As we see in every business sector, your customers’ primary attention has moved to digital. Healthcare is no different. Rather than just listening to what a doctor tells them, the patient now does a ton of research. According to Pew Research, one in three American adults have gone online to learn about a medical condition and 72% of Internet users have looked online for health related information within the past year.
In addition to doing their own research about medical conditions, most patients use search engines to research doctors and read online reviews before booking appointments. According to Testimonial Tree, 84% of survey participants consulted online reviews of physicians. And according to Google, organic search drives nearly three times as many visitors to hospital sites, compared to other referral sites. That’s why it’s crucial to follow the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices to ensure you are ranked high in the SERPs (search engine results page).
Do you work in the healthcare industry? Here are the three most important digital marketing trends to keep in mind as the new year approaches.
Digital Marketing Trends for Healthcare Practices in 2017
1. Responsive Websites
As you know by now, mobile has become a huge part of the digital marketing landscape. Potential patients are researching healthcare options on their phones. If your website is not designed with mobile in mind or takes too long to load on a phone, you could miss out on a lot of potential business. Not only does a poor mobile website lead to a poor user experience, but Google’s new mobile-first indexing algorithm will rank your website lower in their search results than your competitors with a mobile responsive website. With more and more people using the Internet as their primary source for medical information, a low rank can be detrimental to your practice.
So how can you prepare your practice for this change in 2017? Your first order of business should be to make your website responsive. This means that your website will adjust to the screen it’s being seen on. Whether it is phone, tablet, laptop or desktop, the website will adjust to look perfect.
2. Tracking Calls
Even though patients are doing their research online, many of them still are more comfortable with scheduling appointments by phone rather than through the website. That’s what it’s important to track your calls, so you know exactly how your new patients found your website. Setting up different tracking numbers for your online efforts (social media, website, SEM, etc.) will allow you to clearly see how new patients are finding your practice. This can help you allocate your marketing budget accordingly.
3. Generate New Content as Frequently as Possible
If you’re like me, whenever I’m not feeling well, I rush to my phone and Google my symptoms. Typically, I find an article on WebMD and I’m convinced that I have a condition that’s much worse than it actually is. To counteract that, the healthcare industry is beginning to understand the importance of content marketing. This means that they are writing blogs and website content about different medical topics and distributing them on their websites and social media channels. It’s a great tool to help educate your patients before they even step foot into your office. In addition to being a great resource, content marketing helps strengthen your organic search results.
Develop Your Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Healthcare Practice
If you’re looking for the best way to increase your healthcare practice’s online presence in 2017, we can help! Here at Today’s Business, we have helped a wide variety of clients in different sectors of the healthcare industry improve their online presence and increase the amount of patients that visit their practice. For more information on working with us, please contact us today.