Sometimes, digital marketing for your practice can seem like a daunting task. SEO-what? Meta-who? And what’s with all those acronyms?
We totally get that some people don’t share our passion for a perfectly optimized landing page, and that’s okay. That’s why we’re here to help you make sense the fundamental digital marketing strategies that will work best for your industry and teach you how to implement them at your practice.
At its heart, the goal of marketing is simply to find, convert, and retain clients using a series of proven strategies. In this post, we will be breaking down exactly how you can use the find, convert, retain model to grow your business and sustain a healthy client base.
Prefer videos? Watch the recording of our webinar, Find, Convert, Retain: The Power of Digital Marketing for Your Practice, to hear Will Mancini, Senior Account Development Consultant explain how a multi-faceted marketing plan will help you accomplish your business objectives.
Before a potential client calls into your office, they first need to be aware that your practice exists and that you’re the best choice for them. You can’t expect that someone will drive past your office and stop in nor should you depend solely on word-of-mouth promotion in your community. Instead, enable people to find you online by employing these three strategies.
1. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, most commonly referred to as SEO, describes a series of techniques that are used to better a web page’s search engine rankings for a related query. Your website’s position on a SERP (search engine results page) is important because the bulk of clicks go to sites featured on the first page. 75% of clicks, to be exact. Of those clicks, 33% go to the top three spots.
Blurb: We share more here on how to navigate a SERP.
The first step to a great SEO strategy is to get to know your audience. Learn what your ideal client likes, what they don’t like, why they employ your services, etc. Use this information to narrow down what kind of content you need to create and how to speak to your perfect client.
Keywords and phrases are an effective way to rank on Google’s search engine results pages for relevant queries. Implement keywords that reflect how these clients may be searching for your practice online. For example, if you are a veterinarian that specializes in feline care practicing in Tulsa, you may include the phrase, “veterinarian for cats in Tulsa” in your web copy, meta titles, and meta descriptions.
Google’s use of mobile-first indexing means that websites that are mobile-responsive will rank higher than those that aren’t when the search is made from a mobile device. To better your chances at getting found online, be sure to design a mobile-responsive site.
2. Paid Advertising
In addition to SEO, invest in paid advertising that targets your ideal clients. PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, requires a company to bid on keywords that they believe will perform best for their website. Once you have secured that keyword or phrase, you will pay an agreed upon fee to the host, such as Google, each time your page is clicked on. Whenever a prospect enters that search query, your targeted ad is one of the first three pages they will see on the SERP. This greatly increases your chances of gaining more web traffic and calls into your office.
Keywords should be threaded seamlessly into the content on your landing page as well as in the meta title and meta description, when possible. Be careful not to commit keyword stuffing, a tactic that could cause Google to penalize your webpage.
Wow your prospective clients with a targeted landing page. Firstly, the meta title and meta description that the user sees on a SERP should clearly communicate what your page will provide for them. Do you have a new client special? Are you a top-rated specialist in your field? Do you have an answer to a question in their query? Concisely summarize your topic in the title and description.
Make sure the landing page itself does what is promised on the SERP. Don’t list a headline that tells users it will teach them what to expect from their first chiropractic appointment then simply link your contact landing page. Instead, feature your contact information at the top and bottom of the page and weave in self-promotion sparingly.
Learn how to create an effective PPC landing page here.
3. Business Listings
Your website isn’t the only way prospective clients are searching for businesses like yours. Business listing sites, such as Yelp and Citysearch, afford you more opportunities to reach your audience and rank on search engine results pages.
Let’s do a little experiment. Google something along the lines of “best optometrist near me”. How many of these pages are business directory sites? It’s likely that many of them are. Don’t miss out on valuable web traffic and local clients, create a variety of business listings on sites you think your ideal client is most likely to trust.
We strongly suggest beginning with a Google My Business Listing. Below paid advertisements, these are some of the first listings to populate on a SERP for local searches. They enable users to call you directly from an internet search, view online reviews, and quickly navigate to your office using Google Maps.
After you have set up your business listings, continue to manage your profiles across the web. Post updates such as a change in address, holiday hours, and other important information your audience may need to know.
Once your prospective client has found you online, how do you turn she or he into a long-time patron? To convert interested clicks into appointments booked in your schedule, you need to show prospective clients why your practice is the right fit for them. Create a narrative for your practice and establish yourself as a leader in your industry through your online presence.
An incredible 90% of people check online reviews before visiting a business or making a purchase. When prospective clients search for your practice online, what kind of feedback are they seeing?
Your practice’s online reputation is an opportunity for your team to make a good first impression on clients before they even walk through your office doors. A positive representation of your business holds a lot of clout for internet users, 80% of whom trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Establish profiles for your practice on the platforms your audience is most likely to use to review businesses like yours. Oftentimes, these are the same sites that you use to create your business listings. Additionally, maintain active social media pages for your practice as likes, comments, and reviews on these channels are also a part of your online reputation.
Whenever you receive feedback online, respond to the reviewer so that they feel heard and respected. If this is a positive review, fantastic! You deserve it. Thank the writer for taking the time to tell you about their experience with your practice.
If the review is negative, take the opportunity to engage with your audience and remedy any issues the reviewer has addressed. Not only will this allow you to possibly keep a client, it will also show prospective clients that your team is filled with attentive professionals that are willing to go the extra mile to provide the best service possible.
Blurb: Check out this guide to getting more online reviews.
Let’s talk a little bit more about social media. Worldwide, 3.196 billion people use social media. In 2018, YouTube surpassed Facebook as the most popular social platform with 73% of Americans using the site. However, Facebook isn’t far behind with 68% of Americans still scrolling through their feeds on a regular basis. Other rising stars include Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Social media enables you to foster a community online and engage with your audience outside of the office. These platforms give you the opportunity to share videos, photos, and content that give your audience a peek into what makes your practice so special. Plus, social media pages give your practice another chance to rank on Google’s search engine results page!
For your industry, we recommend starting with a Facebook profile. Facebook provides many advantages for businesses looking to market their practice on the site, such as Facebook Analytics and review capabilities.
No matter which platforms you choose to use, establish a consistent post schedule that best reaches your audience. Take note of what kind of content performs best on your channels and tailor your posts accordingly. However, don’t lose sight of your brand or purpose. Your social media pages should be a reflection of the value your practice can offer to your clients.
So, you’ve now built up your business and have an amazing client base. How do you keep those clients coming back into your office? Client retention is a pain point many business owners face, but we have a few tips to help you keep your calendar full.
Like you, your clients are busy people. Maybe they have a high-stakes business meeting coming up or they have been preoccupied with helping their kid pass algebra and they forgot all about their appointment with you. Appointment reminders are an important part of managing your relationship with clients. Whether through text or email, confirming appointments helps ensure that your client remains engaged with your business.
Has it been a while since you’ve seen a client? Send emails or texts to remind them that they’re due for a visit. Even if the client doesn’t call to schedule an appointment right away, this will keep you at the forefront of their minds next time they need your services.
We know maintaining communication with your clients can be time consuming, which is we suggest investing in automated patient relationship management software. Send automated text alerts, ask clients for reviews, and confirm appointments without sitting on the phone all day long.
Between appointments, provide value to your clients in the form of custom content. Newsletters, blog posts, infographics, and e-cards can help keep your clients engaged and establish your practice as a leader in your industry.
Sending monthly newsletters about the latest in your industry is a great way to give your clients useful information they can apply to their everyday lives. Brainstorm topics with your team ahead of time so that you can produce interesting, relevant content to send to your email list each month.
Blogs posted to your website can also benefit your current clients while attracting new clients. Optimize your blog posts with keywords so that web users can easily find your content.
Find, Convert, Retain in Action
We know that this may be a lot to take in, but any marketing plan is best executed one step at a time. Try choosing one strategy from each section to begin rolling out at your practice. For example, a combination of PPC, social media marketing, and client relationship management could help you see immediate engagement and feedback from your audience. Whichever method you choose, you can reach out to us to learn more about how to put the find, convert, retain model into practice at your office.