Healthcare Digital Marketing

mobile-friendly website for hospitals

Importance of a Mobile-Friendly Website for Healthcare

You know it is important. But why? And how can you tell if your healthcare facility has a mobile-friendly website?

First, Why a Mobile-Friendly Website?

Reason #1: Increase in Usage of Mobile Devices

According to a January 2017 report from Pew Research, here are a few arguments that your hospital’s website should be mobile-friendly.

  • 95% of Americans own a cell phone of some kind and almost 80% own a smart phone. (In 2011, smartphone ownership was just 35%.)
  • 50% of US adults own a tablet
  • Adoption of broadband service has slowed in recent years and a growing number of Americans now use smartphones as their primary online tool

In addition, these statistics don’t just apply to Millennials and Gen Xers…

  • 75% of adults age 50 to 64 own a smart phone
  • More than 40% of adults 65 and over own a smart phone

Simply put, more and more current and prospective patients are using their mobile device to research and locate services and providers including healthcare. They should be able to find a physician, fill out a form and read patient testimonials and reviews conveniently, in the palm of their hand.

Another Reason Your Hospital Must Have a Mobile-Friendly Website: Google Search Results

Since the beginning of 2017, Google uses the mobile version of your hospital’s website to determine rank. Google is all about a better user experience. Simply put, a better user experience makes for a better patient experience.

Furthermore, How to Tell if Your Hospital has a Mobile-Friendly Website

Your hospital or healthcare facility’s website is mobile friendly if it has responsive design. Users to your site shouldn’t have to pinch, pull, drag and zoom. Instead, visitors to your site should be able to find a physician or view a map of your hospital without adjusting the screen. The content on a mobile-friendly website should respond to the screen size of the device they are using. In addition, your mobile-friendly website should be easily and intuitively navigable, and the buttons should be large enough to “click”.

Finally, test your hospital’s website with Google’s Responsive Test Tool.

In conclusion, whether you need a few tweaks or just content added to your current site, or a completely new, mobile-friendly website design, call TotalCom Marketing to discuss what the process looks like.

ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping many kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grand kids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!

Tackle Healthcare Pay-Per-Click Conversions through Digital Marketing

Beat the Healthcare PPC Wormhole

Digital marketing in the healthcare industry is crucial in a time where 1 out of every 20 google searches are health related, but running a successful pay-per-click (PPC) campaign is challenging. Without advanced techniques, health care companies will waste their money on ad space by failing to get seen.

Digital marketing for hospitals is specifically challenging. Below we have outlined exactly why your hospital may be struggling in the PPC department, and listed a number of tactics to help you beat the PPC healthcare wormhole.

(Are your hospital’s digital ads being blocked? Get around ad blocking today.)

Digital Marketing For Hospitals: Challenges

There are a number of reasons why digital marketing for hospitals using PPC poses challenges:

  1. Medical information is sensitive: You have to be careful with your ad word choices with strict HIPAA privacy laws in place.
  2. Retargeting: a recent adjustment of Google’s policies prohibits health care facilities from remarketing themselves.
  3. Competition: Because of the above retargeting restrictions, staying visible on search engine result pages (SERPs) is incredible important, but keywords are highly competitive (and expensive).
  4. Knowledge Graphs: In an effort to provide more correct medical information, and panicked patients, google has implemented knowledge graphs (certified medical information) that takes over the right hand side of SERPs.

All of that considered, there must be a way to effectively use digital marketing for hospitals with PPC.

Contact Information

Is your contact information readily available for other businesses and patients to view? Check, check, and check again! This is critical for your PPC plan. A patient searching for hospital care digitally is most likely in need of services sooner than later. Having your contact information positioned clearly can set you apart from competitors. Be sure to set up call extensions, location extensions and sitelink extensions to your ad. This makes for a larger ad, and is known to contribute to higher rankings on SERPs.

Contact information is the number one way to gain conversions, so place it on every landing page. If it’s hard to find your phone number, and easy to find a competitors, you will most likely lose a potential patient.

Mobile Marketing

Going mobile is imperative. If contact information is a key factor for a PPC strategy, so is going mobile. Contact information involves communication, and if you need fast contact, you have to call. Using your phone to find and contact a hospital makes it simpler. If your hospital is mobile, a potential patient simply needs to click the number that pops up on the Google page to call you.

Be sure you are tracking your Adwords performance by specific devices. Pay close attention to what mobile campaigns are and are not working. Make your bid adjustments accordingly.

Know Yourself

Finally, understand your target audience. Determine what your patients are searching for the most. There are many types of patients to consider for a hospital. Are your patients generally looking for urgent, emergency care? Are they searching hospital options knowing they will be in for a long term stay? Do your patients even know what they are looking for at all?

Step into the patient’s shoes and consider what you would search for if you were them. Think of triggers that grab their attention that you can then incorporate into the text of your PPC ads. Knowing what sets you apart from your competitors helps you create a PPC campaign that stands out

Interested in learning more about using PPC for your hospital’s digital marketing strategies? We specialize in using dedicated PPC campaigns to boost results for hospitals looking to gain an edge in the paid digital space. Contact us today.

Is Precision Marketing the New Strategy for Hospital Marketing?

Many buzzwords are thrown around in the marketing field.

One of the newer ones is precision marketing, a term to describe a data-driven, individualized approach to marketing that seeks to create loyal customers through highly targeted campaigns based on customer segmentation. Its goal is to retain existing customers rather than acquire new ones.

This makes sense, given that creating a new customer costs five to 10 times as much as selling to a customer you already have. In hospital marketing, your customers are patients, and you want them to return to your providers for years of treatment rather than go elsewhere.

Is precision marketing a viable strategy for hospital marketing? Or, is it yet another new buzzword with few practical implications?

Examining Precision Marketing in Detail

The major foundation of precision marketing is using data to help drive desired patient retention outcomes. For this reason, precision marketing is most often executed using digital marketing campaigns.

Digital marketing gives a hospital access to technology that can not only reach a large number of people in a small amount of time (using a smaller percentage of a marketing budget), but can also segment these individuals and target demographics with a laser focus.

For example, a hospital that seeks to retain obstetrics patients know that the typical customer for that department is female aged 20 to 35. Using social media and digital ad buys, a hospital can focus on that demographic and spread the message about the obstetrics practice. A hospital can also use a combination of surveys, social media, email marketing, and ad retargeting to directly target and illicit data from current and previous patients to not only learn more about their behaviors, but also build loyalty through repeated outreach and touchpoints.

The idea is that a personalized approach using data is preferable to mass-market appeals, especially with such a personalized and emotional field like healthcare. Customers are getting turned off and desensitized to marketing messages, which necessitates a more personalized approach.

Incorporating Precision Marketing into a Hospital Marketing Strategy

How does a hospital take advantage of this marketing method?

A hospital must first invest in a digital strategy. Precision marketing is best used in conjunction with a fully involved, multi faceted digital marketing campaign. Only digital provides the tools to combine data collection with coordinated, personalized reach to the individual.

Additionally, a hospital must invest in data collection and analysis. There must be a more concerted effort to build in-depth profiles about typical patients and demographics. Profiles should be as precise as possible. This allows the marketing department to build customized and personalized messages to be distributed via social, email, ads, direct mail, and more.

Furthermore, a hospital should invest in technology that allows advertising dollars to be spent in a more targeted manner, instead of a mass-market approach. For example, banner ads can be useful, but what is more useful is ad retargeting – ads that target visitors to a hospital’s website and then follow them around on the Internet for up to 120 days or beyond. These are more effective in connecting with current or previous patients and encourage visitors to revisit a website – which dramatically increases their chances of seeking the hospital for services in the future.

Taking the hospital marketing game to the next level means learning to adopt what works from precision marketing and using it to fill out a hospital’s digital efforts. Adopting the approach of data collection, analysis, market segmentation, and personalized approaches using a digital framework of message delivery could be a potent combination for hospitals in today’s age.

Contact TotalCom to learn more about precision marketing in hospital marketing campaigns.

Hospital Marketing in 2016: Three Trends

ThinkstockPhotos-468838012

 

Want to know what trends to expect in hospital marketing in 2016? Here are three trends we’ve identified that every hospital will need to follow.

Increase Content Quality 

Content marketing continues to remain a big part of hospital marketing and will only increase in importance as we move through 2016. Last year saw an increase in the quantity of content. This year, we’ll have to see a rise in the quality of the content we produce.

It’s not enough to mass-produce content in order to fill a quota of pieces for a blog. We’ll have to spend more time on each piece of content in order to make an impression. This is actually a positive, because it means we can be really creative and spend more time developing and polishing a few pieces of content – an article for a magazine, a white paper, a video – rather than just pumping out content that is merely okay.

Focus on Simple Scheduling

People in 2016 will value convenience more than they did before. Amazon now has one-click buying that allows you to buy in a snap. Other platforms have rolled out one-click buttons to shop and buy. Hospitals can take advantage of this trend by having simple, convenient scheduling with just one click of a button.

This changes things. Formerly, a hospital’s campaign would feature landing pages that ask the consumer to learn more. But they’ve probably already learned a lot by the time they get to the landing page. When they arrive there, the instinct for instant gratification kicks in, and they’ll probably want to just go ahead and schedule an appointment.

So, we’ll have to retool our landing pages to reflect that desire. Allow your patients to sign up for an appointment right then and there, and you’ll have more success translating marketing into action.

Take Advantage of Moments

Over the past few years, consumers online have started to experience more “moments”. A moment is a short amount of time in which people turn to the Internet to find something that they need at that moment.

For example, they may want to know something about symptoms of a condition or illness. They may want to go somewhere near them, which means they’re searching for a local provider. They may want to know how to do something, like create a healthy exercise plan or cook something tasty yet healthy.

A hospital can live in these moments by creating content that takes advantage of this inspired activity. If you want to get people who want to know things, produce content that shares information about symptoms and illnesses and other health items that may be in the news. You can market the hospital and your doctors with geo-targeted campaigns that zero in on zip codes. You can create how-to videos on healthy living.

Living in these moments with your potential patients will place you closer to them in the moments that they appear online.

Even though these are the trends, the challenge for many community hospitals is to have the resources to keep up with the trends. Limited personnel and limited resources for technology will continue to hinder some from taking full advantage of these emerging trends.

For more information on hospital marketing in 2016, talk to the experts at TotalCom Marketing.

5 Tips for Boosting Your Healthcare Google AdWords Budget

TotalCom Healthcare Marketing

 

Google AdWords is a highly-effective tool for healthcare marketing. When executed correctly, a healthcare organization can decrease the cost of leads, gain a deeper understanding of their patients, target a very specific audience, and increase market share.

Merely running an AdWords campaign, though, doesn’t mean you’ll get the results you want. There are many factors that come into play that have a role in generating results. For example, keywords, especially for a hospital, can be costly, so you want to choose carefully to maximize your budget.

Below we have tips to help boost your Google AdWords budget.

Monitor Your Account Regularly

Make use of Google Analytics daily. Using their tools can help you determine which of your keywords do and do not display your ads.

Also, change the view of your campaigns by sorting your cost per conversions from lowest to highest. Maximize the money for campaigns doing well, and decrease, or stop, your unsuccessful campaigns.

Use all match types for your keywords and continuously oversee their effectiveness. One broad match keyword may cost you less, but be receiving little conversions. Through frequent monitoring and adjusting, your Google AdWords campaign can become an effective powerhouse.

Use Targeting

Google allows you to target specific ages, geographic locations, gender, and much more. A thorough study of your target audience for a specific service could greatly increase your conversions, making the most out of your budget.

Track Click Through Rates (CTRs)

It’s important to track the click through rate of your campaigns. You want to make sure one keyword isn’t getting a great deal of search hits, but few CTRs.

By tracking CTRs, you can also figure out which keywords are over performing and which are underperforming.

Fine Tune Campaigns

What are patients truly searching for? Fine tune your campaigns to meet those searches. Most people aren’t Googling “emergency.” Perhaps your facility offers a specialty that others in the area do not. Focus on bringing in new patients by boosting those keywords.

To boost your budget, narrow down your Google AdWords strategy to the few keywords that are maximizing your conversions.

Check Your Google AdWords Budget

Some of the most common mistakes healthcare facilities are making on Google AdWords involve overbidding and underbidding on a keyword. Many times a business will overbid on a term to ensure their ad pops up. While effective in helping you reach PPC goals, it can greatly increase your cost per conversion. Underbidding guarantees a competitor’s ad will outrank your own. It’s important to stay in charge of a keyword, without overspending.

As you can see, Google AdWords is an extremely effective marketing tool, and will continue to be as the digital world maintains its steady progress. With any marketing strategy, consistent overview is important, but it’s imperative for Google AdWords.

Since fine-tuning an AdWords campaign is very time-consuming, your hospital would benefit greatly from hiring a professional to oversee your campaigns, so you can focus on everything else on your plate.

If you are interested in marketing your hospital using Google AdWords, contact Jimmy Warren today.


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grand kids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!

 

Stop Blocking My Hospital’s Digital Ads! Ways to Get Around Ad Blocking

Detour ad blocking TotalCOm

It’s frustrating to spend valuable ad dollars and just as valuable (if not more so) time developing digital ads to only have them blocked by consumer-end ad-blocking software and plugins.

This is a growing phenomenon, and a burgeoning thorn in the side of hospital marketing professionals who depend on digital ads to reach prospective patients. Millions of consumers (roughly 28 percent of Internet users) use ad-blocking software and plugins on their browsers for desktop, laptop, and mobile – depriving brands of the opportunity to earn full reach.

What can hospitals do to sidestep ad blocking, thus ensuring higher CTR and ROI?

Turn to Native Advertising

One reprieve is native advertising.

Native advertising can circumvent ad blocking because promoted content isn’t always recognized by ad-blocking software as an actual ad. Furthermore, it deals with “banner blindness” – the idea that savvy browsers have become more or less blind to online banner ads and ignore them.

Spending on native ads, according to projections, will rise by 34 percent by the time 2015 has come and gone. That’s a total of $4.3 billion.

An advertorial is a type of native advertising that can be easily promoted via third-party sources and get past ad blockers. Plus, advertorials are strong advertisements anyway because they deliver useful and engaging information – perfect for building brand awareness and converting prospects to patients online.

Use Platforms that Have Deals with Ad Blockers

Ad blockers are somewhat akin to the Mob – if you pay protection money to them, they’ll keep your store safe.

That’s the sentiment adopted by Google, Microsoft, and several other leading brands that depend on selling ad space for their revenue. Google is a good example; they have a deal with leading ad-blocking software providers to “white-list” their ads, thereby ensuring that ads purchasing through Google (such as Adwords and Google Display Ads) sneak past the ad-blocking security.

Since the Google display network already constitutes such a massive presence in online advertising, many hospital marketers are protected. If you use another platform for your ads, though, you may consider using one that has reached a deal and paid the protection money to ad blockers so your content gets through intact.

Want to Learn More?

If you have questions about better utilizing online advertising for hospital marketing including optimizing your campaign for maximum CTR and ROI, contact Jimmy Warren.


 

ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grand kids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!

 

5 Tips for Creating Better Banner Ads for Your Hospital

TotalCom Tuscaloosa

Banner ads can be a great way to market your hospital online. You probably already know that you need a clear call-to-action and a landing page designed to seal the deal, but what else can you do to make your banner ads stand out among the crowd?

 

Try these 5 tips to build brand preference, drive more traffic to your hospital’s website and convert prospects to patients.

 

1.  Change Your Hospital Banner Ads Every 3 Weeks

We live in a culture where things are changing constantly. We’ve become trained to get bored when things stay the same. Bored consumers won’t click on your hospital’s banner ads!

 

To keep your digital ad campaign fresh, switch out your banner ads every 3 weeks or so. A new ad will recapture the attention of your target audience.

 

2.  Keep File Sizes Small

Small file sizes mean faster load times. You want a quick load time so that prospective patients don’t scroll down before they’ve even had a chance to see your ad.

 

Google Adwords suggests keeping ads under 150 kb for optimal load time. A compressed JPEG or GIF file works best for this!

 

3. Give Your Hospital’s Banner Ads a Border

The human eye is naturally drawn to framed objects, so add a border to your ad. This is especially important if your ad matches the background color of the website. Don’t let your ad get lost in the chaos of most websites!

 

On a white or black background, a gray frame looks nice. On any other color background, a black frame is the most effective.

 

You can also frame your hospital’s banner ad in colors from the ad itself. The important thing is that your ad is separated from the rest of the page, helping it to stand out.

 

4.  Use the Right Colors

In banner ad marketing, there are no good or bad colors. However, some colors have feelings associated with them that are better than others for marketing your hospital.

 

First of course coordinate the colors in your banner ad with your hospital brand. Blue is often associated with safety and trust. Green is the color of health and new life. Both of these color schemes work great for hospitals assuming they work with your logo colors.

 

Gray or white are good choices for the background of your hospital banner ad because both evoke feelings of cleanliness, order, and neutrality.

 

5.  Use Animation

Animated banner ads tend to outperform static banner ads, but there are some rules when using animation in your banner ad marketing.

 

First and foremost, make sure that the animation isn’t distracting the user from the actual purpose of the ad. Overly busy ads tend to pull focus away from the call-to-action – which is the most important aspect of the ad.

 

An animated banner ad for your hospital should loop no more than 3 times and should be limited to 15 seconds or less. Make sure your call-to-action is on every frame.

 

Ready to Make the Most of Your Hospital’s Banner Ads?

If you would like help to make the most of your hospital’s banner ads, contact Jimmy Warren today!


ABOUT JIMMY WARREN
Early to bed, early to rise, work like crazy and advertise! Jimmy Warren is president of TotalCom Marketing Communications and has over 30 years experience helping all kinds of businesses build a strong brand. A large portion of that experience has been helping hospitals and healthcare organizations. He loves the ‘weird’, interesting and extremely talented people he gets to work with every day – that includes co-workers and clients. Outside of work he enjoys his grand kids, traveling and any kind of good ole fashion Alabama sports. Roll Tide!