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Top 3 Digital Marketing Trends For Healthcare Professionals

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Healthcare professionals must always figure out the best way to gather new leads and convert them into new patients. New patients are the bread and butter for any healthcare provider. Soliciting new patients has never been easier in our digital age. However, each year competition increases, technology changes, and new regulations are introduced.

With economic challenges building up, now is the time to update your healthcare marketing strategy! Marketing strategies are not about staying ahead of your competition but rather engaging in the competition and securing your market share. Marketing is first about communicating and enticing potential new patients. You'll be clamoring to keep the bills paid without a voice to tell prospective patients about your services. 

Keeping up with marketing trends will help you secure your share of the market, provide current and future leads, and build a strong brand and voice.

We've identified the top 3 digital healthcare marketing trends for medical professionals.

  1. SEO
  2. Pay-per-click
  3. Review Generation

3 Digital Marketing Trends For Medical Professionals

1. SEO Remains the Foundation of Indirect Marketing

Location-based SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can make or break your digital presence. According to NBC News, over 80% of internet users searched for health-related topics online in 2003. According to Forbes, in 2021, 1 in 10 Americans turned to social media for reliable health information.

Each year, digital searches for healthcare information have risen. In addition, since the COVID-19 pandemic, online and digital healthcare consultations have increased dramatically. Therefore, the digital playing field is not an option for most medical professionals - it is a must!

As with every healthcare marketing trend, SEO best practices continue to evolve. Since the advent of Search Engine Optimization in the late 90s, numerous SEO tactics have evolved and developed. And, over the last 20+ years, Google has paved the way for standardized SEO strategies.

Today local SEO for medical professionals has become the focus for most marketers instead of the broad global search tactics formed in the beginning. Local SEO includes many tactics, including:

  • Metadata
  • Schema
  • Local Business Listings
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Content Creation
  • Keyword Optimization
  • Backlink Building

If your current SEO strategies do not include most, if not all, of the tactics mentioned above, you are missing vital components to increasing your competitive value and digital footprint. Marketing companies offering SEO campaigns using only 1 or 2 tactics mentioned above are selling you a mediocre service. Although many of the SEO strategies we've mentioned will broaden the global reach of many medical professionals, today's SEO for healthcare professionals focuses on the local target market of the healthcare practice location.

Even 20+ years later, SEO remains the foundation of digital marketing tactics. Implementing a solid SEO strategy is crucial to ensure potential new patients can find you. Although most marketers will focus on the top results of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for SEO, SEO offers much more. Whether you're number one or not, SEO is your golden ticket to getting more patients, increasing your online presence, and broadening your brand.

How to implement a competitive SEO strategy that will land you page one SERPs for numerous keywords and increase traffic to your website:

  • Local Business Listing Accuracy and Sync
    Google My Business and other pages must be created and managed to ensure complete optimization of your organic search. Business listings are vital to your organic digital presence. There are an additional 70+ business listing websites your healthcare practice can utilize. Moreover, medical review and listing providers supply great leads and further optimization like Healthgrades, WebMD, RateMDs, and Vitals.

    Furthermore, ensuring your information, hours, and contact is up-to-date on these digital platforms is extremely important for patient satisfaction and fulfillment. Today, software services allow marketers to manage all these listings in one place, providing you with convenience and strategy for your digital marketing campaigns.
  • Metadata and Content Management
    Keyword optimization has been around since the beginning of SEO strategies. Of all the existing strategies, metadata and keyword optimization remain intact, with little change to their execution and tactic. Although Google has led the playing field with penalizations for keyword stuffing and reducing the impact of Meta Keywords in their algorithm, keyword strategies essentially remain the same. When targeted keywords and phrases are included in Meta Keywords, Meta Descriptions, and Meta Titles, you dramatically increase the chance of higher SERPs.

    Additionally, adding location-specific targeting to keyword phrases increases the SERPs for local SEO. Although keyword strategies have always required location-specific targeting, this strategy has only been identified with local SEO in recent years. Adding specific keywords to your metadata and content can only increase the chance for higher SERPs.
  • Backlink Building
    Backlink building is one SEO strategy that has radically changed since its implementation. In the early 2000s, Google and other SEs (Search Engines) began offering higher optimization results to websites that were mentioned by other websites - a link back to your website or a backlink. Backlink building led to the unethical practice of purchasing 100s if not 1000s of links on other websites that began flooding the internet with garbage and spammy websites. In the mid to late 2000s, Google identified the manipulation of backlink building and started penalizing sites with spammy backlinks.

    Although penalization of poor backlinks scared off many marketers and SEO strategists, backlink building still offers some of the highest optimization points in the Google algorithm. You can significantly increase your SERPs by selecting only qualified sites to host a backlink and adding a few each month.

2. Pay-per-click Advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be a direct and indirect form of marketing. Indirect marketing only targets individuals within the marketing funnel who are ready to make a purchase. Direct marketing can target anyone within the marketing funnel, whether potential patients who don't see a need, patients who have identified an issue, patients in the research phase, or patients who are ready to purchase. In addition, direct marketing typically offers enhanced brand awareness, increased leads, and higher overall market share.

Traditionally healthcare professionals rely on patient referrals from drive-bys, friends and family, insurance, or doctor referrals. However, times are changing. More and more patients are self-diagnosing, choosing quality care over convenience, etc. Medical professionals need to consider a direct marketing approach to compete in an ever-evolving society. Out of all direct marketing strategies, PPC offers comparatively the highest ROI and reduced cost.

Implementing a competitive pay-per-click strategy that offers higher leads and ROI takes skill and understanding. Below are our recommendations for executing an effective PPC strategy:

  • Hire Professional Healthcare Marketing Help
    It's unavoidable; hiring the right healthcare marketing team is the only way to compete effectively in the digital markets. Effective PPC strategies will vary from one demographic area to another. When deploying an effective PPC marketing strategy, there are too many nuances and settings to consider. Only with the proper experience can a marketing team make an impact.
  • Understanding before Implementation
    If you are one of those do-it-yourself (DIY) personalities, obtaining as much knowledge about the practices and methods of running a successful PPC campaign is recommended before throwing hard-earned money into the mix. It is vital to research baseline PPC budgets for your industry, the ideal demographic information, and the perfect platform. Become familiar with the pay-per-click platforms you wish to use. Learn how to construct a campaign, management, and budget setting.

3. Reputation Management with Review Generation

Healthcare professionals sit on either side of the acceptance of online reviews. Some professionals love online reviews, while others dislike the personal attacks or highlights review platforms offer. In either case, digital reviews are happening, and only by controlling your review reputation can you avoid the pitfalls that exist with practice ownership.

If your current digital marketing strategy doesn't include a plan for gathering patient reviews, develop one ASAP. Asking for reviews in the office is the least effective approach, but it is an approach. With technological advances, marketers can offer digitally automated requests that provide convenience and a streamlined process to review collection. Such software technologies will increase review collection by 100%-900% for healthcare professionals.

Developing a review collection procedure will drown out any negative review on your healthcare practice. Additionally, with over 70% of patients indicating how online reviews were crucial in selecting a new healthcare provider, you will be tapping into a marketing tool that is essential to new patient conversions.

Acquire More Leads with Digital Marketing

Your patient's healthcare experience begins with your organization's website. Ensure your healthcare website is easy to navigate, flows straightforwardly, loads quickly, and provides ample patient-focused content. It's also important to give potential patients convenient options on how they interact with your medical practice. For example, consider offering online appointment requests or bookings, a virtual chat or consultation, digital patient registration, online payments, etc.

Next, tap into the digital healthcare marketing trends for medical professionals. Potential patients must be guided to your website, brand, or digital reputation. Digital marketing is the only way for your digital presence to succeed. SEO, PPC, and review generation are the leading digital marketing tactics every healthcare professional should consider.

The Future of Your Healthcare Marketing

Medical Marketing Guru is a leading healthcare marketing agency serving the United States. We have helped 100s of medical professionals build, maintain, and increase their digital presence. With highly advanced and custom medical websites, perfected healthcare SEO, and direct marketing experience, we can help you succeed now and into the future.

Posted on Dec 26, 2022
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