How SEO Works For Doctors Websites – Insights From Google
Extremely good guide from Google on how to improve SEO Performance of your Medical Website. Click here and read more.
How Search algorithms work – Directly quoted from google.
With the amount of information available on the web, finding what you need would be nearly impossible without some help sorting through it. Google ranking systems are designed to do just that: sort through hundreds of billions of webpages in our Search index to find the most relevant, useful results in a fraction of a second, and present them in a way that helps you find what you’re looking for.
These ranking systems are made up of not one, but a whole series of algorithms. To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and your location and settings. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query—for example, the freshness of the content plays a bigger role in answering queries about current news topics than it does about dictionary definitions.
Physician Marketing for Medical Practices Can Be
1. Offline Traditional Marketing
2. Internet or Digital Marketing
We highly recommend digital marketing for 99 percent of healthcare practices. Both of these approaches have merits and limitations, costs and ROI (Return On Investment) is not the same.
13 Examples of offline advertising for physicians:
1. Newspapers (see list of top newspapers in USA)
2. Yellow pages (see list of Yellow pages in USA)
3. Billboards : Out-of-home advertising – Out-of-home (OOH) advertising or outdoor advertising, also known as out-of-home media or outdoor media, is advertising that reaches the patients while they are outside their homes.3. Referrals from peers and other entities like hospitals.
4. Networking with other physicians – This has been traditional way to expand. For many specialties, this still works. Building a nice referral network of providers who do not compete with you, will always benefit you.
5. Printed flyers – This has worked for physicians since late 1800’s. For example for a 5000 print run, 8.5 inch by 11 inch full color both sides, tri-folded on 100 lb gloss paper will cost you approx $492.48. Then delivery cost is extra. For example to mail this to 5000 residents close to your practice will be extra cost. Some techniques used for delivery are direct-mail, packaging inserts, point-of-sale display, leave behinds and sales helpers.
6. Business cards & event marketing – This approach has been very successful for physicians who offer a complex service. For example a medical practice that offers medical weight loss program. The practice may decide to offer a 2 step process. In the step 1, a free seminar is offered and promoted. And in steps 2 the attending patients are “sold” the package. Consider costs below: in this example you print 1000 flyers and distribute them to many places. Design setup $500, printing $172, distribution $500. Total costs $1172.
7. Indirect messaging / co-branding – Using this strategy, some physicians have seen very good results. For example, the manufacturer of CoolSculpting offered you a co-branding campaign. They pay a part of the marketing costs and you pay a part. The end result is that both parties benefit.
8. TV Ads – These ads work. Digital Ads for specific medical procedures are on the rise. However cost can be much higher that other mediums. Ultimately, the ROI from each medium determines the value.
9. Radio Ads – Physicians who use radio advertising to promote services over the radio, typically in 30 or 60 second spots. Radio can be more expensive than some newer advertising methods, but it is a very strong medium, reaching 93% of American adults weekly according to Nielsen data. With an adequate marketing budget, you can use radio to work for your medical practice. Radio advertising costs can range from $2000 to $5,000 per week depending on your location. You will also need to factor in the cost of producing the commercial, including copywriting, voice talent, and audio / visual editing, which is additional cost.
10. Magazines – Marketing and advertising in magazines has been effective to create awareness.
11. Car Wraps – Cost of full wrap is between $2,500 and $5,000. With proper messaging and exposure, compared to other outdoor advertising, your vinyl car wrap pays for itself within the first few months on the road! However this type of marketing is not for every medical practice.
12. Local movie theaters – This has been effective for many providers. However it is difficult to measure the net impact. Local movie theaters marketing costs $1000 to $4,000 per month depending on your location.
13. Mail drops – Still the easiest way to be placed in your local patient’s mail boxes, marketing costs $500 to $1,000 per mail drop per 10,000 residents, depending on your location.
Online marketing for physicians can be further divided into sub areas:
- Search or PPC ( Pay-Per-Click ) Marketing – Google, Yahoo and Bing are very common examples for this type of advertising. Some physicians equate this to Search Advertising. There are hundreds of variations within this category alone.
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization – This refers to techniques and content placed of your website so search engines like Google can find you and rank you higher for specific keywords. Consumers (your patients) use mobile devices and computers to type in phrases like “Medspa Near Me West Palm Beach FL” and search engines display relevant listings. More and more patients are speaking to devices rather than typing text. This is call Speech Based SEO.
- Local SEO Optimization – There are over 200 directories for medical practices. Most of them have no to marginal impact on your practice. The most important business listings are 1. Google Business Page 2. Facebook Business Page 3. Yelp Business Page. 4. Healthgrades and few other healthcare specific directories are also important. As a practice manager, you need to make sure that your listings are accurate and that you are posting on Google Business Page and Facebook Business Page regularly.
- Speech Based SEO – New Emerging Area – As more patients are “speaking” to devices.
- Display Advertising – Interest Based Advertising – there are many variations.
- Video Advertising – Advertising on YouTube for doctors can be effective.
- Social Media Advertising – Interest Based & Demographic Advertising. Can be visual, textual, video based.
- Mobile Advertising – Based on mobile ads and user’s location.
- Geo-Targeted / Geo-Fenced Advertising – Used by Apps, Search, Social Media and Location Aware apps, among others.
- Re-Marketing – Based on a User’s Past History, Past Interests and Predicted Behaviour.
- Similar Competitive Interest Based Advertising
Some physicians consider SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a part of Online Advertising. There are dozens of other variations based on these 6 major types approaches.
6 Pillars of Healthcare Marketing for Physicians.
4 Important Tactics For Online Healthcare Marketing Strategy
- Focus on Patient Acquisition – This area focuses on your website, SEO, online advertising (Google, Facebook, Instagram etc), tracking of leads, secure HIPAA compliant CRM.
- Patient Engagement – This area focuses on your ability to engage patients. For example, Facebook and Google posts, SMS/Texting from your website so you can capture leads. Referral strategy, monthly Email marketing, auto-follow up emails and texts. Building a fan base on social media.
- Patient Revenue – This area focuses on your ability to monetize your marketing. Many doctors are doing a great job on marketing, but they are missing out on maximizing revenue per patient. Life time value of patient has 2 aspects. First initial visit and revenue generated by the first initial visit. Second part has to do with Life-Time-Value (LTV) of each patient – This could be a much bigger number and when calculating ROI – Return On Investment, should also be calculated. The second area is most overlooked by doctors.
- Reputation Management – This area can be a headache or a winning differentiator for your medical practice. As you service your patients, your plan should be as every patient ( shortly after providing service ) asking them “Based on your experience with our medical practice, would you recommend us”. This is probably the most important question you can ask. This can be done 4 different ways. 1) Personally asking them – This approach is most effective, however in real life, it is simply not possible. 2) Using SMS/Texting app sending a similar question and asking if they are happy with your service and willing to recommend you. If they say “yes” then software sends them link to a review site. 3) Using Email similar strategy is implemented. 4) Using an I-Pad in the lobby, similar strategy can be implemented. However this requires some clever software for changing the IP address.
Measurement of Medical SEO
There are many automated tools available to provide you rankings of your keywords and of your website. However we have found that they use generic algorithms and are not accurate or dependable. As ranking algorithms from Google change more often than tools can “simulate” actual rankings. Our approach is based on automation and validation by an SEO expert, who makes decisions based on conversion factors also. What this means is that every keyword has a different conversion. Plus every landing page has a different conversion. Origin of search matters also. For example a patient searching for a specific treatment from a mobile device is likely to respond to your ads, page title listing differently than a patient searching for a specific treatment from a desktop device. Mobile user, if lands on your webpage needs to have a fully optimized mobile page with focus on immediate communication. For example if this patient was offered a SMS/Texting option, the conversion rate goes up by 14 percentage. Another example is more an more patients are “speaking to devices” like Siri and Alexa. The search terms used by humans when they speak are different than the ones “typed” into a device.
We have measured and run hundreds of A/B tests for mobile patients looking for treatment. This data gives PatientGain a competitive advantage.
Healthcare Advertising VS Healthcare Marketing
Many healthcare professionals confuse Healthcare Advertising with Healthcare Marketing.
Advertising is just ONE of the many “things”, “programs” or “techniques” launched to achieve a successful Marketing Program. So Medical advertising is one, but very important part of Medical Marketing for a practice. For example if you are a pediatric physician with focus on urgent care for children, and your goal is to acquire more patients, you may want to “market” your practice in 20 mile radius for potential parents of patients who may seek Pediatric Urgent Care. For this effort you would typically have many things to do :
Step 1: Sign for the building
Step 2: Business cards
Step 3: Doctor’s bio printed and promoted to local primary care physicians
Step 4: Providing free “meet-and-greet” for parents of potential pediatric patients
Step 5: Collaboration with local schools for “low-cost” physicals for school athletes
Step 6: Mail drop in 5 mile radius using USPS mail and flyers for parents of potential pediatric patients
Step 7: Networking with other local businesses close to your own location
Step 8: Using social media campaigns
Step 9: Making the lobby of the clinic a pleasing place for parents of potential pediatric patients and for children
Step 10: Referral program to market using existing for parents of potential pediatric patients
Step 11: Launching your online strategy to market your practice
Step 12: Offline advertising offline for your healthcare practice
Step 13: Online Advertising for your healthcare practice
Healthcare Advertising Defined
Advertising for doctors can be offline or online. Offline advertising for doctors refers to Billboards, Newspapers, Paper Yellow Pages, Ads in Cinemas, Radio Ads.
Online Advertising for doctors refers to advertising focused on internet based mediums. For example:
- Google search advertsing
- Facebook display ads
- SEO / Search Engine Optimizations
- Website conversion techniques to improve the actual patients generation from your website
- Advertising on Instagram
- Email marketing
- SMS/Text based marketing
- Display advertising
Your Content Is the Single Most Important Factor in Your Online Success. 8 Reasons Why Content Is Important.
1. Content defines your medical practice’s brand.
2. Content expresses who you are, how you conduct your business.
3. Content is read by the Search Engines – and this results in GOOD or POOR rankings – You should NEVER copy content from another site. Checking ideas from other websites is OK, but copying content is like shooting yourself in the foot.
4. Content can make your marketing flourish.
5. Content can make your advertising irresistible.
6. Social media loves GOOD content.
7. Email marketing with good quality content will give you higher open-rates.
8. Best of all – Patients LOVE Useful content.
PatientGain.com’s Approach to Healthcare Marketing Success : 12 Key Features of GOLD Solution
- Reasonable Monthly Fee With No Upfront Setup Costs or Implementation Costs
- Pay-Per-Month Model For Healthcare Medical Marketing
- No-To-Low Risk Medical Marketing Model
- Same System is Used By The Top Clinics in USA & Canada
- Awesome Service and Support – Phone, SMS-Texting, Email, Ticketing or Web-Based Meetings
- Awesome Software & HIPAA Servers Located in USA
- Assigned Account Manager Located in USA/Canada For Your Medical Clinic
- Generous Discounts for Multi-Location Healthcare Companies
- Website, SEO, Advertising Management, Social Media, Email Marketing, SMS-Texting, Apps, HIPAA Compliance ALL Included in a Single Solution.
- Eliminate 5 to 8 Vendors and Centralize Control of Your Online Healthcare Marketing & Advertising Success
- Save 40% to 60% in Monthly Spend by Using Our Proven Single Vendor Model
- Save Approx 30 Hours a Month – No Need To Learn and Operate Multiple Apps
PatientGain.com is a certified premier google partner for healthcare.
To learn about Website Strategies and Website Examples for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.
To learn about Search Engine Optimization for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.
To learn about Pay Per Click PPC Advertising for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.
To learn about Content Marketing Strategies for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.
To learn about GOLD Package Marketing for Doctors & Medical Clinics, please go here.