Editor's note: This article is the first of a series about how to drive traffic to your healthcare practice website.
U.S. Internet users conduct 5 billion searches every month directly on major search sites. Furthermore, a recent Harris Interactive Poll reported that more than 80% of consumers now research health information online.
Imagine how many of those Internet users are actually prospective patients in your area looking for the services you offer.
Obviously, you can't take advantage of any of this traffic if you don't have a well-designed healthcare organization or practice website. If that's the case, now would be the time to get one. (We can help you get a great website if you like - simply call us.)
But let's assume for the purposes of this discussion that you already own an excellent website.
If you are like most practitioners, the response to your website so far has probably been completely underwhelming. You built it, and to your surprise, they DID NOT COME. In fact, as the years have passed, you have probably given up on the Web.
That's not to say that no one generates patients from the Web. Perhaps 4% of doctors and providers are quietly generating terrific patients - and profits - from their websites.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution available to you which will blow those virtual tumbleweeds off of your website, and finally turn it into a thriving new patient generator.
You may have noticed those little ads above and to the right of search results whenever you use a search engine. They are typically denoted with terms like "sponsored links" or "sponsored results."
It turns out that those little ads are an enormous opportunity for you.
While it typically takes months or even years of hard hard effort and luck to be listed anywhere in the top 10 of organic (free) search results, you can start attracting patients TODAY by taking advantage of pay per click ads (also known as Search Engine Marketing or SEM.)
What's more, most search engines have joined major networks headed up by Google, Yahoo and MSN. In other words, once you contract with each of these providers, you will get immediate access to hundreds of search engines, and will be visible to almost all searchers.
Each network operates differently, and there are specific strategies that work for each of them. In fact, an entire industry has quietly grown up around pay per click.
We can't hope to teach you enough in this article to outwit the professionals in this arena, but at least we can give you some great tips.
If you really want to try pay per click advertising on your own, email us and we will send you links to each of the major networks so that you can contact them directly.
However, at the risk of sounding self-serving, this is one area where it is ridiculous for private practitioners to become do-it-yourselfers.
Because it simply doesn't make economic sense.
You can sign up easily enough , but the truth is, assuming you are more talented than most, it will take you months of time and energy to get up to an average level of competence. Plus, beginners are certain to make a lot of costly mistakes along the way. Besides, you already have plenty of other, more important things to do.
The good news is, we have recently partnered with one of the nation's leading pay-per-click companies, so we can now do everything for you. Better still, because we have access to volume discounts with the search engines, you'll end up saving money in the long run. (Think travel agents.)
We've made it easy for you to get your practice found. Here's how: