Patients today do extensive research online, which means they are more particular about the healthcare services they receive. As they gain more knowledge about these services, they are also increasingly expecting personal engagement – e.g., more transparency and two-way communication – with their healthcare providers. In response, healthcare marketing is becoming more digital.
Here are three digital marketing strategies you should use to improve patient engagement for your healthcare practice:
Search Engine Optimization
Online search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! drive visitors to websites. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so that it shows up on the first page of an online search for the keywords specific to your specialty. When it comes to online search: if you are on the second page, you don’t exist. And if you don’t exist, patients can’t find you.
You can leverage hundreds of strategies to help search engines recognize and rank your digital content, including tagging a page with relevant keywords, writing informative page descriptions, and creating strategic HTML titles. The process can be complex and incredibly frustrating if you aren’t familiar with the various ways to make your website rank better for your target audience. However, it’s worth it if you want to grow your healthcare practice, as you want your online content front and center when someone searches for a relevant health topic. Still not sure? Here are The 8 Reasons Why You Need SEO.
Social Media Engagement
Increased patient engagement has been linked to better adherence to medical plans, reduced hospitalization, and higher revenues. However, to effectively engage with your patients, you need to meet them where they spend their time – which is increasingly on social media. Patients trust healthcare providers that engage online. In fact, recent studies have found that more than half of consumers’ decisions to receive treatment at a healthcare facility are strongly influenced by that provider’s social media connections.
A healthy social media presence helps attract patients. In addition, it enables healthcare practitioners to network with their peers, share knowledge, and work together (with the potential of improving patient outcomes). Social media strategies can go beyond simple posts and include participating in discussions, networking, and promoting information about relevant health topics. Learn more about The Role of Social Media in Patient Engagement.
Every day, the number of devices and browsers that need to work with your website grows, with millions of users turning to their mobile phones and tablets to interact online. In the U.S., four out of every five Americans own and use a smartphone, and this trend will continue as sales of mobile devices continue to rise. That’s why it’s critical to provide patients with easy access to your information, from any device they want to use, with a responsive website.
Responsive websites deliver an optimized experience on any type of device, regardless of screen size or resolution. This means your online content will be perfectly displayed for every smartphone, tablet and desktop computer, ensuring your patients have an optimal viewing experience. In addition, responsive sites generate a higher search engine ranking which, as mentioned above, is key to ensuring your website shows up on the first page of an online search. For more details, check out our previous post: What Is Responsive Web Design Anyway?
While these three digital marketing strategies help drive patient engagement, they also offer a big benefit for healthcare providers: marketing measurability. When running any type of digital marketing program – from search engine optimization (SEO) to social media – you always know how many people saw your campaign, visited your website, and contacted you to book an appointment. This provides valuable insight into your marketing Return on Investment (ROI), which helps guide your future business plans and marketing budgets.
iHealthSpot is a full-service digital marketing partner that can support the unique needs of your healthcare practice. From award-winning medical website design and proprietary patient education content to online marketing including social media, we enable medical practitioners to market themselves using proven digital marketing strategies.
If you’re interested in learning more, contact us today, toll-free at (877) 709-0999 for your FREE consultation with our marketing experts today!