4 Healthcare Marketing Trends That Will Impact Your Hospital or Practice

October 10th, 2014

While healthcare trends may seems stagnant, this is far from the truth. Currently healthcare is seeing more game changing trends than in any point in the history of modern healthcare—including trends that will stand to impact the way you will market your practice or the hospital you practice. Here are 4 such trends.

  1. 1. Consolidations and Merger & Acquisitions

    According to the Medical Group Management Association, between 2005 and 2008, hospital-owned medical practices rose from 25.6 percent to 49.5 percent. In addition, in the last year there has also been a rise in new doctors becoming salaried employees in hospital-owned practices. This is the first time they have surpassed the number of new doctors who joined physician-owned medical groups.

    Hospitals aren’t alone. Large healthcare systems are also acquiring previously independently owned hospitals. For marketers, this means you’ll need to familiarize yourself with how to communicate with larger healthcare systems in order to provide value to your patients (i.e. you need to make your value proposition very clear).

  2. 2. Growth in Consumer Driven Health Plans

    Employers (both large and small) are changing the way they use defined contribution plans (like HSAs and HRAs). Over the course of enrollment, however, these programs will become more selective in their healthcare spending. In addition, healthcare programs are also trying to entice more insurers and medical practices to work with businesses to develop better (more beneficial) wellness programs for their employees.

  3. 3. Physician Referrals

    Although more consumers are learning about physicians via word of mouth, the major driving force will continue to be physician referral. You can use email for referring, but consider a Physician Relationship Management (PRM) system.

  4. 4. Power to the People!

    Don’t overlook the power of social media. For good or bad, consumers often turn to social media to figure out their healthcare decisions. For example, people share their experiences at their doctor on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks with their friends (and complete strangers). With so much attention paid on social media, your practice should have a presence online. Furthermore, you shouldn’t overlook smaller social sites like Angie’s List, Healthgrades and Yelp!.

For those practices that are forward-thinking, embrace the digital media change and actively manage their online presence, they can generate a positive online communication. This will not only allow you to speak easier with your current patients, but will also help to attract new ones.

Ice Bucket Challenge offers Great Example of Successful Healthcare Fundraising

September 29th, 2014
Courtesy of Wikimedia

Courtesy of Wikimedia

Recently, it has been hard to visit any social media site without seeing numerous videos of your friends dumping buckets of ice water over their heads in order to help raise awareness and money for the ALS foundation. To date, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised 100 million dollars for the ALS foundation since the challenge became popular on social media. With these kinds of results, other healthcare non-profits could take pointers on how to use this in their own fundraising efforts.

The Ice Bucket Challenge easily became a viral-Internet sensation this summer. A large part of the success of the campaign is that it does not incur the traditional charges of a fundraising campaign. Moreover, the challenge was able to attract the attention and support of actors, athletes, musicians and even former presidents.

Ice Bucket Challenge highlights how rare disease is neglected

Chances are the challenge has brought to light the specifics of ALS to people who would have previously not known about the disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes loss of muscle control and movement, paralysis, and the inability to speak or breathe. Unless you have a family member who suffers from ALS, your first experience with the disease was probably a video online of someone diagnosed.

One thing that has made the campaign so successful is the idea that anyone can participate! According to Rhoda Weiss, national healthcare consultant and chair of the American Marketing Association’s Executive Leadership Summit, the ability for anyone to be able to participate will allow communities to become healthier because it can reach a larger audience.

How other causes can capitalize on the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge

The most important lesson non-profits can take away from the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge is that your fundraising efforts should be tied to something specific. This could be for a specific disease or to a specific project (i.e. a new hospital wing). In addition, you should convey a sense of urgency and personalize it to your cause. Personalizing the cause increases the chance that people will donate to your cause because it makes it faceless.

Start with a call to action!

The Ice Bucket Challenge started with simply recording a video of ice water being dumped on them along with the names of the people they challenge. Your cause could either build upon this or even keep the same basic concept.

Attach a timeframe to create a sense of urgency.

Using social media cannot only help to spread the information about the cause quickly but it can reach a huge audience. This is because Facebook has over a billion active monthly users, Twitter has more than 270 million and Instagram has roughly 150 million users—this is a HUGE audience.

Having a custom medical website will go a long way toward establishing a flexible, permanent resource for raising funds for your organization. Contact us today to discuss your site, or continue browsing our site.

3 Reasons SEO Works for LASIK Practices

September 12th, 2014

marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been described as the science of adjusting and modifying a website to make it rank higher for certain search terms (on specific search engines) in order to increase website traffic. In order to do this, SEO combines programming with logic and business strategy. Each search engine makes use of complex algorithms to analyze the variables that make up websites.

What does this mean for businesses that are not technology based (for example healthcare practices)?

They can benefit from using SEO practices just as much as any other business. One such practice that benefits from SEO is LASIK services. In fact, most of the top LASIK surgery practices make use of aggressive SEO positions and website traffic generation. Below are 3 reasons why LASIK practices make use of SEO.

  1. 1. SEO is DOMINANT at generating traffic and leads

    Without a doubt, LASIK websites with more traffic perform more LASIK surgeries. A study conducted by Rob D. Young suggests that the most successful SEO positions will get clicks more than 18% of the time. When compared to those who pay for search marketing, this is a good result. Furthermore, the study concludes that the second and third ranked sites are getting attention as well. This highlights the importance of getting your website as close to the top of the search results as possible.

  2. 2. LASIK chains spend thousands of dollars to stay on top

    Veteran LASIK marketers spend large amounts of money on paid search and SEO to keep their websites at the top of search results—this shows that SEO works because they wouldn’t spend the money if they weren’t getting results.

  3. 3. Organic SEO is a natural and un-obtrusive means of Internet marketing

    If you compare paid search and social media traffic, you will discover that organic SEO visits feel more intentional. Moreover, this usually results in a lower bounce rate; thus, leads from organic SEO are among the best quality leads, mainly due to relevancy.

Failing to use the Internet effectively can cause your LASIK practice to miss opportunities to gain new patients. By not representing your brand online adequately, you are allowing your competition to take advantage and move in on your business. Working in the medical field can make it difficult to keep up with the changing marketing world; however, finding someone to guide you through search engine optimization can deliver huge payoffs.

Tips for Producing Valuable Content for your Medical Practice Website

August 29th, 2014

You can choose excellent keywords and have a full understanding of SEO and all the other ways to gain a good Google ranking, but if you have poor content that bores your audience and leaves them scratching their head as to what you are talking about, then all your other knowledge is in vain.  Excellent medical content is key and below are some hints and suggestions on how to create this great content.

  • You first want to capture your audience with a catchy headline.  Do not make your headline too long.  It needs to be short, to the point and to grab the readers’ attention enough to want to read more
  • Try to place a keyword in the headline as long as it does not disturb the flow of the copy
  • Obviously you need to create content for good optimization but it needs to be content that is relevant, interesting and appealing to the reader.  NO BORING STUFF!
  • Use a qualified knowledgeable copywriter for your content.  A good writer will know from you exactly the types of information you want to portray to your clients but he or she is able to do so in a way to increase your rankings and to appeal to your audience
  • Don’t overuse keywords in your content.  Proper keyword density is important
  • In your content, don’t only promote your healthcare services and all you can do for the patient.  Also, discuss issues and topics that they can completely relate to
  • Take out unnecessary adjectives.  Sometimes we go on and on and on and on…..
  • Try to make your paragraphs three lines or less.  More can lose the attention of the audience
  • You can actually put a simple, yet interesting story into your medical content to capture the readers’ attention and to help them feel engaged
  • Use bullet points when necessary for easy reading
  • Here is another seomedical.com article that discusses other areas of unique medical content as well.

If you are in need of assistance in helping to build content and a high seo ranking for your medical practice, please contact us!  We would love to help you be successful in attracting excellent patients to your business through unique medical content that will have them not wanting to leave your website except to come see you!!

For more information on medical content, SEO and other general tips to a successful online medical practice, please continue to browse our blog.

Surviving the Changing Healthcare Delivery System with 3 Easy Tips

August 12th, 2014

healthcare-and-medical-service-from-internetdoctors-hand-with-stethoscope

While the Affordable Care Act has gone into effect, there are still bound to be changes occurring in the healthcare delivery system as the kinks are worn out. This is because implementation of the Act will cause a paradigm shift in patient attraction. This means that many people saw changes in their insurance premiums and coverages as the ACA rolled out.

The changing system also means that medical marketing and public relations have become more important in terms of how they attract more quality patients to different medical practices. This also means that patients will be researching specialists heavier than they typically would to ensure that they are paying for the highest caliber care that their insurance will cover.

All of these can affect your medical practice. Below are three tips to help your practice navigate these waters and to continue to be profitable.

Have Public Relations and Media Strategies

Two of the most underutilized tools that can help attract new patients are public relations and media. Most practices are not skilled enough in PR; therefore, they decide not to include it as a tool to attract new patients. However, having a well-executed PR /media strategy can help your practice yield incredible results. The best part is, if done correctly, it doesn’t have to cost you a thing.

One low-cost route you can take is making use of patient stories. Reporters, editors and producers are always in the market for patient stories that are engaging or innovations in medicine. The key with this practice is knowing what content reporters, editors and producers are looking for and then becoming the source they need.

Diversify Your Online Presence

In today’s connected society your practice NEEDS an online presence. This is because it is estimated that 72 percent of patients found the specialist they needed though online research. If your practice’s website has a high quality website (along with high quality content) you can provide your potential patients with the education and information that they need. Having a website is only half the battle, however. You also need to incorporate a creative mix of online ads, SEO and social media strategies in order to increase your chance(s) of attracting new patients.

Reputation Management

You need to make sure that your practice not only has a good reputation but can also keep this reputation. This is especially true with so many people finding specialist information through review sites like Vitals, RateMDs and Yelp. These ratings can mean the difference between a potential patient making an appointment or avoiding your practice.

One thing to remember is unhappy patients are three times more likely to leave reviews than happy patients are. Unluckily enough, when potential patients read negative reviews, they don’t have the physician there explaining what the review really means. That said, however, physicians should NEVER respond directly to an online review—it is in poor taste.

Like any other business or profession, the medical field makes use of professionally created content to spread knowledge about different aspects of the field. In order to put your best foot forward, you need the best resources at your disposal. SEOMedical can help provide just that. For assistance creating a website for your practice, help with developing your content or any other various aspects of running a healthcare practice contact us for more information.

7 Common Healthcare Website Mistakes to Avoid

June 25th, 2014

doctor-at-work

It’s fine and good to make a website; however, having a poorly performing or confusing website can be more harmful than no website at all. In addition, some website designers or business owners mistake their website’s role.

The best websites provide a user-friendly experience to your visitors. In order to discern this, ask yourself:

  • What are my customers looking for
  • What questions may they have
  • How can I provide them

Here are 7 common website mistakes to avoid when designing a website for your healthcare practice.

  1. 1. Flash

    While some may argue that Flash can be a benefit to a website, others believe that the same can be achieved using HTML, CSS and Javascript. Furthermore, websites for healthcare facilities shouldn’t be “flashy,” as it could distract away from the website’s content and away from what your users need.

  2. 2. Music and/or video on page load

    Healthcare websites do not need music or videos to play when a viewer lands on their home page. However, multi-media content (such as videos) can be very useful to your patients if used properly. You should just give your viewers the choice to watch the videos you add to your site.

  3. 3. De-clutter

    The best option for your practice’s website is one that is clear and concise and without clutter. For example, not everything needs to be placed on your practice’s homepage as this can make things hard for your patients to find when/if they need it.

  4. 4. Make your copy readable

    When building your practice’s website, one of the most important things is to ensure your patients can actually read the content that you upload to your website. This is especially true of today’s society where we spend most of our time reading computer screens. Your best bet is to stick with plain black (or grey) text on a white background.

  5. 5. Avoid having a complex navigation

    The worst mistake you can make for your website’s design is to make it too hard to navigate. Nobody is going come to your healthcare practice if s/he cannot find the information s/he needs readily on your site. This especially true of your contact information including:

    • Address
    • Hours
    • Phone number
  6. 6. Splash page

    Many people confuse splash pages with landing pages; however, this is a mistake. Splash pages are used by marketers to advertise websites before they are viewed; whereas, landing pages are used to give more information about a particular topic on a given page. In fact, splash pages are really unnecessary for a healthcare provider. Here’s a page further explaining why splash pages should be avoided.

  7. 7. Non-relevant content
    Only content relevant to your practice should be on your website. This is because non-relevant information could hurt your practice’s reputation. Visitors could become confused by any non-relevant content.

Every good business needs a website – this is no less true for healthcare providers. For assistance designing a patient-friendly website for your practice, help with developing your content or any other various aspects of marketing a healthcare practice online, continue browsing http://www.seomedical.com/ or contact us for more information.

How to Create a Superior Medical Homepage for Your Practice

June 9th, 2014

Everyday thousands of people search to find the right medical provider. You must stand out from the competition and one way to do so is to have a dynamic homepage. The homepage of a website, or using an analogy to a traditional newspaper, the front page, is very important for many reasons.  Because it is the first thing the reader sees, if must draw them in and make them want to read further.

The homepage for your medical practice has to scream, “look at me, I have all the information you are seeking.” Basically, it has to spark enough interest for the visitor to your site to continue and then it must support the rest of the pages that contain the information you are trying to share.

Below are some basic guidelines to help you with your homepage

There needs to be value in your homepage headline

  • These 6 to 12 words in your headline are the most important words you will write. Many people never make it past reading your headline if they see there is no value in it for them.
  • Read the rest of this entry »

5 Benefits of Press Release Distribution for Medical Practices

May 27th, 2014

press-interview

In the age of near-constant media exposure, press releases have adapted to help companies (especially medical offices) get valuable publicity for their practices. In addition to more traditional press releases, today companies can get media coverage through releasing blogs and podcasts.

  • 1. Without distributing your story, no one will hear your story. Regardless of what type of medical practice you run (or the size of your practice) you are bound to have stories that would benefit from coverage in trade journals, magazines, blogs, podcasts and any other kind of publications that cover your industry.
  • 2. Luckily, press release distribution can be inexpensive. Most practices can even have employees that can write their own press releases. Your only expense could come from hiring a press release distribution service. Fear not: you have options. There are inexpensive options for press release distribution (especially when compared to paid advertising). In addition, there are even free distribution options.
  • 3. One helpful suggestion: strive to boost your company’s visibility. This can be even more essential for small businesses. However, large corporations may need to fight to be seen too. A long-term goal of press release distribution will not only let your customers know who you are and what you do, but you can also inform them of why they need you. In addition, you can catch the eye of journalists who will, over time, provide you with more media coverage.
  • 4. Through thoughtful press releases, you can establish your medial office as an industry expert. By doing this, you will not only gain the trust of your potential patients. Once you’ve established trust, patients are more likely to choose your practice over another practice. Being labeled as an expert can also allow you even further media coverage. For example, if media outlets see you as an expert, they may call on you if opinions are needed.
  • 5. Today’s interconnectedness through the internet (specifically through social media outlets) can allow well-written press releases to spread far and wide. While this does not mean that one press release can entice a customer to travel far to visit your practice, it is not to say it couldn’t—especially if your press release were to be picked up by a national market. Furthermore, you are writing to a potential audience of 80 million people (those who get up and read online news every day). Many of these people could be your clients—make a good impression!

Social media can be just as important to your medical practice as it is to some peoples’ lives. It is important to have a skilled professional to assist you when you are setting up your social media account(s). For assistance creating a plan for marketing your medical practice or help with developing your content, contact us for more information.

Making Social Media Work for your Medical Office

May 12th, 2014

social media

The Internet is an invaluable tool in today’s society. In addition to the Internet being an important tool, social media is quickly becoming important to businesses —especially the medical profession.

In fact, roughly 41% of Internet users visit social media sites at least once a month. Most check social media several times a day.

Ensuring social media works FOR you, not AGAINST you

Your medical practice has been using social media for networking and marketing; however, is your practice using social media beneficially? Here are some tips to help optimize social networking sites for your practice while maintaining professionalism.

  1. 1. Maintain professional boundaries
    • It is important to be professional while communicating with your patients using social media. It may be understood, but you should NEVER speak to patients informally as you would a friend or relative.
    • This includes having separate accounts for your professional and personal use. This ensures that you do not share that cat video with your patients instead of your sister. In addition, it is a good idea to not accept friend requests from patients on your personal account.
  2. 2. Have a policy for friending and following
  3. 3. Make sure that your patients know the best way to contact you
    • While you may have patients who are attached to social media sites, chances are you have other things to do. Make sure that your patients know to call into your practice if they need immediate assistance rather than waiting on a social network.
  4. 4. NEVER post confidential or patient information to social media
    • In addition, ensure that your patients follow this policy.
  5. 5. While not directly related, provide your practice’s full contact information on your website
    • This includes your office’s full address, phone/fax number and office hours. This is beneficial for potential clients to be able to contact and locate your practice.

Facebook-specific tips

Facebook is undeniably the fastest growing social networking site. With over a million new active users each month, Facebook is able to reach a considerable audience (of practically every age) each day.

Aside from simply setting up a page for individual physicians in your practice, you can set up a ‘fan page’ for your entire practice. Here you can encourage users to join and receive alerts about new content. The benefit of this is that your clients can share with you posts and articles they find interesting, but also share your content with the rest of their friends —increasing your potential client base.

Social media can be just as important to your medical practice as it is to some peoples’ lives. It is important to have a skilled professional to assist you when you are setting up your social media account(s). For assistance creating a plan for social media marketing for your practice or help with developing your content, contact us for more information.

Getting More Clients through Medical Marketing

April 18th, 2014

Everyday thousands of people search online for a new doctor or dentist, hospital or other medical care. To help ensure that your healthcare facility attracts all of the clients that it can, hiring a medical marketing expert can help bring clients to your business. A medical marketing expert can optimize your website and content to ensure that your medical practice ranks well in search engines.

Benefits of Medical Internet Marketing

•    Create a better ROI
•    Create solid brand awareness
•    Expand your patient base
•    Grow your medical practice
•    Improve your visibility
•    Promote your medical practice well in the search engines.
•    Target your advertising

Why does Your Business Need SEO Medical?

•    We will tailor SEO techniques specifically for your practice. These techniques will help to grow your patient base.

•    The SEO techniques applied can help to filter the patients your business attracts. For example, a pediatrician’s office does not need to attract geriatric patients.

•    The most important reason your business needs a SEO medical marketing professional is that, even though you are a trained medical professional, you may not know marketing techniques. By hiring a marketing professional, you can achieve the results you need without having to waste your time.

Self-Marketing through Social Media

Aside from using SEO marketing techniques to help draw in patients from the internet, making use of social media can not only help keep your current clientele happy and informed, but, through your current clients, inform others to your business.

Furthermore, there are numerous other ways that you can use social media to enhance your practice. Here are just a few of the (at least) 140 ways that using twitter can enhance and market your medical practice.

  • Drug safety alerts from the FDA
  • Exercise management and encouragement
  • Weight management and support
  • Biomedical device data capture and reporting
  • Nutritional diary and tracking
  • Mood tracking (for patients with bipolar and other mood disorders)

For a more exhaustive list of ways your medical practice can use twitter as a tool, please read this article.

Marketing your medical practice is important to help highlight your practice and entice new clients. Furthermore, adding social media techniques can not only grant your access to further clients, but it is one way to make your connection to your current clients stronger. For assistance creating a plan for marketing your practice or help with developing your content, contact Medical SEO copywriting experts at SEOMedical today for more information.