Every now and then, you stumble on what we like to call a ‘traditionalist’. This is someone who believes that online marketing and SEO are exclusively for ‘modern’ businesses, and shouldn’t be used by those in more professional fields.
Now, if that ain’t’ some hogwash, then I don’t know what is!
Medical professionals, including plastic surgeons, are no different than any field, especially when it comes to finding new patients. If you stay in your office all day, hoping that new patients will just stumble onto your lap, then you’re in for a rude awakening.
Regardless of the field or industry that you operate in, you need to be proactively searching for new patients, or at least creating the conditions for those patients to find you. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the most powerful SEO and online marketing strategies that plastic surgeons have available to them. Following these strategies will be sure to increase your market profit, and build the patient-doctor relationship that any medical professional dreams of.
1. Online is the New Marketplace:
Think about everything you can do online now. You can pay all your bills from your smartphone. You can deposit cheques just by scanning them into your computer. You can have groceries delivered to you with the touch of a button. People are interacting with computers more and more, seeing real life people only when most necessary.
Why should plastic surgery be any different?
People search for plastic surgery treatment online every single day, and if your practice is visible on search engines, these searches could be translating into new patients.
Look at these statistics, and think about what being on search engines and social media could mean for you:
- 57% of patients look for information on plastic surgery online (Source)
- Social media photo sharing led to a 31% increase in requests for surgery (Source)
- 72% of internet users say they looked online for health information of one kind or another within the past year (Source)
- 77% of patients use search engines (Source)
Online search engines are a powerful market for patients, and the goal of your SEO strategy should be to seize the top spot on all search engines. So that when consumers search up “Plastic Surgery Toronto”, your website is the first to come up. If you can set up an appointment form on your website, even better. The easier it is for someone to interact with you online, the likelier they are to end up in your office.
2. It’s all about the Reviews:
Plastic surgery can be a touchy subject, and many patients that have gone through a plastic surgery operation are not strongly inclined to recommend you to their colleagues. Generally, patients won’t give a referral unless directly asked, but what they will do is leave a review for your business. Generally, these reviews are online, although the occasional patient may publish a review in a magazine or newspaper.
When a consumer is looking for a plastic surgeon, they’ll look at these reviews to determine whether they should contact your practice. Because the majority of reviews are online, you need to focus on building your online reputation.
A good example of a positioning online review on your website.
With websites such as WebMD and MedlinePlus, consumers feel more confident in looking to online information and reviews. They embody more trust into the internet, and that’s the main reason for why you should be focusing on it.
3. Informative Content:
When you market your practice online, you’re not just trying to sell to potential patients. When consumers look for services online, they don’t want to just be sold on something, but they also want to find detailed information. When your website is able to give them this information, they become much more trusting and are likelier to become your patients.
Think of it like this. Plastic surgery is a big step, possible life changing. It’s not the kind of thing that people just jump into; rather, they want to read about it first and understand how the process will be, what effects it will have, and what long term changes they’re going to see. By supplying them with all this information, you make them more comfortable with the idea of plastic surgery, pushing them closer and closer to the ‘sale’.
Remember, it’s about building trust and reputation.
PROTIP: Consider alternative content methods, such as photos, videos, and infographics. A huge number of people are visual learners, and having visual aids can push them in your direction. Before and after pictures, videos of the process, and infographics of possible side effects are all great ways to deliver informative content in a new and exciting way.
4. Building your Brand:
This is similar to the point about gathering positive reviews but is different at the same time. Reviews are a great way to build your brand reputation, but they’re not the only way! Consider the things that matter most to patients:
- Well priced/Covered by Healthcare
- Technologically/Medically Advanced
Your online marketing campaign should address all these points in detail, so that the consumer has no questions left after they finish viewing your information. Although it’s in your best interest to fulfill all of these criteria, don’t fret it if you don’t. For example, if you’re on the higher end of the pricing scale, all you have to do is explain why your pricing is the way it is, and why you offer immense value for it. If you’ve suffered from some bad reviews, reach out to the patients that wrote them, and see if you can address whatever problems they had.
5. Mobile Matters for Everyone:
Mobile has grown into one of the biggest markets of the Twenty-First Century, making it a prime target for online marketing. In fact, mobile has nearly as high a conversion rate as desktop, with Google estimating that most searches are done through mobile. (Source) This means that if you’re not marketing on mobile, then you’re losing out. Plain and simple.
Mobile embodies two marketing options, especially for plastic surgeons. They’re organic results and local results. Organic are the search listings that direct to your website, while local listings would show your phone number, address, and so on. It’s important to have relevant information visible for both, requiring both SEO and Local optimization.
In the modern age, being mobile means being relevant.
Plastic surgery is no different than any other industry when it comes to marketing. More and more businesses are moving to online and digital marketing, and they’re seeing immense success through their efforts. It’s gotten to the point where if you’re not online, your business will suffer!
So what are you waiting for? Start growing your plastic surgery practice, and go digital today!