Marketing Strategies For Doctors Offices
Marketing Strategies & Software For Healthcare Medical Practices Costs $599/mon. No Long Term Contracts. Used By Top Clinics in USA & Canada.
Thousands of medical clinics, doctors struggle every day to fill their calendar with patients, but it does not have to be this way. Marketing for doctors can be divided into two main areas:
1. Offline – Traditional Marketing
This includes bill boards, print media, placing an ad in local movie theatre to drive patients to your clinic. This type of marketing is on the decline, as more and more patients are online now.
2. Online Digital Marketing
For doctors and medical clinics, this is constantly changing and covers 6 important areas. It requires constant technology changes, medical industry knowledge, HIPAA issues, and deep online marketing experience.
PatientGain.com, a healthcare specific software & marketing company has worked with thousands of advertising & promotional campaigns coast to coast. We have found that thousands of medical clinics, doctors struggle every day to fill their calendar with patients. Many doctors question if it is ethical to advertise. Some focus on referrals only. Some have taken small steps- Not sure if advertising and specially online advertising and marketing for doctors will produce results. Physicians and practice owners have vastly differing levels of promotional experience and sophistication which can be summarized as follows:
Three Levels of Online Marketing Adoption By Doctors & Medical Practices
Level 1. Beginner/ Introductory Level
Marketing & Advertising is considered an unimportant priority, an after-thought that can be managed by any clinic staff member from front office staff to clinic administrators. The general perception is that with any kind of basic, free web site presence, the applicable patient base will be auto-directed to the clinic via Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. – What could be simpler?
Level 2. Intermediate Level
The clinic has acceptable average daily patient counts. With a clinic admin person working with a local web – designer, a nice looking web site, but there is no focus on online success. Hoping that free Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) will naturally result in steady and predictable patient / clinic growth. Some online advertising – some optimizations. Some Email Marketing – and a Facebook business page with no intelligence. Online marketing is how your competition is acquiring new patients – This is not a decision that should be taken lightly—after all, this is your image and reputation on the line.
Level 3. Optimized Level
Reality – the clinic owner understands that online strategy is by far the #1 method to grow patient volumes and secure clinic profitability. Driving patients to your door and out-smarting the competition online requires a depth of online promotional expertise combined with a profound understanding of medical practice operations that very few marketing / advertising companies can provide. Example of this execution includes top performing brands. Medical practices with more than 100 locations, dozen locations, to a single location use PatientGain.com’s Patient Advertising & Marketing Platform.
Thousands of medical clinics struggle every day to fill their calendar with patients. They have a great location, dedicated professional medical staff, proper equipment, many hard earned certifications and qualifications. They also have a nice looking Website. However what they lack is a sophisticated online marketing software and expertise. These days having a nice looking website is not enough to generate new patient clients. If your clinic needs to retain existing patients for repeat services and procedures, then you need additional strategies and intelligent software. PatientGain.com has 20+ applications designed just for this. These applications are used by the TOP healthcare companies from coast to coast.
PatientGain.com Provides Additional Benefits for Medical Practice Marketing
Clinic owners, practice managers, dentists and doctors are often forced to work with multiple applications and incompatible online tools to help drive their business. There’s a lot to keep track of: website management, social media, Facebook, online advertising, website lead management, generating positive reviews, minimizing negative reviews, monthly email marketing, call tracking, online payments and much more… it can all be difficult to juggle. What’s more, where do you find the time to manage your efforts online while running your clinic effectively and treating your patients? PatientGain.com data shows you will save 21 to 44 hours a month ( on average 32 hours a month) by using an Integrated Comprehensive Medical Practice Marketing system from PatientGain.com. At $47/hour, your average opportunity cost, this is savings of $1527 per month, or $18K per year, per clinic. This does not include improvement in increased patient acquisition and patient referrals and patient engagement.
Example of a FREE Intelligent Website – Included with the GOLD Package.
Results From Online SEO For Primary Care Physician
Review of a real customer. Location is east coast – mid-level competition. Doctor Jones has been in practice for the last 13 years. Her focus has been Primary Care, Internal Medicine and general wellness with focus on Diabetic patients. However, since last 3 years, multiple clinics have opened within her 5 mile radius. In addition, two Urgent Care clinics have also impacted her business. In the past all she had to do was to advertise in local yellow pages, few referral practices and business had grown due to her excellent focus on patient care. Due to competition, her average patient count had steadily decreased from 30 patients a day to 22.
In this case, Doctor Jones had to focus on new patient acquisition. She search online for “online advertising for doctors” and found PatientGain.com as the first organic listing on Google. She signed up for PatientGain.com’s GOLD Service for $599/mon. The results have been as follows:
Nov 2016 – Go live with new website, along with 20 apps embedded in the new Medical Marketing website. 135 phone calls received in the first month. 116 unique phone calls.
Dec 2016 – 434 phone calls received in the 2nd month. 388 unique phone calls.
Jan 2017 – 621 phone calls received in the 3rd month. 534 unique phone calls.
Feb 2017 – 518 phone calls received in the 4th month. 419 unique phone calls.
Mar 2017 – 599 phone calls received in the 5th month. 450 unique phone calls.
Apr 2017 – 697 phone calls received in the 6th month. 541 unique phone calls.
May 2017 – 801 phone calls received in the 7th month. 643 unique phone calls.
By the end of 7th month, Doctor Jones had achieved her target of 30 patients per day. Mission accomplished.
Impact of Medical Marketing on Physicians Earnings
Thousands of Physicians & Specialized Medical Practices struggle every day to fill their calendar with patients. Despite having a great location, a dedicated and professional medical staff, proper equipment, and hard earned certifications and qualifications, their daily patient counts aren’t where they’d like them to be. Many clinics don’t realize that what they are missing is online expertise and a sophisticated software solution to power their patient acquisition efforts. These days, your clinic’s strategy for generating new patients online has to be more than just having a good looking website. Review of 162 online campaigns reveals that 72 percent of the patients are searching for medical services on a mobile device. Exactly the same test revealed that this number was 54 percent 12 months ago. PatientGain.com predicts that this number will be close to 90 percent in the next few years. As a healthcare practitioner and a physician you are aware that average income of primary care physicians, while has increased in the last 6 years (possibly due to ObamaCare), and averaged $194,000 per year. But this should not be compared with "savvy" physicians, who are using online medical marketing software to increase the value of services they provide. For savvy physicians, these numbers are significantly higher. We wish you to be in the “savvy” category.
Medical Marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPI's)
Many practice managers often confuse medical practices objectives and goals with medical marketing KPIs.
Goals and Objectives for your medical practice can be as follows: (these are examples)
- Increase daily patient count at location in Palo Alto California by 20 patients per day in the next 12 months
- Increase patient satisfaction by 30% at location in Palo Alto California in the next 12 months
- Reduce patient acquisition costs by 10%at location in Palo Alto California in the next 6 months
In order to achieve these goals, objectives or desired business results, the practice manager or medical director of a practice has to typically consider "how" to achieve these desired goals. Next step to select software, vendors, service providers and consultants for these various tasks. Sometime the practice manager or medical director has enough resources like an internal staff like marketing manager who can oversee these initiatives and provide status to the practice manager or medical director. Once the practice manager or medical director has established a strategy, he or she has to come up with KPIs to measure ongoing progress and success of each area.
Working with hundreds of healthcare providers, PatientGain.com has established that there are 6 key KPIs for your medical marketing strategy. These are built into you Medical Marketing Dashboards.
Most Important KPIs. There are many - actually hundreds of ways to measure what happens online to promote your practice/clinic. Some of them are simply "noise"- We recommend the follow as a best practice.
- Actual Patient Count - no one will question you if your actual patient count increases
- No Number of phone calls - 73 percent of patients still want to "call you"
- Appointment requests/inquiries - Using apps on Facebook and your mobile site allow patients to request an appointment
- Local SEO Rankings - Extremely important to optimize Google, Yelp and Facebook business pates
- Organic SEO Rankings
- PPC Data & Metrics
- Engagement Data - Social Media - Facebook Posts
- Mobile Engagement Data
- Emails Marketing
- Non-Social Engagement
8 Reasons Why Content Is Important.
Your Content Is the Single Most Important Factor in Your Online Success.
1. Content defines your 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.
Steps For Healthcare Advertising Campaign
Your paid advertising campaign is specifically setup for each of your location(s). It involves different steps to develop a customized campaign according to your industry requirement and your desired needs. This is a summary of steps. Each staff member who works on your campaign has multiple certifications. Your campaigns are reviewed by advertising managers, project managers and even the owners of the company. Note that Google campaigns are quite a bit different than Facebook campaigns. Facebook campaigns have become very complex. They are different than setting up Google campaigns. Each of these companies, Google ( and Googled owned companies like YouTube) and Facebook (and Facebook owned companies like Instagram) will be the largest source of new and repeat patients for your medical practice. So it makes sense to focus on these 2 first, however you can advertise on over 100 online properties using PateintGain's GOLD or PLATINUM Service.
Step 1: Your dedicated project manager works closely with the our in-house medical advertising staff. Specific staff are assigned to specific qualifications and experience. For example, all of our staff who work on your campaigns are at least, Google AdWords Certified. We specifically look at your competition and who else is offering similar services, similar campaign, analyze the market and make strategies to build your campaign in an effective way. Our in-house medical advertising staff starts setup of your campaign to target the audience. We look at time of the day and conversion data available to us. Our objective is lowest possible cost with maximum result, best possible ROI for your marketing campaign.
Step 2: Your target area is defined. This is extremely important. Due to our deep experience and our data, we know that each service you offer can draw patients from different areas. For Facebook campaigns, in-house medical advertising staff will look at 6 key focus areas for Facebook ads. Demographics, age groups, interest and multiple different attributes may be selected.
Step 3: Your key services are discussed with you. We recommend starting with at least 3 to 5 key services. It also depends on your campaign budget. For example if you are a Med Spa and want to focus on “Coolsculpting” – the team will create an ad-group for Coolsculpting. Landing pages and campaign “Coolsculpting” are created and and there are many other keywords related to your service “Coolsculpting”. For each keyword we know the probability of results and how effective each keyword will be. We also know the mobile vs non-mobile patient behavior. If the campaign is being designed for Facebook – the steps are similar but tools in Facebook are different from Google. The same is true for other type of campaigns, like Instagram, Yahoo/Bing campaigns are slightly different. Some platforms are rock-solid, some are “testing” with your ad dollars. Our job is also to steer you away non-essential expenses. We also see different results from different ads. For example, on Facebook and Instagram visual ads, we highly recommend branding your ads, as they produce better ROI.
Keywords are the heart of paid campaigns on Google. Our in-house medical advertising staff research and design powerful keyword lists relevant to your target audience. Negative keywords are equally important. There are hundreds of negative keywords in our campaigns. These campaigns have been run thousands of times and optimized for your specific services. These are NOT generic campaigns.
Landing pages and lead conversion software is all included in the GOLD and PLATINUM Packages. Call tracking based on keywords is included in our campaigns.
Step 4: Budget is discussed for each clinic. This is where you have the most input. Most customers want to spend “X per month per location” – Then we work backwards to get the best results. Other approach is to let us suggest a budget. Changing of the budget is easy, it can be easily increased or decreased. Sometimes customers come to us and say “I want to dominate online” – What can you do? So depending on your business objectives, we design campaigns. There are no cookie-cutter ad campaigns.
Step 5: Based on your services, dozens of ads are created, negative keywords list are generated. Ad extensions, Set Schedule of the campaign, GEO targeting, Excluded areas, low-value-keywords are assign a lower bids, competitor bids, local bids, mobile bids, landing pages with conversion are created/optimized, call tracking is set, lead-capture is tested.
Step 6: Target launch date is set and discussed with customer
Step 7: Campaign is started
Step 8: Typically in the first 10 to 15 days your campaign results are discussed with you. However your campaign is being constantly monitored.
Successful campaigns require continuous optimization such as A/B testing, funnel management and bounce rates.
Our PPC Team evaluates and applies various statistical models to improve and expand the campaign incrementally over the time to beat the market competition on regular basis.
With our service, it is required that you meet with us at least once a month to review your account.
6 Steps for Online Success For Clinics
Step No 1.
As medical practitioners, we have to realize that patient behavior is changing. Patients are now looking for medical services online. 88 percent of patients search online for medical services and clinic information. Even 47 percent of existing patients look for additional, related services online on your own website or your competitor’s websites. So you must be present on the Web. 60 percent to 72 percent of patients look for your services, check your online reviews, using a mobile device. Make sure that you have website that is focused on Mobile Marketing for doctors. Here are many examples of great ( and free Mobile, responsive and intelligent) websites. Once your medical practice is online, there are 5 additional important areas to cover.
Step No 2.
In US, approximately, 78 percent of the time, your patients are going to use Google search engine to look for medical related services, reviews and other information. So your first step is have a top notch Google presence. Other places are important also, like Facebook, Yahoo, Bing etc. But start with Google. There are 6 important aspects of Google presence.
- Google Local Listing for your medical practice
- Google Maps, verified listing
- Google Reviews rankings
- Google Posts
- Google Organic results
- Google Paid Search
Each of these should be addressed by your online strategy for your medical practice. Many doctors and practice managers think that having a nice looking website will suffice. Unfortunately it is no longer enough to have a nice website and a Facebook page.
Each of the above mentioned 6 important aspects of Google presence require attention to detail, time and commitment, not to mention financial investment.
Step No 3.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization for Doctors & Medical Practices can be defined in many ways. To provide you with a high level guidance, these 5 areas are most important:
A. Google Local Listing for your medical practice
- Create a Google account
- Add you clinic’s accurate information – Name, address are the most important information – Phone should be checked.
- If your practice’s information is incorrect, you will have correct it
- You may have to claim your listing also.
- In certain cases you may have duplicate listings, these should be resolved.
- There are dozens of other Local directories – They should be checked and updated. But Google, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo/bing are the most important ones. Start with these.
B. Google Maps, verified listing
- Create a Google account
- Add you clinic’s accurate information in the Maps
- If your practice’s information is in correct, you will have correct it – sometime the Map Pin is Inaccurate
- You may have to claim your Map listing also.
- In certain cases you may have duplicate listings, these should be resolved.
- There are many of other map based directories – They should be checked and updated. But Google, Map Quest, Apple Map are the most important.
C. Google Reviews rankings
- Create a Google account
- Check you reviews and ratings
- If your practice’s reviews are 4.5 and over 100 reviews on Google, then you are doing well. If less than this, you will need to focus on this area.
- Other important review sites are Yelp, Facebook and HealthGrades. But start with Google.
D. Google Posts
Posting on Google is a new way to share relevant, fresh content with the people who are searching for you. Use images, videos and even animated GIFs to engage your audience, and add inline links to drive traffic to specific content. This enhanced format allows searchers to hear directly from the primary source — you — and complements existing results from across the web. One important note the Google Posts expire every week. You have to post every week.
E. Google Organic results
Your content on your website is the most important factor on your website. Content refers to your text, headings, sub-headings, main paragraph, images, videos, blogs etc. Your website must contain non-copied, non-plagiarized content.
Step No 4.
Every year, billions of dollars are spent on online advertising. Very broadly, online advertising can be divided into 2 main categories:
- Display advertising
- Search advertising
As a doctor and a medical practice manager, both of these are important for you. You can acquire new patients using both of these mediums.
Display advertising is a type of online advertising that comes in several forms, including banner ads, rich media and more. Unlike text-based ads, display advertising relies on elements such as images, audio and video to communicate an advertising message. For example, if your potential patient is on Facebook and has recently clicked on or watched a video related to Breast Augmentation medical procedure and treatment, ads related this subject can be displayed to the potential patients. This is an example of display ads.
Search advertising is very common. Every time you are on Google and type a search term, lets say “Urgent Care near me”, Google search engine will usually display ads on the top of the web page. In the middle, there is a map, reviews and business listings, and at the bottom, there are organic or free search results. The advertisers pay a fee to display their ads in the top area. If a user clicks on any of the ads, the advertiser pays a fee for each “Click” This is called Pay-Per-Click advertising. For medical practices and doctors, this is very effective and creates excellent ROI. Google PPC ads produce excellent results, however it is complex and requires a professional to manage your campaign.
Step No 5.
Reviews marketing is another emerging area. Online reviews are impacting decisions of your prospect patients dramatically. This is one area that will make your medical clinic shine or impact negatively more than any other strategy. In fact it should not be a marketing strategy, it should be a necessity.
There are 4 ways to acquire positive reviews, and at the same time, minimize negative reviews. So your marketing strategy should be to minimize any negative reviews, and maximize positive reviews.
4 Ways to acquire online reviews
- Using Texting/SMS apps. A text is sent to a patient asking for feedback after a visit.
- Using Email apps. An Email is sent to a patient asking for feedback after a visit.
- Using an iPad in the lobby. A patient is asked to provide feedback right after the visit.
- Using Social Media or your Website. An app can be added to your business page on Facebook or your website, asking patients to provide feedback.
There is no quick and foolproof way do this “quickly”. There are pros and cons for each approach. Google and Yelp understand that businesses are striving to acquire more positive reviews and “bury” negative feedback, their algorithms are aware of SMS requests for reviews – and they are blocking reviews posted using SMS originated requests. Having an iPad in the lobby can cause block of IP Address and so on.
Step No 6.
Social Media Marketing is another very important aspect of your marketing. Your potential and existing are hanging around on Facebook. You have to make it easy for them to do business with you. Here are 5 steps.
5 Steps for Facebook Success for Doctors & Medical Practices
- Create Facebook Business Page for your medical practice.
- Optimize FacebookBusiness Page for your medical practice.
- Add apps to your FacebookBusiness Page for your medical practice. For example, add Contact Us app, add Appointment Requests app, add Promotions app.
- Add content to your FacebookBusiness Page for your medical practice
- Advertise your FacebookBusiness Page for your medical practice on Facebook – There are multiple ways to promote your FacebookBusiness Page for your medical practice. You can hire a professional ( recommended ) or do it yourself. Professionals who are certified advertising professionals will produce better results for you.
Summary for Online Success For Doctors
These 6 steps are proven to add value for hundreds of medical practices. There are many other steps you can take to further improve your strategy. Monthly Email Marketing is another strategy, among many others. Contact us so we can help you and view details GOLD package here.