Local Search Marketing for Healthcare Practices in 2020
What Is Local Search Marketing?
When was the last time you looked something up on Google and devoured some information that led you to discover a new brand? Local Search Marketing isn’t too far from this phenomenon. Essentially, Local Search Marketing is anything you do online that helps promote and market your business within the immediate area you serve. For local businesses, Local Search Marketing helps drive new customer acquisitions and helps retain business. The ultimate outcome will shape your business or product into a brand that people will recognize.
The importance of NAP Consistency
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. NAP Consistency is crucial to the credibility of your business and influences new patient acquisition and retention.NAP Consistency means that on every business listing your information is the same. For example, your telephone number, address, and business name needs to be the exact same everywhere it is listed. Local businesses and healthcare practices should make this a top priority and pay close attention to all of their business listings over the internet. If your business lacks NAP Consistency, you risk creating distrust among your patients and developing a reputation for unreliable service with incorrect information. It is important that your business remains diligent about NAP Consistency to achieve long term growth and success. If you’re interested in learning more about NAP Consistency and its impact on local marketing, check out this earlier article from our blog.
The power of direct mail
Staying relevant in your local market can be tricky, but if you utilize the proper marketing tactics, you will be able to hold onto your business’s market share. Direct mailers are a great way to stay relevant and appeal to those who may not be as tech savvy as you are. While digital marketing tactics resonate well with millennials, older generations who are not frequently surfing the web for information might find it difficult to learn about your business. Direct mail gives you an opportunity to learn more about the local demographic and will help you gauge which local outreach tactics work. Direct mailers will potentially drive new traffic to your website and social media pages. It also directly and boldly engages your audience without any clicks or landing pages. This old fashion marketing strategy is still relevant, and as long as the mail truck keeps coming, you might as well take advantage of it.
Your brand image is always being threatened somehow. Whether it is due to a competitor who is feeding off of you, or by your poor strategic choices, you must always cradle your brand as the delicate entity that it is. A great way to gauge how well perceived your brand is through reviews. Reviews will give you honest indications into the areas where there might be some opportunity for improvement, and also help you validate your business with potential new customers. For example, before most people make an Amazon purchase, they scroll down to the reviews section below to see what others thought of the product. The same applies to healthcare practices. Prospective patients feed off of the opinions of existing patients. In order to become the #1 dentist or doctor in your town, make sure your reviews are accurate and depict the virtues of your business in an appropriate way. It is also important that your new patients see that you’re taking their feedback well. Respond to their poor reviews and show how you’re making the necessary changes to keep their patronage.
The importance of site optimization
Site optimization is a crucial factor. Search engine optimization is your best friend if you utilize it properly. Simply put, the goal of your SEO efforts is to increase your organic presence through technical and creative means. For example, ramping up your business’s creative abilities to be discoverable to more patients online. This stems from high-quality blog posts, videos, and image content. On the technical side, look for keywords and associations that are related to your target areas or audience. For local businesses, geography is a critical factor to make your surrounding target demographic notice you. All local businesses must include information relevant to the surrounding cities and small towns they are attempting to earn business from.
Solid web presence
This also applies to your website. The quality of your site determines where you show up on a search engine. Google’s job is to show users the most relevant, useful, and quality content on the internet. Google looks at factors including loading speed, site structure, mobile optimization, high-quality content, general usability, and the quality of your site’s overall UX (user experience). Your website is your best advertisement and the gateway to your brand experience. Never cut corners on quality, and make sure you are aware of the basic factors that determine what makes a quality website.
Why should my business worry about publishing content?
There is a common misconception that once you start a business, you have a brand. Brands don’t come with businesses in the same fashion that toys come in cereal boxes. Healthcare practices have to work on their brand image and build a solid foundation with their demographic to survive in the digital world. This misconception has hurt adolescent businesses time and time again. It is important to understand that brands live solely in the minds of consumers and without fostering a real relationship with them, your business will be at a loss. Brands are built through real connections with customers and by engaging them with useful information in the form of video, blogs, and image content. This is called “content marketing” and it exists to keep your business brand relevant.
Content marketing falls under a marketing category formerly called ‘Publishing Strategy.” Once your healthcare business goes live on the internet, you are immediately considered a “publisher.” This is extremely beneficial and essential to the growth of your business. Consumers are all over search engines and this is where your business can grow. For local businesses, this is an essential key to driving new business to your door and retaining customers in the long term. This is why good local SEO can build a strong base of information pertaining to your business and create a vast array of information that consumers can use to benefit from, while they are made aware of your brand.
The power of content
Content has the ability to build trust with consumers and prospective patients. By producing relevant information, consumers will be more likely to use your services because they’ve been exposed to your expertise. For medical practices, it is crucial that your patients build trust with you. Especially when you’re looking to acquire new business and grow your practice, there is no better way to promote your business than by publishing relevant blog posts around treatments/procedures and a steady stream of useful content to make people aware of who you are and what areas you specialize in. There is also the element of competition here. Say you post a more insightful, thoughtful, and factually correct piece than your competitor, it is more likely potential new patients will go with you instead. If you do this continually, you have the potential to dominate the local market.
Always strive to publish well written, professional content that gives you an edge on your competitors. And in the digital age when everyone is publishing useful content, it is crucial that your business jumps on the bandwagon. Businesses thrive when they utilize all different types of content marketing. While blog posts might foster credibility with your brand, you also need to make sure you’re focusing on humanizing what you do. In the age of social media, high-resolution photographs and a well-curated social media account can continually help you engage with consumers. It is important that you maintain a level of quality in all of the content you publish online. For example, never post a low-resolution photograph on Instagram or a caption with typos. The content you produce reflects the business you run and it is important to view every piece of content as a small participle of your overall brand image.
Social media and relevance
While social media is a great tool to utilize for the sake of relevance, try not to over post or publish controversial content. Remain neutral on political issues and other sensitive topics to avoid alienating new potential business. It is important to view your brand as a network of many different parts. These can be broken down into four relative components: content, relevance, product, and perception. The consumer holds the brush that will ultimately paint who you are in their own mind. Each piece of content is another brush stroke on the canvas. If the completed portrait is a flattering one, the consumer gives you their business.
GrowthPlug is a Silicon Valley startup rapidly growing and changing the way today’s healthcare practices acquire and retain new patients. Over the years, we have helped hundreds of healthcare practices across the United States who rely on us daily to evolve. Our innovative approach to growth distinguishes us as a team of partners dedicated to helping you grow. We believe in fostering a relationship of continual growth with our clients and depend on teamwork as the antidote for success. We pride ourselves on our customer focused approach, and are always eager to meet new challenges with enthusiasm. Looking to grow your healthcare practice? Reach out to us today and learn more about our healthcare SaaS.