Empower Your Practice

Journal for Practice Managers

Medical Practice Marketing - 17 Ideas to Market Your Practice

Medesk
November 9, 2021

Medical Practice Marketing

Over the past decade, marketing has been getting more and more complicated.

There are hundreds of potential marketing channels you can use to drive new customers to your medical practice: Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, you name it.

At the end of the day, though, it’s very hard to decide which of these channels are going to be effective for marketing a medical practice (and which are just a waste of time).

In this article, we’re going to give you X tried-and-tested medical practice marketing ideas so you can start driving new patients to your clinic right away!

17 Medical Practice Marketing Ideas

#1. Start From Your Website

A decade ago, just having a website was enough to impress patients.

Today, having a website is just barebone basics. When patients want to learn more about your clinic, the website is where they’re going to go.

And if the website is slow, confusing, or hard to navigate, potential patients are likely to pick another clinic.

Here are some essential tips on how to make your website as effective as possible.

  • Make the website easy to navigate. On the homepage, make it very clear what the user needs to click to find any specific information.
  • Have separate pages for topics that matter to your patients. E.g. a page for each of your services, pricing information, detailed explanations of what any given procedure involves, and so on.
  • Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Google prioritizes websites that are mobile-friendly over those that are not in terms of search result rankings.

#2. Implement the Best SEO Practices

SEO is probably one of the most effective marketing channels for a medical clinic.

When potential patients want to learn about a specific medical service or procedure, more often than not, they will Google it.

Say, a person wants to find a doctor to have their lower back examined. They’re going to Google “orthopedist London” or “lower back London.”

Implement the Best SEO Practices

If your medical practice website follows SEO best practices, it’s more likely to get on top of that list.

And since “orthopedist London” gets hundreds of searches per month, the benefit of this is quite substantial.

The higher you rank on Google, the more patient traffic you’re going to drive to your website (which in turn, leads to more patients visiting your clinic).

So, how can you rank first for whatever services your clinic offers? Here’s what we recommend:

  • For each service that your clinic offers, create a new page. E.g. If your clinic is a physiotherapy practice in London, you’d want to create pages for “back pain london,” “shoulder pain london,” “knee pain london,” and so on, as these keywords are what your patients are likely to Google.
  • Use RankMath to optimize each of these pages according to SEO best practices. If you’re not using WordPress, here’s what this involves:
    • Mentioning your target keyword in the page URL. E.g. /shoulder-pain-london/
    • Including the target keyword in the page H1 heading.
    • Including the target keyword in the page copy several times.
  • Make sure that these pages are easy to find. To do this, create a “Services” drop-down menu in your navigation bar and link to the exact services from there.
  • Build backlinks to your clinic’s websites. A backlink is a link directed at your website from another site. Google uses backlinks as a “vote of confidence” - the more people link to your website, the more “authoritative” it is, and thus, more likely to rank with your target keywords.

#3. Create & Optimize Your Google My Business Page

In addition to organic Google rankings, patients may sometimes use Google Maps to search for clinics in their area.

Google My Business Page

And if you’re not listed on Google My Business (GMB), you’re definitely going to be missing out on patient traffic.

So, first things first - head over here to create or claim your GMB listing.

Once you have a GMB profile, you need to optimize it based on Google’s best practices. The more you optimize your profile, the more likely it is to pop up on top of all the other listings.

Some things you can do to optimize your GMB listing include:

  • Completely fill out your profile. Add your address, business category, website URL, etc.
  • Upload a photo of your clinic. This is going to make your clinic easier to find for potential patients.
  • Input your business hours and keep them up to date. If a potential patient visits your clinic and finds out that it’s closed during working hours, they’re not likely to be coming back.
  • Encourage your patients to leave reviews. One of the biggest ranking factors for GMB profiles is the number and quality of reviews. So, encourage satisfied patients to leave you a review on Google Maps.

#4. List Your Medical Clinic in Local Directories

Chances are, there are more than a dozen business directories where you can feature your clinic - no matter where it’s located.

By getting your clinic listed in online directories, you unlock 2 main benefits:

  1. Potential patients who use these directories will have an easier time finding your clinic.
  2. If the directory links back to your website, this can help boost your clinic’s Google rankings. Such links count as “location citations” and you can learn more about them in this article.

Some popular online directories you can get listed in (if you’re based in the UK or US) are:

For a more comprehensive list, check out this article.

#5. Run Google Ads

Google Ads is the fastest way to drive patients to your clinic.

If you Google a keyword associated with your clinic or your services, you’ll see that the first to pop up (before organic search results) are Google ads:

Google Ads

Google Ads actually work really well for medical practice marketing. After all, you’re directly targeting people who fit your audience. If someone is Googling “back pain” in your area, chances are, they want to get it checked out.

Here’s how you can get started with Google Ads:

  1. In your Google Ads account, go to “Keyword Planner” and find keywords associated with your clinic.
  2. Create an ad campaign that’s going to house all your ads.
  3. Create an ad set for each keyword type. Keywords with the same search intent and meaning should be grouped together. For example, “back pain,” “lower back pain,” “back pain doctor” have the same target audience. “Shoulder pain” and “migraine doctor,” on the other hand, don’t.
  4. Create ad copies for each of these ad sets. Make sure that the ad mentions the target keyword in the headline. Having a quality offer (E.g. free consultation) in the ad can help too.

Finally, launch your ads!

Keep in mind that your work isn’t over once the ads are live. You should monitor them on a monthly basis and optimize them when needed.

This can involve including new keywords or excluding old ones, trying different ad copies, and so on.

#6. Maintain Your Reputation Online

Before a potential patient decides whether they want to visit your clinic or not, they’re going to check your reviews online.

If your clinic has no reviews (or worse, it has negative ones), there’s a very good chance that you’ll lose that patient.

As such, it’s important that your clinic has a solid online reputation on the following platforms:

One of the most effective ways to get reviews is this: after a patient visits your clinic for an appointment, get your reception staff or doctors to ask them for a review on any of the platforms listed above.

For convenience's sake, you can even provide a QR code they can scan to immediately open the social platform that you’d like to get reviews on.

#7. Upgrade Your Marketing Efforts With Medical CRM

If you want to get the most out of your marketing efforts, using a medical CRM is essential.

Such software can help you with:

  • Discovering patient trends. You can, in a handful of clicks, find all sorts of useful data. E.g. how many of your patients use a specific service, what’s the percentage of no-show rates, which patient demographics have the highest no-show rates, and more.
  • Personalizing your marketing efforts. Let’s say you want to bring more patients to your clinic during a particularly slow week. You can use the medical CRM to reach out to patients that fit a certain demographic and urge them to visit your clinic with a special offer.
  • Automating your marketing. With a medical CRM, you can send automated emails and SMS reminders. For example, you can send an appointment reminder to your patients to lower no-show rates.

#8. Implement a Clear Call to Action

A “Call to Action” on your website is a prompt that tells your visitors to take a certain action. For a medical clinic, this can be:

  • A button urging the site visitor to book an appointment.
  • A sign saying “To book an appointment, call [phone number]”
  • A form the visitor can fill in to request more information about a certain procedure.

Most outdated clinic websites don’t have a clear call to action. They feature all sorts of text and information, but there’s no clear “next step” for a potential patient.

This has 2 main downsides:

  1. It’s hard to measure how well your medical practice marketing is performing.
  2. You’ll straight-up lose patients. Website visitors are significantly less likely to book a consultation if there’s no clear call to action.

As such, we recommend you add calls to action on all your main pages, including your homepage and service pages.

#9. Take Advantage of Email Marketing

Email marketing is the best way to keep in touch with your patients.

In a nutshell, email marketing involves using software like MailChimp to send manual or automated emails to your patients.

Some ways you can use email marketing for your medical practice include:

  • Sending automated appointment reminders to your patients.
  • Updating patients about your clinic’s news via a newsletter.
  • Helping your patients stay healthy by sending out health tips related to their age group or condition.
  • Bring more patients to your clinic by sending a special offer (e.g. 50% off your next appointment) to those who fit a certain demographic.

#10. Use SMS To Your Advantage

Similar to email marketing, you can use SMS to engage with your patients.

Since SMS is a bit more intrusive for patients than emails, you can use SMS marketing in 2 main ways:

  1. Send appointment reminders to your patients to cut no-show rates.
  2. Send special offers to patients that fit specific demographics.

Want to learn more about how you can use SMS marketing for your clinic? Check out the video below:

#11. Implement an Online Patient Platform

Providing quality patient care is the best thing you can do to your medical practice marketing efforts.

Your patients are going to be satisfied with your clinic, more likely to return, and at the same time, more likely to recommend you to their friends and family.

And one of the best ways to provide quality care is via an online patient platform.

Such software allows your patients to:

  • Book, reschedule, or cancel appointments online.
  • Attend consultations online without having to take a step out of their house.
  • Pay for services online and keep track of payment information.
  • Check prescriptions.

And more!

Click the link here to learn more about online patient platforms.

#12. Create Useful Blog Content

When people discover that they have a medical problem, the first thing they do is get information online from articles related to their symptoms.

As such, having a dedicated blog for your clinic might help bring these potential patients to your clinic.

Additionally, blog content can:

  • Rank on Google and drive additional traffic.
  • Help retain patients better. If the patients are reading your blog, they’re more likely to come back to your clinic the next time they have a medical issue.

#13. Don’t Forget Offline Advertising

Online marketing is surely going to be a big part of your marketing strategy.

That said, it doesn’t mean that you should completely disregard traditional advertising channels.

Some offline ads you could run for your clinic include:

  • Newspaper ads
  • Billboard ads
  • Local TV commercials
  • Radio ads

That said, make sure to pick the channels that are relevant to your target audience. E.g. If you decide to run billboard ads, make sure to rent billboards that are in the same area as your clinic.

#14. Run Facebook Remarketing Ads

“Remarketing ads” are a type of ads that are targeted at people who have visited your website in the past.

They’re generally used to lift conversions. If someone visits your website and doesn’t schedule an appointment, you can use retargeting ads to make sure that they are reminded about your clinic.

Remarketing ads can be set up on any social media platform, but Facebook is the most effective for a medical practice. Here’s an example of what they look like:

Facebook Remarketing Ads

To learn more about remarketing ads (and how to set them up), check out this article.

As for the most effective ways to use Facebook remarketing ads, here are some tried-and-tested practices:

  • Run remarketing ads to people who visit specific pages on your website. E.g. If someone visits a page about knee pain, you can target them with an ad urging them to book a consultation with an orthopedic doctor.
  • Run remarketing ads to anyone that visited your website in the past month but didn’t fill in the booking form.
  • Use Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature to upload a list of your patients. Then, you can run special offer ads to patients that fit a specific demographic (e.g. discount for anyone that visited your clinic for an orthopedic consultation).

#15. Run Cold Audience Ads on Facebook (With a Good Offer)

Remarketing ads aren’t the only way you can take advantage of Facebook’s advertising.

Through the platform, you can target audiences based on interests.

By interest, we mean that the person has, in the past week(s), engaged with Facebook posts, articles, or ads about a given topic.

Some examples of how you can run Facebook ads to market your medical clinic include:

  • Run ads to anyone who has migraine-related interests with a call to action to book a consultation.
  • Run ads to parents with children in a specific age group. Offer a discounted check-up for the kids.
  • Run ads to women with pregnancy-related interests. Offer a free fertility assessment.

There are many options to be creative, depending on the services your clinic offers.

And here’s how you can get started with Facebook ads:

  1. Decide on the type of ad you’re going to run. Who’s the target audience and what’s your offer? For example, the audience can be women trying to conceive and the offer can be a discounted fertility assessment.
  2. Set up your target audience. This includes the location you want to run ads in, gender, age group, behavior types, relationship status, and interests.
  3. Decide on the offer. E.g. free phone consultation, discount on the patient’s next appointment, etc.
  4. Create the ad itself. This means deciding on the image you’re going to use and the copy.

And finally, hit Launch! Once your ads go live, you should keep track of them on a weekly basis and ensure that they’re working.

If the ads are not working, then you can try new audiences or interests, tweak your ad creatives, or change your offer.

To learn more about using Facebook ads for marketing, check out this article.

#16. Leave an Impression With Branded Freebies

Want your patient experience to be memorable? Give away some freebies!

Small items like branded magnets, pens, notebooks, and keyrings are both cheap and easy to produce.

Giving away freebies helps reinforce your brand in the patient’s mind and remember you next time they need a medical appointment.

#17. Track & Analyze Your Marketing Efforts

Marketing is all about data.

Unless you’re actively tracking, analyzing, and improving your marketing campaigns, you’re leaving a lot on the table.

Here are some metrics you can keep track of to really understand how your medical practice marketing is doing:

  • Patient Acquisition Cost. How much does it cost to acquire a single patient? Calculate this number for each marketing channel. This is going to help you understand which channels are more profitable than others.
  • Conversion Rates. What percentage of your website traffic becomes a customer? What percentage of ad viewers visit your website?
  • Search Engine Rankings. How well are your website pages ranking on search engines?
  • Customer Retention. Are the customers you drive from, say, Facebook ads, returning customers?

Key Takeaways

And that sums up the most effective marketing tactics for a healthcare clinic.

Let’s do a quick round-up of the most important tactics we covered:

  • Start with your website. Unless your clinic has a modern website, you’re leaving a lot on the table.
  • Use a mixture of SEO, email marketing, paid ads, and offline ads to drive traffic to your clinic.
  • Use medical CRM to personalize your outreach to your patients.
  • Take advantage of an online patient booking solution to provide a quality experience for your patients.
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