SEO & Local Search – Get More Search Traffic!
With today’s consumers doing most of their healthcare research online, urology practice owners cannot underestimate search engines as a marketing tool. Harnessing the power of local search marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies will drive greater practice awareness, website traffic, and long-term growth in new patients.
You may have invested in the best website design, but if your practice website is not easily found in search results, those dollars are likely spent in vain. We know that click-through rates drop significantly as your practice falls down on the search results page. In fact, while the first organic ranking gets about 25 percent of clicks, the no. 3 ranking drops to about 7 percent, and the no. 5 ranking gets under three percent of all clicks2.
While the best practices for search engine marketing is constantly evolving, it’s one of the most valuable tools in your marketing and advertising toolbox. Here are some tried and true strategies to help your urology practice rise to the top of search engine results.
- Optimize for local search. When it comes to finding a business like a healthcare practice, every search is local. Most consumers are looking for a nearby provider, and this means you need to show up in local directories, including Google My Business and Yelp.
- Focus on content marketing. Tactics like blogging will help drive traffic to your website, which can affect your search engine rankings. Blogging gives you the opportunity to use keywords and phrases that prospective patients use when looking for the services you offer.
- Enhance your website. Optimizing your website for search engine optimization (SEO) means ensuring your web pages load quickly, look good on mobile devices, and feature relevant information that answers the questions your patients ask in search queries. For every service, treatment, or procedure you offer, establish a dedicated web page, and consider building a relevant blog on a related topic.
- Invest in online reputation management. Your online reputation doesn’t just affirm your commitment to excellent patient care and service. Getting a steady flow of patient reviews signals to Google and its competitors that your practice is visited often and is relevant in the community, which can affect where you appear in local search results. In addition, having an average star rating of at least 4.0 stars will ensure you don’t get filtered out of results for [best urology practices]. Consider implementing automated patient satisfaction surveys, which make patients twice as likely to submit a proactive review.
More on search engine optimization:
Page 1 potential: 5 tactics to get your healthcare practice toward the top of search results
Helping healthcare practices get found online: Search ranking factors and trends from SEO experts
Content Marketing & Social Media for Your Urology Practice
Content marketing serves a multitude of purposes that help drive both patient acquisition and retention. Content marketing simply means to deliver timely and relevant content that relates to the urology services your practice provides across multiple digital platforms (e.g., blog, social media, video, etc.). It’s great for connecting with prospective patients as the keywords you use in your content can bring attention to your urology practice. Think of a patient who is suffering from urinary incontinence and is looking for relief by searching for [urinary incontinence treatment]. Your content can answer this patient’s search query and entice them to book an appointment with you for treatment. For your current patients, content marketing can keep your practice top of mind in between appointments, and drive patient loyalty and retention.
Creative content marketing for urologists
When it comes to content marketing, the sky's the limit. You can do as little or as much as you have the resources to manage. Through blogging, social media, email campaigns, video content, infographics, and patient testimonials, your urology practice can build lasting relationships by leveraging consumers’ consumption of digital media.
If you need some more inspiration, here are some content marketing ideas to consider for your urology practice:
- A video explaining the signs and symptoms of low testosterone, and the treatment options your practice offers.
- A blog highlighting risk factors for prostate cancer, and what to expect from a PSA and digital rectal exam (DRE).
- A social media campaign focused on common men’s health topics, such as testicular or prostate cancer, kidney stones, stress incontinence, erectile dysfunction, low testosterone and more.
- A targeted email campaign to remind men who are due for their routine appointment and/or prostate cancer screening(s).
- A Q&A with one of your providers about what to expect before, during and after a vasectomy.
- A Facebook post, highlighting a positive online review or patient testimonial.
- An email introducing a new service or offering, such as high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), Urolift, or water vapor therapy.
- A blog focused on female urology/urogynecology topics, such as pelvic floor disorders.
Make sure you’re using phrases and keywords that your patients would use (i.e. avoid medical jargon when possible). Doing so will help enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
If you need more inspiration, here’s a list of common urology keywords and topics to consider incorporating into your content marketing assets.
The value of social media and blogging
The two content marketing strategies that often stand out among the crowd are the use of social media and blogging. These two tactics, when combined, can expand the reach of your urology brand and help you connect with more new prospective patients.
Blogging 101 for urology practices
Blogging is a great way to add new and fresh content to your site on a regular basis. Blogging adds pages with relevant content that helps to improve your search engine rankings. Each blog should have a clear call to action (CTA) that drives patients to schedule an appointment with your practice or sign up for an email newsletter.
The benefits of social media
Contrary to popular belief, social media isn’t just for millennials. Research shows that 82 percent of Americans use at least one social media platform3. And, social media isn’t just for friends and families to connect, either — it’s earned a reputation as a powerful tool for businesses to promote their services. In fact, approximately three-quarters of marketers that use social media feel it’s been effective for their business4.
By using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, urology practices can make an impression on consumers in creative ways. Urologists may want to consider establishing a regular video series on YouTube tackling men’s health topics. This would make it easier for prospective patients to learn about sensitive topics such as ED, STDs, or urinary incontinence from a trusted healthcare provider.
Regardless of how you use social media, it’s best to have a plan. You don’t want to take on more than you can sustain, so it’s best to start with one or two platforms, learn as you go, and expand from there into other channels.
More on content marketing
7 blog post types for healthcare marketing
Social media for healthcare providers: 9 statistics you need to know
Two overlooked strategies to expand your healthcare practice brand
Online Reputation Management – An Essential Practice Management Tool
When it comes to winning over new patients, one provider’s referral or recommendation is no longer enough to seal the deal. Today’s choosy healthcare consumers want validation from the masses that a urologist and/or urology practice is a good choice before they book their first appointment. In fact, 74 percent of patients find online reviews very or extremely important when choosing a healthcare provider, while 69 percent say they won’t consider a healthcare provider with an average star rating lower than 4.0 out of 5.
That’s why your urology practice and providers’ online reputation is a critical tool in supporting your new patient acquisition strategy. Consider the following scenario:
A patient’s primary care doctor recommends a local urologist he’s worked with for decades. After a quick internet search, the patient discovers the practice has a 3-star rating and several old negative reviews. The patient then finds another nearby urologist with a 4.75-star rating and dozens of recent reviews. Which urologist do you think most consumers will choose?
Implementing an online reputation management strategy can help urology practices thrive and grow their practice over time. That’s because providers with a wealth of positive online reviews are more likely to attract new patients who feel reassured they’re going to get the urology care and service they need.
How do you control your online reputation? While many providers think their online reviews are out of their hands, the truth is there are many ways practitioners and practices can improve both patient satisfaction and their online reviews. Here are a few proven strategies to help you move the needle:
- Prioritize convenience. Today’s busy patients crave convenience. Tools like online scheduling, digital paperwork and forms, secure text messaging, telehealth, and online bill pay can make it easy for patients to do business with you and enhance the overall patient experience.
- Request patient feedback. What better way to know how you can improve than to ask your customers? Implementing automated patient satisfaction surveys lets your patients know you care what they think. And because PatientPop research shows no. 1 thing patients want most from their healthcare providers is a good listener, keeping the lines of communication open can have a significant impact on patient satisfaction. PatientPop research also indicates that patients who are asked for feedback are twice as likely to post an online review.
- Focus on staff satisfaction. Whether on the phone or in person, patients who are greeted by friendly staff are more likely to leave a positive online review. In fact, according to PatientPop research, a poor experience with office staff is one of the top reasons patients choose to leave a healthcare provider. By automating certain administrative tasks, such as appointment scheduling, reminder phone calls, patient registration, front desk staff have more time to interact with patients, address questions or concerns, and keep things running smoothly.
- Respond to negative feedback quickly. By the time a patient lodges a formal complaint or a public comment about your urology practice, chances are that they’re pretty frustrated. Whether over the phone, via email, on social media or review sites, it’s important to take the time to acknowledge the complaint and respond. Responding shows patients that you care and can often resolve the issue.
How your online reputation affects search engine optimization (SEO)
Your online reputation does more than convince patients your urology practice is a good fit. It also provides valuable information to search engines like Google. For example, if your practice has hundreds of reviews, with new ones coming in frequently, Google assumes your practice is well-known and frequented in your community. As a result, Google may give your practice a bump in its search engine rankings. Similarly, if your urology practice’s star rating is higher than 4.0 on your Google My Business page, your practice will show up in any search queries that use the term “best,” e.g., [best urology practice downtown.]
More on online reputation management:
Creating and maintaining a 5-star reputation for your healthcare practice
The risks and potential rewards of negative patient reviews
Ways to manage your reputation during COVID-19
Grow Your Urology Practice More Efficiently, with our All-in-One Practice Management System
The healthcare industry is getting more competitive. Between competing with large health systems and online options for care, independent urology practices who want to thrive need a solid plan for long-term practice growth.
Developing a comprehensive growth plan isn’t easy, and it takes time. But it is worth the effort. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a roadmap to developing a successful growth strategy:
- Know your metrics. It’s difficult to set goals without a baseline. Urology practices need to have a good handle on key metrics, such as new patient volume, procedural volume, website traffic, conversion rates, no-shows, and much more.
- Set your goals. Maybe you want to grow in certain subspecialty areas, such as kidney stone treatments or advanced procedures for ED. Perhaps you want to grow market share enough in a certain area of town to support another office location. Or maybe you want to improve patient satisfaction, retention, and office efficiency. To grow your practice, establish a reasonable number of attainable goals that you can tweak or add to over time.
- Measure and refine. When it comes to growth, measurement is key. Once your goals are defined, you have to decide how you’re going to track your performance. In most cases, you’ll want to track key performance indicators that align with your goals and refine those goals over time to ensure your urology practice stays on target.
How an all-in-one growth platform can set the stage for long-term growth
Most urology practices have plenty to keep them busy. Creating and maintaining a growth plan can feel like yet another full-time job. Investing in an all-in-one practice growth platform that modernizes the patient journey and keeps track of key performance indicators can help your urology practice thrive. While there’s no shortage of vendors that can help with search engine optimization (SEO), appointment scheduling, and online reputation, using an all-in-one growth platform makes it easier for urology practices to stay on task and meet growth goals.
PatientPop offers urology practices a practice growth solution that eases every step of the patient journey. From their PatientPop dashboard, urology practices can easily manage tasks and review key performance insights necessary to run a thriving practice. This information helps you adjust and refine your advertising and marketing strategies as you go, which facilitates smarter spending and more substantial practice growth.
More on practice growth:
What is a practice growth platform and how can it help private practices achieve 2021 goals?
Key performance indicators that help reveal and define practice performance
How healthcare practices can benefit from daily use of a practice performance dashboard
Making your healthcare practice a thriving business: Four must-haves for a technology platform
EMR integration means less work for practices. Because patients can see appointment availability in real time, there's no need for someone at your practice to manually action the request. As some patients may call or schedule an appointment in person, it also means that a member of your staff would no longer have to update your online booking tool with the latest availability.
PatientPop can integrate with the most widely used EMRs in the healthcare and dental markets and continuously works to offer more integrations. Our EMR integrations include companies that we partner with as well as systems that are widely-used among physicians and dentists. This includes athenahealth, AdvancedMD, and Dentrix. In fact, PatientPop can integrate with 90 percent of the dental market.