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Local Marketing for Medical Practices: 4 Steps to Get Found

Oct 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Local Marketing for Medical Practices: 4 Steps to Get Found by Nearby Patients

When it comes to marketing for medical practices, broad, far-reaching efforts just won't cut it.

In order to increase exposure with people who can actually, physically become paying patients, medical marketing initiatives need to be expertly targeted and, more importantly, highly localized.

That means not just launching a fly-by-night PPC campaign for a handful of randomly chosen keywords, nor does it mean investing in one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter SEO or social media efforts.

The fact of the matter is simple: If you want to reach patients who not only need your services but are located close enough to use them, your initiatives need to be geography-based through and through.

Here's what that looks like:

A fully optimized Google My Business listing.

Local Marketing for Medical Practices: 4 Steps to Get Found by Nearby Patients

There are SO many reasons to claim your brand's Google My Business page, but the biggest? That'd be putting your office on the map—quite literally.

With a GMB listing, your business will show up both in Google Maps searches and in searches local to your area. This is HUGE when running a business that's highly geographically-specific, as it connects you to real, live searchers in your particular region 24-7.

Google My Business also allows you to list your hours, services offered, phone number, website and other details, and there's even a new chat function that lets you communicate directly with searchers and potential patients. It can be a great way to boost customer service and convert passive users to paying customers with very little effort.

Another bonus? A GMB page is also a hub for reviews, and the more reviews you get (and the better those reviews are), the higher you'll start to rank in Google search. It's a win-win cycle that improves both your brand's reputation and your search rankings.

A website optimized for carefully chosen geo-based keywords and phrases.

Local Marketing for Medical Practices: 4 Steps to Get Found by Nearby Patients

Optimizing your site for board-certified plastic surgeons can certainly get you traffic, but will that traffic translate into more patients? Probably not many. Optimizing for generalized terms like this will absolutely help you rank higher in search, but the key with medical marketing isn't just reaching any old Jane and John Doe in need of your services. It's reaching people who are in your local area—nearby and down the street, ready and looking for what you offer.

Being more specific with your keywords—particularly geographically specific, is a much more effective method for bringing in qualified patient leads, so do your research and work with a pro when choosing what terms you'll target. Once you've settled on the right ones, put these geo-targeted keywords in your web content, URL structure, meta tags, page titles and alt tags of your photos. There should be comprehensive coverage across your entire site. 

Though you'll likely reach fewer people with this more drilled-down method of optimization, it's more effective in the long run. Instead of wasting time with users hundreds of miles from your office, optimizing by geographically-targeted terms ensures you bring in only qualified leads from the get-go—people who have the actual possibility of becoming real, tangible, paying patients at your facility.

 

Robust web content that's relevant to local residents.

Want to resonate with people in your area? Then tune in to what they're all about. What do they like and dislike? What are they concerned about? What issues and challenges do they face? Create content around these topics, and be sure to work in your geographic terms when and where possible.  

You should also consider creating resources for local residents—maybe information on medical issues specific to the area, symptoms to watch for, how to stay healthy in current weather conditions, etc. Information around local insurance plans, medical facilities and even vaccination laws or policies can be helpful as well.  

The moral of the story? Put yourself in a local resident's shoes. What questions would you have about your health? About using a potential medical provider's services? About health issues going on in the community? Offer information that addresses these concerns, empowers local residents and makes them a more educated, healthier patient on the whole.

Visibility within the community you serve.

Local Marketing for Medical Practices: 4 Steps to Get Found by Nearby Patients

Having a well-optimized online presence is only part of the puzzle. Sure, SEO and search traffic can help bring in more patients, but so can good, old-fashioned pounding the pavement.

Consider sponsoring a local sports team, renting a booth at a local festival or participating in charity work in your community. The more your name is associated with goings on in the area—especially positive, humanitarian ones, the more “local” and personal your practice will feel to residents.

You can even host events at your office or in tandem with other businesses in the area. Offer a glimpse of your services, have staff on site to answer questions and give away freebies that can remind people of your business once they head home.

 

Who Are You Being Found By?

Even if you're happy with your traffic and search rankings, do you know who those visitors and searchers are? Are they real, viable, potential patients, or does their location prohibit them from ever setting foot in your office?

If you're not sure who's finding your business, or worse yet, if those high traffic numbers just aren't converting into patients, it's time to reevaluate your methods. 

Marketing for medical practices requires a highly localized approach to be effective, and opting for a more geo-specific strategy can improve not only results, but your return on investment, too. And that means fewer ad dollars spent, more patients in your office and more revenues on the whole.

Need help creating a more localized strategy for your medical office? Contact Outlet Creative Group now to get started.

 

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