Healthcare Practices: Get Improved Results from Online Marketing in 2020

If your online marketing efforts haven’t been meeting your practice’s goals or if you have yet to build an online presence for your practice and want to be able to reach new clients in 2020, then here are the most important parts of an online presence that your practice must implement to stand out in the new year.

Professional Website Design and Services

As the web has evolved, so have clients’ expectations. They now expect a professional design that functions seamlessly on any device. Visitors will usually form an opinion of a business based on their website within 15 seconds of visiting it. After that, they will decide to stay or go elsewhere.

Web design is complex, but there are a few principles you can implement right away. The first place to start is to make sure that your website is easy to read, easy to navigate, and easy to engage with.

Easy to Read Fonts

The fonts you select for your website should be simple and easy to read. Fonts like Arial and Verdana are available on almost any computer by default and commonly recommended for readability on screens.

Color and Design

Choose colors that are easy on the eyes. Save bright colors for your call to action buttons (e.g. “Schedule Appointment”). Don’t worry about blank or white space; it makes the website easier to read and navigate.

Images That Impact

Include images of your practice, doctors, and office staff. Imagery can often grab a visitor’s attention more effectively than text alone.

Clear Call to Action

If visitors can’t tell what the next step is, they’ll quickly leave your website. Prompt them to fill out a contact form, schedule an appointment, or read helpful content.

Mobile Responsive

Over half of all web traffic takes place over mobile devices, like a smartphone or tablet. A website that’s not built for these devices will be difficult or impossible to use.

Mobile responsive design is a website that is built to adjust itself to any screen size and any device. This gives you a single version of your website that loads quickly, is easy to maintain, and stands out in Google Search results.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Even if you have the best website out there, Google still needs to be able to find it. So how do you show up on Google and move towards the top of search results? There are hundreds of factors that get you there, but these are the most important ones:

Quality Content

Content must be relevant to the lives of visitors or else they will realize that what they are looking for can’t be found on your website and will go elsewhere. As you get to know your clients more, fine-tune your content to better suit their needs.

Repeat Traffic

Visitors are likely to come back to your website regularly and share your content with others if it contains valuable, relevant content. This is especially true when your website includes patient education. Google also considers repeat traffic to be a good sign that your website is helping its visitors and is more likely to reward this kind of website in search rankings.

On-Page SEO

The words that you type into the Google search bar are called keywords. On-page SEO optimizes the content of your website to more closely match the keywords that people use to search for a provider or more information about your services, making it more likely for them to find your website first.

Dwell Time

This is the average amount of time that visitors spend on your website. When they spend more time on your website, Google assumes that they are engaged with your website and found it to be more valuable.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Search Marketing

The above are examples of organic search engine optimization. Organic SEO generally takes four to six months to fully gain traction in search results.

Pay-per-click ads are advertisements that you only pay for when a visitor clicks on them. These ads often lead directly to your website or a landing page. Because they can appear at the top of search results the same day you create them, PPC ads can drive traffic to your website right away.

By using a combination of SEO and PPC ads, you can significantly increase traffic to your practice’s website in a reduced timeframe and get better results for your practice.

Call Tracking

Being able to record incoming calls and track where prospective clients initially find your contact information can give you valuable information about your marketing efforts. Examples include tracking how many phone calls convert into new clients or your monthly call volume over time.

Call tracking can also be used to gain insight into the performance of your staff and discover areas of improvement where you can help them become even more effective.

Patient Education

Tech-savvy practices understand a clients’ desire to use the internet as a source of healthcare information and meet that desire by including authoritative patient education on their website. This turns your website into a go-to resource for reliable healthcare information. But online patient education also:

Makes Your Website More Engaging

When a client finds information to their questions, they’re more likely to schedule an appointment with your practice. Clients may also share your educational content with family or friends. Once they decide it’s time to see make an appointment, your contact information will be close by.

Can Improve Google Search Rankings

Online patient education generates more content for your website, which generates traction in search engine results for your website. With a greater supply of curated content, search engines are more likely to direct patients who are searching for healthcare information to your practice’s website.

Better Health Outcomes

Easy access to patient education results in increased confidence in your recommended treatments, improved self-care, reduced anxiety, better health outcomes, adherence to treatment, and reduced hospitalizations

Online Reputation Management

Online reviews are the new word of mouth recommendations. 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. This makes your online reputation vital to the success of your practice.

Clients will always be able to leave reviews of your practice on existing review channels, but online reputation solutions make leaving reviews easier by giving clients the option of leaving reviews directly from your website or by allowing you to use automated tools that remind patients to leave a review.

Online reputation management solutions also often allow you to protect your practice against fraudulent or malicious reviews before they can cause damage to your reputation.

Business And Healthcare Listings

Your practice website is your online “home base,” but many patients will first come into contact with you outside of your website. Search engines, social media networks, mobile applications, and healthcare directories are where up to 58% of prospective new patients will find your practice.

Listings management services increase the effectiveness of these channels by allowing you to manage all of the information about your practice from one central source. By having a centralized source of information, you prevent inaccuracies and duplicate information from frustrating patients and causing penalties in search engine rankings. 

Updating contact information and hours of operation across all your channels can often be completed in seconds.

Social Media Management

Social media networks like Facebook represent a vast referral network of clients for your practice. Establishing a social media presence for your practice allows you to reach new clients and stay connected with existing clients.

You can build a large network of potential referrals by sharing updates about your practice, distributing helpful content, notifying clients of holiday updates, and more.

Many prospective patients use their social media accounts to search for a local practice or ask their friends and family for a recommendation.

Secure Websites

Google has been making changes to help its users understand the need for a secure internet. They now label all websites that don’t use HTTPS (the protocol that secure websites run on) as “not secure” in the Chrome web browser. Other browsers are implementing similar features.

Google has sent a clear message that they expect website owners to have secure websites by default.

Websites that don’t have security enabled will likely experience a penalty in search engine rankings. Considering that an estimated 70% of page-one Google rankings are secure websites, any practice that is not using HTTPS should ask their web hosting provider to enable it or switch to a hosting provider that has HTTPS enabled by default.

Secure Forms and Emails

It’s necessary to keep all online communication safe and secure within HIPAA guidelines. Secure emails and HTTPS-secured website forms protect your patients’ private health information, keep your practice HIPAA compliant, and reduce the risk of a potential data breach.

Look for a communications platform that keeps all emails, documents, and forms protected, even if the recipient doesn’t have a secure email address.

Key Takeaways

  • Clients expect websites to use modern, clean designs that function seamlessly on all devices.
  • Over half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices, so be sure your website is mobile-friendly.
  • Clients and Google expect websites to be secure so personal information stays safe.
  • Quality content and on-page search engine optimization can improve your search engine rankings over time.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can bring your practice to the top of search results right away and when paired with organic SEO can significantly increase traffic to your website.
  • Call tracking can help you maximize the efficiency of your staff and marketing efforts.
  • Online reputation management, social media management, and healthcare listings maximize the online reach of your practice and help you present a positive online reputation clients can trust.

Officite is the leading website and Internet marketing company serving healthcare practices. We’ve helped doctors just like you build an expansive web presence that showcases your accomplishments and generates an ever-growing online pipeline for securing new patients and referrals.

See why over 8,000 practices and trusted us to build their online presence and why we’re partnered with over 20 national and state-level healthcare associations.