Do you run your own private medical practice or are you thinking of starting one?
In today’s competitive market, a strong online presence is essential.
New clients will be looking at your practice online before they ever step through the door.
Perhaps you have thought a lot about digital marketing for your private practice, but you feel like there’s enough to do already.
After all, there are people to hire, patients to see, and bills to pay.
When do you have time to update your social media profiles, let alone plan a digital marketing strategy that will keep up with your competitors?
Maybe it’s time to get some help.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest mistakes private practices are making in today’s digital space.
1. Not Having A Blog
Most websites these days contain a blog section.
This is a place you can speak directly to your patients and potential patients, share new information, and keep your website looking fresh.
You might want to share success stories or keep your patients up to date on news from your practice.
Or maybe become a resource and source of information for clients by sharing updates on new findings in your field.
This is a great way to attract new patients to your business.
But a blog is a lot of work.
Nothing looks worse than a website with five blog articles, all published on the same day in 2014.
But beyond that, a regularly updated blog is good for your SEO.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s the art and science of getting your website to the top of Google.
Google has a long list of different factors they consider when they decide which websites they ought to rank, but posting blog articles takes care of a few of the big ones.
A Recently Updated Website
Google figures that if your website is updated more often, it will have more up to date information on it.
As a result, everything else being equal, they’ll rank a website higher if it publishes weekly blogs over a website who hasn’t updated in months.
A Bigger Website
By bigger, we mean a website with more pages, not a website with bigger file sizes.
Google figures that a website with more pages on it is more likely to have the information somebody is looking for.
As a result, they rank bigger websites higher, again all things being equal.
Time On Page
Google monitors the amount of time people spend on your website.
The longer the better.
When you publish long form blog articles (that is, a thousand words or longer), people will spend more time on your website in order to read them.
Google likes to see this.
But It’s A Lot Of Work!
We hear this a lot from our clients, and it’s understandable.
But we don’t make the rules, Google does.
If you feel overwhelmed, it’s worth the investment to ask for help from a professional.
2. Not Having A Social Media Presence
These days, most people use some sort of social media, be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tiktok.
Don’t miss opportunities to connect with potential clients by not jumping on the bandwagon.
It’s easy, and free, to create a Facebook page, but remember to check and update it regularly.
Patients will appreciate having a quick and easy way to ask questions, check updates, and share their feedback.
You can also use these platforms as reminders for your patients about getting their flu shots, or updating them on new healthcare services you might be providing.
But this only works if you are there to respond to their comments.
Meet your patients in the digital space and use social media to engage with potential clients as well.
3. Not Setting Boundaries With Social Media
Checking your pages every day is important, but don’t get sucked in.
Sharing new content, seeking new likes, or getting into lengthy Twitter conversations is counterproductive.
As a healthcare provider running a private practice, you’re already very pressed for time – how much of it is spent on things that aren’t really helping your practice?
Healthcare practices lose money for many reasons, but a common one is that they’re focusing on things that just don’t bring them value.
Keep your pages looking professional and up to date but focus on your day to day first.
Social media can be fun, but ask whether you are actually getting new clients from it?
If not, focus your efforts elsewhere, as there are plenty of other ways to acquire new patients, and it takes a lot of work.
Use social media to provide your patients a place where they can engage with you, but it shouldn’t take away from time better spent elsewhere.
Be present for your clients and they will keep coming back.
4. Having A Cheaply Made Website
Perhaps when you started your private healthcare practice, your website was cutting edge.
But how long has it been since you have put time and money into updating it?
Or maybe you hired a recent computer science graduate to build your website for you on the cheap.
Maybe you didn’t realize computer science and website design are about as different from each other as an auto mechanic and a plumber.
How long does your website take to load?
Is this something that you’ve even considered?
Most people use smartphones and tablets nowadays to seek information.
This includes looking you up if they are considering an appointment.
It’s not enough to have a simple site that your friend put together so that someone can Google your phone number.
Hire a professional digital marketer to keep it looking fresh.
And no, your receptionist doesn’t count.
They’re trained in healthcare reception, not in the nuances of website development.
Make sure your site is optimized for modern technology as well, or your will look outdated.
No one wants a health practitioner who is out of touch.
5. Not Realizing The Importance Of Patient Reviews
Now that you have a Facebook page, a Google business profile, and a flashy new website where people can leave you feedback, don’t forget to ask for it.
Patients leaving happy should be encouraged to write a review on your pages.
If a potential client is looking for a new practice, are they going to choose you, or are they going to visit the one who has an avalanche of positive reviews?
Start collecting reviews and use them to boost your profile.
Don’t forget to respond to negative feedback as well.
If a client is unhappy, give them your attention and impress them by resolving the issue.
Thank clients for their feedback – positive or negative – as they are giving you an opportunity to grow as a business.
6. Forgetting About Online Directory Listings
Don’t wait for new clients to come to you.
Do your research and ask yourself where your potential clientele are looking.
Make sure you have set up your Google My Business page and Yelp profile, as these are free.
Join local online neighborhood groups and network with healthcare practices in your area.
Taking the time to add yourself to online listings will pay off.
7. Thinking You Can Do It All Yourself
The truth is that you went to school for medicine, not for web design, marketing, or SEO.
So why try to do it all on your own?
You know what your business needs, but it’s time to recognize that you can’t do it all on your own.
After all, you have a medical practice to run – do you really have time to blog and design your website?
It might be time to look for a professional.
Questions? Ask Symbiosis!
Private practice digital marketing is something we know about at Symbiosis.
As your business grows and you become more successful, you’ll need more help.
If your online presence is working, it needs a lot of work to keep it working.
We can help.
Contact Symbiosis today and let’s talk about growing your healthcare practice healthier and stronger than ever.