Your website is the one thing that you have the most control over for your online presence. You can make that count with good design, great content and a structure that is easy to navigate. Websites can be matched to your budget in a style that reflects the personality and vision of your medical practice.
A good starting point is to identify and gather those visual or written elements that best reflect what your practice is about. A good logo will have already achieved this guiding the colours and visual elements of the site. You may already have a mission statement that can be reworded to state clearly to those visiting the site what you are passionate about.
There is a huge range of design options for layout, images and small features such as buttons and icons. Best to start with a broad brush and fill in the finer details later. For example, finding a focal point that can be repeated and emphasised throughout the site can help add continuity and help drive the written and visual content.
Nicky Jardine can assist in everything from the logo design and site structure option, to the supply of written and visual content. She is able to assist in the organising of domain names and website hosting, along with any additional features such as contact forms that integrate with email marketing databases or setting up of online appointments.
So whether you have an existing site that needs to be revamped or are looking to start from the ground up Nicky Jardine can get to know what you are about and then head your website in the right direction.
Website Support & Maintenance
Once you have a website established there is much to do. That means in the simplest terms expanding and updating the front end content of the website while ensuring the back end system functions and security are happy.
Expanding the content of the website with in-depth, meaningful and original content will impress search engines like Google and will help boost the ranking of a website in online searches. Taking out old content or updating information is also essential housekeeping that those visiting the site will appreciate. After all having things like the wrong opening hours or services that no longer exist, will dampen their website experience regardless of how good the site works and looks.
The back end of a website needs to be updated especially as the browsers we use to search and devices we search with are constantly changing. This maintenance keeps the website running efficiently with pages that load quickly and properly. It also means that old formats that could become a security issue are either updated or removed.
Even the best maintenance of a website will see things go awry. There are ways to mitigate against these risks through good planning, such as using reliable elements within the site, making changes after hours or testing changes before implementing.
These are all good practices help ensure your website runs smoothly, avoiding unnecessary stress and the potential loss of new patients visiting the site. Nicky Jardine can help grow your website so that the meeting point for your online presence is at its best.
Google Ranking With SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the process of increasing your exposure on Google search results. For example, typing into Google ‘medical centre near me’ will bring up a range of medical centres in the search results. How far from the top of that list your medical practice is situated demonstrates your exposure to potential customers for that search term. SEO aims to increase your exposure for search terms most relevant to your desired clientele.
Ranking for Google is based on many factors, including your website’s relevance to the search terms you wish to rank for, page speed, the responsiveness of layout to mobile phone and other screens, quality and structure of links and much more.
SEO should begin straight during the build or restructuring of the practice website. Poor quality content that lacks the mix of quality SEO factors will affect the ranking in the long run. Best to get it right from the beginning and maximise optimisation for your medical centre’s key search terms.
With those search terms optimised not only will your website be more visible to potential clients, a listing higher on searches may improve the trust factor for those who have not been to the practice before.
This improved ranking also has the follow on effect of increasing website traffic, your medical centre’s exposure and ultimately a return on investment through a higher volume of calls and online bookings.
Google Ads & Your Budget
Google Ads is another activity that can be started from the outset. It is a great way to gain exposure and compliment your Search Engine Optimisation activities. For most search terms it will take time for a new medical practice to rank well. Google Ads can fill that gap and once achieved, provide another level of exposure to potential clients.
Google Ads works on a daily budget that is allocated to a campaign of adverts with associated search terms your ads would ideally be shown for. A cost is incurred when the desired action is made, be that someone clicking a link on the ad that takes them to the website or on a phone number directly to the medical centre.
A lot of data is supplied by Google Ads and from this, the success of each campaign can be gauged depending on what goal was set. These can be an increase in traffic, brand awareness or clicks to the website. Taken further a good conversion rate may indicate a fair return on investment. For example, the number of ad impressions versus how many times a phone number was actually called.
These features also help identify where there is room for improvement so as to avoid overspending. So it pays to organise Google Ad campaigns correctly from the start and monitor their progress to ensure that the most impact is made from every advertising dollar.
Email marketing in its most simple form can be another means of staying connected with patients. It can be used as another way of delivering the information contained on a website and social media platforms. This extends the value of any unique content that has been created for the medical centre.
As it is taking a more direct approach the information contained in an email can be more directed towards the patient and their needs. Through links contained in the email, an email newsletter can assist other areas of marketing such as building traffic to areas of your website or encouraging visits to social media pages..
It’s important to start collecting a database of emails to send to and by the same token ensuring those that do not wish to receive the email newsletters are promptly unsubscribed.
Nicky Jardine can assist in the design and building of templates, establishing goals and schedules, through to integration with other business management platforms.
The great thing about social media is that it enables you to connect with those most likely to relate to the service you are promoting. A multitude of social media platforms also means you can select those that match your message and the audience you wish to reach.
When posting on Social Media content should aim to entertain, educate, engage or empower. This can be achieved successfully by understanding a medical practice’s ethos, the services that can be promoted and through being connected to daily events and recent news.
Much work goes into setting up and maintaining a social media presence while communicating with those who prefer to contact the clinic through social media as opposed to email or a phone call. Good social media management in a medical practice is an extension of total web presence and helps build trust online.
Just like Google, social media platforms offer a variety of advertising options. This can be particularly useful when trying to gain traction upon setting up a medical practice. Although the metrics supplied are not as extensive as Google Ads, there is a greater ability to target specific groups of people within those social media communities.
Advertising Regulations For Your Practice
One final area to be considered with any promotional activity, be that a simple brochure or a major Google Ads campaign is advertising regulations for medical practices within Australia.
There is plenty of material available to help understand this regulatory framework, for both practitioners and those involved in marketing the medical practice. A good starting point could be the ‘Guidelines for advertising regulated health services’.
A good resource mentioned there is The National Board’s ’Social Media Policy’.
More information can be found here regarding Setting Up Medical Practice Advertising For Success which covers some of these areas in more depth.
There is plenty that can be achieved without paid advertising, and just like a website, the options are only limited by the imagination.
Of course, maintaining a website, running social media campaigns or monitoring an advertising campaign requires a great deal of resources and knowledge.
Nicky Jardine can assist with these areas. Her experience within the medical centre environments means she has much to offer in regard to promotional advice.
If you would like to know more about how marketing can be used to meet your goals, and what potential it holds for developing your medical practice, please contact Nicky Jardine on 1300 798 831.
Disclaimer: The information used on this page is for guidance only. If, after reading this you are still unsure if your advertising complies with the National Law we recommend you seek advice from your professional association, insurer and/or independent legal adviser.