Healthcare internet marketing is an industry that is constantly growing and changing. Staying on top of what’s effective will help your hospital or healthcare organization successfully market itself with the highest earning potential.
1. Build a Brand.
Creating a unique identity for your healthcare organization can set you apart from the competition, helping to grow your patient base and encouraging existing patients to seek care in-network. Building a brand helps solidify your position in the market and communicates clearly to your potential patients what you’re capable of doing for them.
Working logo design, color scheme, characteristic images, taglines, and healthcare website design into your online and offline advertising campaigns helps solidify your brand. Done right, branding results in your audience remembering you as a respected healthcare organization and improved healthcare internet marketing presence.
2. Construct a Real Website.
According to a Pew Research Center study, 80% of internet users reported having looked for health information online, whether it was to look for information about a diagnosis or to choose a healthcare provider. It’s absolutely essential for medical practices and healthcare organizations to build an authoritative, respectable website and maintain it regularly in order to be taken seriously in today’s market. A custom healthcare website design offers a high return on investment when combined with search engine marketing and any healthcare internet marketing strategies.
3. Search Engine Optimization.Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an online marketing technique centered on moving your website up to the front page of search engine results. The recommended goal is to have your website appear in the top five search results when users enter keywords related to your specialty and location.
Ranking on top engines like Google and Bing requires a dedicated SEO and healthcare internet marketing strategy focused on optimizing content and meta data across your site when combined with an effective healthcare website design. However, once a certain amount of work has been done to improve your rankings, the results will be strong enough to keep your practice high in the rankings with minimal maintenance.
4. Grow Your Social Media Presence.
According to a PwC Health Research Institute study, 42 percent of internet users have looked to social media for healthcare provider reviews to make decisions about which doctor to choose, while 90 percent of millenials would engage in health-related social media activities. An active social media presence is an important healthcare internet marketing platform for reaching internet users. Look for a healthcare internet marketing or healthcare website design company that offers full social media setup and profile management to make sure that your healthcare organization is taking full advantage of its social media profiles.
5. Pay-Per-Click Ads.Pay-per-click advertising – often abbreviated as PPC – offers an instant presence in search engines like Google and lets you pay only for the number of site visits the ad brings in (hence the name). You also want to make sure that your site is user-friendly and easy to navigate for visitors using common best practices for healthcare web design. PPC generates leads and traffic to your site almost instantly, makes it easy to target users within a specific geographic area, and allows the flexibility to turn the campaign on or off at any time. PPC ads can be an excellent way to market your healthcare organization – though your results and site traffic will probably never be as good as with a long-term SEO campaign. Healthcare internet marketing services that offer both PPC and SEO provide the best of both worlds.
6. Run Promotions Online.
Running online deals and promotions is a smart way to get people in the door and make them truly excited about your services. Thinking of a cost-effective offer – like a high-demand service that you can offer at discount on certain days or a two-for-one deal – and then promoting it on your website helps to bring in new patients who might have been on the fence about their choice of provider or about scheduling an appointment at all. Bonus healthcare internet marketing tip: If you’re running a PPC campaign, advertising your special offer locally in search engine results will increase your visibility.
7. Participate in Conferences.
Participating in regional and national conferences can help to increase awareness for your healthcare organization and its star departments or services. Putting your name out, promoting your website, and building personal relationships with colleagues keeps your brand presence strong. Check online for conference opportunities in your area and remember to use your healthcare internet marketing resources whenever possible.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2012 and has been updated with links to current sources.