What else can Doctors do to Increase Online Patient Referrals?

If you have already built a mobile-friendly website, and you have optimized it for SEO, there are still many other strategies to increase your number of online patient referrals. Being at the top of Google will, of course, always be the most effective way to get more patients, but you may also want to consider the following:

7 Other Digital Marketing Strategies for your Medical Practice

Patient newsletters

1. Patient newsletters

A monthly email to patients has two main advantages. Firstly, it maintains your practice's communication with patients, meaning that you stay at the forefront of their minds. This increases repeat visit rates, not to mention referring you to their friends and families.

Secondly, it increases the traffic to your website, subsequently helping with SEO. Read more about Email Marketing for Doctors.

2. Directory listings for Doctors

Although its importance is often overrated, listing your practice on online directories can help to increase new patient referrals. First of all, it makes it easier for patients to find you.

Second, it gives your medical SEO campaign a boost, as it generates some powerful backlinks to your site. In particular, directories specific to medical services—such as Healthgrades or—seem to have a positive effect on search engine rankings.

However, with up to 80 directories available, it can be very time-consuming to list your practice and physicians manually. Automated tools that have access to the directories' APIs are a much faster, albeit more expensive option. Read more about Directory Listings for Doctors.

Medical directories for doctors
Medical SEO for doctors - Content is king

3. Medical Content writing

In terms of medical marketing strategies, the importance of adding quality medical content to your site cannot be overstated. It helps to increase new patient referrals in two ways.
First, when it comes to SEO for medical practices, quality content is essential. In order to rank at the top of Google's search results for keywords relevant to your practice's services, you need to have the best content. Of course, content is only one component of your SEO campaign, but it is undoubtedly the most significant. 

Second, creating top-tier content positions your practice as the authority on the topic in question. As a source of information and knowledge, your clinic becomes a trusted provider of answers to people's healthcare questions. Furthermore, through posting the content not only on your website but also on your social media profiles, your position as a trusted authority is extended across the web.

4. Increase patient conversion rates with a Chat Widget

Even if your online marketing campaigns are generating a lot of traffic to your practice's website, it does not guarantee new patient conversions. Installing a chat widget is one way to increase conversion rates. Providing an easy point of content for patients browsing your site, it increases the chance of them scheduling an appointment.
Additionally, by integrating the widget with text messaging, this rate of conversion rises further.

Read more about our chat widget for doctors.
marketing for doctors - chat widget
Google business profile for doctors

5. Optimize your Google Business Profile

One of the quickest, cheapest, and easiest ways to generate new patient referrals is to optimize your Google Business Profile. Because these profiles often appear at the top of local searches on Google, it is a great way to rank your medical practice at the top of search results. What is more, there is no charge by Google to create and maintain a profile, although it is possible to promote your profile via Google Ads for medical practices.

Read about how to optimize a medical practice's Google Business Profile.

6. Social media marketing for doctors

Personally, I have always been suspicious of the cost-benefit ratio of social media. It was always had so much hype, yet the real results in terms of new patients can be hard to track. However, there are some ways for your practice to gain real, measurable results by using social media marketing for doctors.

First, by having a presence on social media it shows that your practice is reputable and professional. Second, it provides another medium for patients to hear from you and interact with you. More and more people are reaching out to practices via social media.

Additionally, it is a mouthpiece for you to promote your practice as the authority of your specialty in your area. For example, Red Castle Services creates professional medical content for our clients, and then publishes them on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Business. Not only does it present your practice as the authority of your specialty, but it creates powerful backlinks to your website—which is a big plus for your SEO campaign.

Social media marketing for doctors
Example healthcare marketing analytics

7. Healthcare analytics — make evidence-based decisions

If you are not measuring your online marketing efforts, then how do you know what is working and what is not?

For this reason, we provide monthly reports to track the success of medical marketing campaigns through multiple indicators:

  • website traffic
  • page traffic
  • source of traffic
  • the number of new patient referrals (via call, chat widget, and contact form)
  • the source of new patient conversions
  • keyword rankings
  • And much more!

Read more about healthcare marketing analytics.

Online marketing for Doctors — About Red Castle Services

Red Castle Services is a leading healthcare digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing for doctors and medical practices. We help doctors and healthcare organizations solve the following problems: 1. A lack of online patient referrals; 2. Invisible or poor online presence; 3. A lack of analytics to know where is the best ROI for your marketing dollars. 

Why choose our digital marketing agency?

With over 15 years of experience, we know what is important to doctors and their practices: 
1. New patient leads

Everything we do centres around one main goal—increasing the number of new patient referrals for your practice.

2. Flexibility 

In a changing environment like healthcare, we know that doctors want maximum flexibility. As a small agency—unlike large corporations—we are able to offer customized solutions instead of a 'cookie cutter' approach. What is more, all of our agreements are month-to-month—so you can leave at any point with just 30 days' notice.

3. Top-notch (human) customer service

Tired of working with giant corporations that never return your call? Well, good news—we are a small and friendly digital marketing agency that always makes time for your clients. And yes, your account manager is a human!

Questions? Contact us to learn how your practice can increase its number of new online patient referrals  healthcare digital marketing agency. 

Online marketing for Doctors in 3 simple steps — watch this 2-minute video

Too much information to absorb? Try watching our 2-minute video about our services instead. Simply hit play below to learn 3 simple ways to increase new online patient referrals.

Book your free strategy session today.

Dr. Richard Girling
CEO & Founder
Free of charge. No obligations. Learn more about how we can help grow your practice.
Schedule my 15-minute call NOW
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Wroclaw, 50-439
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