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How to Get More Patients in Your Clinic

How to Get More Patients in Your Clinic – Recommended by Top Medical Marketers

Patients are the lifeblood of your medical or dental practice. You cannot survive without them, and you will not be able to grow your business without acquiring more. Gaining more patients every month, week, and day should be the primary focus of your healthcare marketing and advertising. There are hundreds of ways to advertise and make it easier for potential patient patients to find the healthcare services you offer.

Depending on the nature of your healthcare practice, you will need a steady flow of new patients to your clinic to be successful. The rate of new patients replacing those that no longer need your services will be different for every owner. However, it is safe to say that the patient base you have no will not be identical 12 months from now. Below are some tips and suggestions for bringing more patients through your front door and into your medical practice.

How to Get More Patients in Your Clinic

How to Get More Patients in Your Clinic

Attracting potential patients to a medical practice is an essential goal of a medical marketing plan and a top priority of the owner of a medical practice. New patients must constantly be attracted; otherwise the current patients that come to a medical practice will dwindle lower and lower. Patients leave for various reasons, such as getting new insurance, no longer needing services, or moving out of an area. Not only is a medical practice looking for new patients but so are its competitors. Below are some highly effective medical marketing strategies a medical practice can employ to increase patient volume.  

Proven steps to improve your patient acquisition strategy

Table of Content:

1. First, understand how patients find you.
2. Target the needs and expectations of potential patients in your community.
3. Analyze the sentiment of the community you serve to deepen your understanding of their needs.
4. Identify the best target audience for your medical practice.
5. Create a streamlined, simple patient referral program that incentivizes referrals
6. Develop a relationship with other practices for referrals. 
7. Develop a system to measure improvements
8. Start using a proven digital solution 

1. First, understand how patients find you.

Patients look for your services on:

1) Google SEO (Learn more about how healthcare SEO works)
2) Google local SEO (Learn more about how local SEO works)
3) Google Ads (Learn more about how Google ads work)
4) Facebook, Instagram Ads (Learn more about social media advertising)
5) Digital ads on other secondary websites (Insurance websites, healthgrades, vitals, and other medical and dental directories etc)
6) Offline traditional advertising (Newspapers, Yellow pages, billboards, leaflets, flyers, USPS mailed attention grabbers)
7) Referrals (Referrals from your network of other providers)
8) Word of mouth (Existing happy patients tell their family members, friends and neighbors)
9) Ecommerce apps (Like Amazon, etc)

The top 4 are the most important for your healthcare practice.

2. Target the needs and expectations of potential patients in your community.

No two communities are the same. Every location has a different set of unique health care needs. Your clinic should be able to target as many of these needs as possible. Once you understand the needs of your potential patients in the community, you will be able to target your marketing better to capture them. However, you should not only concentrate on a community’s needs but also their expectations. Patients will have certain expectations of their healthcare professionals. You may be able to provide a service that meets a need, but if they do not get what they expect, they will not be loyal patients. They will continue to look for a healthcare solution that meets their expectations and needs.

3. Analyze the sentiment of the community you serve to deepen your understanding of their needs.

To develop more effective marketing, research the sentiment of your community to see what their expectations are of healthcare in the area. You may discover that they are historically underserved in an area or have had universally bad experiences in the past. You can use this information to promote your medical practice so this community can get the medical care they have been needing. You may need to engage with local community leaders to gain a more in-depth understanding of the healthcare needs of the area you are serving.

4. Identify the best target audience for your medical practice.

While it should be the goal of your practice to be widely recognized in your community, not everyone who lives there may need your services. Therefore, you must identify your best target audience for your marketing efforts. For example, if you are a pediatrician, chances are you will not get much return on your investment by advertising to an assisted living facility. Know the audience, demographic, and needs of your target audience, and you will get the most out of your marketing efforts. Depending on the nature of your medical practice, you may have several target audiences that may or may not overlap. Instead of having one overall audience to target, try to divide them up into groups. Marketing campaigns that are more customized to a target audience are often much more effective in converting people into your patients.

5. Create a streamlined, simple patient referral program that incentivizes referrals

Often, the most potent form of marketing is recommendations from actual patients who came to your medical practice. A flashy pamphlet or a professionally written Google search ad will certainly get some attention will get more, but someone who has physically visited your clinic and received treatment at your clinic. A word of mouth recommendation from one of your patients has a very high conversion rate. Patients who are very appreciative of your services will probably recommend you to others. Still, it is very beneficial for you to have a streamlined system that encourages referrals and quickly takes them in. To promote your referrals numbers, provide some incentive to your patients. Check with local law and regulations about what type of incentives you can give, but the more you make their efforts worth, the more likely you will get referrals.

On the other side of this process, your practice needs to treat referrals with extra care. If a referred patient has a negative experience at your clinic, it is unlikely they will come back again. Worst yet, if it gets back to the referring patient that their friend had a terrible experience, they will not refer people again and may even leave as your patient. Patients referred by other patients need to be highlighted so that they can provide the best service possible.

6. Develop a relationship with other practices for referrals. 

It is unlikely your medical practice can do everything. You are not a multi-county regional hospital system! The good news is, other medical practices also can not do everything. Work to find colleagues in your area that can provide service in areas you do not cover. Ideally, you should complement each other so you can refer patients to each other. Work to establish referral relationships with several other doctors in the area, so there is a steady flow of referrals from other medical practices.

The key to referrals from other practices is to make the process as easy as possible for the referring doctor and patient that is being sent to you. A doctor should be able to quickly and easily send over all medical records to your location to be reviewed by your provider. Ideally, the patient should be able to come and complete as little paperwork as possible. Forms should be sent to them to complete online, or the records sent over should be copied into the file at your medical practice. Again, make sure these patients get the best service possible. A negative experience may slow or completely stop future referrals from a doctor to your location.

7. Develop a system to measure improvements

As a business owner, practice owner or a practice manager, one of the most important steps you can take is to measure improvements (or lack of improvements) in your new patient acquisition one a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. For example, the following case study, a podiatrist who has been in business for 11 years, data from PatientGain performance dashboards.

Data from : the first month, after going live with GOLD service. 88 total new effective inquiries received.

Data from :  the first month, after going live with GOLD service.  88  total new inquiries received.

Data from : 10 months later, 179 total new effective inquiries received.

Data from : 10 months later, 179 total new effective inquiries received.

Data from : 12 months later, 309 total new effective inquiries received.

Data from : 12 months later, 309 total new effective inquiries received.

8. Start using a proven digital solution 

PatientGain offers PLATINUM solution with includes, service, apps, website, SEO and social media postings.

Use Reputation Management To Generate Positive Reviews

Before any new patient visits a medical practice, one of the first things they will do is look at online reviews. The positive online reputation of a medical practice can go a long way in helping someone decide where to go for their care. Medical practices must take a proactive stance regarding online reviews and actively manage them. If they do, they can see a steady increase in patient volume. While there are many places to leave reviews online, most potential patients will only look in one place: Google. 

Reviews on Google are managed through a Google Business Profile, which must be claimed and verified by a medical practice. This can take a few days, so for medical practices that are just opening; this needs to be done a week or two in advance in case of a delay. The best way to get a review from a patient is to ask for them. Review requests are most effective when asked via email or text message. Text messages lead to higher conversions, but emails are more cost-effective.  

Not only must reviews be asked for, but they need to be responded to. All reviews should have a response to show potential patients that their feedback is appreciated and read. For positive reviews, thank them. For negative reviews, an office administrator or another staff member should contact them to see if their problem can be rectified. The patient may change a negative review into a positive review. If not, a medical practice can still thank the patient in their response for speaking with them. If a negative reviewer can not be contacted or identified, ask them to call and speak with an administrator.  

Use Paid Advertising On Google Search Results, Display Advertising, and Social Media Advertising.

Paid advertising is a great way to get a medical practice brand and its services in front of potential patients. Paid advertising is effective when a medical practice has just opened or offers a new service. In these cases, organic rankings have yet to develop, so paid advertising is often the best way to bring attention to a site or service to potential patients and drive increases in patient volume.

Paid Google Search Results

Paid search results are one of a medical practice’s most popular online paid advertising strategies. Paid search results are the 3 to 5 search results that appear in search results on Google. They are denoted with a “Sponsored” tag to inform people it is a paid search result. Unlike organic results, a paid result does not take time to appear at the top of search results. The critical factors in whether a paid ad appears or not are generally:

  • The budget behind the campaign
  • Competition for the keywords being bid on
  • The relevancy of the keyword to the site 
  • The quality of the ad that has been written
  • How much competitors are spending on the same keyword

As organic ranking builds, a medical practice can dial back its budget for paid advertising. However, it should not be abandoned entirely. If paid ads are stopped altogether, a medical practice gives up top spots for competitors to slip into at lower cost, potentially steering patients away from them.  

Display Advertising

Unlike paid search results, display advertising does not appear in search results but on other websites. If you have spent time on news websites, blogs, or even websites for popular TV shows, you have seen display advertising in the form of banners at the top, bottom, sides, or even inside articles. Unlike paid search results, these ads can display pictures and even be dynamic, either moving or interacting with the person viewing it. Display advertising gears itself more towards brand awareness than for people making immediate health decisions. It may be effective with some healthcare businesses more so than others. For example, display advertising may not catch someone’s attention who has cut their hand and needs to find an urgent care for stitches. Paid search results may work better in that case. However, someone reading an article about massage therapy and being presented with an ad from a local medical spa offering massage therapy may be very effective.  

Social Media Advertising

Social media continues to play an integral role in people’s lives, and medical practices are wise to invest some money into promoting healthcare practices in these mediums. Like Google Search advertising, a medical practice can create a campaign and focus it on a location or zip code near their area. However, unlike Google Search advertising, social media advertising audience can be refined further by narrowing in on the following:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Friends of those who like a page
  • Lookalike audiences based on keywords and other demographics

While using these factors to narrow an audience will result in an ad being shown to fewer people, that audience (if the right demographics are selected) should be very receptive to the advertising. As such, the click-through rate should be higher. Facebook and Instagram, owned by Meta, have a robust advertising platform and can reach many people. Many healthcare businesses have found success promoting their business and increasing their patient volume by advertising here. Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and Pinterest may be possible avenues to promote a healthcare business. Still, these business  would generally need more visual advertising, such as the services a med spa offers. While they should be considered, Facebook and Instagram are almost always more effective choices.  

Engage With Current and Potential Patients On Social Media

Besides advertising on social media, social media channels are a great way to engage and promote healthcare practice services. Social media can drive patient volume and increase the brand awareness of a medical practice. The content posted on social media profiles can be shared and interacted with, and patients can also communicate with the business through the social media profile. As for the content that should be posted, a medical practice should avoid only posting things that promote itself or try to sell stuff to their followers. These impersonal posts may need help gaining traction, and if posted too frequently, it can lead to people ignoring or unfollowing a page.  

Instead, content should be a nice mix of your procedures information, health-related stories, promotion of services, and introduction of staff to patients. The more pictures and content generated by staff and, without violating HIPAA, patients, the more engagement a medical practice will see. Potential patients would much rather hear a testimonial from a patient or see pictures of a medical practice than read a health article. Authentic photographs and stories from the medical practice are more likely to be shared by others, exposing the business to potential patients and leading to higher patient volume.  

The four main social media channels a medical practice should have a presence on are:

Facebook –  One of the biggest social media channels available. Medical practices can post updates, pictures, events, and videos and engage with patients.

Instagram – Posts on this social media channel must be pictures or videos, and links can only be used in the profile bio. Despite this limitation, these posts often have a lot of engagement. Using hashtags is a great way to amplify posts to people not following the profile.

TikTok – While less important than the two social media channels above, TikTok does lead itself to engaging more with people one-on-one and also participating in videos and stories.

Google Business Profile –  Posts to this profile appear in Google Search Results. It allows potential patients to get the latest updates from a medical practice directly from search results.  

Have A High-Quality Website For a Medical Practice That Will Drive Patient Volume

The most essential marketing asset a medical practice has available is its website. Any other medical marketing campaign, strategy, or tactic will only be effective if there is an excellent website to send potential patients to visit. A medical practice’s website is something practically every new patient will visit and can make or break their decision to take their business there. The experts at have years of experience creating effective medical websites for healthcare providers and constantly updating sites to reflect the continually changing best practices and trends. Below are some aspects of our websites we ensure perform well for our clients to drive patient volume.

Mobile-Friendly Website – More than half the traffic healthcare websites generally see comes from mobile devices. It is for a medical practice’s website that is mobile-friendly and can be viewed on any smart device or tablet. A responsive website, a site that rearranges itself based on the size of the screen, is often the best way to accomplish this. Mobile-friendly sites are also important because Google will penalize websites in mobile search results if they do not have a mobile-friendly site. This can significantly hinder a website’s ability to attract patients. Also, most people expect websites that work well on their smartphones and will often return to search results if it is too difficult to navigate.  

Feature The Most Popular Treatments On The Home Page –  For medical practices with many services available, it is often an excellent decision to feature the top-performing or most popular services on the home page. Other services can be listed in a dropdown menu or a specific services page for patients to explore. Putting a direct link to popular services on the home page reduces the number of clicks and actions it takes for a potential patient to get the information they need. The fewer clicks, the better! With this in mind, medical practices that offer online appointments will have a link to their online appointment system on the home page and every service page to make it easy for visitors to make an appointment.  

Website Blog – A website blog is a great way to educate potential patients about the services available to a medical practice. It can answer some common questions and direct people to additional resources. It can also be great material to share on social media and email marketing campaigns. Most importantly, regular blog updates can help boost the organic SEO of a medical practice.  

Staff and Provider Page –   A great way to have potential patients make an appointment is to introduce them to the staff and providers taking care of them. This unique content can boost the medical SEO of a medical practice’s website. Be sure to include staff and provider bio, education, credentials, and other fun facts to personalize them. Update this page with new accomplishments, staff additions, and remove profiles when staff or providers leave the employment of a practice.  

Feature Patient Reviews – While patients will look at reviews before visiting a website, a medical practice should have a page dedicated to patient reviews and testimonials. Reviews can be pulled from a Google Review page, or a medical practice can go more in-depth and ask for a testimonial from a patient. First-person accounts from patients can play a significant role in a potential patient’s decision, and detailed, authentic reviews and testimonials can drive up patient volume. With that in mind, be careful not to violate HIPAA privacy rules. A medical practice must get explicit, written permission to share a patient’s story or hide any details that can be used to identify them.  

Medical Practice Optimized For Speed – If a website does not load quickly, a potential patient will return to search results and visit another location. Every second it takes for a site to load means more and more people will leave the website. will optimize a site for speed to drive down bounce rates and drive up patient volume.  

A Medical Practice’s Website Needs To Be Optimized For SEO And Local SEO

Organic results are a vital aspect of a medical practice’s marketing plan. Organic results are free, but it takes time to build these results. As such, the SEO Keywords (Both Long-Tail Keywords and Short-Tail Keywords) need to be monitored, refined, and optimized on an ongoing basis. These keywords must be inserted throughout the content on relevant pages but not oversaturated to the point where Google will penalize the site for “keyword stuffing.” Keywords need to be monitored for their effectiveness, and SEO needs to be monitored to pick up any new keywords that may fall out of favor or become more popular among potential patients.

Local SEO, a subset of overall SEO, deals with Local Map Results, which in search results are a set of 3 nearby businesses that may interest a search engine user. These results appear between the paid results and the organic results. Many potential patients will look at these results first before going on to search results. To get listed in these map results, a medical practice needs to claim their Google Business Profile, have it verified and filled out as much as possible, and have their website SEO relevant to the search. A high review score also helps push a map listing into one of those top three spots. While the distance from the searcher to the physical location can play a role, a more relevant and highly rated location can be served to a potential patient over a closer lower-rated medical practice. Optimized local SEO can go a long way to increase patient volume in a medical practice.

Your medical or dental practice cannot do everything. If your focus is on helping patients and you provide a good healthcare service to the community, consider using the GOLD service from PatientGain.

Growth in your patient count is key to the growth of your medical practice. The tips above should help you get more patients to your business by refining your current medical marketing efforts. The more finely tuned they are, the more effective they will be, and you will see a higher return on investment (ROI). Contact the experts at today and let our specialists help you create, refine, and implement a top-notch medical marketing plan to boost your patient count.

Start using a proven digital solution
Start using a proven digital solution