6 Tips for Improving Your Local SEO

Yes, it would be incredible to rank on the first page of Google for “total knee replacement.” But chances are, that’s not going to happen unless you work for Mayo Clinic. (Or Johns Hopkins, as it turns out.) And that’s OK. Because what you really should be focusing on as a community, local or regional hospital is improving your local SEO.

local search marketing vector illustration design concept
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. (more…)

A Guide to Keyword Research for Your Healthcare Facility

There’s no need for me to go on and on about why keyword research is essential for your hospital’s marketing success. It is important however, to note there is no universal approach to executing keyword research. It will vary based on:

  • Website (authority, number of pages, quality of content, etc);
  • Goals and objectives (branding, exposure, traffic, leads, sales);
  • Budget, resources and deadlines;
  • Industry and competitive landscape.

I am going to give you a keyword research framework that can easily be adjusted depending on the goals and resources of your healthcare facility.

  1. Evaluate top healthcare websites.

By doing this, you can identify the most common navigation items and categories on leading industry sites. Just by studying your niche well, you can discover some great keywords.

  1. Use advanced search operators.

While searching for top healthcare websites, you can use Google’s advanced search operators to dig even deeper. You have operators at your fingertips that can provide significant and useful information.

Example: Searching “related:” will bring you to sites similar to From here you can find more content and common keywords on other sites in the same industry.

  1. Google Suggest

The best free tool for keyword research is Google itself, especially with all of the features it uses to help searchers find exactly what they’re looking for. Google Suggest, is the feature that drops down a list of suggestions from the search box as soon as you start typing. For example, Google “doctor” and don’t hit enter. Instead make note of the drop-down search suggestions.

  1. Google Keyword Planner

Using Google’s Keyword Planner, paste your saved keyword list from the steps above into the “Product or Service” category and then evaluate the average monthly searches and competition for your area. Keyword planner will also suggest keywords and phrases to use based on your categories. Remember high competition is not always a reason to give up on a keyword. It all comes down to the balance between the business value of that keyword.


Since it all begins with words type into a search box, keyword research is considered one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the digital marketing field. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your healthcare website. By researching your market’s keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.


Let us do the keyword research for you! Contact TotalCom to learn more about our healthcare marketing options.

The Growing Need to Market Primary Care in Hospital Marketing

The rise of alternative ways to access primary care – namely through the advent of primary care services offered by pharmacies, such as flu shots, medication management, and health/wellness advice – poses a challenge for hospitals that traditionally have relied on the strength of their primary care physicians to attract new patients and leverage family practice marketing tactics.

Now, in today’s digital age, patients are turning to sources outside of hospitals to find primary care providers. They are opting for hospitals either for specialty services or emergencies, creating a void in a facility’s patient acquisition funnel.

This shift poses a hospital marketing challenge: attracting new patients to a system for primary care versus only conducting service-oriented marketing campaigns that emphasize a specialty. While there’s undeniable value in specialty service-oriented hospital marketing, the current landscape underscores the importance of hospital marketing ideas that prioritize primary care.

The Role of a PCP as a Care Manager

These days, patients view PCPs not just as care providers, but as holistic care managers. They expect guidance on everything from prescriptions to specialty care, making the PCP a gateway to various specialty services a hospital offers. The pCP has transitioned into a primary source for referrals to more specialized services – a domain once dominated by hospitals but now shifts towards private practice and non-hospital, non-clinic providers.

The rise of the Internet has also transformed the PCP’s role. These days, patients are accustomed to self-diagnosing online and contacting a PCP only for a referral to a specialist. When viewed in this context, a PCP is no longer the frontline provider but instead is a portal to other services.

Given this changing landscape, it’s imperative for hospital marketing campaigns to portray PCPs as trusted care managers and promote them as reliable health and wellness resources.

Hospital Marketing Campaigns for Primary Care

To stay competitive, hospitals must enhance their primary care marketing efforts. The goal is to position their primary care physicians at the forefront and appeal to potential patients always in search of medical consultation and information.

Paid Search Advertising

A potent strategy to directly engage potential patients is through paid search ads promoting individual physicians. Recent trends indicate a significant portion of marketing budgets being allocated to specialty care, often sidelining individual doctors. However, even PCPs warrant dedicated marketing support. Paid search can facilitate this by directing traffic to individual doctors’ websites from people actively searching for PCPs or related information.

Content Marketing

Each PCP should actively partake in content marketing by contributing to bylined blogs and articles. Since patients are searching for this information, having a PCP deliver it in a credible, easy-to-digest format is invaluable. This content should be informative, educational, and engaging – offering advice and consultation for health and wellness that patients find useful.

Social Media Advertising

Promoting PCPs on platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be highly effective, especially when paired with detailed audience targeting – the bread and butter of social media advertising. This approach can spotlight a particular doctor’s content or promote the physicians themselves, emphasizing their role in primary care.

Ultimately, the objective across all channels is to position a hospital’s primary care physicians as primary resources. The advantages of a primary care-centric approach are manifold, yet many hospitals remain hesitant to emphasize primary care in their hospital marketing campaigns.

Contact TotalCom to discover how you can spearhead a new hospital marketing campaign that emphasizes primary care and attracts a broader patient base.

Healthcare Marketing: Think You Have SEO Figured Out?

If Microsoft search engine Bing becomes as popular as predicted…it will require new optimization tactics.

Search - Magnifying Glass on Words

If Microsoft search engine, Bing, becomes as popular as predicted…it will require new optimization tactics.

So you’ve worked hard to be ranked on the first page of Google Search.  Congratulations! But then along comes Bing. Bing is Microsoft’s new search engine and in less than a year when Microsoft takes over Yahoo’s search infrastructure, it could account for over 30% of the U.S. search market.

And Bing ranks pages differently than Google. There is less emphasis on inbox traffic and more on content and key words. The same strategy will not optimize both.

So the landscape and the challenges could drastically change. Microsoft is still tweaking Bing, but it will definitely be different then Google. That may mean a company may need two websites, one to optimize for Google search and one for Bing.  That of course will require more financial and personnel commitment.

So just when we were about to have it figured out and enjoy the fruits of successfully being organically found on the first page of Google search, there is a new player who has great potential to capture significant market share.

It’s still a bit early to develop strategies for Bing, but if they do manage to get 30% or more market share it cannot be ignored. Investment in Goggle search will lose 30% of its value and two parallel strategies for search engine optimization will be required. It’s not something marketers want to hear but it’s something to watch and be prepared for.