Patients are incredibly savvy in their search for care. Nearly 7% of daily searches on Google are health-related. That’s almost 70,000 search queries per minute.
As more people turn to the internet for information as they make health-related decisions, healthcare practices that include digital marketing and convenient, digital access will be best poised for success in 2023.
We’ve created the following checklist to help your practice review current strengths. Review each section to see what you’re doing right to attract new patients and deliver an experience that keeps them coming back. Any box left unchecked is an opportunity to grow your practice in 2023 and beyond.
Drive business with your practice website
Optimize your practice website for the best possible rankings in search results
- Create clear, helpful titles on every webpage, along with engaging meta descriptions and URLs that answer patient search queries.
- Feature-rich, descriptive content about your services, dedicating a single web page to each one.
- Make sure your practice website is designed to be mobile-responsive and can adapt to any browser size.
- Confirm that your web pages load quickly to minimize visitors abandoning your site due to slow load times.
Ensure your practice website conveys a professional, modern brand
- Bring your practice to life with high-quality photos that showcase your office (interior and exterior), staff, and services.
- Feature positive testimonials that demonstrate a high level of patient satisfaction.
- Publish blog posts that establish your medical expertise and answer patients’ most common questions related to your specialty.
Implement a website strategy to convert visitors into patients
- Include prominent calls to action (CTAs) that influence patients to book an appointment.
- Offer an online scheduling option to patients on your website, making it easy for them to schedule or request a visit.
- Ensure your phone number is featured in text, not an image, so patients can call your practice with a single click.
- Give patients the option to connect with you via text messaging directly from your website.
Make your website the hub of your practice operations
- Create a positive, informative experience when people arrive at your website.
- Offer patients a variety of ways to contact your practice right from your website, most notably on your site homepage.
- Implement convenient patient self-service opportunities such as online booking, digital registration, and patient payments
Maintain a positive, influential online reputation
Take ownership of your profiles on healthcare, business, and directory websites
- Claim each professional profile on every website that lists your practice and providers.
- Ensure your contact information (name, office address, phone number, and website URL) and business hours are correct.
- Optimize each profile with detailed content about you and your practice, and high-quality photos.
Claim and audit your practice’s Google My Business (GMB) listing
- Claim and verify your listing with Google.
- Add or confirm your office location, business hours, and specialty to ensure those details show up in filtered searches.
- Update your GMB listing with new photos, direct links to your website, and detailed content about your practice.
- Add a few questions and answers to your Google business profile’s “Questions & answers” section.
- Enable appointment booking through your GMB listing.
- Create a couple Google Posts to share news or drive appointments.
Proactively manage your online reputation
- Ask each patient for feedback after their visit — preferably with a simple online survey that’s sent automatically.
- Monitor any online patient comments, feedback, or reviews on a daily basis.
- Reply to negative reviews swiftly and respectfully, and offer to resolve any issues directly with patients offline.
- Thank reviewers who give positive feedback and add positive patient testimonials to your practice website.
Enhance the patient experience
Offer patients online scheduling
- Give patients the opportunity to book or request an appointment via your practice website, 24/7.
- Enable online appointment requests via Google and other business listing websites that offer the functionality.
Send appointment reminders to reduce no-shows and meet patient preference
- Send automated appointment reminders via email and two-way text messaging.
- Enable patients to confirm, cancel, or reschedule their appointments digitally.
Offer patients text messaging as an option to connect with your practice and help enhance the provider-patient relationship
- Give patients a “call-to-text” option: upon calling your practice, patients receive a prompt to send a text message instead.
- Use a secure text messaging platform for patients to request an appointment and get questions answered.
- Send feedback surveys after every visit to hear from patients about their experience.
Provide telehealth options
- Offer patients the option to meet you virtually for certain visit types, reducing wait times and patient no-shows.
- Create a seamless telehealth experience by sending patients a unique video link that requires no software download or log in.
Accept digital patient payments
- Have the ability to create and send digital invoices via email or text message.
- Invite patients to pay their bill online, helping reduce payment time.
Increase patient engagement with email and social media
- Set up an email newsletter and segment your audiences to send customized emails to your patients and stay top-of-mind in between appointments.
- Pick one social media channel to communicate and build engagement with new and current patients (post 2x a week at least).
- Write blogs about common patient questions or concerns. Share them in emails and on social media.
Streamline your front-office work
Empower your front-office staff to save time and accomplish tasks with less work
- Send automated appointment reminders to patients, eliminating manual phone call work from your staff’s day.
- Send digital registration and intake forms before appointments, optimizing convenience for staff and patients.
- Manage your patient payment process digitally. Create and send digital invoices to reduce paper workload, and expedite the time to send a bill and receive payment it.
Track your business performance metrics
Set goals and track metrics to help refine your practice success strategy
- Establish key performance indicators — such as appointment volume, new patient visits, patient review sentiment — to help gauge practice success.
- Set reasonable growth targets by month, quarter, or season.
- Monitor performance data and refine strategy on an ongoing basis.