Are You Making the Most of Your Social Media Presence?
For the most part, social media is a fairly simple way to grow and keep an audience and patients. Done right, regular posts to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other platforms can have a huge reach with relatively little effort on your end. But to really make social media work for you, it’s not quite as hands-off as you might think.
Effective social media requires attention to detail. To make your posts go the distance and grow your audience, you need to stay involved after you hit “post.” Focused engagement on your part can go a long way to keeping patients aware of, interested in, and loyal to your vein practice.
Here are few tips to succeed in social media…
- Stay active. You don’t just want to be present on social media, you want to be a presence. This means making sure you’re active enough to stay in the game. You don’t need to bombard your followers with posts, but make sure you’re pushing enough out there to stay part of the conversation. An ideal frequency is two or three posts a week.
- Acknowledge “likes” with “likes” and “follows” with “follows.” This is social media, after all, so keep it social. Just as you return a wave or hello on the street, return any social media engagement. It’s part of being part of the game and building your network.
- What are people talking about? Keep social media a two-way conversation. Don’t simply push out links and statements about your services and qualifications — pay attention to other conversations relevant to your practice and join these discussions.
- Find your voice and keep it focused. Part of building your social media presence and growing your vein practice is establishing yourself or your practice as an expert in vein disease. To do so, keep your activity mostly focused on how you want to be recognized. As a phlebologist, for example, who wants to build your reputation as a vascular specialist, try to keep much of your activity focused on vein disease and treatment options. You can add in other appropriate topics and fun engagement, such as community or charity events, here and there, but make sure anyone who visits your profile will come away with a clear understanding of who you are.
SEO Essentials For Medical Practices
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of optimizing your website and is key to expanding your existing patient base. In the medical field, SEO can play a big part in making a patient choose your website over your competitors. It is important to have an SEO strategy so that you can get past your competitors.
Listed below are a few essentials you need to consider when optimizing your website…
- Choose The Right Keywords. Keywords drive SEO so it is important to choose the right ones. Make a list of all the vein disease and treatment option keywords that your practice could be associated with and find out which ones are searched for the most by using tools like Google Keyword Planner.
- Content Is King. Most people that use search engines are looking for answers. If you can create top-quality, original content then you can show them that you are experienced and know what you’re talking about. Instead of writing repetitive material everyday, write 2 or 3 short posts each week that are interesting and to the point. Decide topics by thinking of frequent questions that your patients ask you.
- Title Tags and Meta Description. Title Tags and Meta Descriptions are the way your website shows up in a Google search. This directly affects the views that you get, so make sure that you get to the point and be creative. If your patients are intrigued by your title tag and description, they’re more likely to pick to your site even if a competitors site ranks higher.
- Use Social Media. Social media marketing is a must for the medical field. It is the most effective way to reach your patient audience and promote your clinical expertise. Sign up for Facebook and Twitter and use these mediums wisely. Interacting with current and prospective patients makes you more approachable.
Why A Strong Online Reputation Has Become Important For Doctors!
It is vital for a medical practice to have a good reputation. Patients seek treatment with a doctor / medical practice that has a positive reputation in the community. However, today, your clinical reputation is almost synonymous with your online reputation. Nowadays, when a patient requires medical care, they may start their search for treatment options online, and after conducting multiple searches, select a doctor or practice. What influences their decision? Both search rankings and reviews. In other words, it relies on online reputation. Clearly, it is not something to be neglected as it affects every business, especially medical practices.
Managing Your Online Reputation…
- List your practice on appropriate sites. There are a number of sites available where you can list your practice. You should, first, obtain a Google+ page. Then, list your practice in sites catering to your geographical area and your particular niche. Also, list your practice on general review sites like Yelp, as well as social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
- Obtain reviews. Ask your patients to leave reviews for your practice if you feel they are please with the care provided. You should inform them of their various choices. You can make it easier by putting up links to various review sites on your website. You can also direct patients to your Facebook page.
- Reply to reviews. It is not enough to get reviews, you should also reply to them. Just a thank you reply for good reviews will suffice. For negative ones, you have to do more. You should try to get the reviewer to convert his/her review to a positive one. Contact them and find out how you can repair the relationship and turn them into a happy patient.
- Implement SEO practices. Search rankings play as important a role as reviews when it comes to your practice’s reputation. They are, in fact, interconnected. It is not good to neglect either of them. Implementing good SEO techniques will help your site, and your practice in turn by making it more visible online. It will allow you to draw in more patients and get more reviews that can improve your reputation.
Turning Website Viewers Into Patients
Sometimes medical practices don’t understand why they can see a reported increase in traffic to their website without an increase in their patient-base. There are many reasons why individuals visiting medical practice websites leave the page and move on to something else, but sometimes it’s as simple as poor design. The face of the Internet is always transforming, think of how many times Facebook has changed its layout in the past few years. It’s important to redesign your web page(s) to keep your site cutting edge for representing your medical practice.
Possible reasons why visitors to your site may not be turning into patients:
- Your website is dated. Aesthetic design is essential to website traffic. If your website isn’t visually stimulating, well-designed and professional looking, visitors are likely to move on to something else. Websites must have attention-grabbing images, interactive drop-down menus, and working links. It’s also important that doctors view their website as a representation of their practice. Often your website is the first impression your clinical qualifications will be making on potential patients — so it should be a positive, lasting one!
- Clutter! If potential patients can’t find the information that they are looking for, they are likely to leave your website. It’s important that the navigation bar or center of your webpage is clear and appropriately organized. Also, your homepage should be full of the most important information such as your clinical experience, treatment options and contact information!
- Your website blends in. Make sure that visitors to your page will have seen or experienced something different than what many other medical webpages provide. Make sure your page is personalized! A great way to personalize your practice website is to include video physician introductions, video patient testimonials, photos of staff members and office photos.
- You don’t have a clear and concise call to action. A “call to action,” is a button on a website that tells a visitor what to do. For example, add a button to your website that says, “Schedule a Complimentary Vein Screening today!” or “Request an appointment today!”. Include what you want them to do and make sure you’re conveying a sense of urgency.
- Your website won’t load on a mobile device. More and more people are using their smart phones and tablets to surf the web or look up information. If your site isn’t mobile-compatible or reactionary, then individuals won’t be able to access your page and are less likely to access from a PC or laptop at a later time.
The Benefits of Adding Video To Your Web Site
Video optimization is becoming more important as a mainstream aspect of search engine optimization. It can be a great way for you to expose your practice and clinical qualifications to potential patients that otherwise would not have been familiar with your practice. Adding videos to your website can help you stand out amongst the competition and open up new avenues of exposure on the Internet.
What are the benefits in terms of traffic, visibility, etc.?
- Enhanced listing in search results. Not only can videos show up as text links alongside other web results, they can also be embedded into the search results. This means there is an opportunity to have the actual video presented to the user as a result of their normal Google search.
- Multiple listings for a given search. Having your site and multiple videos show up for the same search can allow you to potentially dominate the search results.
- Additional sources of traffic & exposure. Submitting videos to portals like YouTube allow you additional exposure that you wouldn’t receive otherwise by not only allowing their visitors to view your video and see your message, but additionally linking to your practice’s site to receive further information.
What are the other benefits of video?
- Dynamic Presentation. They provide an unbeatable introduction to who you are and what you do. Add life to your website by inserting video amongst the static text!
- Establish a “Comfort Level” with a Prospective Patient. When a potential patient views a video on your website, it helps them establish a personal connection with you and your practice without ever even meeting you. This helps you establish credibility and makes it easier for you to gain that potential patient’s trust during a consultation.
- Enhances User Experience. Videos are proven to dramatically increase the average time a user spends on a given website. The longer you have a captive audience, the better chance you have of them becoming a patient.
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