A steady inflow of new patients is the lifeblood for any successful healthcare practice. Similar to other businesses seeking to expand their customer base, healthcare institutions also face stiff competition when it comes to acquiring new patients. Separating your practice from hundreds of thousands of competitors requires resorting to and utilizing the latest marketing techniques and tools.
In the past, marketing for healthcare practices was limited to posting ads on Yellow Pages. Today, however, the consumers have shifted to a new and digital landscape. According to the Pew Research Center, 62% of all smartphone users rely on their mobiles to search for medical information online.
This is a particularly worrying statistic considering how only 23% of the average healthcare marketing budget is spent on content marketing compared to 31% in other industries, as stated by the Content Marketing Institute.
Needless to say, ramping up marketing efforts in an attempt to rank high on SERPs is bound to attract success. In this blog, we’ll take a look at a few reasons why healthcare practices need to engage in SEO efforts.
SEO and Medical Practices
It’s no secret that SEO is a tried and tested marketing methodology that proves effective in generating qualified leads and in turn, more patients to your practice. According to Google, search drives nearly 3 times more visitors to hospital websites compared to other non-search visitors.
Moreover, SEO is considerably cheaper than print ads and TV and results in a better return on investment. SEO also provides credibility, visibility, traffic, reputation, and branding to medical practice.
In an industry where SEO is yet to reach its peak, small practices stand to benefit the most from engaging in SEO efforts that improve the healthcare organizations’ bottom line.
Potential patients tend to remember the keywords they enter while searching for practices. Website rank is reflective of the quality of services it offers. Without realizing it, consumers trust Google’s ability to deliver accurate results and if your website ranks high on SERPs, you’re bound to attract visitors sooner or later.
Improved Online Visibility
Patients will only be able to know about your services when you are visible on search engine rankings. Simply creating a website is not enough – how will users begin to avail your services if you’re not available on the internet?
Ranking your webpages high on popular search engine pages is the primary purpose of SEO marketing campaigns. By increasing your ranking, you’ll end up gaining more visibility which will then lead to increased traffic. SEO experts optimize the content, instill competitive differentiators, and attempt to address the audience needs.
Users generally tend to click on the top 2-5 links and don’t bother going to the second or third page. So even if you’re providing superior services as compared to your competitors, you’d still be missing out on new patients.
Since your organization is linked to the medical domain, local searches are vital to your success. These days, customers place great value on convenience and your patients are no different. They would rather buy medicines or opt for treatment from a nearby or local medical practice instead of traveling long distances.
As such, it’s to your benefit to advertise to as many local customers as you can – something which can easily be achieved by engaging in SEO.
The problem with traditional means of advertisement wasn’t only that it was expensive, but it resorted to mass advertisement without targeting a specific segment. SEO marketing, on the other hand, is a far cheaper and more effective alternative as it only targets potential patients seeking medical treatments that you offer.
These days, it’s possible to advertise your services on popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In exchange for a nominal fee, they market your services to potential customers while providing valuable customer insights.
Decreased Patient Acquisition Costs
While acquiring new patients is the goal of every healthcare organization, you don’t want to engage in marketing efforts that cost you more than the money new patients bring in. SEO marketing is a branch of digital marketing that costs significantly less than other forms of advertisement.
Not only does SEO marketing bring in new patients at faster and cheaper rates, but it also allows you to invest your budget in other crucial operations.
Higher Return on Investments
One of the reasons why SEO efforts reward medical practices so generously is because it is an inbound marketing strategy that targets those already searching for your services. It’s a non-intrusive method of advertisement that focuses on convincing potential customers why your services are superior to your competitors.
A Few Ways to Boost Your Healthcare SEO Efforts
Now that we’ve established the importance of engaging in SEO marketing for medical practices, let’s take a look at a few ways you can go about optimizing your SEO efforts.
- Decrease website load times:The rule here is simple; a website that takes longer to load will be abandoned by visitors whereas a quick loading website will have them stay for longer.
- Select relevant keywords: SEO revolves around selecting the best keywords suited for your business. To achieve this, think from the perspective of your patients and what keywords they might use to search for solutions. The more relevant the keywords, the higher the number of qualified leads you’ll generate.
- Publish original and informative content:Copying content from other medical websites does work to a certain extent, but overdoing it damages your reputation as well as your marketing efforts. Hiring an SEO expert for creating original content is far more likely to generate visitors.
The current digital landscape demands healthcare practices to upgrade or be left behind by those that adopt SEO marketing strategies. Devebyte is a digital marketing agency in Edmonton, Alberta that specializes in SEO. Years of experience coupled with a qualified team enables them to help their clients rank high on search engine pages and ultimately attract a larger number of customers. Contact us today for more information.