Did you know that California has the highest number of active physicians in the country? There are 115,347 physicians in the state, and many of them are in Beverly Hills, competing with your practice or medical spa for patients.
While your credentials and reputation are critical to patient numbers, excellent marketing is a driving force, helping you increase your awareness and success in Beverly Hills and beyond.
Here is a quick guide to digital marketing tactics that every doctor should be using to get more patients to schedule consultations.
1. Professional Website
The most critical aspect of all your marketing initiatives is your website. This is your virtual business card to show prospective patients why they should schedule a consultation. You’ll want to include your procedures, highlight your credentials, and post your current hours and contact information, but that’s not all.
This website must communicate your expertise and professionalism. If you’re a high-end Plastic Surgeon, then you need to have a high-end, sophisticated website. This website should also be user-friendly, mobile responsive, and load in three seconds or less. On top of its looks, it must be easy to navigate to prevent patient frustration and lead to more calls and appointments. This will help convert prospective patients into paying patients.
2. Google My Business
Is your office or medical spa on Google Maps?
Creating a Google My Business profile increases your location’s visibility and improves your chances of appearing in Google search results. You can even post to your Google My Business profile with key search terms to improve your page rank as potential patients search for services.
Having a profile will also give patients the opportunity to write Google reviews. Positive reviews will boost your reputation, even among inevitable negative reviews. Make sure to respond to all reviews, but since you are a doctor, you will need to follow HIPAA guidelines for responses. This means not verifying the reviewer was a patient, and providing general and broad responses, such as, “Thank you! Our goal is to provide a five-star experience to all of our patients!”
Greater local visibility and an opportunity to collect and display positive reviews, will help prospective patients during the decision making process. Having a five-star medical practice at a location near them is a recipe for more consultations.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization refers to optimizing your website to appear high in internet search results. While Google My Business does play a role in this, it’s only the tip of the SEO iceberg. There are numerous ways to optimize your website for search engines. You can create high-quality content, use common search keywords, optimize backend alt tags and metadata, ensure you don’t have any 404 errors, and improve the speed of your website.
There’s a lot to SEO, and it takes time to see results through organic search, but even little improvements can make a difference. Watch more and more prospective patients visit your website as you move up the search results page. The greater your web traffic, the greater volume of patients scheduling consultations.
4. Practice Atmosphere
All of your marketing should align with your practice’s overall atmosphere. If your website and marketing materials are high-end, then patients will expect the same for your office. Aim for professional and clean, but not cold and uninviting. Having a comfortable atmosphere that meets the patient’s expectations will build trust as soon as they walk through the doors.
5. Paid Search
Paid search can get results more quickly than organic SEO, but requires investment. It’s when search engines allow advertisers to show advertisements on their search engine results pages for a price. The advertisements look just like a regular search result, but they appear near or at the top of the results. It works by pay-per-click, meaning if a patient clicks on your ad, you pay for it.
You then target your ads by location and the keywords typed in. For instance, you could choose “medical spa” as the keyword with the location set to Beverly Hills. You can also determine if you want it to appear when someone types in an exact match, a phrase match (Plastic Surgeon near me), a broad match (Surgery center near me), or a modified match (luxury surgery center, medical office, and recovery center). You decide the terms and your budget, and monitor results.
This is an excellent marketing tactic for getting in front of prospective patients as they conduct their real-time search for solutions.
6. Patient Experience
Your office manager or receptionist plays a significant role in the patient’s experience. He or she will be the first person they communicate with in the practice and will leave a lasting first impression. This person should be friendly, helpful, and acknowledge the patient right away. Make the intake process as smooth as possible, and try to not keep any patient waiting too long.
Once they meet you during the consultation, bedside manner is everything. Make sure the patient feels heard and not rushed. Sitting down instead of standing will make the patient feel more at ease. Watch your other body language as well. Try not to cross your arms or stare down at a clipboard. Make eye contact throughout the discussion and show compassion. These simple actions can provide a more positive experience for patients, leading to more referrals and word-of-mouth marketing.
7. Social Media
Worldwide, the average internet user spends about 147 minutes per day on social media. It has become a routine part of daily life. Your practice or medical spa has the opportunity to create Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts to build relationships and engage with current or future patients on social media. It’s a great marketing tool for becoming top of mind in your area.
If you would like to post images of before and after photos, you will need to be mindful of social media community guidelines and HIPAA compliance. For instance, nudity isn’t permitted on Facebook or Instagram, even in a medical context. Instead, focus on posting other kinds of before and after photos. Also, make sure to get patient consent for all pictures, remove identifying features from photos, and ensure you follow HIPAA. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons lists helpful considerations for social media.
Make sure you are responsive to every single patient inquiry, whether that’s a message on social media or a phone call from your Google My Business page. Know all of the possible ways a potential patient could contact you, and be prepared to answer them quickly and professionally. The more responsive you are, the better the chance of the patient scheduling a consultation.