It’s time for some exciting news! You have a new patient (or two, or three). Congrats! This is definitely one of the most exciting moments in a GP’s life. One, because you’ve been working hard to establish yourself as a trusted medical professional in your community, and two, because now you have the opportunity to market your practice online.
However, establishing your practice as a go-to medical destination for your local community isn’t easy. You’ll have to market yourself online in order to attract new patients. Fortunately, establishing your practice as a medical destination doesn’t mean you have to market yourself in the same way your average physician does. You can still use the traditional methods (web sites, social media, etc.) but you can also look into more innovative strategies.
The Importance of SEO
If you’re looking to establish your practice as a premier medical destination in your area, you’ll have to ensure that people discover your practice when they’re searching for local doctors. How can they discover your practice when there are dozens, if not hundreds, of doctors in the same town? They’ll find your blog article or website entry if you’ve written one, but you won’t be the first surgeon or clinic they encounter if you haven’t optimized your website for search engines like Google.
If you’ve done nothing else online, you should be submitting your website to search engines like Google and Bing. Even if you have the best website in the world, it won’t do you any good if nobody discovers it when they’re searching for local doctors. Luckily, search engine optimization (SEO) is something you can do to ensure that your website is listed among the top search results when someone searches for local doctors. There are three main elements you’ll need to work on in order to optimize your website for search engines:
1. Structured Data
The first step to optimizing your website for search engines is to make sure that the data on your site is readily available for search engines to access. One way of doing this is through the use of structured data (schema.org).
With schema.org, you define the various pieces of information that appear alongside search results. These pieces of information are often called “structured data” because they’re not only useful for search engines, but for people reading the articles as well (mostly).
When you define structured data on your site using schema.org, you’re not only making your content more accessible to search engines, you’re also ensuring that you’re displaying the right information to people who find your content through searches. For example, if you have a blog post about eating well, you might want to include information about the nutritional value of the food you discuss in the article. While people looking for health advice want to read that article, those who are trying to sell you supplements might not want to read that article because they’re looking for a good deal.
2. Content Curation
Besides making sure that your content is easily discoverable through search engines, you’ll also need to ensure that it’s current. One way of doing this is through content curation. Essentially, content curation is when experienced bloggers or journalists create concise articles around a specific theme or topic. For example, if you have a blog article about eating well, you might want to look into content curation platforms like BuzzSumo or Scoop.it where you can find a large number of topical articles related to your niche.
When you find an article that you think will be a good fit for your blog, you can simply reblog it on your site. If the article is about your specific niche, such as eating well or diabetes, you can use the information provided in the article to create a blog post of your own.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the websites you link to from your website are top-notch. One way of doing this is through the use of inbound links. When someone clicks a link on your website, they’re taken to another site. The more sites you have that link to your website, the more likely people are to visit your site. You can also use Google’s tools to find the best links to incorporate into your website.
Other Strategies for Establishing Your Practice
Even if you use the above three methods to market your practice, you may still find that you’re not getting the results you’re looking for. That’s why it’s important to explore other, less traditional methods of marketing your new patient.
You might want to consider looking into paid advertising, which is when you pay to have your business or product mentioned or discussed on paid platforms like Google Ads or Bing Ads. You can use the money you spend on these ads to invest in SEO and content curation platforms, which will help establish your practice as a premier destination for your local community.
You might also want to look into gaining sponsorships with local businesses. For example, if you’re a medical professional and you’re working with a tech company that produces medical equipment, you might want to consider having them sponsor your blog. The money they spend on advertising will enable you to invest in the tools you need to market your practice in the most effective way possible.
Being able to market your practice effectively is something you have to consider. If you put in the work and follow the above three steps, you’ll be able to move mountains of paperwork and be greeted by a smiling face when you see them at the front desk. And that’s all thanks to good old-fashioned hard work and some innovative thinking.