Getting new patients online isn’t easy.
We live in a day and age where people can get answers to their health questions (accurate or not) and find providers online in a matter of seconds.
Large hospital entities and sites like WebMD, Wikipedia, and more can easily drown out the “little guys”. And even with that being said, there are a lot of private practice providers out there to choose from.
As a private practice clinic owner, this means your online presence is of utmost importance. After reading this blog post you will walk away with actionable tips that you can start working on and implementing today to improve your online presence as a local clinic owner and start attracting your ideal clients.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- Defining your niche and why it is important
- Getting your messaging right and integrating into your marketing activities and website
- The importance of Google My Business and features you need to be utilizing today
Read on for some tips on how to set yourself apart and get more patients online!
Defining your niche and why it's important
Defining your niche, or, what your specialty is or who you’re going to target as your customer is very important. Not only from a business perspective, but for marketing. I really can’t emphasize this enough.
So why is it so important?
It’s important for these two main reasons:
- It calls out your specialty and attracts the right patients to you
- It provides you with focus and clarity. There is no confusion on who your targeting and why when you know this.
I’ll often see this part neglected in clinics’ website copy and
marketing and one of the only reasons I have heard is that they are
afraid of alienating other patients that don’t fall into their “ideal
Easier said than done? Maybe. But this customer persona exercise we use with our clients (which is free for you to make a copy and download at this link) makes it a simple exercise you can complete with an hour or less.
Getting your messaging right
Once you know who you’re targeting, you have to make sure that is reflected in your website copy, in your Google My Business listing, and in all other parts of your marketing.
So far in my time helping clinic owners with their marketing, I find adherence to this on their end to be a challenge. I’m not sure why, but don’t let it be you!
Ways to prevent this is to make sure you are updating your website copy to speak to your target audience in a way that gets them to take action (using the information you’ve built out about them in the persona exercise above).
For digital marketing specifically, it helps to have a content calendar built out for the content you want to share in social media or videos for the year, or at least by quarter. That way you aren’t creating content off the cuff that isn’t resonating with your audience.
Optimizing your Google My Business profile & getting reviews
Optimizing your Google My Business profile should be the #1 thing you do for off-page SEO (not on your website). Google is where people are searching for service providers in their area and researching them and their clinic.
It is also important because Google My Business listings show in the search results for many of these searches – so you’ll want to show up and have people contact you.
In order to do this though, there are a few main things you should do to optimize your GMB profile. They are:
- Add a description (with keywords). When doing this, you want to make sure you include a few words customers would use to find you, such as “sports chiropractor in Milwaukee, WI”.
- Choose a category. Make sure you select the most relevant category for you, such as “chiropractor” or “physical therapy clinic”.
- Get reviews. Getting positive reviews for your listing helps with customer trust and social proof. Over time, getting more positive reviews will also help you rank better in your area. Make it a best practice to start integrating review acquisition into your clinic’s daily activities today.
While the tips above will help you have a better optimized listing (searchable), there are still a few things you should be doing to fill out your listing to make it easier for patients to choose you. They are:
- Add your website (with a trackable UTM code). Adding your website link is simple and easy enough. The UTM part, is the part that I nerd out about the most (and many people don’t utilize). What is UTM code and how do you add it? Using Google’s URL Builder, you will create a link that is trackable in Google Analytics. This is the link you will use for your website in Google My Business. You can use my example below for your website.
- Add your online appointment booking site. Whether you use Jane App, Calendly, or other type of practice management software, you can easily add your appointment scheduler to your listing. This is added under the “info” section when logging into your GMB dashboard. You can (and its encouraged!) to use the Google URL Builder tool mentioned above for this link as well to track usage in your analytics account.
- Add photos (inside and outside). Adding photos of your location, your staff, and some of your treatment areas/techniques helps searchers learn more about you. Make sure when you add photos, they are of high quality. Pixelated or unprofessional photos don’t just look bad for your brand, they just aren’t helpful.
- Add insurances accepted. This is a feature made specifically for healthcare providers that you should 100% utilize if its applicable to your practice. This is also added under the info section when logging into your GMB account.
- Add your virtual care link. Do you see patients virtually? Then you’ll definitely want to use this GMB feature. Same as listed above for your website and appointment link, if you add your virtual care link, add UTM tracking with the Google URL Builder tool mentioned above to track clicks in Google Analytics.
I could go on and on about things you should fill out in your GMB listing, but these are the biggest ones for clinic owners and having a well optimized listing.
I know a lot of what I covered can be quite the task for a clinic owner like yourself who is wearing a lot of hats – especially if marketing/technology is not your thing! That’s where hiring a digital marketing agency like us who specializes in this, or having a part time employee or contractor can help.
If interested in see how we can help, you can get in touch at the link below. I’ll personally chat with you!