By Peter Do
At the risk of sounding like a loveable-but-annoying coach, it’s midyear and time to check your healthcare marketing plan. What’s the score? Are you attracting more patients? Six calendar pages are missing, so climb above the daily grind and take the 35-thousand foot perspective. Have you achieved half of your planned objectives…or are you stalled?
Check-in with reality: “If you don’t know where you are going,” Yogi Berra would say, “you’ll end up someplace else.” Every hospital, medical practice and provider plan is unique. But effective plans achieve measurable goals through defined strategies and tactics. Where do you need to be at midyear? Are you using Google Analytics to find and fix online weaknesses, and to boost digital strengths?
Can you measure and attribute specific new patient conversions to marketing tactics—especially the results of your website and Internet presence? Here are some useful and effective marketing adjustments that can attract more new patients.
Best listing: be mobile and be local. Technology is always at hand. Personally, I love a big screen display and plenty of desktop computing muscle. But the reality is we all have an always-present smartphone. The small screen of mobile dominates online search—mobile and local. In retail, 50- to 60 percent of new business flows from local search. Check your site listing on Google My Business and tap into immediate and “near me” searches and maps.
Deliver useful answers instantly. Tune your web page speed to load in three seconds or less. In four seconds or more, the typical site visitor will be gone. And any hope of converting a user to a new business prospect has just landed in the arms of a competitor. “Studies by the Aberdeen Research Group, show the average impact of a one-second delay meant a seven percent reduction in conversions.”
Drill down on your website SEO performance. When Search Engine Optimization is a technical mystery for non-technical people, it’s easy to neglect or ignore SEO. As an easy-to-use starting point, click through to the Healthcare Website Audit on this page. It reports the essential factors that determine your organic search rankings…plus it is non-technical, fast and complimentary.
Review your online reviews regularly. Today’s typical patient has shaped a sense of your professional reputation from what they find (or don’t find) online. About 25 percent of patients review physician reviews. And the mental awareness that the public builds—via Yelp, Google+ and others—is a key factor in selecting a provider. Many practices simply fail to look at what patients are seeing. What’s more, there’s virtually no cost to an in-office program to ask patients to post their comments.
The last little secret here is that, although these fixes are all free, you can be certain that none of them will work unless you invest a little time and effort to bringing them into your program. “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”