Medical Practice Marketing for Clinics with Multiple Locations – Pros & Cons
Marketing Ideas & Strategies Used by the Top Clinics in USA & Canada
Many medical practices as well as doctors have multiple locations. They often are looking for the best way to setup the website(s) and online strategy for their company. When trying to apply a strategy to your office, please understand that there is no one best answer. It depends on many factors, including your desired results and your financial resources. For some clinics, their driving factor is to achieve 20% to 34% operating margins of profitability from each location. For other clinics, the front door of their clinics have been moved “Online” and they must dominate the new patient acquisition and patient acquisition strategy in a virtual space.
Option A: 1 Main/Parent site single domain setup – Medical Practice Marketing
This is the recommended setup for most practices. If you have 10, 20 or 100 locations, you should have one domain, one main website.
One key aspect in developing a marketing strategy is geography; each medical clinic should target a specific location. For instance, a medical clinic in San Francisco, CA (a densely populated area) which offers a certain type of medical services and treatments, may have an effective target area (ETA) of only a 2 mile radius. A similar clinic in Chattanooga, TN could have an effective target area of 10 miles or larger. Alternatively, a diabetic clinic in Florida would likely have a 60 mile ETA. Identifying an ETA is a necessity for your medical clinic. Typically, each medical clinic or doctor acquires 80 percent of their patients from ETA. There are only so many people who live in this area. So as a medical services provider, your strategy should be to be the provider of choice when patients need your services. Over 72 percent of the time, your patients will be visiting your website or browsing the internet to look for your services. Even more interesting is that over 60 percent of the time, they will do this from a mobile device. So “locality” & “mobility” of the user (prospective patient) becomes a MAJOR factor in their decision making. Google understands these metrics, which is why they created the “local” search tool. For the following examples, we will use companies with 2 to 200 locations in USA.
Option B: 1 Multiple websites, with separate domains
This setup is not for every medical clinic company. It has pros and cons. More precise control over PPC (paid advertising in general), patient engagement, and patient loyalty can be measured much more effectively.
Few years ago, Google launched “local search” and focus on mobile users. With this launch, it became clear that if you are small medical business, with let’s say 5 locations and your competitor has 100 locations, you must be able to compete effectively online with a much bigger company. Hence “local” content does impact search results and you are able to compete at a local level with a much bigger company who has a very powerful URL and has been in business for a long time.
Typically, there is one CRM per location and one corresponding website; Each location has local content & promotions targeting specific effective target area (ETA). Each location targets specific area (ETA), let’s say 10 mile radius around the clinic, and there is one Google Listing for each location, One Yelp page for each location, One localized SMS & Email campaign focused on specific needs of a community.
HIPAA compliance & breach notification liability is limited to one location.
Cost of multiple CRMs is higher than option A but its offset by higher engagement and more precise targeting for PPC, and other online advertising. SEO rankings can be tricky and care must be taken to avoid duplicate content.
- Main site has links to child domains.
- Each location has its own domain and rich local focused information.
- Higher fixed costs
- Paid ad campaigns like PPC is very effective as patients can land specific local site only.
- Data capture from the local site is typically connected to one CRM so messaging is targeted and ability convert prospect patients to actual paying patients is much higher.
- Social media pages are linked to the local website for better conversion.
- Lead leakage is low.
- Messaging is easier .
- Branding must be done with care and should mimic parent site.
- Auto-Responders and other CRM and Marketing related software are produce better results.
- Segmentation for Email campaigns is easy.
- PPC and remarketing produces much better results – We have seen a typically 11% to 18% better results .
- Mobile user & GEO Targeting is much more concise – hence better conversion.
- Negative keywords are localized to get better results from local user preferences.
- Social Media strategy can be complex. So care must be taken to launch multiple business pages – One for each location.
- Allocating cost to each center is much more accurate. If you manage each location based on separate P+L (Profit & Loss ) center. Then you can allocate budget and results accurately. This all leads to more control.
- Google+ and other social media is precise and very simple to manage.
- Local Search with focus on “Location” based businesses is friendly in this approach – as your patients are looking for local services to the unique address and a local business name.
- Over 70% of your patients are visiting your site from mobile devices – They will convert much better on local focused site and content.
Each one of the options have pros and cons – and associated costs. Please contact us so we could help you.