It’s been well-publicized that retailers and restaurants were hit hard financially throughout the pandemic. If you are a healthcare provider, you also know a lesser-discussed casualty of COVID-19 is the medical practice – where they either experienced months of little revenue or had to temporarily close their doors.
At the beginning of COVID-19, patients were being directed to their insurance plan’s telehealth app to seek care. Once the lockdown ensued, patients simply stopped going to the doctor, electing to put off needed care rather than risk being infected with Covid. At the height of the pandemic, many offices were forced to close altogether. This created a serious loss of revenue for many medical offices. Over time, many of these medical practices began to acquire hardware, install software, and began to provide virtual care. Despite this shift in care delivery, many practices are still feeling the effects of the reduction in patient volume.
Fast-forward 18 months and we are in a much better place. Cases of the virus are waning as more Americans get vaccinated. People are starting to socialize and do more outside the home. So now, more than ever, it’s imperative to reconnect with your patients and get them back into a care plan to ensure that preventive measures are being taken and the quality of care remains high. With so many patients already using the internet for health-related issues, it is important that your web presence stand out among the rest.
Let’s review six tips on how a properly designed and well-managed medical website, along with a strategic marketing program can be your 24×7 vehicle in reaching your revenue goals and driving patients back to your practice.
- Medical Website Design – You need a good website with the right messaging and design! Medical Website design is constantly changing and being updated. Responsive design makes a website user-friendly no matter the platform. Visitors of all kinds – both patients or healthcare partners – expect your site to work the same on all devices such as an iPad, Android iPhone, or laptop. To win back your patients, you need an updated website ready to greet them with open arms! Make sure your website has details on all your Covid protocols and reassure patients that it is safe to visit your office. Let them know of any measures they must take when visiting you and use your site to keep them well informed. If you require updated paperwork, make sure it is easy to access right on the site. If you are offering telehealth, be sure it can be accessed from your site and that patients can easily request appointments online. Bottom line is to ensure your website is the front door to your office.
- Search Engine Optimization – Having a great website is paramount to growing your practice and engaging with patients. But it must be visible. The phrase “build it and they will come” doesn’t quite apply here. They will come if they can find you! Ensure your site is well optimized with good page titles and descriptions, meta tags, and a lot of relevant content. Getting to the top of searches for keywords related to your practice in your local area will ensure that patients find you during a routine search.
- Reputation Management – You are what they say you are! The very first step a patient takes to find a doctor is to search the internet. If they see a slew of bad reviews, they are much less likely to go back to that provider – even if they have received care there in the past. It’s a fast-moving world and the consumer is constantly gathering info to make a more informed decision about where they go for care. There is no doubt that many patients use sites like Vitals, Healthgrades, or Google to vent, but the way to drown out those pesky negative reviews is to add hundreds of good ones. Encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews as this help you build your image and respond to any negative reviews appropriately and professionally. Use a service to help and display your 4 and 5 star reviews right on your website!
- Social Media – Over 70% of your patients use social media, and they need to hear from you! Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offer excellent opportunities to interact with your patients and promote new services. You can also use your social channels to inform patients of your Covid protocols and what to expect when they return to your office. Regular posts help create a positive image of your practice and you use this channel to remind patients that getting care is important. There are a variety of tactics available to engage current and new patients through these social platforms. Finally, make sure there are links to your social channels right on your website.
- Integrated Patient Portals – Your website is the gateway to the patient’s medical record! The Cures Act granted patients access to their medical records electronically. This caused a spike in patient portal usage. Medical practices looking to reengage patients with their practice should consider launching a marketing campaign around their patient portal features. It also helps to leverage the practice website to drive patients to this portal. When a patient visits a portal through the website, they are more likely to poke around and see what else the practice has to offer, thus driving engagement.
- Education Materials – An informed patient is a happy patient. The typical online consumer is used to educating themselves online, and a medical patient is no different. Providing patient education through your website engages visitors on your site and keeps them away from those competitor sites intent on luring your patients away. Whether a patient is looking up a symptom or researching a disease, you want them perusing your information so they will reach out to your staff to schedule an appointment. But you can only do this when you offer the resources patients need on your website.
COVID-19 was an eye-opening event for many medical practices. As part of your recovery, now is the time to reengage your patients with a well-designed website combined with an effective modern marketing plan.
iHealthSpot – a Medical Advantage and TDC group company – provides you with website design and marketing services that are laser-focused on patient acquisition and retention. Reach out to us today to set up a free website analysis and one of our consultants will review the results with you. We are here to help you drive new revenue by recognizing and adapting to the needs of your customers.