A medical practice is a business. It is reliant on patients coming through the front door and it has a unique aspect in that the majority will be referred by a third party, namely the GP who are effectively your clients.
Just like any other business you need to spend time and money on marketing to them. This is especially true if you are just starting out, restarting after a break or changing (or adding) locations. There are a number of options available to market your practice.
Our consultants posess expertise in online marketing for doctors and will be able to help you plan a campaign within the bounds of Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency rules and AMA recommendations.
Deciding on the appropriate marketing mix
With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine the best course of action. Generally we recommend a switch away from more traditional media spend towards the online space. It’s measurable and in most cases produces superior results when compared with traditional forms of marketing.
We particularly advise against spend on “dead tree” listings such as Yellow Pages advertising – we believe your advertising dollars can be more effectively employed elsewhere.
Every business is different so there is no right or wrong answer. There are a variety of avenues available to market your website, including:
Word of mouth
Businesses can employ a whole range of media for the purposes of marketing but the one that stands out head and shoulders above the rest is word of mouth - what your patients and their friends and relatives say about you is invaluable. So the best way is for you and your staff to provide exemplary service and treatment.
Please Note: The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency are very much against the use of testimonials.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation takes your online marketing one step further, with an ongoing campaign to improve your ranking for specific search terms (words or phrases) within Google and other search engines. This "organic ranking" is the most powerful marketing tool available to help drive relevant traffic to your website.
The biggest advantage to strong SEO ranking is that search results tend to be more trusted than Google AdWords results. A top "organic" search result (driven by SEO) attracts 50% more click throughs than the equivalnet top AdWord listing.
SEO is not an exact science and it is a moving target due to variances in the market and Google algorithm changes. SEO takes effort, focus and a lot of patience. However, once established it yields significant long term results that help businesses grow based on merit and trust.
Google AdWords (Pay Per Click / PPC)
Google AdWords is a great way to elevate your listing to the top of the search results. However, it can be expensive and if it’s not well managed can rapidly burn through your marketing budget. The biggest advantage of AdWords is that you can control which terms your website will be listed for, and get rapid data-driven feedback for improvements. This speed of action / feedback is significant, particularly when compared to SEO.
Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) Campaigns (otherwise known as Email Newsletter Campaigns) are an excellent way to connect with both your patients and referrers and and, as such, are an excellent and novel from of marketing.
Promotion Through Education (PTE)
How are you going to convince your referrers that they should send their patients to you rather than the ten other specialists in your hospital?
A novel way is to fulfil their constant requirement for knowledge about the conditions that affect their patients and the latest procedures used to treat them. This is known as PTE – Promotion Through Education.
Become the oracle. Don’t force them to look elsewhere - make your website the authoritative forum.
Drive users to your website and keep them there by providing educational content for both referrers and patients. Use the latest interactive tools - video and PowerPoint presentations to get the information across.
All of this can be done through your website and if done in conjunction with AIME, an accredited provider of CPD, they can also get their points.
Involvement with Social Media can provide a valuable part of your marketing mix and may be appropriate for your specific needs.
Website Marketing Services
Our website marketing services include: