Above all the points that you’ve read here, the key factor of whether or not your practice is a success all comes down to your patients. Are they happy with your service? Will they come again? Will they recommend their friends and family? It’s important to offer your patients exactly what you suggest with your brand and market positioning – however before you can get to this stage, you first need to get people coming in through the door.
So how do patients find you?
Your marketing strategy, like most things, will depend on your location and your target demographic. What kind of advertising material do they respond to, where do they pass time and what messages attract them?
To advertise your business, think about amenities that are local to your practice; perhaps you can advertise through cafes, in school newsletters, sports clubs, and even local newspapers. This is always good to cover, however traditional marketing is becoming more expensive and less effective.
If you are in a prominent position for foot traffic, you can expect a small percentage of your patients to discover your clinic that way. However in this day-and-age there is really only one other channel to connect you to your patients and you simply must optimise this to maximise your chances of success: the internet.
The worldwide web is your friend and you need to give it the attention and respect that it deserves.
These days patients will usually explore an average of 3 medical practices online before making their purchasing decision and paying you a visit.
To attract these patients, you need to be highly visible and professional online. So how do you leverage this wonderful technology to your advantage?
Build a Great Website
This is your modern day brochure and usually the first impression that your customers will have of you. The cost of a building a website can range greatly, however, it is the aesthetic, functionality and content that are key to its usefulness. Check out our comprehensive beginner’s guide to creating your own practice website.
Invest in Professional Photography for Your Site
Consider your target market and your brand and market positioning. If you are starting a high tier practice, the photos should highlight the environment you are creating; if you are targeting families, include photographs of families visiting your practice. This way prospective patients can immediately see if this is the kind of practice they would like to go to.
If you’re looking for an easy and cost effective professional practice website, we can build you a bespoke website tailored specifically for the healthcare industry and your business needs.
Get Your Website Seen
You may have heard the terms Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) across your research. These terms describe the various free vs paid processes of increasing your practice visibility online when patients are searching for GPs, and is an important element of your online marketing.
Your IT contractor, web developer, marketing, or branding contractors may be able to assist you with implementing an effective SEM and SEO strategy. Keep in mind, the majority of new patients will search online for a new GP before looking to any other resource, so it’s important to work on this approach.
Alternatively you can partner with Australia’s Number #1 Medical Search Engine, HealthEngine. We can completely manage your SEM for you – and do it cost effectively. Learn more about how HealthEngine can help with your Google search activity.
Get Reviews For Your Practice Online
There are many platforms that offer the ability for customers to review businesses. If your staff notice happy patients at your practice, it will be valuable to them to ask politely for some reviews on Facebook or Google, especially if you are just starting out. 70% of new patients trust reviews over advertising, so if you can gain some positive reviews of your practice you will be another step ahead at attracting new patients.
Use an Online Booking System
These days we are all making a high percentage of our purchases for goods and services online, whether it’s accessing music or booking a restaurant. Healthcare is no different, and increasingly it is becoming absolutely necessary that your patients can schedule an appointment whenever it suits them to do so, day or night.
An online booking system is a wonderful tool for both you and your patients as it enables the transparent identification of available appointments with a practitioner of their choice 24/7 and can be booked without the time, cost and effort of your staff.
Now that you’re equipped with knowledge (and hopefully you’ve already started your planning), it’s time to move on to collecting everything you need for your Business Plan.