Patients who seek to make changes in their physical appearances have many different reasons for doing so, often based on their life experiences. Whether dealing with the victim of a disfiguring accident, an individual wishing to reduce the signs of aging or someone desiring to alter a physical characteristic that has been present since birth, plastic surgery practice marketing must first help gain the trust of each potential patient.
1. Designing a Website that Builds Trust
There are a number of web design techniques that can help plastic surgeons build trust among current and future patients. First of all, most patients want to know where the surgeon received a medical degree. Therefore education information, including internships, fellowships and residency is important content that should be included on the website. A quote from the physician regarding the practice’s mission and philosophy is a good trust-building technique as well. Nothing, however, beats testimonials shared by happy patients, along with before and after photographs.
2. Effectively Using Onsite SEO
Onsite SEO (search engine optimization) essentially refers to direct edits a webmaster can make to a site, so that patients will find it quickly when conducting an internet search for plastic surgeons. It is vital to have specific keywords placed strategically in the site. This is a must for successful plastic surgery practice marketing. The content in the site must directly relate to the keywords so that potential patients get the information they need from the site. It is also important to have a good system of internal linking, as well as a site that is easy to navigate.
Here is an example of a well utilized meta title tag and description. It executes important keywords while not looking spammy.
3. Successfully Implementing Offsite SEO Strategies
Offsite SEO is the piece of a plastic surgeon marketing campaign that uses techniques other than the website itself to drive patients to the site. Some basic strategies include attending health fairs or other professional events in which business cards and brochures would be distributed. The website should be listed prominently on any displayed signs or printed materials. Writing an article for a healthcare publication, or issuing a press release about relevant news involving the practice are other offsite ways that prospective patients could be driven to your site.
4. Optimizing Locally
When organizing a plastic surgeon marketing campaign, it is important to remember that most patients will come from the surrounding geographical area; therefore, when an internet user searches for plastic surgeons on the web, you want your practice to be displayed at the top of the resulting list. One of the best ways to make that happen is to get your practice on local business directories like Google+ Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Places. When setting up a profile for these directories, it is crucial that every section of the business profile be completed in full so that your practice will receive the maximum benefit.
5. Writing a Blog
Regular blog writing is an excellent way to boost your website’s ranking on internet searches. It can be challenging for a physician to find time to write a blog. Therefore it might be helpful to hire a professional writer to compose daily or weekly blogs. The content should be informative and relevant, not a sales pitch, and keywords should be placed strategically in the content. An effective blog only needs to be around 200 words to boost search engine rankings on the web, and is great way to enhance plastic surgery practice marketing.
6. Retaining Patients
It is crucial for successful practices to retain their patients. Should a patient require additional plastic surgery, you will want them to come back to you. As a result, you want to keep your name in front of former patients without bombarding them with annoying ads. A great way to do that is by sending patients a monthly email newsletter that contains news about your practice, staff, new surgical offerings and equipment or latest developments in the field of plastic surgery. It is easy enough to gather email addresses from patients who schedule appointments. Email addresses for prospective patients can be gathered at health fairs and local business functions.
7. Making the Most of Video Marketing
Incorporating videos into plastic surgeon marketing campaigns is almost necessary, given the nature of the practice. There is no better way to explain surgical techniques, show before and after shots of satisfied patients and gain the trust of prospective patients. Video marketing is also an excellent way to include patient testimonials into a plastic surgery practice marketing campaign. A good web developer can help with the production of a video, and with strategic placement of the video on a website.
8. Getting on the Social Media Train
Many experts say that social media is the future of marketing, particularly with the younger generation that made it so popular. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media outlets present unique opportunities to educate the population about plastic surgery, engage users in discussions, answer basic questions and market techniques to the public. Social media has become a powerful and dynamic marketing tool in the 21st century, and should be included in every plastic surgeon’s arsenal of marketing methods.
9. Serving as an Expert
Current and future patients have more confidence in a plastic surgeon they view as a top expert in the field. One way to develop a reputation as the authority in your area is by serving as an expert in various settings. Presenting an educational talk about plastic surgery at a local Chamber of Commerce or other business gathering is one way to develop a reputation as an expert. Writing a white paper or case study that is published in a respected journal is another good technique; however it is important to link to the publication on your website, and include news about it in your email newsletter.
10. Documenting Patient Feedback
Happy patients who are vocal about their positive experiences with your work and your practice are the best marketing tools any physician can employ. Ask satisfied patients to appear on a video for your website, to write a testimonial for your site or to appear in a print, television or radio ad. Prospective patients will listen to and consider feedback from former patients more than anything else.
Marketing a plastic surgery practice effectively is one of the keys to building a successful practice in a community. Regardless of how gifted a surgeon is in the field, it is still vital to get the word out successfully to potential patients.