Patient walking through office doors

How an Online Audience Translates to More In-Person Patients

Creating a steady flow of new patients through your doors is no small feat in the hearing healthcare industry. Competition is strong and it takes some innovation in your practice to stand out. While there’s no secret formula to guarantee success, there are a couple of time-tested strategies every practice should follow: Deliver excellent service to your current patients and get your practice seen by potential ones.
Odds are, you’ve been achieving the first goal for years. Remember that word of mouth marketing is the most effective form of promotion—especially within healthcare. Exceeding your patients’ expectations should always remain your first priority. And these days, it’s easier than ever to achieve the latter goal. With nearly 4 billion people online and growing, the world of digital marketing is calling your name.
Because why wouldn’t it be? Despite how daunting it might seem at first, online marketing is actually much easier than traditional approaches. It’s also far cheaper than the previous routes of mailers, print ads, and radio or TV airtime. And it’s arguably more effective, too.
With online marketing, you can target the exact kind of audience who would benefit from your services by using detailed information about Internet user interests and behavior. This also means you end up with helpful information about which of your online marketing routes are actually attracting attention or not—an area traditional marketing has long struggled with.
It’s important to realize that having a website (and even a few social media profiles) for your practice is not online marketing. No matter how beautiful it might be, a standalone website lacking a complete digital strategy behind it is wasting your time and money. Your website needs to justify its existence by showing you a return on your investment. It needs to be easily found online by prospective patients and then converting those visitors into inquiries. Otherwise, what’s the point?
A complete digital strategy begins from the ground up. It means your website is built to be found by search engines and that you have several external (or off-website) strategies in place to help bolster your ranking in the search results. While this topic of search engine optimization (SEO) is indeed complex, one of the most effective SEO tactics is also one of the simplest: create informative hearing-related content for your website.
You’ve heard us rant about “content is king” before, and it’s a point that bears repeating: the strength and quality of your practice’s online presence are directly related to the amount and value of content you’re posting. A bold claim indeed, but consider that increasing the effectiveness of your website comes down to two simple tasks: Making your website easy to find (i.e. effective SEO) and having something on it worth finding.
Let’s face it, the hearing healthcare industry is a competitive one. And almost all hearing practices have a website online. Imagine your neighbors searching online for hearing services in your area. Would they find your website through their Google searches? If so, would it have something on it that would keep them engaged longer than on other local hearing practice sites? Great content makes your online presence stand out.
Creating helpful and informative content on your website not only increases the odds that a website visitor will become a current patient, it also boosts your visibility online through improved SEO and the potential for shared content. For instance, consider the kind of traffic your website would get if your blog post happened to be shared by a Facebook user with 5000 followers? Simply put: the more content you produce, the more likely people will find you.
At this point, you might be wondering how useful it is for people located beyond your local area to end up on your website. The answer is: very. First off, search engines like Google evaluate the activity of your website and rank you accordingly in the search results. When more people (no matter where they’re living) visit your site, and especially when they linger on your site reading an article, the better your search ranking will be. This means that when people in your area go online looking for hearing services, they’re much more likely to find you.
Another benefit of having anyone, anywhere visiting your website is the potential for post engagement—you know, those comments, likes, and shares you see at the bottom of many blog posts. Those go a long way in creating a sort of “social proof” for new visitors to your site, becoming quite helpful when visitors are local to you and in need of hearing services. Positive comments and dialogue below your posts create an immediate sense of authority and popularity in the online sphere.
So you can see by now why it’s worth your time and effort to establish a strong online presence for your practice. And a wide and engaged online audience is a sure marker that you’ve succeeded in doing so. When done right, the more eyes finding your website online will mean the more people calling about and coming in for your care.
Don’t think you have to do this alone, either. We know how much is involved in running a hearing practice. In fact, we designed our services to meet the needs of busy professionals like yourself. You can definitely bootstrap your way to creating a decent online presence with enough time and energy. You can also reach out to us if you’d like to accelerate that process and stay focused on giving the quality care your patients appreciate.

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