Digital Edition

Practice Building: Online Marketing Consult

Fine-tune your online marketing strategy to reduce spending and increase ROI.
Main image: 

5. Claim your local listing on Google, Yahoo, Yelp and others. You can claim your listing by visiting local directory sites. Each major provider offers instructions for authentication procedures on their sites.

6. Build links. Trading links with other reputable online sources can help drive traffic to your site and improve search engine rankings.

7. Pay for placement. Paid placements on reputable physician directories are effective tools to attract prospective patients. Most of these sites offer highlighted listings for a monthly or annual fee.

8. Pay-per-click. Paid advertising on Google or Bing brings instant results in search engine rankings and can drive new patients to your site.

9. Reputation management. Keep track of what people are saying about you and your practice online by creating a “Google Alert” for your name and practice name and regularly check review sites. You can cultivate positive reviews on the most popular review sites, like Yelp, RealSelf and Healthgrades by asking satisfied patients to post reviews or by offering cards at your front desk that ask patients to share their experiences on specific websites.

10. Take part in social media. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are prime places to reach out to prospective patients and stay in contact with existing patients. If you are blogging or adding new content to your website, posting new topics on social media can also help drive traffic to your site.

Addressing Concerns

Once you have your basic web tools set up and tracking in place, you may uncover some concerns, including a decline in website traffic or search engine rankings. There are a number of reasons that websites decline in terms of visitors, page views and leads. If you have cut back on your online spending, your traffic may hold steady for a few months and then go down. If a rival practice has invested significantly in their online marketing, it can take part of your market share. In addition, if your Google or Bing search rankings slip, this can have a significant effect on your web traffic. It could also be a seasonal problem. Aesthetic patient visits consistently drop during the summer and winter months. Traffic typically spikes from January to March. Additionally, the fall months usually have a modest spike before a dip during the holiday season.