One cornerstone of running a successful practice is the digital marketing efforts put forth to attract new patients and get them to follow through with an appointment. But considering everything else that falls on a doctor’s plate — not to mention actually caring for patients — a focus on marketing isn’t always a priority. Combine that with the ever-evolving tools and shifting best practices, and many doctors have formed a “Wild West” impression of the digital age.
Doctor.com helps thousands of doctors and health systems revamp and streamline their marketing efforts to win over more new patients. Read on for advice from the people who do digital marketing best.
1. Establish a solid foundation with your online presence.
“I’m working in my own capacity on search engine optimization with a company. My point of contact there gets on the phone with me every week, and his team works on raising my SEO presence. But that project would come to naught if there weren’t a good presence for patients to find. God forbid I should be elevating myself in terms of SEO when people are seeing bad things!” — Dr. George Woodbury, Dermatologist, Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, P.C.
2. Stay consistent across the web.
“You have 15 seconds to capture the attention of the modern-day digital consumer. From a patient perspective, there is no bigger turnoff than having to search high and low for the basics, including a clinic’s name, address, and phone number — otherwise known as NAP. […] Not only should this key information be prominently displayed on the top of each of your website’s pages, but your NAP also needs to be correct on Google, Yelp, and any other review sites a patient may visit.” — Sahil Saini, HIT Consultant
3. Zero in on channels patients are frequenting.
“Most physicians are busy, and the biggest challenge is having enough time to devote to marketing and communications. I produce two monthly newsletters that go out to 6,000 people at least once — sometimes twice — a month. I also have a blog and a channel on YouTube, so I’ve made marketing and communications a much higher priority.” — Dr. George Woodbury, Dermatologist, Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, P.C.
4. Let patients self-serve with online booking.
“If your medical practice doesn’t offer online booking, you’re losing business. The good news is that easy-to-use, intuitive booking solutions can be accessed on both mobile and desktop devices.” — Aleksey Nugid, Forbes
5. Invest in modern, consumer-centered experiences.
“Patients can order anything from a book to a mattress at any time with a few clicks on their smartphone. They don’t want to spend 15 minutes on hold to make an appointment. Practices need to offer online scheduling to patients to make it easier for them to make an appointment.” Todd Shryock, Physicians Practice
6. Harness the power of online patient reviews.
“Many of my new patients tell me that they have chosen our practice over their previous dermatologist based on our reviews alone.” — Dr. Athena Theodosatos, Dermatologist, The Medical Dermatology
7. Capture reviews at the point of care.
“If you know someone has had a positive experience, encourage them to share for the benefit of other patients, as well as the growth of your practice. You may be surprised how often they say yes.” — John Keehler, Forbes
8. Listen and respond to patient feedback.
“If we get a bad review, the first thing we do is try to backstory the incident to see what happened and get input from all the team members on the scenario. And then we usually reach out privately if we know who the reviewer is to discuss the situation.” — Dr. Eric Anderson, Pain Management Doctor, Advanced Pain Institute of Texas
9. Focus on the customer service side of your business.
“Doctor.com is more than just a company that helps with reviews. I have a personal connection with everyone I work with. We also have a shared understanding: Doctor.com will represent me online, but I have to provide patients with that exceptional experience.” — Dr. Athena Theodosatos, Dermatologist, The Medical Dermatology
10. Learn from reviews and take action to better your practice.
“All online reviews are learning opportunities. You can use patient feedback to learn how you can better meet the expectations of your patients. Positive reviews can be used to congratulate staff and reinforce good habits, while negative reviews can be reviewed to improve patient care.” — Dr. Brad Bowman, Healthgrades
11. Keep a finger on the pulse of new digital marketing tools and trends.
“Is it good to just exercise for a couple months and then stop working out once you’re in shape? No — it’s an ongoing process. The landscape online is constantly changing, and Doctor.com has consistently been ahead of the curve in changes that are going on with the online rating systems, social media, and online presence in the healthcare industry.” — Dr. Eric Anderson, Pain Management Doctor, Advanced Pain Institute of Texas
The modern-day patient journey has greatly changed with the advent of new technologies — and it continues to evolve rapidly. In the healthcare sphere, a doctor’s digital marketing strategy has needed to adapt to new patient expectations and behavior. For a leg up on the competition, take a look around some of Doctor.com’s solutions. If you’d rather have one of our practice consultants walk you through them personally, schedule a demo, and someone will be in touch soon.