How to Market an Out-of-Network Practice & Get More Patients
Out-of-network medical practices may have difficulty getting new patients more so than in-network counter parts. In this article, we outline ideas for you how you can better market your practice in a shifting healthcare landscape and how to get more patients.
6 Medical Marketing Tips To Get More Patients
1. Identify Highly Trafficked Keywords
People use search engines for everything: answering questions, discovering local restaurants, and even, finding local medical practices and doctors. Google controls how your website ranks in the search results.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists are professionals that ensure your website ranks among the top keywords in your industry. SEO is the process of technically editing your website. Over time, with dedicated SEO maintenance, your website will appear higher in the search engine results.
To identity keywords that make the most sense for your practice, SEO specialists will do keyword research in Google’s keyword planner. Their research will reveal monthly search volume and ranking difficulty for each of those keywords. Ideal keywords can include "[treatments] for [condition] in [your area]" or "best [specialty] in [your area]" or "[procedure]." You can also conduct your own keyword research by Googling queries like these.
If you have an established a web presence, your website may already appear for target keywords in local search results; however, to procure top placement for additional keywords, you need to regularly update your website and optimize it for the search engines. SEO for doctors, and any other industry, is a time-intensive process.
2. Setup Online Profiles
Your online presence consists of more than just your primary medical website; to build a robust and healthy online presence, your medical practice should also create profiles on available networking sites.
For instance, Zocdoc allows prospective patients to find local doctors and practices easily. This is especially useful for individual who are new to your area and who are at the beginning stages of their research. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn profiles also allow your practice to reach more prospective patients online.
Google+ profiles are especially important to local businesses – many internet users search for medical services near them by opening their Google maps app on their phone or by searching in the "maps" section of the Google desktop browser. Without a properly setup and optimized Google+ profile, your medical practice could be missing out on local foot traffic and new appointments.
3. Redesign Your Website
Many of the physicians we work with are experts in their field, but their digital presence online does not accurately reflect their clinical capabilities. Over time, the art of creating medical websites has evolved with enhanced technical functionality, better user experience and creative design.
Users, especially younger users, expect clean visual design with perfect usability. With a new website, you will get more patients because they are built to attract, engage and convert website visitors.
4. Invest in Direct-to-Consumer Marketing
Direct-to-consumer marketing is a very effective way to get more patients. The key to a successful Google Adwords campaign is planning. Most likely, you will be working with a healthcare marketing agency to set up the campaign.
Before you begin, make sure you are clear about your business goals. Do you want to attract top of the funnel patients or patients who are ready to schedule an appointment now? This is important because the cost of acquiring different types of patients and effect it has on your bottom line will vary.
5. Stay Active in Academic Communities
By participating in local or online academic communities, you reach more potential patients. Websites like Real Self (realself.com) and DoctorBase (doctorbase.com) allow you to interact directly with potential patients and gain additional exposure and recognition for your medical practice. It could be as simple as contributing to a conversation in LinkedIn groups.
6. Get Referrals from Other Doctors
A great way to get more patients is through other doctors. Physician-to-physician referrals are a type of currency for transactions in the healthcare industry. Professional relationships in medicine are vital to the health of some private, out-of-network practices.
Maintaining these relationships is time-consuming and a full-time job. A lot of healthcare marketing agencies, including docero, have launched liaison services to help practices build long-term relationships with referring doctors and create a steady stream of patient referrals. Our liaison services program is new, so if you are interested please contact us!
Lastly, to effectively market an out-of-network practice, we encourage you to hire professionals. docero is a healthcare marketing agency focused on patient acquisition for both in-network and out-of-network practices.