As a result of Google’s recent developments, more and more dentists and medical practices are using the online channel to get found by potential customers and to get more appointments. Customers are also increasingly trying to use a faster way to booking specialist visits.
There are many opportunities for dentists and medical practices. To be successful, you need to develop a precise lead generation strategy that allows the different channels to push towards a clear andprecise goal: the booking of the visit. Let’s see what these possibilities are.
Google Maps ranking
Dentists and medical centers are full-fledged local activities. Unless they provide very difficult servicies have on the staff doctors sought for their fame and skill, distance is one of the key points in the choice by users.
As we saw inthe analysis of marketing strategy for local activities,to appear on the map and among the top three highlights, several aspects come into play. You need to optimize Google My Business, manage reviews and organize the sources of information that feed the card that appears on Google Maps.
A very interesting aspect for dental practices and medical centers is the ability to add the services offered and especially thebooking button that can be linked to the dedicated website page or to third-party booking services. This is in addition to the button that allows you to call the center by phone. In trial in the United States there is also a virtual care feature that allows patients to consult experts online.
The Google My Business tab is also very useful in cases where multiple locations in the territoryneed to be managed. In this case, the online coverage of the chain centers increases even more.
Website and appointment booking
The website is at the heart of the marketing strategy of dental practices and medical centers. We must use clear navigation that highlights the strengths of the structure and the services offered, but the main goal is to create a funnel that leads towards booking. This final action, the most important of all, must be reachable in just a few clicks and easy to locate.
The website is both a booking generator and a showcase that communicates professionalism and attention to the customer. For many users coming from other online channels this is the first impression they have of the structure, so we have to enhance the commercial aspect without neglecting the emotional impact.
It can be very useful to integrate a support chat into the website to answer patients’ questions. This allows you to start a dialogue that can lead to the booking. We can also use pre-programmed chatbots to respond automatically, but I recommend this option only for closing times. It is much better to have a real person who responds, especially when the discussion refers to very sensitive and personal issues such as those concerning health. Of course, to use a real-time chat, you need to have staff available to respond quickly.
Authoritative medical content
In August 2018, Google launched the so-called Medic Update that shocked the world of online publishers. The world’s most popular search engine has begun to look more closely at websites that deal with topics that can have a major impact on people’s lives. By virtue of this, important fluctuations have been recorded for medical and personal care sites.
In these cases Google has started to reward websites that meet the quality levels described in the guidelines. At the heart of the evaluation of the algorithm are the EAT parameters (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness). On medical issues, doctors, dentists and medical staff meet these requirements. Rightly they are the sources of information that according to Google can give quality in this field.
This update offered a great opportunity to dental practices and medical centers. Starting from Seo analysis and integrating them with the skills of medical staff, you can create quality content to answer the questions that patients ask on Google. This brings traffic to the website from people who are very interested in solving problems and with a good digital marketing strategy you can easily get to the booking of a visit.
Some large medical centers have already started. Others should try to keep up and outdo them to avoid losing customers and to find new ones. This is a team game by a Seo and digital marketingprofessional like me and the experienced staff of dental centers and medical practices.
Social media marketing
Social media is a very important channel to interact with patients and be discovered by new users thanks to page coverage. Facebook is the most used and is often the one most in line with the target of dentists and medical centers. The tone of voice that is used is very important: it must be informative, reassuring and respectful of the privacy of the users. Not always a patient wants to talk in public about personal and sensitive topics like those that affect his health, so it takes a lot of tact. A very useful tool is online chat on Facebook Messenger that allows you to talk privately online with the patient.
YouTube could be another very useful social media in informational field to answer the questions that users ask Google. As we have seen for the content of the site, even in this case it is necessary the authoritative intervention of doctors who can make a huge contribution with their expertise in the matter.
Advertising on Google and Facebook is very important to reach new potential patients. On medical topic, there are several limits because both platforms are aware of the risks of bad information and advertising in the medical field and therefore pay close attention to appearance and content. For this reason, it is important to rely on people who know how to manage online communication and advertising. Write to me if you want to know more.