In today's turbulent economy and in the wake of numerous reimbursement cuts; more and more physicians are replacing conventional forms of marketing with more cost-effective methods such as Internet marketing. It's no secret that patients are using the Internet to a greater extent to make important decisions such as selecting a family doctor. Patients are also utilizing the Internet to learn more about a specialty physician that they've been referred to by their primary care physician. It's therefore crucial for both primary and specialty care practices to have online visibility.
How can I increase my online visibility?
At Medical Web Experts, we recommend the following 3 techniques for the majority of our clients:
Online Directories – Similar to directories in the phone book, the Internet also has online directories that are frequently used by patients to find physicians. It's critical that your practice is listed in all the major online directories including Google Maps, Yellow Pages Online, and Super Pages.
Pay Per Click – Pay Per Click (PPC) is an Internet advertising model used on search engines, and advertising networks in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. If you would like to determine an instant spike in your website's traffic, then you should consider implementing a Pay-Per-Click campaign that is offered by all the major search engines including Google, Yahoo and MSN. In a Pay-Per-Click campaign you will select a list of keyword phrases that, as inputted in the search engines, will direct the patients to your ad. These ads are typically displayed in a column on the right side of the regular search results. For example, if you wanted your ad to be displayed when a patient typed in “Chicago family doctor” into a search engine, you would simply use “Chicago family doctor” as one of the keywords in your list. There is also an option that allows your ads to be displayed only when your keywords are entered from a computer originating from a certain geographical region. Pay-Per-Click campaigns are effective marketing means due to their ability to target particular regions and provide instant traffic.
Search Engine Optimization – Also known as SEO, Organic SEO or Natural SEO; Search Engine Optimization is the most powerful and cost-effective form of Internet marketing. Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the website’s natural ranking in major search engines. It is more cost effective than Pay-Per-Click campaigns since you don't pay the search engine for your ad or listing to appear. Via SEO, the search engine gathers the information about your business, the services offered, location, physician names, and more. SEO is incredibly lucrative since you are paying only once to promote your website to the search engines along with a small ongoing fee to maintain the rankings. While the cost is higher upfront in comparison to other forms of marketing, the long-term benefits are far greater.
If you're interested in increasing your website’s traffic using one of these techniques, we'd like to invite you to speak to a Medical Web Experts’ Internet marketing specialist. Call us or complete our Contact Us form.
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