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female businesswoman talking with senior doctor in hospital - creating better hospital marketing strategies

Grow Your Patient Base With These 3 Hospital Marketing Strategies

Every hospital and health system wants to grow its patient base. That is the job of hospital marketing: to increase brand awareness and build positive relationships between the hospital and potential patients.

There are a lot of methods that hospitals currently use to market themselves. From buying billboards to airing TV commercials, creating a Facebook page, and even sending out direct mail, marketing strategies can work together to create a total-package approach that targets a patient from multiple angles.

Here, we’ll focus on three marketing methods in particular that, when combined with strategic goals, can get more patients.

 

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting your website and its pages to rank near the top of the page whenever someone searches for something you do.

When people look up “family medicine,” or “orthopedic surgery,” you want that particular page on your website to show up first. This is because an estimated 49.5% of all clicks on the first page of a search go to the first two positions. Another 9.5% goes to the third, and another 7.9% goes to the fourth – which means the first four searches account for 68% of all clicks.

You do not want to be near the bottom. Optimizing for search means doing things on the page and on the backend of your page/site to make your pages stand out and appear at the top.

SEO can be very complicated, so it is important to work with SEO specialists who know all the tips, tricks, and best practices to get your web pages to rank well.

 

Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising

Paid advertising is necessary to get your name out there as much as possible. Organic or earned media can only go so far.

One of the most cost-effective ways to get attention from the right people at the right time is PPC advertising. PPC broadly refers to a system in which you pay someone – Google,

Facebook, an individual website, etc. – for every click that you get on one of your ads.

So, those banner ads you see on a website fall under PPC, but those are more clearly defined as display advertising, and PPC in a more specific context refers to the text ads that appear in search results on Google and Bing.

The beauty of PPC advertising is you pay only when someone clicks. You do not pay per impression (although you can if you choose).

 

Email Newsletter Marketing

Your existing patients are one of the best resources you have to increase business. You can your marketing by sending out email newsletters.

If you make these emails informative, engaging, easy and fun to read, you will have more success. Talk about patient stories and other human interest stories, and refrain from plugging the hospital too much.

What this does is twofold:

  1. Your patients can spread the word via email to their friends and family (especially if you ask them to)
  2. Your previous or current patients can come to you for additional services

Staying in touch with patients through email is always a good idea. Adopt a robust and creative email newsletter campaign and you will attain more patients and more revenue through word-of-mouth marketing.

 

There are many other things you can do as a part of a hospital marketing plan. The above strategies work well with each other and go great with other hospital marketing strategies as well, such as social media marketing and content marketing.

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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.)

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 incredibly 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.