How Optometrists Can Put their Online Presence in Focus
Optometrists spend so much time focusing on their patients’ and providing them with the optimal in eye care that their online presence sometimes suffers. Fortunately, there are a few marketing strategies for optometrists that busy physicians can use to increase their presence and improve their patient numbers.
1. Create an appealing website
Today’s consumers turn to the internet to find and research everything from new cars and deals on vacation getaways to doctors and other community resources. Creating a website that gets your presence online is imperative to capturing your target audience of patients. In order to be effective, however, it’s important that the website is designed so that it is easy and intuitive to use. Each web page should present a clear message and offer the type of information that a patient is looking for.
2. Go mobile
Getting potential patients to your website opens new doors and makes it easier for them to connect with their medical professionals. Many people use their phones and tablets to find the information they need while their on the go. Make sure your website is compatible when it is accessed with mobile devices. Pages that load quickly and correctly go a long way to exuding a professional environment that reassures users of your competence.
3. Make it easy to connect
While finding information might be what prompts a consumer to start a search that lands them on your website, the addition of clear and easy-to-navigate methods of contact you and your staff means they can do so at their leisure — without having to phone you and possibly becoming distracted before following through. Being able to schedule appointments online allows potential patients to follow up on the care they need while they are in the moment and thinking of it.
4. Apply SEO Strategies
With the way that search engines work these days, having a website that is easy to use and informative is just the beginning. If your website is not properly optimized with the latest SEO strategies, potential patients will be less likely to find a particular practice. While this can mean choosing the most meaningful keyword phrases, an effective medical website design involves deep and broad work that captures the attention of a particular audience.
5. Borrow From the Competition
Like other medical specialties, the field of optometry is fertile ground for technological breakthroughs. Being on the forefront of the latest research is an endeavor that can take up a great deal of time that then takes away from your office. Chances are, however, that your competition is involved in some of the latest research in the field of optometry. Utilizing that research — when coupled with the offerings that make your practice unique — is a method of providing your patients with the latest information while still presenting you as a knowledgeable leader.
6. Enhance Your Unique Offerings
As mentioned above, there is a great deal that is similar among optometrists. The secret is to embrace those similarities in such a way that provides patients with the information they need while also highlighting those unique properties that only you can offer. For this reason, a generic marketing strategy is not going to be as effective as one that is tailored specifically to your practice. The medical website design you choose needs to highlight what you unique about what you have to offer.
7. Use social media wisely
Social media is here to stay and it’s time that you use it effectively to connect with people. The best way to do so is to adopt a two-pronged approach. First, use your practice’s social media accounts to post helpful insights, the latest news, and applicable articles to inform your followers. Second, ask for thoughts and comments on the items you post. Respond to any comments you do receive in order to increase your interactivity and accessibility level for those people that you are targeting as patients.
8. Utilize online reviews
Online reviews help guide many of the decisions that consumers make these days. In fact, according to a study commissioned in 2013, 79 percent of consumers trust reviews that are online as much as those recommendations that they receive personally. Of those people who are searching for a new doctor, 61 percent make liberal use of online reviews before making their final choices.
In order to generate reviews, simply ask your happy and satisfied patients if they would mind posting about their experience. Afterward, you can dedicate a section of your website with these testimonials from your pleased customers.
9. Make use of alerts
Chances are you’ll have at least one dissatisfied patient at some point in your career. Setting up alerts makes it easy to find out if a disgruntled patient has posted a negative review. Always follow up with such reviewers — if possible — to address their concerns. Use this incident to learn about your practice and evaluate what you could do differently. If you manage to satisfy the patient after they post the negative feedback, encourage them to redacted it or to publish a follow-up detailing the satisfactory resolution of the issue.
10. Keep your website simple
A clean and simple website design makes it easy for your visitors to navigate and find everything they need. Given the sheer volume of information that is available on eye health and the latest techniques, it can be easy to think you need to include everything. Instead, focus on providing the basic contact information for your practice, as well as a section for your services, blog, and latest news, and then encourage visitors to contact you and your medical staff if they have complex questions or need more in-depth information about something you posted.
A few tweaks in the way you approach marketing and website design for optometrists can make a huge difference in your bottom line. The key is to focus on what makes you stand out from your competition.