People tend to go to the web before anywhere else when looking for health answers or looking for a new healthcare provider. By making the most of your presence online, you can significantly increase your visibility and the level of trust you build before a patient ever walks in your door.

A few ways to win at the healthcare marketing game:

1. Make your patients your ambassadors.

People trust personal recommendations even when they come from strangers. About 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust an in-person recommendation from a friend. Ask patients to write testimonials for your website and to provide reviews on social media and on review sites like Yelp. For patients who prefer more old fashioned methods, keep comment cards in your office. The positive reviews can be posted on your site.

answer patient questions

2. Answer patient questions on your website.

People often take to Google to learn about medical conditions before they make appointments to ask their doctor about symptoms. Create a library of articles and tips that apply to the conditions that you most often treat. Make sure you include the topics that people are often too embarrassed to discuss in person. Getting information in advance can help them get the level of comfort they need to make an appointment and talk to a doctor at your practice. An FAQ page can make it easy for searchers to find exactly the answer they are looking for and can make them curious enough to look at more on your site.

3. Make pages for every location of your practice.

If you have offices in several cities, make a page for each of them. This makes it easier for you to index well locally in each town where you have a presence. Each page should have up to date phone and address information.

4. Pick at least one social media network.

Do not try to have a presence on every single social media network. It can make it difficult to keep up with them all. A neglected page can often be worse than not having one at all. Instead, choose a few networks where your patients are most likely to gather. Instagram is a great place for practices with a Millennial-aged patient group. Facebook is more popular with older users. Pinterest is a great place for a women’s health practice.

5. Post content that fits each channel well.

Instagram is a great place for photos that are captioned with relevant health tips. Quora is a good channel for answering questions and showing your knowledge and authority in your specialty. Facebook can be a great place for a mix of content.

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6. Add video to your marketing mix.

Video was the breakout marketing technology of 2015 and its popularity is not slowing down. Make short health tip videos to help clients learn more about attaining the best level of health and wellness. Recruit happy patients for testimonial videos or videos where they share their experiences with specific treatments. These can be great for making the sort of personal connection that wins likes and shares.

7. Consider an app.

More and more people are using mobile and more people prefer using mobile apps. A well-developed mobile app can allow patients to make appointments online, give them quick access to their health records and allow them to learn more about how to maintain their health. Plus, since apps show up in search engine results, it gives you another chance to grab one of the top spots.

Today’s patients are more informed healthcare consumers. Your presence online can help them see the value of your practice and the reasons that they should choose you over one of your competitors. A combination of helpful content, glowing testimonials and easy to navigate sites can help you rise above the others and win the trust of local prospects.