Category: Marketing

Building a Following: How Your Facebook Page Can Help Your Medical Practice Grow

Social media is a must for successful medical practices. Presence on social media platforms should be a part of every healthcare marketing plan, but the key to success is to focus on the platform that works best for your practice. For many, this will be Facebook. Not only is it used by the most people, it’s also conducive to building relationships with your patients and sharing information about your practice.

With more than one billion active users, Facebook lets people connect with friends and family, and keep up-to-date on the latest news from their favorite brands and businesses. As a medical practice, you fall somewhere in between here – your relationship with patients is on a personal level, but you also want to establish and grow your brand. Facebook can help.

The key to Facebook success is to organically attract engaged followers. Never pay for followers – this will only hurt you in the long-run. For ways to build a strong following and build a strong presence in Facebook’s ever-growing community, here are some tips to follow:

Start with a Solid Foundation

First, you want to make sure the basics are taken care of. Whether you set up your practice’s Facebook account years ago or you just went live, make sure your page features:

  • Your current location, email address, phone number, and hours of operation
  • Username and Facebook URL that matches your practice name
  • Brief and extended descriptions of your practice
  • Your practice’s website address in the About Us section
  • Profile and cover photos (don’t use stock images!)
  • Special information, such as directions or parking instructions

It’s also a good idea to make sure you choose an appropriate primary page category and subcategories that target your ideal patients.

Spread the Word

Don’t be shy about letting everyone know your medical practice is on Facebook. You want to generate as much buzz as possible. Link your page to your personal Facebook account and encourage your staff to do the same. Also consider any of these promotional tools:

  • Including your Facebook URL on print marketing materials
  • Adding social media widgets to your practice’s website
  • Including a link to your Facebook page in your email signature
  • Sending an email announcement about your Facebook page to current patients
  • Use hashtags to attract new followers when you share posts on Facebook

Make Sure You’re Part of the Right Crowd

At least as far as Facebook is concerned! It’s important to connect with other local businesses that are relevant to your field. This is a great way to build relationships and to attract local followers. For instance, you might follow area health food stores, pharmacies, or other health professionals or medical facilities. Also seek out reputable medical news sites that will enable you to share useful content with just the click of a button.

Be Smart about Your Posts

The key to Facebook success isn’t a specific number or type of posts, it’s just being consistently active. You can start with two to three posts per week, but it’s going to take some time to find your sweet spot. You’ll also begin to see patterns in what types of posts generate the most activity for you. Pay attention, keep careful tracking notes, and once you find what works keep doing it.

Here are a few general tips for posts that tend to work:

  • Include an image with every post. They generate about 45 percent more clicks than text-only images
  • Keep your self-promotion to only about 20 percent of your posts. In the other 80 percent, share information that is useful or relevant to your patients.
  • Keep posts length short. There’s no need to write paragraphs in every post.
  • Be sure to respond to any comments you receive on posts, ideally within 24 hours. You should try to generate responses by asking open-ended questions and encourage followers to interact with your posts.

Assess the Situation on an Ongoing Basis

It’s important to do a Facebook audit every now and then. Review your page to make sure information is accurate and up-to-date. Add anything new and weed out any pages you follow that seem to have gone dead. Consider refreshing your cover photo every so often, especially if there’s something new you want patients to know about.

You might want to take 10 to 15 minutes each month to browse through your information and make sure things are in order. This is also a great time to check Facebook Insights, which provides information about the popularity of your posts, so you know what works I the future.

With a little effort, you can turn Facebook into a valuable marketing tool for your practice. If you’d like more information or you need help setting up an account with any social media platform, give us a call!

Is Your Patient Communication Strategy Working?

Communicating with patients is one of the most important aspects of a successful medical practice, but creating a communication strategy can be a challenge. Communication is a fluid practice and something that is different for every medical practice. Fortunately, there are ways doctors can enhance their communication strategies and one of the best tools they have for communicating is a website for their medical practice. Using your medical practice’s website to overcome communication barriers can be the difference between a moderately and a widely successful practice and its marketing campaign.

The website should be used to provide information about medical services, physician bios, and areas of expertise.

There are three parts to building a successful communication strategy. The first is to develop the components of the strategy. Using all of the available tools at your disposal to enhance a communication strategy speeds the results and helps you grow your practice. What is the best way to organize the three components of this strategy?

Create Accomplishment Markers
Setting up goals for your communication strategy is one of the best things you can do to ensure your efforts are successful. This gives you an opportunity to plan each thing you will do to improve your communication with patients and then requires you to evaluate each of these things.

For instance, if you implement a social media campaign, you should set a goal regarding your efforts. Goals can be extremely simple. Consider setting a target number of patients to engage in social media, a target number for how many responses you would like to get in social media in one month, or a target for an improvement in search engine rankings within six weeks of implementing social media. This allows you to connect with patients in an entirely new way and helps you evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program.

Accept Resistance
Most people are excited when they implement something new into their business. If your healthcare web design up until this point has included only static content and you suddenly launch a blog and social media campaign, it is an exciting time for your practice.

Unfortunately, not all of your patients will take part in these changes. No matter how much you play up your new methods of communication, some patients are comfortable with the status quo. Do not view this as a failure. As long as your new communication strategies are reaching some people, you are succeeding.

The goal is to offer additional methods of communicating, not force a person into something that makes them uncomfortable.

Encourage Patient Input
One of the best tools you have for determining the effectiveness of a new communication strategy is the people with whom you are communicating. Ask patients how they feel about the changes you are making and ask if they have any suggestions they would like to offer.

You might find out patients rarely bother reading the new blog on your website, but they enjoy receiving newsletters in their email inboxes. Take the content on your blog and package it into a newsletter. The same content serves you twice: you generate search engine attention for your blog, but you also reach out to those patients who prefer the personal attention of a direct email.

How is your patient communication strategy working for you? Is there anything you can change about your content marketing strategy that would allow you to communicate better with the people most important to your practice?

At Physician Designs we can help guide your medical practice and provide options for having an effective communication strategy. Along with custom website design, our services include social media management, targeted ads, and AdWords management.

AdWords & Pay Per Click Marketing for Physicians

There are many different ways physicians can grow the online presence of their medical practices, but one of the most effective options is by using Google Adwords, aka Pay Per Click (PPC). PPC ads are sponsored ads that show on search page results and other ad areas of websites.

google-adwords-logo

The main reason AdWords are so effective and provide a high ROI is because you get you decide how, when, and where your ads show and you only pay when someone clicks on the ad.

AdWords marketing and PPC should be part of every medical practice’s internet marketing strategy. This is especially true for doctors or healthcare professionals interested in growing their online presence with a focus on local or even national marketing. Working with a PPC strategist that understands how to leverage PPC to achieve optimum results at the lowest possible per click rate is essential for a successful campaign.

A PPC strategist at Physician Designs will start by understanding your objectives. We will then setup a campaign, select keywords, and write ads based on your goals for your medical specialty and services.

What is Pay Per Click Marketing?

AdWords and PPC ads are the ads that show up at the very top and along the right side of Google results pages. AdWords give you a lot of control of how, when, and where you’d like your ads to show:

  • Target searches using specific keywords
  • Control what time of day your ads run
  • Target ads based on specific cities or radius

PPC advertising is an easy way to generate relevant traffic to your site. PPC works by placing ads on search engine results pages (SERPs) or on websites that are related to the keywords you have chosen to represent your field. What you pay for each click that leads to your site is based on how much you are willing to bid, as well as an established quality score.

The higher the bid and the higher the quality score, the better your chances for getting an ad listed at the top of the ads displayed on a page.

How Does PPC Help Physicians and Medical Practices?

PPC helps physicians attract potential patients to their site, as long as the campaign is managed properly. In order to manage a PPC campaign successfully, it must be closely monitored to ensure proper bidding for keywords and ad copy. Understanding when something works and when it does not, and making adjustments as necessary, is an imperative part of ensuring your PPC campaign is a smart marketing investment. The goal of a successful PPC or AdWords campaign is to create the greatest impact for the lowest financial investment. If you are paying a lot for your PPC efforts and seeing few results, it is time for a change.

Using Google Adwords and building a successful PPC campaign can help you generate new referrals and grow your practice. It is a proven and effective method for helping physicians and making the most of their internet marketing dollars.

If you’re interested in AdWords management, please contact a project manager and receive a free consultation and quote. Our management service includes:

  • AdWords strategy
  • Competitor analysis
  • Ad copy
  • Keyword research
  • Budget management

AdWords can be very competitive so it’s important to choose a company that understands your medical practice and the PPC landscape.

Adding a Human Touch to Your Medical Brand

Your website is one of the best tools you have for enhancing your medical practice’s brand. Successful healthcare web design and social media messaging allows you to communicate a very specific message to the public and makes it easy for people to associate your practice with the message. Unfortunately, branding can become technical and cold, which is the last thing you want when trying to attract new patients.

If you take time to humanize your brand and add a personal touch to your website design and social media, it can really help you stand out from local competition. Your medical marketing strategy should include ways for you to add a personal touch to your website, as well as your social media interactions. Social media is one of the best ways to personalize a brand and help potential patients form a connection.

In addition to reaching out to patients through social media, consider how well your website design communicates a personal touch. These tips can help:

Introduce Members of Your Staff

Introducing the members of your staff is a great way to help patients feel comfortable and choosing your practice. It’s comforting for a potential patient to know what a person looks like before meeting. Adding video interviews with staff members is an even more effective way to familiarize patients with the medical and office staff.

Improve Your About Us Page

Most medical websites feature an about us section, but you should be sure you are using yours to its fullest capabilities. In addition to giving basic details about your practice, include your reasons for choosing your field and your philosophies on medicine. Patients are able to make a connection to this information and it helps them feel at ease when the time comes to work with you.

Offer Valuable Information to Site Visitors

Your goal should be not only to provide information about your practice, but also to educate visitors on your site. Adding educational information gives patients a reason to return to your site. In addition to providing up-to-date information about medical studies and various developments in your field, add information about medical issues affecting your patients. Your goal should be to create a community atmosphere among your staff and patients.

Do Not Neglect Your Site

Whether you are updating the site on a regular basis or you have hired someone to do so, make sure the information is current. Nothing communicates neglect quicker than a blog or social media account that is dormant. Visitors to your site should be treated to fresh content and current news. Do your best to build conversations with site visitors and those following you on social media. Active conversations with the public allow you to really personalize your brand.

Do Not be Afraid to Personalize Your Site and Social Media

All business owners struggle to find the right balance of professionalism and personalization and doctors are no exception. While it is important to keep messages on your website and in social media professional, you do not want to make them cold and dry. Blend a little personalization into things and you will find it helps your patients feel more at ease. Getting to know a little about you and your staff is a great way to help patients feel special and allow them to relax when visiting your office.

Is your brand cold and distant? Could your website or social media campaign use a human touch? This small change could go a long way to enhancing your marketing strategy. You can save yourself a lot of legwork and contact a project manager for services like social media management from Physician Designs that will humanize your marketing campaign.

Should Physicians Use Social Media?

The short answer to whether a physician should use social media in their medical practice is “yes absolutely!” – but most doctors need to understand specifically how social media can help the practice.

Opening a handful of social media accounts is not enough. Unless you utilize these accounts and set practical goals for a social media strategy, you will be unlikely to attract and engage people and potential patients.

social-media

Successful marketing for physicians requires a solid social media strategy. This should not mean using every social media platform available and it certainly does not mean spending hours each day Tweeting or posting on Facebook. Your best bet is to organize a plan that is consistent, engaging, informative, and effective.

If you doubt the power of social media consider the following:

  1. Social media establishes your presence online. When potential patients begin their search for a doctor, the process most likely involves a search on the Internet. If you have not established a presence online, you might as well not exist to them. Social media allows you to expand your online presence beyond your website and attract even more attention from search engines.

  2. Social media makes it possible to share information with as many people as possible. An important part of your medical website design is the informative content. Unfortunately, the only people who will see this is those people specifically looking for your site. Social media makes it possible to reach a greater number of people. Not only are you getting them to notice your practice, you are also sharing valuable medical information.

  3. Social media helps you distinguish your brand from your competitors. The more solid the public’s image of you, the more you stand out. Think of the best brand accomplishments out there. All you need is to see a logo or hear a tagline or jingle and you know exactly what company you are dealing with. Social media allows you to further establish your brand in the minds of your current and potential patients.

So how do you create a strong social media strategy?

social-media-studentsAll successful offline and internet/website marketing for physicians should have a social media component. You can choose to speak directly with patients via social media or you can allow someone to post information for you.

The key to engaging users is providing eye-catching information. Most users skim through social media so it’s important to post items that can be quickly read and understood. Examples of this include lists of items such as “5 ways to prevent allergies” or “7 benefits of eating vegetables”.

Also be sure anyone posting to your social media accounts understands the mission and goals of your practice. The last thing you need is a message being conveyed to the public that is not in line with your practice.

Determine how often you want to post to social media and what information you would like to share. Often, people use social media to share informative content and to put a human spin on their practice’s online presence. You can use a blend of personal tidbits about staff and the day-to-day operations of your practice, as well as links to blog posts and relevant articles about your field of practice.

Is social media necessary for doctors? You bet it is. It can put you at the forefront of your field and create an engaged audience. Now is the time to include a social media campaign in your marketing strategy for your medical practice. You can contact us for a quote for an active social media management campaign.

The Importance of Optimized Content for Physician Website Design

Website design for doctors and healthcare professionals is more effective when the content featured on the site is unique, informative, and properly optimized. Content is important because optimization affects search rankings and social media interaction. It is the single best tool you have for improving the value of your website and an optimized content strategy is an essential part of marketing for physicians.

What is Optimized Content?

content managementSuccessful medical website designs include a variety of features. Which of these features is most important has changed over the years and optimized content has become the single biggest tool you have for improving the value of your medical website. Websites for doctors that utilize optimized content are effective for attracting attention from search engines, and of course, site visitors and potential patients.

What exactly makes content optimized? In addition to being well-written and engaging, optimized content uses keyword phrases that drive organic and natural search traffic. Awkward writing crammed with nonsensical keywords is a thing of the past and not effect – and possibly detrimental. Today’s optimized content is informative and interesting, and ultimately, leads to conversions. Optimized content attracts attention when shared through social media platforms and allows you to share your message with the public. Whether it is a newsletter, blog article, website page or posts on social media, optimized content helps you achieve your online marketing goals when it provides useful and informative content. Our team of writers at Physician Designs can help you create content for your internet presence. Our medical writers provide unique content about medical services and procedures. They can also create content for social media that is both engaging and informative.

Using Social Media and Search Engines

It is no secret that popular search engines including Bing and Google use certain “social signals” for ranking pages. These social signals are an important part of their organic search algorithms. Google is even placing additional importance on the use of its social media platform, Google+. Search engines view social media activity as extremely relevant, which makes it an important part of your optimized marketing strategy. Optimized content uses keywords to generate attention and increases social signals. It is found faster and deemed more attractive to readers.medical social media marketingPhoto Credit: HTSABO

What Should You Include in Your Optimized Content Strategy?

The world of optimizing and social media gets confusing, especially with so many new opportunities cropping up every day. Determining what works best for your medical practice and how you can use your medical website to produce the best results is not your top priority. Luckily, our design, content, and marketing team can help you design the perfect optimization strategy.

Your strategy should begin with targeting the best optimization opportunities available. Maximizing your content through social signals is a great way to generate excitement around your site. Sharing optimized content through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+ establishes influence in your field and generates attention from search engines. Optimized content enhances your use of social media and your use of social media enhances your search rankings. Each component is part of a cycle of success for your medical website and practice.

What Else Can Optimized Content Do for Your Practice?

In addition to growing your social media status and improving your search engine ranking, optimized content is also able to give you an advantage over competitors, puts your content in demand, and positions you as a leader in your industry. Just as speaking at an important event improves your ranking in your field, speaking out through a blog, website, or social media also enhances your standing for the patient and general population. You gain the trust of readers, establishing a relationship with potential patients before they even come through your practice’s door.

People want to read about your practice and learn what you offer. The information keeps them informed and puts them at ease when the time arrives for a visit. Not only does optimized content improve your online status through search engine rankings and online reputation, it changes how people view you and your services as a doctor.

A successful SEO campaign includes practical optimization and content marketing strategies that combine to achieve the best results. Optimized content can make your website more valuable than ever before. Contact us to make the most of your online presence and grow the value of your medical website!