1. Google Local Business
Put effort into this and make sure it has great photos, opening hours, etc. This is what appears when people use Google Maps to find a doctor. You want to absolutely nail this.
Chances are the opposition aren’t focusing on this yet. You need to.
Google adwords allow you to specify:
– the words you want to be seen for “local doctor”, “GP” etc
– the words you DON’T want to be seen for (e.g. “who” as in “doctor who”) which is a great way of saving money
– the day of week and time of day (just make ads display when you know you are quiet, not on days you are too busy or closed)
– the type of person (if you want to get really fancy, but just the above is enough)
AdWords will take you to a location of your choice. Make sure that it is damn simple and obvious how they make a booking. Don’t waste the space with trying to convince them you are the best GP in the area. Chances are, they just want to book. Make it easy.
AdWords is the ONLY method that will start generating business for you the moment you start. If it doesn’t, either change your ad or your landing page until it does.
3. Google Reviews
This is a tough one for GPs because of restrictions around getting reviews, but you need to get good reviews on your Google Local. I will leave it for others to debate this one out.
4. Facebook Page
I will be blunt – most FB pages are absolutely useless. If you have one, just put good content up, and it needs to be useful. If people aren’t sharing what you post, don’t bother. Don’t put up one of those useless “Like us on facebook” signs unless there is a damn good reason why anyone would want to.
“Search Engine Optimisation” is a pipe dream of getting free traffic to your web site. If you want Google to give you traffic, pay for it with AdWords.
But who ever made your web site in the first place should have complied with the SEO guidelines, or else they need to be shot. Yes, have SEO best practice on your site, but don’t expect a return on your investment.
“User Experience Optimisation” – I made this term up. Make sure you site is optimised to answer 2 questions and 2 questions only:
– “How can I book?”
– “How can you help me?”
That second question isn’t “how good are you”. It’s typically not about you.
7. Facebook Ads
Facebook allows you to target people based on their location and their interests. You could have an ad that links to an article discussing the latest innovations in diabetes treatment and put it in front of only those people within 3km of you that have an interest in diabetes. That’s a very targeted message to a very targeted audience.
8. Joint Venture
Is there another company or organisation that you can work with? Pharmacies are the usual ones, but feel free to think extreme. What about a local cafe? The put a sign up in their window or at their counter to promote you. At the same time, you give a free coffee voucher to the type of customer they are after (e.g. young mothers or retirees).
Can your doctors spend some of their time to give a talk on specific topics? e.g. mother groups, mens sheds, etc. Get smart and video these talks, and then upload them to your web site and FB page.
If you are still looking for something to gel, then head back to 1 and think it through again.
I have the challenge of promoting a business to business product within the health industry. I look at your situation and see opportunities, but the grass is always greener on the other side. Feel free to contact us if you want to discuss specifics. I do most of the things in this list.