Starting a new healthcare practice can seem like an impossible task when you consider the many choices people have when looking for medical care these days, especially in well-served urban areas. While there are some hurdles you’ll need to clear before you reach a point where you have a steady stream of patients, you can boost your odds of enjoying a success practice if you have the right approach to marketing. If you’re just getting started with this process, here’s what should be on your healthcare marketing to-do list.
Have a Website
It’s estimated that more than 70 percent of U.S. adults routinely look for health-related information online. So, it only stands to reason that the first thing on your marketing to-do list should be to create a website for your practice. If you just need something basic to get started, there are templates you can use.
Create Relevant, Useful Content
Once you get your website set up, the next step is to present fresh, relevant content to attract the attention of potential patients. Some of your content can be focused on introducing your practice, but it should be useful in other ways as well. For example, you might have a blog where you post articles expressing your thoughts about trending healthcare topics related to your practice. Your social media content is more likely to attract attention if you present helpful health tips, fun health facts, and other info that’s likely to keep people interested and engaged.
Claim Your Local Listings
With new healthcare practices, assume patients will need help finding your location. Make it easier for them to do so by claiming your local listings on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. With Google, you also get access to Google Maps when you claim your Google My Business listing. Another step you can take is to submit your practice’s location information on relevant local directories. Directions on the Contact Us page of your website can be just as helpful.
Cover Your SEO Bases
The most effective way to attract the right kind of attention to your new healthcare practice is to embrace search engine optimization (SEO). There are many aspects of SEO that can direct patients to your new practice and the content you distribute online. Some of the most important SEO bases you’ll want to cover involve:
Optimizing your content for local searchers
Researching the keywords you use in your content, meta descriptions, and any paid ads you may choose to run
Having a website that’s appealing to mobile visitors
Optimizing landing pages so you can direct visitors to the most appropriate content (e.g., an FAQ page, a separate page for an existing location you may have in another city or neighborhood)
Before you get started with any of these tasks, have a very good idea of what your target market is. This includes both the types of patients you hope to attract and the specific geographic areas you want to serve. And after you take the steps discussed here, further increase your visibility by finding ways to participate in your community, doing local news interviews when appropriate (e.g., offering your insights on the upcoming cold and flu season to a medical reporter), or hosting an “open house” to give potential patients the opportunity to check out your practice without any obligation to make an appointment.