You likely already know how useful online marketing would be for your business and, chances are, you’ve already taken the first step by getting a website for your practice. But the question is: are local people finding it?
To be competitive in your local hearing healthcare market, your website needs to not only stand out in a sea of countless others promoting similar services, but it also needs to be bolstered by other online elements that drive local awareness of your practice.
Consider the tips below to get your practice standing out online to your local market.
First Things First
As mentioned above, your first step for standing out online is to have something that actually exists online at all. Having a website that’s simple, effective and visually appealing will serve as your main marketing hub for communicating with patients online. Have a website built for your practice that has your marketing goals in mind, while it is being designed and built out.
A website for your practice should always contain a listing of your location, phone number, and directions. Include pages to detail your services, as well as a section dedicated to providing educational content to help your audience understand your expertise, the industry, and any unique health concerns you address. Be sure to select a website design team that is careful to use the best SEO strategies built into your website, so that it’s poised to gain attention online naturally over time.
Don’t Ignore SEO
It’s critical that the website you build is search engine friendly. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is comprised of a few key elements to ensure the search engines rank your website for relevant keyword searches. Without proper SEO in place, your attractive website effectively becomes invisible.
At a high level, SEO is broken up into on-page and off-page factors. On-page involves the factors across your website that are under your control since you own and can manipulate your website. Off-page SEO involves the external factors that are out of your immediate control, like links to your website or social media success. One way you can positively influence your website’s on-site SEO is to consistently create quality content that educates users. It is an important way of drawing ongoing traffic to your website over time. See the next section for more on content marketing as an individual focus.
Creating content that educates your audience is beneficial for SEO, driving traffic from search engines to your website over time. Regularly posted content, like blog posts, e-books, and white papers helps give value to readers and build trust between your patients and your practice over time.
Your content should help answer questions that patients are repeatedly asking about your field. This is an opportunity for your practice to focus on content creation that could help answer the questions people are already searching for online about their hearing health.
List Yourself Locally
There are numerous online directories where you can list your website for free online. The most important ones to be sure to spend time listing yourself on are Google MyBusiness, Yelp, HealthGrades, and YellowPages. Make sure that your information is complete on each listing (and the same across all of them), and that you follow-through on the verification steps that many of them require. Failing to do so will prevent your listing from showing and deny your website some very easy and targeted traffic.
Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful techniques for building your network of patients. Empower your customers to reflect on their experience with you by sending online surveys to them after their visit, or by having a feedback form on your website. By taking your patients feedback into consideration, you’re making them feel involved and that their feedback is being heard.
One strong review marketing tactic is to create video testimonials of your patient success stories from your most vocal supporters to use on your website. Allowing your patients to sing your praises is a more authentic and successful approach than writing your own marketing messages.
Lastly, consider creating a customer referral program that entices your existing patients to think of your practice and recommend it to both friends, family, and acquaintances. Make it very simple to earn rewards for recommending new patients to your practice because even something as small as a $50 gift card redeemable online will excite people to recommend your practice. Call out this referral program on your website and in your email signature to keep it top of mind for your current patients.
Separate yourself from the rest of the pack by taking pointers from other industries on how to effectively reach your audience. Everyone does some level of competitive research when it comes to their marketing and brand positioning, but if every competitor in the hearing healthcare space is looking at each other for insights, then things like branding, messaging, website structure and features all start to look monotonous.
Take some hints and tips from companies in unrelated industries to get inspiration on how to market your practice in the best way possible. Although the healthcare industry, in general, is more rigid when it comes to its options in terms of brand positioning and marketing initiatives, it doesn’t mean that the marketing campaigns of others can’t help direct some innovative thinking for your practice. Try looking at the entertainment, manufacturing, retail or other unrelated fields to mine their ideas and then apply them to your circumstances as a healthcare professional.
There is a lot of buzz around social media, but behind the buzz, there is a true value from this form of marketing. Having a simple presence on a few social platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, can drive measurable visibility to your practice regardless of its size, with little to no cost.
Setup a Facebook Business Page, Twitter account and LinkedIn page for your practice and make sure to occasionally update these profiles with your original content and the content from other respected sources as long as it is relevant. Most importantly, include social sharing buttons on your blog and wherever else content is located on your website. This will make it easy for readers to share your content across their favorite social channels.
As a digital marketing firm with over 20 years of experience in the hearing industry, we’ve learned a lot about how your target market uses the Internet. From social media to online searches, we use expert analysis of online behavior to maximize opportunities for marketing our clients’ services. Is your practice getting the attention it deserves from the Internet? Click here to get more patients online today.