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Tag Archives: Practice

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Brand Your Healthcare Practice

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Brand Your Healthcare Practice

Even if advertising isn’t your specialty, you can probably conjure up in your mind a variety of brands that you recognize and personal associations to go with them. Branding for your healthcare practice is similar in that your brand is what sets you apart from everyone else in your field. Your brand is your identity, which is solidified by how patients perceive and experience your services. Ultimately, it’s what comes to patients’ minds when they hear your name.

Branding your practice isn’t just about coming up with an amazing logo, business card and website. While those all play a part in sculpting your image, so does cultivating a friendly and caring environment, training your staff on cohesive patient/employee communication skills and remaining flexible and professional. But why does creating a brand for your practice matter so much?

Here are the top six reasons why you need to invest in branding your healthcare practice:

1. Gain a positive reputation. Top-notch customer service, scheduling flexibility and a friendly, clean and caring environment are all part of your branded image. When you excel in these areas, you’ll gain an amazing reputation for your practice in the community… which will be reflected in reviews patients write about your practice on sites like Yelp and Healthgrades.

2. Establish yourself as a specialist. Which procedure or condition that you treat brings in the greatest return on investment? Market to that specialty. When you target your marketing in this way, you position yourself to drum up more business in that arena and also make a name for yourself as the provider of choice for that service.

3. Build staff morale. When you create a reputable brand for your medical practice, your staff will take pride in that. You may also find a greater number of applicants coming your way because you’ll also establish a reputation for your practice as a great place to work!

4. Establish credibility and trust. The more your name gets out in the community with positive associations, whether they’re built around the caliber of your treatment or your commitment to customer loyalty, both current and potential patients will be willing to put their care in your trusting hands. News like that gets around fast!

5. Increase referrals. A well-branded medical practice with satisfied customers will gain you more referrals. Plus, other physicians will be happy to refer their patients to you when you prove your worth in the local medical community. Sometimes, even, if your specialty is hard to come by, your referrals may filter in from a greater regional area.

6. Boost your bottom line. You’re in the profession to help people, but from the business aspect you need to remain profitable. If your practice is the type whose services aren’t covered under most insurance programs, like plastic surgery, your patients generally pay out of pocket. They are more apt to do that with a well-branded office that has established credibility, trust and a positive reputation.

Not sure where to start when it comes to branding? Make sure you do it right. Contact us at info@practicebuilders.com or 800-679-1200 to sign up for a free marketing consult with our Practice Builder experts, and we’ll get started!

Medical Healthcare Marketing

6 Ways to Promote Your Practice Around the Holidays

6 Ways to Promote Your Practice Around the Holidays

Many healthcare practices see a lull in business around the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit around and wait for things to pick back up. The holiday season is a perfect opportunity to send well-wishes to your patients, show a personal side to your healthcare practice and boost your bottom line. Here are six holiday marketing tips for your healthcare practice that will engage recurring patients and attract new ones:

1. Hold a charity drive. Collect canned food, toys or donations in exchange for a discount on a product or service. Or, give a portion of your proceeds from a specific service to a local charity. This idea truly benefits everyone involved: Your patients will help those in need, and you’ll increase awareness about your healthcare practice.

2. Send out a colorful holiday email. Email marketing is proven to be one of the best ways to market products and services, and the holiday season is a great time to remind patients of all your practice has to offer. Don’t forget a festive email template to grab reader’s attention! You can also include holiday stories from your staff for an added personal touch.

3. Create a holiday-themed social media contest. On your social media sites, ask patients to post holiday pictures with a theme. For example, you could ask them to post festive pictures with their pets or pictures that show them celebrating the holiday in a healthy way. Then have your staff vote on their favorite, and offer a small gift or service to the winner. This will help you engage with your current patients while also encouraging potential patients to participate.

4. Revamp your website with holiday-themed logos and pictures. A festive logo will spread holiday cheer and help you connect with your patients. To update your logo, you may need the help of a graphic designer, who has a creative eye; the holiday logo should be festive, yet also maintain the look of the original so it’s easy to recognize. Take it a step further and add holiday themes and photos to your social media pages, as well.

5. Send out holiday cards. This is a tangible way to keep your practice top-of-mind for your patients and show them you care. Make it even more personal with a hand-written message and signature. Just make sure to avoid cards that are religious or mention a specific holiday – you want to make sure all your patients feel included in your well-wishes.

6. Write a holiday-themed blog post (or a series of them!). If your healthcare practice has a blog, this is the perfect time to write a series of posts that pertain to the season. Topics may include ways to stay healthy around the holidays, how to deal with holiday stress, healthy holiday recipes and more. These posts will be a helpful resource to your patients and can help drive traffic to your website.

CTA: Need help developing a holiday promotion that will skyrocket your business? Sign up for a FREE marketing consultation with us and we’ll create a plan of action for you! Call PB at 855.898.2710 or email at info@practicebuilders.com.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

How to Make SEO Work for Your Dental Practice

How to Make SEO Work for Your Dental Practice

For your dental practice to succeed, you want to ensure you’re attracting new patients to your practice. But in the age of the Internet and an ever-expanding online market, it may feel like a challenge.

While there is a surge of competition in the online market, there are steps you can take to ensure your practice attracts new patients. When it comes to the online market, your best bet is to employ SEO, or search engine optimization.

Whether this is the first time you’ve heard of SEO or you’re looking for fresh strategies for your dental practice, we’ve put together a guide on SEO for dentists.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is an Internet marketing technique that considers what keyword terms and phrases a target audience would use to raise how your website ranks on search engine sites like Google, Yahoo and Bing. The higher you rank on a search engine results page, the more website visitors you get, which increases your chances of converting those visitors to patients.

SEO has evolved in recent years beyond keywords and phrases. While those are still important, it’s just as important to ensure that your website is easy-to-use and up-to-date with the current online trends. Here are some ways you can help ensure your SEO marketing strategy is in line with the current SEO trends:

Keep It Local

To attract potential patients, your SEO efforts should also be focused on your local area. Using keywords throughout your site that include “dental practice” and your location will help patients in your area find you on Google. It’s also important to ensure that you have correct and up-to-date listings in local online directories.

Optimize Everything

It’s important to ensure that you have as much of your website optimized as possible. This can be done in a variety of ways. Start by ensuring that all the services you offer are listed on your dental practice’s website; that way, you can make sure you reach potential patients looking for specific dental services. Each page of your website should include a description that you can pepper with keywords and phrases. You should also make sure that your page headings, titles and permalinks contain target keywords. The more you optimize, the more opportunities you have to include all the keywords and phrases you need to attract the patients you want.

Consider Patient Needs

If you’re still having a hard time thinking about what SEO keywords to use, think about what your patients want and need. If you’re still at a loss, put yourself in your patient’s shoes – what terms would you use if you were looking for a dental practice in your area?

Another way to use SEO is to answer questions your patients may have. Creating a blog for your dental practice will help you answer patient questions, whether they’re about specific dental procedures or common dental pains.

Keep Your Website Fast

SEO isn’t just about keywords – it’s also important that your site functions properly to ensure you have a good SEO ranking. Search engine Google uses site speed as an algorithm signal to rank pages. Make sure your website and mobile site have fast loading times to keep your SEO ranking high.

Add Links

Another way to increase your SEO ranking is to add links to your website. You can do this two ways: Link to other pages of your website on your site or link to other websites and articles throughout your site to help your SEO ranking.

Update When Needed

Always make sure to update your website as needed. Adding fresh content to your website helps increase the number of times a search engine indexes your website. The more you update, the more frequently search engines reassess your site’s position on its index, giving you the opportunity to have a higher ranking.

Make Sure Your Mobile Site Has SEO, Too

Don’t forget about mobile devices! Mobile sites are indexed separately from desktop websites for SEO. By optimizing your mobile site, you get twice the SOE optimization opportunities.

Like anything trendy, SEO trends change and evolve over time – sometimes in as little as a few months. To stay current with your SEO marketing strategies, consider using the services of a dental marketing company like Practice Builders. We can assess your online SEO strategies and suggest changes so you can make the most out of your marketing techniques. Visit our website to book a complimentary general dentistry marketing consultation. We’re here to help!

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Is Email Marketing Right for Your Healthcare Practice?

Is Email Marketing Right for Your Healthcare Practice?

The good news is email marketing is effective – really effective. According to Mawazo.ca, email marketing is 40% more effective than Facebook or Twitter. Before you integrate email into your healthcare marketing plan, however, there are some factors you should consider.

What makes email different than other online marketing forms is the fact that it is directly delivered to your target audience. Where social media and the sea that is the Internet at large are filled with unwanted advertisements and blasts, email is a place of relative quiet where (ideally) only the people you’ve invited can reach you. That is its main advantage, but it also means you need to be responsible with that privilege. In short, you need a plan before you begin.

To think through if email marketing is right for your healthcare practice, ask yourself a couple of questions:

-Do you have content your base wants?

To justify showing up and to earn your patients’ trust to continue showing up in their inboxes, think about what’s in it for them. If your email marketing is only to ask them for something or remind them to come visit, your patients will likely just trash your emails and unsubscribe. Think about what content or offers you can provide for your patients via your email marketing. For instance, offer patients 20% off glasses frames or your professional tips for maintaining healthy eating habits in the busy back-to-school season.

-Can you deliver it consistently?

Email marketing campaigns are most successful when the emails are delivered on a consistent basis. It could be once a month, once every two weeks – as long as it is consistent enough that your patients know to expect it. If you wait too long, patients may forget they signed up for your email list and unsubscribe.

If you answered “Yes” to both these questions, then you will need to put some things in place to launch your practice’s email marketing campaign. You will need:

-A good email list

Gather email addresses by asking patients to opt-in when they visit your practice and your site. Here your work from before will pay off: When you ask patients for their email address, tell them something specific about what you plan to do with it.

-Good content and design

You can plan out your emails in advance. Again, make sure you are considering your patients’ point of view and be sure you are providing them something valuable. To make sure your emails are not doomed to be unread or trashed, you will need an enticing subject line and more than just a block of text. Give your email a colorful banner or design. You do have to make sure you include information on how patients can unsubscribe, but make your email so worthwhile and engaging that they won’t want to.

If you’re ready to learn more about adding email to your healthcare marketing strategy, we would be happy to help you get it off the ground. Email info@practicebuilders.com.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Best Tips for Writing Emails to Market Your Healthcare Practice

Best Tips for Writing Emails to Market Your Healthcare Practice

Email marketing allows you to communicate directly with your patients, so don’t let the opportunity go to waste. Once you have email addresses and a strategy for an email campaign, here are some important aspects to keep in mind as you craft the actual emails. Let’s look at each component of an email and what to keep in mind for each part.

Subject line: This is the first thing your patients will see in their inboxes, so make sure it’s enticing enough that they will actually open it. A good subject line should pique interest and do so concisely enough that it will all show up on a mobile device. You can use numbers, “5 Things Every Parent Should Know for Flu Season” or create a sense of urgency, “Limited time only: 20% off sunglasses.”

Preview text: Keep in mind the beginning of your email may also appear as the preview text. Frontload your email’s text with the information or call to action you want to be sure your patients immediately see.

Sender email address: Make sure this is a recognizable email address with your healthcare practice’s name prominent in the address. This will help patients know it’s you and so increase your chances of actually having the email opened and read rather than trashed.

Email design: You want your email to look more interesting than a plain block of text but also avoid being overwhelming to your patients. Incorporate a clean design that prominently features your logo. This will make your email look more inviting and also help your patients recognize it’s you.

Email text: Use an inverted pyramid approach, meaning you should structure your email so that your copy grabs attention at the beginning, then builds anticipation in the middle and ends with a strong call to action. Throughout, put important information in bold. Don’t overdo it; just bold the text that you don’t want your patients to miss.

Call-to-action buttons: Make responding to your call to action even easier for your patients by creating a button they can simply click. For instance, if your call to action is to remind your patients to book an appointment, then a button reading “Book Your Appointment Today” can take them straight to your site where they can do just that. The call to action could also be as simple as “Follow Our Blog” and the button can take them to your blog.

Drafting and testing: Make sure you proofread your email well before you send it out. You should also beta-test one (send the email to a few staff members first) to make sure everything appears appropriately and iron out any glitches.

After you send: Keep track of various factors like which type of subject lines worked and what time of day works best by using analytics.

We can help you get started with your healthcare practice’s email marketing campaign today. Email us at info@practicebuilders.com.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

How to Respond to Negative Reviews of Your Practice

How to Respond to Negative Reviews of Your Practice

Online reviews are part of the decision-making process for many patients. When patients are looking for a doctor or medical service nearby, they will look you up on review sites like Yelp, Healthgrades and Google+ and see what your current patients have to say to inform their decision. While you cannot control what your patients say (though you can do your best to make their experience with your practice as positive as possible), you can control how you respond. When a patient leaves a negative online review of your medical practice, look at it as an opportunity to show that you are open to feedback and can be trusted to remain professional. Here are some ways you can accomplish this in your response – without violating HIPAA.

Hear Them Out. It may sound obvious, but before you respond, you need to read the review. Show in your response that you have read their review and understand their complaint. An important word of caution, though: Even though the patient may divulge something about their specific medical situation, that doesn’t mean you can in your response. Since you can’t get too specific online, offer a way for the patient to contact you privately by listing your phone number or email address. Your prospective patients will see that you were concerned enough to respond, won’t violate privacy and are willing to address the issue.

Be Courteous and Concise. Even if your disgruntled patients’ reviews seems totally ungrounded, keep in mind that they still visited your practice and took the time to let you know about it. Thank them for the feedback. If there is part of the experience you can comment on, like the wait times, you could reply with something that acknowledges the inconvenience but reaffirms your commitment to your patients. For instance, “We’re sorry you had to wait. We do our best to respect our patients in the waiting room as well as in the examination room.” If it relates to your actual treatment, however, do not apologize for legal reasons. Once again, invite private conversation. Keep your response concise so you don’t appear defensive.

Time Is of the Essence. A prompt reply will show your concern and your patients will appreciate knowing sooner rather than later that they’ve been heard. If the negative review has you upset, do not respond out of anger. Work it out by privately writing what you wish you could say, then move on to what you will actually say. You may need to take a day or two to calm down. If you’re really worked up, ask someone else you trust to read the response before you post.

We know it can be difficult for doctors to manage their online reputation, especially given legal and privacy constraints. We’re here to help. Email info@practicebuilders.com to partner and create a stellar online reputation!

Medical Healthcare Marketing

SEO: What it is and why it matters for your medical practice.

SEO: What it is and why it matters for your medical practice.

SEO, or search engine optimization, can sound intimidating for doctors and medical practices, but it doesn’t need to be. Patients’ first instinct for finding information, including what doctor or medical practice to visit, is to go online. If you want to increase your revenue by attracting new patients and engaging your current ones, then you need to pay attention to SEO. A strong SEO game will help patients see you first online.

What Exactly is SEO?

Here’s the bottom line for SEO: It’s how people find you through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. If you incorporate the keywords on your practice website that patients tend to type into their search bar, then your site will show up on the results page. The closer the match between your page’s content, particularly those keywords, and the search terms a patient enters, the better.

Simple Steps to Get Started

1. Find relevant keywords. Think about your patients, what they are looking for and what they would type into the search bar. It may be helpful to ask yourself: What do most of your patients come to you for? What types of questions do your patients frequently ask you? You can also use Google’s free Keyword Planner to help you find common search terms. This should help you focus in on keywords to use throughout your site.

2. Develop content. When patients search online, they are looking for helpful information. One way you can give patients helpful information is in the form of a blog on your site where you use your keywords from step 1 above. For instance, if you are a dermatologist, your page should provide information on topics your patients will find useful, like acne treatment or eczema. Blogs increase your opportunities to provide information, use your keywords and, in turn, increase your site’s chance of popping up in your patients’ searches.

Things to Remember

As you improve your SEO game, keep these concepts in mind:

1. Search engines and search engine result rankings are ever-changing. This means you can’t go on autopilot with your SEO efforts, and you shouldn’t get too hung-up on where you rank at all times. Stay up-to-date on the topics patients are searching, but don’t obsess about making sure your practice comes up first with every single search engine.

2. Content takes the cake. SEO for doctors does require strategy, but it is just a way to help patients find you online. It does not replace relevant, quality content on your website; it just helps patients find your practice, read your content and contact you for more information.

We know SEO can be confusing. But when done correctly, SEO really does increase your revenue. For customized help with SEO, email us at info@practicebuilders.com.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

How to create a social media calendar for marketing your healthcare practice

How to create a social media calendar for marketing your healthcare practice

When you run an active healthcare practice, it might seem impossible to keep up with the demands of an active social media slate at the same time. How do you generate enough new posts every week to remind the world of your work?

That’s where a social media calendar comes in. It can be a saving grace for a busy practice, helping to lay out a road map for months worth of content. Best of all, it can radically reduce the amount of time you spend on social media while radically raising its effectiveness. Below are a few tips for creating a social media calendar to help market your healthcare practice:

  • 1. Identify your networks. Quality matters more than quantity, so pick a few social media networks to really focus your attention on. Use a visual icon to identify each network on your calendar, and you’ll be able to see when you’ve over-posted or under-posted to one of them. Keep in mind that some networks demand more frequency than others; experts recommend posting at least five times a day on Twitter, while Facebook can thrive with as few as three posts a week.
  • 2. Create or mine your content. Decide on the content you want to post, and make a plan to get it! If you’re linking to a blog post on your website, make sure that your calendar includes a reminder to assign a writer to create that post in advance. If you have special events or deals to offer your patients, be sure to spread the word several times across your networks well in advance of the date. If you want to share images, be sure to assign a staff member as designer or photographer. And if you’re sharing health-related content from other sources, be sure to identify the system – such as Google Alerts – you’ll use to mine that content.
  • 3. Humanize your content calendar. Content comes not just from within your practice but from outside it, as well. Search for important healthcare dates, such as National Nurses Week, updates on MACRA, even staff birthdays, and put them on your calendar to be posted. Human touches light up your social media presence.
  • 4. Use your calendar as an analytics tool after the fact. Calendars aren’t just for looking forward! Mark what kinds of post generated the most views, interactions and shares, and use that information to design next month’s content and posting frequency.

With this detailed social media calendar saving you time and work, effective social media marketing is easier than you think. You’ll see the direct benefits when your online interactions help to bring new patients in the door.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Why Online Content Is Important for Marketing Your Healthcare Practice

Why Online Content Is Important for Marketing Your Healthcare Practice

Do you have a content strategy in place for your healthcare practice? Even in 2016, content still ranks high as an effective healthcare marketing strategy. If you’re looking for ways to use content to draw potential patients to your website, here are the main benefits that original content can provide your site:

Keep Your Audience Engaged

Developing your own content, whether it’s a blog post or an online video, will help keep your audience engaged when they visit your site. Providing original content allows you to showcase your expertise and cover the specific topics that your patients are interested in. It also gives you the opportunity to create posts that your competition doesn’t have, potentially increasing your ranking on search engines because of your unique content.

Content Matters for SEO

In 2016, content matters even more toward your SEO standing. Google has changed its algorithms to include bounce-back rates. If your audience doesn’t find what they’re looking for on your site and goes back to the search engine results, it will negatively affect your SEO ranking. Original content on your site will help answer queries from potential patients so they can find what they’re looking for on your site.

Link-Building Opportunities

It’s actually okay to reference other articles and data in your own content – provided you give credit where it’s due, of course. Linking to other articles on your practice’s website can also help your SEO ranking through link-building. Link-building can help increase your SEO ranking as long as it’s natural and relevant. Learn more about link-building for SEO here.

Increase Your Social Media Presence

You may not go viral, but creating your own content gives you the opportunity to increase your profile on social media. Original and unique content can potentially get more shares or retweets from your followers than repeated content can.

Do you want to increase your current original content creation output? Are you not sure where to start? We can help! Contact one of our healthcare marketing consultants today at 800.679.1262 or info@practicebuilders.com for more information on how to develop original content for your healthcare practice.

Medical Healthcare Marketing

Why a Custom Website for Your Healthcare Practice Is Essential

Why-a-Custom-Website-for-Your-Healthcare-Practice-Is-EssentialBIG

Having a website is the most important first step in healthcare Internet marketing. But did you know that having a custom website is just as important? With website trends growing and changing every year, a customized website gives you the freedom to capitalize on those trends and attract more potential patients to your healthcare practice. Here are some other benefits of having a customized website:

More Control Over Your Design

As briefly mentioned above, having your own website means that you can enhance your medical website design as you see fit to stay on top of new Internet marketing trends. Staying on top of new trends allows you to keep your website fresh and engaging, SEO optimized, and will also keep you ahead of the competition in your area.

It also gives you the opportunity to make your site easier to navigate than if you had to rely on existing templates that can’t be changed. Customizing your website and its design will also allow you to ensure that you get a site that meets your needs and the needs of your patients.

Stay On Brand

Customizing the website for your healthcare practice allow you to keep it in line with the brand identity you’ve created for your medical or dental practice. From using customized colors to adding a logo and other content, your own website gives you the opportunity to create your brand and market it effectively online.

More Available Support

If there’s an issue with your site, it’s easy to be able to reach out to the web designer and get support for a customized site. Having a person or organization to rely on when your website has problems will help keep it running smoothly so it won’t negatively affect user experience. If you need to make important changes to your site, like adding a new address or phone number, it’s easier and quick to do with a customized website that has the technical support you need.

At Practice Builders, we provide our clients with customized websites and technical support to help them effectively market their practice online. If you want to enhance or customize your website, contact one of our experienced healthcare marketing consultants today at info@practicebuilders.com. We’re happy to help!

Medical Healthcare Marketing