Many practices use internet marketing as a way of gaining exposure. In contrast, referral-only based practices function and survive on the once solid and reliable phenomenon called word-of-mouth.
We all know this age-old story…
A patient walks into their practice and is satisfied with their services, and the patient recommends the practice to his/her friends and family who are in need of the same services.
So why would a referral-based practice require internet marketing?
1. To Obtain New Patients
Internet marketing is a great way to secure a larger referral base,
while at the same time obtaining new patients.
Best Case Web-presence Scenario: (this is what you want)
- Great website
- Good reviews
Making use of a good website and Search Engine Optimization to increase your online visibility – when searched – will improve your ranking on search engines like Google is becoming increasingly important.
Moreover, patients who have been referred to you – the health practitioner – by other professionals, friends, or family are quickly and easily able to find your practice on the web amongst all the cyber clutter. All this, with a good search engine ranking, and a functioning website. This is just one example of how internet search can help referral-based practices and although the concept is simple, seemingly obvious, and oh so necessary; which many practitioners leave it overlooked as being absolutely essential in today’s ever-expanding, digital, internet-driven world.
Testimonial reviews tied to a professional looking website also make a huge impact. Internet marketing is extremely beneficial because it allows new and existing patients to compare you to other health practitioners who they might have originally been referred to.
Worst Case Scenario (this is what you don’t want)
- Your practice doesn’t have a website, or
- You have a poorly designed or outdated website.
- Referral patients choose to rather go to an alternate practitioner who actually has an online presence
2. Professionalism through design
A website is able to give patients a glimpse of your practice, and patients associate a professional website with professional, quality care. Your website is your virtual doorway, your window, portal, and looking-glass for potential patients with whom no doubt, you would like to be building a long and lasting professional relationship with. One’s digital presence ties into and needs to harmonize with your physical establishment in order to win over new patients and keep them for good.
“We live in the aesthetic generation where good design is the norm. It’s woven throughout our society and it’s the expectation from today’s customers. With social influence becoming the currency in which products and brands are shared, we must recognize that opting for mediocre design will leave us in one place… the back.” – Dale Partridge
This is already happening in areas of the world where there are more internet savvy patients. Investing in a solid and good-looking digital presence where it is becoming one of the new assets of an aesthetic generation, doesn’t sound that bad at all, does it?
However, too many South African practitioners have neglected this link between a digital & physical presence and those who hesitate may quite literally be left behind, or be left feeling like they’re drowning by trying to rely on traditional referrals alone.
3. To Engage with Patients
Using tools such as Social Media marketing & display advertising is an important way in which to promote your practice and engage with your potential, current, and future followers (potential and current patients) online. With social media, you will be able to maintain your fan base and inspire patient loyalty. Social media also gives you a chance to convey your practice’s personality and build social credibility.
Internet marketing connects your practice with your community, referring doctors and prospective patients. It also enables patients to make informed decisions about your practice and services, based on their own research.
At Avily we can help you to achieve a higher ranking on Google and other search engines. Additionally, you expect to receive help in terms of advice and guidelines on how to post quality content on your website & social media networks in order to build rapport and patient loyalty.
All this to improve your online activity, which inevitably leads more feet to pass through your practice doorway. In a nutshell, referrals no longer need to be your only chance of attracting patients.
We’re here to help – contact our specialist team, today.
Learn more about the importance of website content, and take advantage of our free consultation service, or simply chat with our team about how you can improve your website, contact us today.
Mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us on +27 21 671 92146