Online Marketing for Doctors – Why your medical website is not getting you any new patients
This is what most doctors’ current relationship with online medical marketing looks like: a) they realize the power of the internet and how – if done well – medical marketing can get them busy with online referrals, b) they invest a lot of time and money to get a perfectly designed medical website, and finally, c) they see absolutely no results. The frustration is growing. If you are one of these doctors, you are most likely wondering why your efforts are futile and why is your website is not getting you any new patients. From our experience with doing online marketing for doctors, we singled out 3 of the most common mistakes that make a medical website impossible for potential patients to find. Keep reading if you want to find out how to avoid them and what to do instead.
1. 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? In this day of time, 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. Second of all, 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 useful 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.
2. Your Medical Website is NOT SEO-optimized
When it comes to online marketing for doctors, SEO is hugely important, but not many doctors understand why. There is a common scenario and it goes like this: Doctors pay huge sums of money to build a beautiful medical website and expect the phone to suddenly start ringing off the hook. But in reality, what happens is…nothing. Let me explain: You can have the best website in the world, but if nobody can find it, then what is the point? This is why medical SEO is so important. Most medical websites are not optimized for the keywords patients use to look up a doctor online, which means that they do not show up in Google’s Top 10. This makes it very hard for the patients to find your website.
How can doctors appear higher on Google Search results?
n 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 simply case of clicking the “on switch” and then suddenly a site is optimized. Unfortunately, the process takes longer and is actually ongoing (at least it is ongoing if you want to stay at the top of Google search results). However, the results are well worth it. By position your website at the top of search results for your keywords (for example “orthopedic surgeon Miami”) you will notice a huge increase in online traffic to your site and – subsequently – patients. In order to optimize your website for SEO Red Castle uses a variety of strategies, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Ensure your website content contains – and is about – the keywords you are targeting. If your website is not relevant to what patients are searching for, then Google will not want to position it on the first page.
- Ensure your website URLs include the keyword you are targeting for that page.
- Upload your sitemap, so that it’s easier for Google to see what pages you have and where to find them.
- Ensure your images are all SEO optimized.
- Ensure you are listed on Google Business Listings.
- Publish fresh, new, relevant content every month and link to it on social media.
- Build strong online following on social media.
- Improve your online reputation. See our Online Reputation Management for Doctors page for more info.
- Set up a patient engagement system, thus increasing website traffic (and subsequently SEO rankings).
There are many other medical SEO strategies not mentioned above. If you’d like to find out more about SEO optimization and why is it so crucial to get the website noticeable, download our free guide about how to increase online patient referrals (available from our home page), read about SEO for doctors, or contact us – we are here to answer any medical SEO question you may have.
3. 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/useful to the readers. It can happen if you outsource your SEO to a non-reputable company which is using so called “black hat” practices. Put simply, it means that they are “cheating” to get your website to appear higher than it should be. Google recognizes these desperate SEO attempts and punishes the website by making it drop in their search engine ranking results. That’s why it is so important to delegate SEO optimization of your website to someone you can trust. Someone who is experienced and knowledgeable in the subject. Someone like Red Castle Services.
Online Marketing for Doctors – 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:
In a rush to get online patient referrals? You can simply jump straight to the top of Google search results as one of the paid-for spots at the top. However, this comes at a price. Depending on the keywords you are targeting, your practice could be paying as much as $20 per click. As you can imagine, this can add up. This is why many practices instead choose to explore the more affordable option of organic SEO for doctors. But if you are short on time, then Adwords is a great way to get immediate results fast.
Social Media Marketing
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. Firstly, by having a presence on social media it shows that your practice is reputable and professional. Secondly, 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. However, if you still prefer to channel patients to contact you using traditional methods – such as by phone – then social media can also channel patients in this direction. Thirdly, it gives you a platform to build an online audience. Ongoing communication with a growing online audience gives your practice a ‘ready-made’ pool of patients, plus keeps you at the forefront of their mind for the next time they (or their friends or family) need a doctor of your specialty. Finally, it is a mouthpiece for you to promote your practice as the authority of your specialty in your area. For example, Red Castle Services writes professional medical articles for our clients, then publishes them on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Not only does it present your practice as the authority of your specialty, but it also helps drive traffic to your website, AND creates extra links to your sites, which helps SEO.
Measure your marketing efforts
If you are not measuring your online marketing efforts, then how do you know what is working and what is not? Red Castle provides monthly reports to all of our doctors, so that they can see WHERE their website traffic and patients are coming from. For example, are patients finding you on Google? On Social Media? Or from Adwords? Monthly reports and statistics can be provided to document this, plus track any increases in each of the categories. If desired, we can even track the number of calls to your practice and where patients found your telephone number.
Online Reputation Management for Doctors
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.
Email Marketing to Patients
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, consequently helping with SEO. Read more about Email Marketing for Doctors.
Online Marketing for Doctors – About Red Castle Services
Red Castle Services helps healthcare providers to increase their number of online referrals. We believe that talented doctors – even if they run a medium to small practice – still deserve BIG exposure online. That’s why we specialize in providing big online marketing solutions for medium to small practices. Our team of IT and marketing professionals gives practices the technology and expertise they need to get their voices heard in this competitive healthcare industry. We also believe that it’s best to do one thing well, instead of many things badly. That’s why we provide our online marketing solutions exclusively to physician practices.
Two Minute Video about Red Castle Services
Too much information to absorb? Try watching our 2 minute video about our services instead. Click on the video below to begin! Or if you are ready to start increasing your number of online referrals – Contact Us NOW.