Online Marketing Mistakes to Watch Out For

Woman looking shocked at a computer screen, to watch out for mistakes

1. The online marketing ship has sailed and you missed it.

Traditional marketing strategies still have their place in this new technologically advanced world, but only when they are designed to present a unified front with your online presence. If a driver with a stomach ache sees your medical billboard, the 1st thing they are going to do is Google you. Actually having a quality website is key to them finding you through a search engine. Online marketing for medical practices offers a way to communicate with patients who are looking for your services.

Make sure you account for the different types of people searching for information. Some people will find blog posts most useful because they can find great information written informally. (Read about keeping a blog on your website) Others will appreciate longer articles that go into the nitty gritty details of specific procedures because that’s just the way their brain works.

2. Are we there yet? Boring is as boring does.

Chances are, you’ve either heard or asked that question more times than you can count. Saying the same thing other doctors in your field are saying, whether online or in print, gets repetitive and boring. Prospective patients want to know why they should choose you. Do some research to find out what services competitors offer in your area. After you have a better idea of the competition, you can then hone in on what makes you exceptional.

Create a plan to catch the eye of your target audience. Offer incentives that will keep them interested and create a desire to return. These incentives can range from a percentage off coupons for services to free tickets to local baseball games. Talk to people about what they feel is a fair reward for referring new patients and get creative in your implementation. Everyone wins when patients are happy.

3. Ignoring your resources, otherwise known as patients, can spell trouble.

If you’re the third doctor spouting off sophisticated clinical dialog to a demographic that prefers comic books, you will watch the numbers of conversions drop. Actively listen to your current patients to learn what they need from you.

As you get an idea of what types of compliments and complaints are coming from different groups of people, you can better focus your medical marketing strategies to meet patient needs. Positive feedback will point you to the very things that make you strong. These are the things you will use in future marketing campaigns. Negative feedback, while not fun, provides you with a growth opportunity.

Take advantage, in a good way, of the resources available to you every day. Your current patients are going to talk about you and your practice.(check out our Review Management) If they feel they help contribute to your growth, they are more likely to recommend you to friends and family.

4. Technical prowess causes confusion.

Prospective patients need to be able to access your medical website in a relatively pain-free manner. Since current search algorithms are picking up on the importance of human connection, loading your website with a bunch of technical terminologies is no longer necessary. Eliminate the fluff by organizing the layout of the site so it is usable by your grandma (the one with a 10-year-old laptop).

If you incorporate huge files and pictures, downloading times will be negatively impacted. Compress large images to help alleviate wait time. Those lovely flashing banners and jumping emojis that catch the eye may actually cause more harm than good when people choose to click the next page rather than wait for your gimmicks to load. Be straightforward with what you have to offer and how you can help. Don’t let technical prowess push away a large part of your demographic.

5. Outdated websites get stuck at home.

In the scenario above with the person with a stomach ache, that Google search is likely to take place in the car at a traffic light. If your website is not optimized for mobile platforms, you are essentially tying yourself to the desktop computer that stays home. Today’s tech-savvy consumer will simply plug in a new search and find someone who offers the same service.

If you aren’t sure if your website is compatible, check it out using Google’s Mobile site tester. Knowledge is only half the battle. Now, if you’ve just learned you have been stuck at home all this time, you’ll want to search for a mobile website builder. There are many free versions available. Don’t worry if you are not the person you would hire to handle your own website and online presence. People exist in the technology sector to do this for you.

6. The cup of impatience runneth over when gratification is not instant.

Marketing strategies for healthcare professionals will not necessarily develop into instant growth. When it comes to health care, people are more selective than they are about their choice of cereals. It takes approximately 7 encounters with your brand before people will take up that call of action and contact you for more information. Be patient.

As new visitors find you, ask them about their experiences with your advertisements, both online and traditional. You will get a sense of what brought them your way. If it becomes clear that your pediatric practice is not winning converts advertising in an old school newspaper, it may be time to look into pulling that ad. It is okay to change a strategy that is not working but make sure you have gathered enough data to confirm results. Sometimes it just takes time to hear from the people who see your poster in the subway every day.

Let’s review.

  • Online marketing is a must in today’s technologically advanced world.
  • Create an entertaining atmosphere and acceptance where patients feel valued. Boredom is disastrous.
  • Get to know your patients on a personal level. Connections are essential to growth.
  • Make technology accessible to your target market. Complicated tech turns potential patients away.
  • Mobility allows people take you everywhere if they can reach you from their mobile devices.
  • Be willing to wait for marketing results. In this case, good things can come to those who wait.