Capture Traffic Where 92% of All Searches Happen
By Dr. Greg Grillo
Google has set the rules of the search game, and we’re not going to change them. When you understand the forces at work, you’re ahead of the majority of the health practices around you. But a perpetual cycle of growth develops when you actually execute a finely-tuned plan.
- Your practice gets maximum visibility in Google search and Maps
- The number of new patients calling your practice and visiting your website increases
- New patients turn into long-term relationships who refer others to you
- Fans of your practice leave online reviews on Google and Facebook
- Your visibility and credibility grows…so does your practice
Your patients are on a journey as they travel to and through your practice. Google provides all the tools for the trip, but you need to direct with intention. Here are some eye-popping facts that smart health practices build their marketing strategy around:
- Over 70% of consumers do an online search before booking an appointment with a physician, PT, optometrist, or dentist
- 94% of consumers call a chiropractor after performing a search
- 100% of consumers call a physical therapist after doing an internet search
Unlike most journeys, this one doesn’t start and end. It fuels practice growth by attracting and nurturing patients in a perpetual cycle. Put these five pieces in the right places at the right time, and Google delivers a steady stream of patients to your chair. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Manage Your Reputation
Your offline practice needs an accurate online representation. The first step is to make sure you look sharp in the digital world. How do you do it?
- Get yourself looking good . Your information must be correct across all major listing sites on the internet. Accuracy builds your credibility with search engines and helps new patients easily find you.
- Go for consistency . Your practice data must be consistent everywhere it’s listed online. Make sure Google, Apple, Facebook, and over 100 other third-party apps, maps, and directories have your data updated.
- Highlight your intelligence . Many consumers use smart technology like Siri and Alexa. These intelligent services answer questions about your practice by providing reviews, locations, people, and events as structured data. The data accuracy on your website and business listings determine whether or not these services see your website as a reliable, authoritative source.
2. Create Local Exposure
Your practice can feature lots of reviews and glowing accolades, but they have to be where people see them. The second step is to make sure that you’re #1 on Google Maps listings. How do you get there?
- Mobile-optimize your exposure . Over 8.3 billion monthly searches on Google are for health-related terms , and the majority of them are on mobile devices. Make sure you’re set up to meet them there.
- Claim your rightful place : On top of the map. 46% of Google searches have local intent . Ads placed at the top of Google Maps search results help leads see you first.
- Put your best foot forward . Your Google My Business page needs current information and your top reviews. That enhances your reputation and helps prospects click on your listing with confidence.
3. Make Your Website Sing
Once someone chooses you in their search, they’re probably headed to your website. You want a practice website that makes their digital visits memorable. Google recognizes traffic patterns, including how long a visitor stays on your site and if they return. What’s involved in getting that right?
- Keep true to a mobile-friendly design . Your website should give patients what they want: a rich experience on their mobile devices. Websites need to feature best-in-class mobile-forward functionality for today’s savvy consumer.
- Don’t settle for average design . Choose a design that’s proven to engage new prospective patients. Incorporate your branding and content, and make your practice look sharp and uncluttered.
- Include SEO in your content . Engaging, patient-friendly content brings visitors to your site. SEO tactics shift quickly, so make sure your site uses techniques that keep you relevant to Google.
4. Focus On Attracting and Keeping Patients
Your practice needs to engage new prospects and nurture them through a series of steps, known as a funnel. But you also want to deepen your relationship with existing patients. A balance of engaging communication techniques helps build your authority with Google and keeps traffic flowing. How do you do that?
- Gently push loyal patients . Ongoing campaigns encourage your existing patients back to your website. For example, use emails that invite them to click through to fresh content on your blog. In the process, you can encourage them to refer their family and friends.
- Carefully pull new patients. Targeted ads bring prospective patients to landing pages designed for your practice. They find quizzes, assessments, white papers, and e-books to capture their interest. For example, visitors provide a name and email address to download an eBook. You follow-up with an automated email series that helps them make an appointment with your office.
- Stay top-of-mind . The average person spends 144 minutes every day on social media . Facebook posts keep your brand where their eyes rest, and a steady drip is a key to staying on the top of their minds.
5. Offer Online Scheduling
If your practice doesn’t offer online scheduling for appointments, it’s time to consider it. Consumers expect to complete many basic tasks online. In fact, one survey found that 43% of medical patients prefer making appointments online after-hours. And almost half of respondents said they’d like to schedule appointments online, but they usually don’t have the option. How does online scheduling benefit your practice?
- It’s simply convenient . Removing barriers to scheduling appeals to patients and staff.
- It’s Google-friendly . Search engine formulas constantly change, but driving traffic to your site always helps your SEO. Sending current patients links for online scheduling pushes them back to your site every time they need to book an appointment.
Execute and Grow
Dancing with Google requires any business to be quick on their feet. And just when you think you’ve figured out the right moves, the rules change. But as an innovative practice, you can guide the patient journey and put the power of Google to work for you.
The team at Legwork is dedicated to taking the mystery out of the process and make that happen. By integrating all the pieces Google looks for in one platform, your practice gets consistent growth. Legwork can manage your reputation across dozens of listing sites, make sure you show up at the top of Google Maps, create SEO-friendly websites that appeal to both search engines and patients, and run sophisticated attraction and nurturing campaigns that keep your traffic flowing.