If you’re like most doctors out there, chances are you know that you need to be marketing your healthcare website but aren’t quite sure where to start. After all, you spend most of your day treating patients. After a long day, the thought of delving into marketing is exhausting. And while you might not want to handle your marketing yourself, even if you hire a team to partner with your practice, it’s important that you have a high-level understanding of what should be happening.
There are several components of a solid marketing strategy (read more about marketing in this blog post). While in the past these might have been optional, today they’re a must if you want to not just succeed, but exceed the competition.
Focus on Your Reputation
Unfortunately, the internet gives anyone with a keyboard the opportunity to spew whatever they wish online. And their words are visible to every. Doctors, in particular, are at a disadvantage when it comes to the online rating system, because of the number of disgruntled patients that go out and post reviews simply because the doctor wouldn’t prescribe a medication they wanted.
Cases of drug seekers visiting a doctor’s office only to be turned away are on the rise. And as a result, more and more negative reviews from patients who didn’t get their way are popping up.
In order to combat these online reviews, it’s important that you have a solid reputation management plan put in place. Determine how to respond to negative reviews and seek out online recommendations from happy patients. The more positive reviews you have, the less credibility that’s given to the negative reviews.
Create an Amazing Online Experience
Every physician website should be designed to put the patient first. You want them to experience the personality and values of your practice virtually, just as they would in person.
From the moment a person lands on your website, they should have an idea of how to get to what they want to do next. Your navigation should be designed in such a way that it’s easy to understand. Additionally, a clear sales funnel should establish to move certain personas through them to their final destination.
You’ll also want to include tons of high-quality photos on your website that really tell people that it’s a quality website. People can smell cookie cutter and cheap from a mile away. Give your practice the attractive website that sets it apart.
Mobile Responsive is Everything
Majority of Americans own a smartphone. And the majority of those who own a smartphone use it to surf the web and accomplish day to day tasks like scheduling appointments and keeping in touch with friends and family.
Your practice’s website should be designed to work on any mobile device that it’s being viewed on. This is what a mobile responsive website it. It easily transfers your website to any device, rending it and any images and buttons as effective as it would be on a desktop.
This is yet another part of delivering a stellar online experience to visitors. Imagine how frustrating it would be for someone to visit your website on their phone only to find the menu is hard to navigate and images look weird.
An important component of your website is how engaging it is. Simply put, engagement is your website’s ability to retain users and have them interact with the website. If your site is not engaging, people will leave the site quickly and you will likely have a hard time accomplishing marketing goals.
One of the best ways to increase engagement, after having a responsive website, is to add video to the site. Things like patient education videos that highlight various procedures, videos that introduce people to the doctor or other staff, and videos that highlight staff fun are just a few ideas. The latter videos, those that highlight staff fun, don’t even have to be professionally shot. In fact, people appreciate the authenticity of videos that are shot using an iPhone (this is not an excuse for sloppiness).
These videos can also be posted on social media and, the hope is, to have them shared by friends. Ultimately, as people see your practice’s name associated with friends, you can earn their trust and ultimately gain new patients.
This is a lot to take in, particularly when you think about the amount of time and effort that must go into accomplishing these tasks in an effective manner. Marketing for doctors takes a lot of work, particularly given the sensitive nature of the business. That’s why it’s important to understand not just what you want, but also what you need as you seek out a medical marketing company to help you accomplish your business goals in 2018.