My website on retinal diseases grew my surgical volume by 31% last year.
I have been in practice for 19 years and presently work for two separate ophthalmic groups. Neither does any marketing. Both have webpages that should be parked (the websites are stale and have been ignored and do not reflect positively on the groups). Their websites do not rank well.
My websites are the only marketing tool I have. The “non-retina” volume (e.g. cataract surgey) has remained “flat” at best for each group.
I attract over 12,000 visitors per 3o days (this is the standard metric by which website traffic can be measured, the number of unique visitors per 30 days) to my website about retinal disease.
Over 25,000 pages were viewed. Most visitors read about 2.5 articles and spend about almost 1.5 minutes “looking.”
82% are new visitors.
Most of my readers are from the U.S.
International and Interstate Patients
In the last year, however, I have had several international patients and several dozen patients traveling interstate. Most come for surgery.
The growth of my retina sub-specialty practice is not due to the numbers of international nor interstate patients I attract. Those numbers are relatively lean, but they do grab your attention.
In fact, the core of my growth is due to the tremendous local exposure my website generates. I rank higher on SERP, and more often, when patients are performing a search for a retinal specialist than any of my competitors.
I have become my own, single largest referral source. Patients come from two major sources.
Self-referrals are the obvious source. As 90% of Americans first turn to the Internet when looking for answers to their health, many patients simply self-refer themselves.
The second way my practice grows is related to my referrral base. Word of mouth from patients and referals from other doctors no LONGER are sufficient for patients to call and make an appointment. Word of mouth and doctor ‘referals’ serve only as suggestions.
I need to be validated on the web before a call is made to make an appointment.
This is the mechanism by which my web presence has helped boost my practice the most. A suggestion is made to see me, and I am validated vis-a-vis my web presence.
Not Social Media Either
I do use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I use them primarily to reach out to the few who “follow” me on these platforms. My analytics are respectable, not due to traditional social media, but due to the efforts of content marketing.
Content Marketing is the Best for Medicine
Content marketing and optimizing your SEO (search engine optimization) is the only way a medical practice can achieve and also maintain high rankings. Creating value on your website by providing useful, relevant health information is the key to getting your website ranked highly on SERP and attracting new patients.
While Facebook’s marketing utility is indeed growing, without a good website, you can’t develop a Facebook marketing strategy. While this may not be true in other industries, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should be used to draw attention to your website.
Content marketing provides value to the patients looking for answers to their health questions. Google and the other search engines rank websites based upon relevance….i.e., the quality of the content on your site.
Good relevant content turns into high rankings. High rankings become patients….eventually.
(I’ll be writing next about the different stages of a website and how traffic can turn into….patients.)
Have a great President’s Day Weekend!
To the Growth of You and Your Practice!
Randall V. Wong, M.D.