Medical Advertising Questions & Answers From Physicians
Thousands of medical practices fail to fill their calendars every day. For the majority of them, this is a solvable problem. The most common questions starts with, does digital advertising work? And the answer is YES.
Q: Is it legal to advertise my medical practice?
Yes, you can legally advertise your practice and your services. You have be careful with certain advertising ethics and HIPAA. There are certain drugs and procedures are not fit for digital advertising.
Q: Will Google ads help my medical practice?
Google ads are a tremendous help to most medical practice. Pay per click ads appear at the top of most search result and occasionally at the very bottom, after organic results. These paid ads will be the first thing anyone sees when they are searching for a health care solution. These ads are your first chance to expose a potential patient to the services you offer. A well-designed ad targeting the right keywords with the right budget will only appear for someone likely to click on it. Paid ads are also beneficial if you are not ranking well for something organically yet. For example, if you just added a new service to your medical practice, you probably don’t have any SEO value to the content you just published. Paid ads can get more people to visit your site as you build search ranking for these new terms.
Q: How do Facebook Ads bring more patients to my practice?
Facebook ads work a lot like Google Ads or Bing Ads. However, you can target these ads with much more finely tuned parameters, then you can paid search ads. With social media ads, like ads on Facebook, you can not only target by location, but also by age, gender, income, interests, by what other pages someone may like. If you provide enough information to Facebook, you can also target a “lookalike audience,” which are people who share the same traits as your target audience but do not yet have any connection to your business or Facebook page. The powerful targeting abilities of Facebook Ads allow you to focus on the demographics that most likely need your services.
Q: How do online appointments bring more patients to my practice?
We live in an “on-demand” world where people want immediate answers to their questions and get service when they need it. This “right now” mentality is one of the reasons why urgent care centers have become more popular with people as well as with insurance companies. One aspect that can make your medical practice more appealing, regardless if it is an urgent care center or not, is giving patients the ability to make their appointments. Having online appointments takes away several steps between a patient thinking they need to be seen by a doctor and them walking into your waiting room. Instead of calling, possibly leaving a message, and waiting to be called back, patients can make appointments immediately. Granted, there will be some limitations to this, such as when a service requires some pre-planning or a talk with a doctor first. However, even services that are only offered during certain parts of the day can be accommodated by most online appointment services. This ability for a patient to take ownership of their health is becoming more popular, and you shouldn’t let it pass you by!
Q: How does publishing the names, faces, and profiles of my doctors bring more patients to my practice?
Understandably, you do not want to advertise who is working at your clinic for fear that a competitor will swoop in and steal your doctors and staff out from under you. However, chances are your competitors have a pretty good idea who is working for you and can contact them through social media sites, like LinkedIn. A more critical group of people do not know who works for you, your potential patients. Someone looking to make a healthcare choice is going to want to know more about the people treating them. While you likely have this information in brochures at your medical practice, someone is not likely to drive around town picking up literature to review at home. They will, however, search your website to see who works for you, their education, and other qualifications. Adding the bios of your staff and doctors will make a potential patient more comfortable choosing your medical practice. Also, more pages of unique content will help your website rankings!
Q: Will listing all the services I provide bring more patients to my practice?
Not only should you list every single service, no matter how trivial, but you should also try to have a separate content page for your services. When launching your website, you should, at the very least, list every service you offer. On your home page, having columns of services and ailments you treat can also be a helpful reference guide for people visiting your site. However, you should also dedicate pages to each one of your services and create unique content for them. Link these pages to services and aliments you list on your home page. While you do not need to write three thousand words full of medical jargon to describe what you do in detail, it should also be more than a couple of sentences. Aim for 500 to 1,000 words for each of your services and use words the layman would understand. It would be best if you had your service pages talk about the process, the symptoms it addresses, and when someone should consider it. The more content you put out there, the more educated your patients will be, and the more of an authority you will have on a topic in a search engine.
Q: How does claiming online profiles help my medical practice?
Claiming your online profiles on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Foursquare ensures accurate information about your medical practice is available. Chances are, these profiles already exist if you haven’t created them already. Unfortunately, if you do not claim these listings, they are often riddled with inaccurate or incomplete information. Once claimed, ensure the accuracy of:
Hours of operation
Location on a map
Photos of your medical practice
Another reason why you should claim these listings is that these directories are often what maps apps, like Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Apple Maps use as a database to list businesses. Many other phone apps that involve business listings also pull from these sources. Finally, you will use these listings to manage your reviews. Not only should you address negative feedback, but also thank positive comments about your medical practice and try to get your current patients to leave reviews about your services.
These common questions are what doctors new to digital marketing are asking. At PatientGain.com, we have the answers to these questions and any others you may have.