8 Marketing Tactics for Your Medical Practice in 2019

8 Marketing Tactics for Your Medical Practice in 2019

As an independent medical practitioner in today’s digital world, it’s critical that marketing is a fundamental part of your practice. More patients are relying on online information to make health decisions like finding a physician, understanding a health condition, and researching symptoms and illnesses. The more active you are in marketing your practice, the more likely you are to become a part of those patient journeys.

But you probably know that.

And you probably don’t have a lot of time to learn the ins and outs of marketing.

So, we’ve put together a list of 8 tactics that you can implement immediately to start marketing your medical practice.

1. Monitor your online reputation

In a recent survey of 500 healthcare consumers by Weatherby Healthcare, nearly every respondent indicated that they read physician reviews online. The first step is to understand how your practice is seen by the patient community today. When you search for your practice or your professional name, what shows up? Review the top search results and check to see if the information about your practice is accurate and consistent across each result. Set a reminder to check-in on these results, or if that’s too time-consuming there are online platforms that you can pay to monitor your online reputation.

2. Claim and maintain your online profiles

In the same Weatherby study, 55% of patients visited WebMD as the primary source to research their physician. Make sure that you’ve claimed your profile there and on any other site that ranks in your search results. You’ll often find a link on the page to claim the profile, but if not, reach out to the site directly to take ownership over your profile. If your practice is not already on the larger third-party practitioner sites like WebMD or Vitals or Healthgrades, consider adding a profile for those patients who already trust those platforms for health information.

3. Sign up for Google My Business

Google has 63% of search engine market share, and Google Reviews are the second-most viewed source for physician reviews. How your practice is presented on Google is incredibly important. So how do you control the information that’s most prominently displayed in the search results? Sign up for Google My Business. It’s what gives you ownership over what’s included in the information box on the search results page – what Google calls the Knowledge Graph.

Lina FiDi search result page
Example of Google’s Knowledge Graph for Lina FiDi

Once you’re set up, make sure to add high-quality photos and fill-in critical information like address, phone number, and hours. Over time, consider engaging with reviews from your patients here.

4. Get noticed through local SEO

70% of patients choose a physician based on location, which means it’s important that you show up in searches that are not just for your name. Start with claiming profiles in both Google My Business and Microsoft’s Bing Places. Choose the right business categories to stand out in those searches, and use the business description to include keywords or phrases that you want to rank for. This will cover a lot of ground for your practice, but there’s so much more to the world of local SEO. If you’re interested in going further, take a look at this thorough guide to local SEO from Ahrefs.

5. Optimize your practice for voice search

In a 2018 Voice Search for Local Business Study by BrightLocal, 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information in the last 12 months. While that may not seem relevant to finding a medical practice, when consumers were asked what type of businesses they’d consider using voice search to find, 28% said they’d use voice search to find a doctor.

Which business types would you use consider using voice search to find?

So how do you optimize your practice for voice search? Every voice assistant gets its information from different sources, but to maximize coverage it’s best to have your practice set up on Google My Business, Bing Places, Apple Maps, and Yelp. For a more detailed guide, take a look at Search Engine Watch’s voice search optimization guide.

6. Launch a website

It sounds like a lot of work, but these days it’s pretty simple to launch a website for your practice. There are free platforms like WordPress (it’s what we use at Lina), and there are platforms that charge a small monthly fee that require no technical knowledge to put together a website that you can be proud of.

So, why is this important? With minimal effort, your website will quickly climb to the top of the search results page for your name and it gives you complete ownership over the identity of your practice vs. relying on third-party sites. You can share more than the basic information about your practice. Share your philosophy, what makes your practice unique, certifications and publications, knowledge about common health questions in your area of expertise, highlight customer testimonials, show off your office, and anything else that you think is important for patients to know.

7. Improve your practice’s offline experience

Marketing is storytelling, and though your story with a new patient likely starts in the digital world it continues through to the office experience. How an appointment is booked, how a patient is greeted, how insurance details are discussed, waiting room details, how long they have to wait, and your in-person experience with them all play a role in that story. Share your goals with your staff and inspire them to help elevate the practice. Every detail throughout the patient journey can be the difference between an unhappy patient leaving a bad review and an evangelist of your practice.

8. Ask your patients how you’re doing with a survey

Every practice has something that could be made better, but the tough part is identifying what that is and how significant the issue. If you’ve collected email addresses with permission from your patients to reach out to them, consider using HIPAA-compliant survey companies like SurveyMonkey to ask for anonymized feedback. What did they like? What did they not like? How likely are they to recommend your practice to a friend or family member? You can even use conditional logic to ask anyone who’s had a positive experience to leave a review on Google or the site of your choice.

Remember that marketing never ends

The tactics we included are meant to be quick wins to implement today, but marketing is ongoing and constantly evolving. As a private medical practitioner, your time is already limited and we at Lina understand the increasing demands on your schedule. But we’re cheering you on, and we’ll continue to post content that will help your practice.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why is marketing important to a medical practice?

Marketing is essential for medical practices in the digital age because it increases visibility and helps you reach a broader audience. As patients increasingly rely on online sources to make healthcare decisions, your online presence becomes a critical touchpoint. 

By engaging in marketing, you increase the likelihood that patients will find your practice during their online journeys, whether they're looking for a new healthcare provider, researching symptoms, or seeking advice for a health condition.

What kinds of problems can medical practice marketing help us solve?

Marketing can help address a range of challenges faced by medical practices. First and foremost, it can improve patient acquisition by increasing online visibility. Additionally, marketing can be employed to monitor and manage your online reputation. With nearly every healthcare consumer reading physician reviews online, knowing what is being said about your practice is crucial. 

Marketing efforts can also assist in providing accurate and consistent information about your practice across various platforms, thereby building credibility and trust. By focusing on local SEO and voice search, your practice can be found more easily by those in your immediate area, a key factor since 70% of patients choose a physician based on location.

What content should we create for medical marketing?

For effective medical marketing, content should be tailored to address the specific needs and questions of potential patients. You can share content that covers common health issues relevant to your practice area, educational articles, and patient testimonials. 

Your content should also offer a glimpse into your practice's philosophy, unique features, and staff expertise. Remember that your website, along with your social media platforms, can be powerful tools for sharing this content and establishing yourself as an authority in your field.

How do you measure success in medical marketing?

Success in medical marketing can be measured using a variety of metrics. These may include website traffic, patient acquisition rates, online review scores, and patient survey feedback. Monitoring these metrics over time can give you valuable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and suggest areas for improvement. 

You can use tools like Google Analytics for tracking website interactions and employ HIPAA-compliant survey platforms to gather patient feedback.

Does Lina help with marketing support for my practice?

Yes, Lina offers comprehensive marketing support to help enhance the visibility and reach of your practice. Our initiatives include:

Lina Provider Directory: This initiative is designed to offer substantial marketing support to Lina providers. When you join Lina, you have the option to be listed in this directory. We take care of designing and building your professional page, which features your bio, headshot, practice location, and a description of your services. It also includes direct links to your website, enabling patients to contact you directly.

Professional Profile on Lina's App: Our app allows you to create a professional profile where other Lina providers can connect with you through private messaging. This feature facilitates peer-to-peer connections within the Lina community. Additionally, the app includes a digital community board where you can post messages and engage with the wider Lina network.

Direct Introductions and Networking: The Lina team actively assists in making direct introductions to facilitate connections between providers, patients, and relevant healthcare entities. This personalized approach helps in building a strong professional network.

Community and Networking Events: We regularly host community and networking events, offering valuable opportunities for providers to connect, share insights, and expand their professional circles.

Educational and Informative Blog Content: Our blog serves as a resource for both providers and patients, featuring content that highlights various aspects of healthcare, wellness, and industry trends. This platform can also be utilized to showcase expertise and insights from our providers.