Today’s healthcare marketplace is highly competitive and technologically fluid. In response, successful healthcare organizations utilize:
• A strong website with mobile capability.
• Well-developed SEO.
• Relevant content.
• Engaging social media strategies.
When integrated correctly, these components can increase online visibility, establish credibility & trust, provide information, and facilitate communication, all geared towards increasing patients and growing business.
Every business understands the importance of having an online presence, but healthcare in particular offers overwhelming numbers to demonstrate the relevance of an accessible, navigable website. For instance, 72% of Internet users have looked online for health information in the past year. In addition, 76% of patients use hospital websites for research when determining where to find care. If they can’t find you online, they won’t find you down the road.
As technology continues to move forward faster than a Japanese bullet train, trends become evident rather quickly. Consider the shift from accessing the Internet via desktop computers to jumping online anytime, anywhere through mobile devices. From 2011 to 2013 mobile traffic increased 171%.
Today, more than 30% of all Internet traffic is done from mobile devices and that number is only going to increase exponentially. When you consider the convenience and immediacy of Internet interaction, it’s no wonder that 44% of patients who found a hospital on their mobile device went on to schedule an appointment right then and there. Gone are the days of calling receptionists, checking calendars, and laboring over finding the right appointment time.
The more potential patients search for healthcare online, the more important it becomes for healthcare organizations to pay attention to their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Like many products or services, people looking for health information online start with a general search engine like Google. When the results come up in any search, 91.5% of the people click somewhere on the first search page; this drops to 4.8% for the second page. In regards to healthcare, the most commonly searched topics include specific diseases & conditions, treatments & procedures, and doctors or health professionals. Realizing all this, healthcare marketers can gear their SEO efforts to match these trends through keywords, image titles, and blog or video content and attempt to gain the highest position possible in the search results.
Once potential patients find an organization’s site, the key is to engage them and win them over with great content. With this in mind, it’s interesting to note that patients ranked the following factors in importance when it comes to choosing a healthcare facility:
• Reputation of facility: 94%
• Accepts healthcare plan: 90%
• Recommended by physician: 86%
• Uses latest technology: 85%
• Recommended by friends and family: 51%
By leveraging this information, healthcare organizations can provide the most engaging content to prospective patients through their website and social media, thus increasing new patients and SEO. A couple of the best techniques for driving SEO are video content and blogging. 52% of consumers say that watching a video makes them more confident in online product and service decisions. SEO is driven by the facts that the average user spends 88% more time on a website with video and a website is 53 times more likely to appear on Google’s first page if it has video.
An important part of the digital marketing puzzle for healthcare is social media. Social media is ubiquitous. It’s the #1 activity performed on the web. Considering that 72% of adult Internet users in the US are active on at least one social network, to deny its relevance and importance in marketing is to put your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. It’s the only web-based activity whose volume outperforms pornography…and that’s saying something.
With an increasing senior population looking for care and a younger generation growing up on digital media, now more than ever a successful healthcare organization needs to embrace all components of digital marketing and integrate them into an effective, engaging, and profitable strategy.
To find out how a strong digital marketing strategy can impact your organization, give us a call at (817) 616-0320 or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.