Why Your Medical Practice is Failing to Attract New Customers
In advance of speaking at the Medical Entrepreneur Symposium this weekend in Delray Beach, I have been thinking about and researching how medical practices can use the Internet to attract new patients. We find that most doctors invested in a website early in the setup of their practice, but are disappointed that it never becomes a large source of new patients.
This dissatisfaction is common with many small businesses in professional services. However, the truth is NO new website will attract new business without persistent effort. Just as a car is of little value without fuel, your website is a tool that requires marketing effort to get you where you want to go.
Assuming that your services are in demand and you have a solid reputation, there are two core reasons a medical practice may not successfully be attracting a steady volume of new clients. Simply put, either your website is not effective at converting visitors into patients, or you do not have a high enough volume of visitors to your website.
I would say most medical practice websites I come across suffer from both problems equally:
Problem 1: Your website is not effective.
Avoid designing a website solely on what you or your family members think “looks good.” The goal of the website is to match your services with a need, establish credibility, and encourage visitors to consult you.
Make sure to download our free Medical Practice Website Checklist that we’ve put together to make sure your website is an effective marketing tool.
Problem 2: You need more traffic.
An effective website will convert some percentage of new visitors to your website into patients. This actual percentage could vary dramatically, but will probably be far lower than you think it will be. If you are driving quality, targeted traffic via search advertising, it may only be 1 – 2% of visitors. It is important to set realistic expectations.
So, let’s assume you are setting appointments with 1% of new visitors to your website. If you invest in 200 visitors per week, on average, you should expect 2 new appointments each week. Some forms of traffic—such as targeted keyword advertising on Google—can convert very highly, while less targeted traffic, such as a sponsorship banner or link, may convert less positively.
And, again, if you have problem #1 above, you might have a conversion rate of zero.
Seek a mix of traffic from search engine optimization, social media, pay-per-click search engine advertising and other paid advertising on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and targeted medical websites. Page two of the checklist mentioned above has some tips on optimizing your website to attract search engine traffic.
Make sure you understand the lifetime value of your clients, and use the conversion rate math to make sure you are acquiring new patients at a profitable rate.
Now that you understand why you are not obtaining new clients online, go fix your two problems!