Australia ranks fourth in the Commonwealth Fund Table with the highest number of doctors and the amount of national wealth to be devoted to healthcare.
With the more number of doctors, comes more competition for General Medical Practitioners as well as Specialists. Like Lawyers in Australia, the medical practitioner’s industry isn’t optimally marketed in Australia to its prospective patients. This creates a gap between the patients and the right doctor for them.
How Patients Choose a Doctor
Before a patient enters a doctor’s clinic, he does thorough research about the doctor and the benefits of treatment that he may get after taking advice from that doctor. Generally, when an individual chooses to visit a doctor, he goes through different stages and so, the doctors have to present themselves best in all the stages for prospects to select them. Below mentioned are the stages that a patient goes through.
Check for the Doctors in the Area
While your prospects know their illness, they will look for doctors around locally. Like if they are looking for a Gynecologist in Sydney, then they will first ask their local physician for advice on it, and they will also look for a specialist online. Once they get to know about different local gynaecologists, they will move to the next stage.
Word of Mouth
This is the step every prospective patient generally follows. They ask people around them about which doctor is most suitable for their particular illness. Although every individual is different and their treatment also varies, for most of the time, a positive word of mouth works better than the negative one for the doctor. When a prospect receives positive feedback, he moves to the next stage.
The very next step they would take is checking the quality of the doctor’s treatment from his previous patient’s testimonials or reviews. For this, they will ask their family and friends for their reviews and check reviews online on different websites.
Once they go through all the above stages, they will book an appointment with the best doctor they found after the process.
Do you wish to have this juice of prospects? Do you want to convert these prospects into your patients? Here, I will discuss all the marketing techniques that you can use for attracting these prospects to your clinic.
Marketing Tips for Doctors in Australia
Developing scalable marketing strategies for a medical practitioner is essential as their niche has its limitations and advantages. One major advantage is that they can get instant responses from marketing efforts if they can catch their customer’s attention. The limitation comes in terms of advertising efforts like they cannot go for mass advertising and marketing for their firm. So, let’s know what kind of marketing efforts work best for doctors in Australia.
1. Optimize your Web Presence
In today’s fast-paced life, searching on the internet is the best option that prospects in the health care sector believe will help them in getting their queries solved. Your website will be the place where all your marketing efforts will focus through that you can get your leads.
Build a professional website that describes your clinic, your expertise and engages your prospects till they book an appointment with your clinic. For this, funnel your web pages that will take the prospects through the information page, then the expertise page, and at the end to the appointment booking page. All the below is a crucial part of general SEO as well as local SEO.
The website must have the following things for having it optimized.
I. On-Page Keywords
This means your website must have the required phrases and words that best describe your work and expertise. The keywords you must use on your website are ‘Money Keywords’ that go to the money page or appointment page of your website. For example: ‘Best Gynecologist in Sydney’ and similar keywords for Gynecologists.
Then, there are ‘Discovery Keywords’ that help them discover your website like ‘Gynecologists Near me’. And, there are ‘Attention Keywords’ that look for the searcher’s intent for finding the service like ‘What exercises to follow in Pregnancy’. All kinds of keywords must be used on the website, so it becomes more valuable to the prospects and so, you can have it ranked higher on search engines.
II. Quality Content
The above keywords can help your website rank only when you insert them in your content qualitatively. Every page of your website must have an optimal content distribution. Optimal content includes the number of words, the quality of the content, its originality, its usefulness, everything. A search engine ranks content on queries when it is valid, has the quality and has a good readability.
Also, a website with a limited amount of content might get less preference as compared to the website that has more information about the service. So, you can have a blog section on your website that can have attention keywords which will direct your visitors to the money page of your website.
Your content should be focused more on what prospects or consumers expect rather than what you have or want.
III. Website Responsiveness
A responsive website is the one which adjusts itself to the screen it has been opened. This means it can be opened anywhere, on a desktop screen, tablet or mobile screens. For a health query, it is said that 89% of people immediately search for it online. They can search from any device, and when your website is responsive, prospects are likely to spend more time on it.
It is said that 5% of your prospects judge your professional credibility based on your website design and the quality of content you have on it. So, choose your website look and content carefully.
Create your own personal brand with your website. You can also have an automated price estimator for individual patient services, this will increase customer engagement on your website.
2. Grow Organically on Search Engines
The most commonly used search engine platform, ‘Google’ has various parameters to rank a website high on a particular search. You can follow those guidelines and have your website ranked on the first page of Google for the keywords that match your speciality. When you want to focus on local clients in the area itself or in a particular city like ‘Sydney’, then you must focus your efforts on local SEO for your website. For ranking high on Google organically, you can do the following things.
I. Listing on Local Searches
Get your website listed on different local search websites like Google my Business, find local, area-specific directories, industry-specific directories and all such platforms. Ask your previous and current customers to write reviews about your services on such platforms. This will increase your prospective customers and Google’s trust in your services.
II. External Website Linking
Google ranks a website like a local individual. When many people recommend the individual about a place, then he will also, probably recommend the same place to others. In the same way, when different types of websites recommend your clinic as an expert Gynecologist clinic, then even Google will show you high on the search engine, recommending you to the searchers as an expert in your field.
External website linking should be optimally done. Some websites over do it, whereas some websites under do it. There should be a consistency and grip on it. You can hire SEO Specialists in Sydney to help you with your Clinic’s SEO.
III. Include Video Content
When we talk about medical practitioners, their current and previous patient’s testimonials are the best way to build communication with their prospective clients. These testimonials, along with the medical procedures drafted in the form of video, can help your prospects find you and believe in your work. This also increases Google’s trust on your website.
Consistently update your website and its content to stay at the rank allocated by Google. This is because there are consistent changes in SEO so your website needs to be prepared for all the changes.
3. Reputation Management
A doctor’s reputation in terms of his service matters the most for a prospect or a new patient. It is essential to provide an excellent patient experience to your current customers. It is a fact that when it comes to the health sector, the prospects consider a vast difference between a five-star and a four-star rating.
So, it becomes essentialt that the current customers give a five-star rating and that attracts more prospects to your services rather than your competitors. Also, excellent services generate a lot of positive word-of-mouth publicity for your clinic. You must gain insights about what kind of experience would be liked more by your patients and comprehensively give the treatment in the same form.
4. Referral Programs
Under referral programs, you can involve local physicians and general practitioners and ask them to refer prospects to your clinic for related illnesses. You can pay these doctors an amount of commission for performing this and then, once they send a patient, you can give the best experience and some valuable offers that the patients can’t resist. After this, you can ask for reviews and positive word of mouth referrals to your patients.
5. Get Personal
Personal attention from the doctor gives a morale boost to their patients. This eventually increases the patient’s loyalty and trust towards the doctor. Get more personal to your current patients in multiple ways like:
I. Email Marketing
Almost 90% of adults expect to have better email communication with their doctors. This can be in terms of reminding about the booked appointment, request for a friend referral, general newsletter, latest health news and seasonal tip sheets. Email communication is not only formal but also dependable as patients find them essential and specifically for themselves.
II. Automated text and Chat Messages
Several clinics have launched apps and website automated chat options for their patients. Using this facility, patients feel more fulfilled and satisfied as they can get answers to their queries anytime they want. Most of the patients dedicatedly visit the website for all their queries and recommend it to more people.
This increases your website relevancy and leads. Also, you can have live streaming discussion sharing essential or generic health tips or you can have a video conference live on your website or can have a live Snapchat session.
All these touchpoints with your patients increase their trust in the doctor and the website. This will, in turn, increase the word-of-mouth publicity and review improvements.
6. Advertising on Online Platforms
Advertising is a helpful technique for those starting a new clinic or practice. It gives a boost to website visits. Advertisements on online platforms are to provide a boost for a while and then the website must grow organically on those platforms. This is because advertising doesn’t entirely justify the spending compared to the revenue that it gives. Ranking organically is far better than advertising. In doubt? Check why SEO is better than SEM.
For online platforms, you can majorly have ads on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and many more and Google Ads is the second platform wherein you can advertise on the search page for keywords, can have display ads, and many more.
These ads must be well optimized in terms of keywords and landing page. Each advertisement must connect well with the keywords in which it has been displayed and the content to which it is directed. If you wish to run the advertisement and would like to get more output out of it, then have your website well-optimized. This will increase your website’s visibility.
7. Analyze and Track the Results
You must check and analyze the results of each of your marketing efforts. This is done to understand the return on investment that you get after you perform your marketing activities. When prospects go through all the above-mentioned stages of choosing a doctor in your area of expertise, you must know what percentage of these prospects you are currently converting as compared to your previous strategies.