business development for surgeons

3 Game-changers for the private practice

Business development for surgeons is often a counterintuitive space. It’s like explaining maths to a creative person and at first sight, business and marketing skills appear to be rather incompatible with the scientific, medical and surgical work you do. Bear with me. That’s about to change. 

business development for surgeons

3 Game-changers for the private practice

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

April 7, 2022

The 3 medical marketing success ingredients in action

simple business guide for doctors

In a few situations, I was asked to produce a simple business guide for doctors. The business strategy that applies to your niche will be different to what a colleague in another specialty area needs so let’s not go for a one-size-fits-all approach. Below, you can book a customised strategy session to discuss your business development journey.

For now, I will give you my three success ingredients. The ones that make business development for surgeons predictable, manageable and successful. 

The big SEO pitfall for doctors

google ranking for clinics


Let’s discuss the elephant in the room here. Google visibility is often the promise behind yet another offer that covers Google ranking for clinics. And it comes with what I would call the biggest pitfall a doctor can fall into. (In a shared position at the top of those pitfalls I’d probably put financial scams set up by advisors who know you make good money).

What is the pitfall about? SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a common label for what you do to make your website pages visible in Google Search. When a patient is looking for an expert in PCOS treatment in Brisbane, Australia, Google wants them to land on the most relevant page, not one a page about menopause management in London, Ontario.

The visibility you are after is a ranking on Google’s Page 1 of search results (the SERP or Search Engine Results Page you get whenever you do a Google search). You are not alone looking for the Holy Grail of Google ranking for clinics and doctors.

The way we do it is by building the content that patients actually search for, in a way that helps patients get answers to their most frequently asked questions. This is not a quick-and-dirty job.

The visibility that is promised in a lot of so-called SEO packages does nothing about the quality of your content. Many providers simply create backlinks from external websites to your web pages.

They will claim that this is SEO. They will tell you that the more you focus on getting external links, the higher your website will rank. They will charge you a monthly fee.

A word of caution about this technique:
With this type of package, there are three things to be aware of, to avoid the pitfall of wasting your marketing and advertising budget.

  • Relevant backlinks are links from websites with high levels of relevance and authority: the local newspaper, a medical magazine about your specialty, the website of a Medical College or Association, a forum about your niche. All other backlinks from irrelevant websites don’t really add value and can be seen as toxic links by Google.
  • Google’s artificial intelligence has improved and detects when a link consists of just random words dropped on somebody’s blog in a foreign country. This type of external link is toxic and will undo all other efforts you make to produce relevant content.
  • External links have been abused by many service providers who charge $500 and pay $5 to an overseas operator who mechanically drops irrelevant links wherever they can. That is why external links or backlinks are no longer the dominating Google visibility factor and the main drivers of Google ranking are connected to what happens on your website, not somewhere else.

If you want to learn more about business development for surgeons, so you can avoid the pitfalls of untrustworthy SEO packages, check out these articles in our ‘Grow!‘ magazine:

If you want to start building a future-proof online presence and build a sustainable leadership profile, book your free consultation so we can discuss the growth potential for your practice.

The myth about the fluffy stuff and bedside manners

authority as a doctor

There is a remarkable tension between your scientific expertise and the human side of healthcare. What we want as consumers is credibility, trust, rapport, support and care. What is often highlighted as the core of the service in a practice is the diagnostic process, treatment and procedures and the structure of consultations and clinical actions. 

Some doctors tell me they are not good at this fluffy stuff. Others don’t tell me anything at all and for outsiders, the topic of bedside manners comes up in conversations about business development for surgeons.

Where do you sit on the spectrum? How do you look at building your authority as a doctor?

If you have a more open-minded view and see it as part of your mission to offer genuine care, then building authority as a thought leader will be easier for you.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"Doctors who are willing to inspect the human side of their practice create strong personal profiles. They also generate more leads and convert more leads into new patients. In short: doctors who embrace the human qualities build stronger businesses.’"

We see it all the time. Authority, in online traffic, clicks and conversions, does not come from Wikipedia-style information and detailed qualifications. It comes from sparks of rapport and trust built into your online profile, so patients connect with who you are just by looking at your web pages. 

The myth is that this is only for the lucky few. My personal truth is that all of us can tap into this powerful layer of online communication, by paying attention to our strengths and human capacities. Here at Digital Practice, we are humbled and honoured each time a doctor allows us to go on the journey with them. A journey of discovery and pure potential.

business development for surgeons

The one insight that will help you increase your turnover

business advice for a doctor

The conversion power of a medical website is not something you set and forget. 

The strategies we manage that are able to double one’s turnover, the ones that transform a medical practice into exceptional businesses, have one thing in common.

They follow a pattern where we nurture growth.

The digital space in your local area is in constant evolution and so is the information about your medical specialty: antenatal care, anterior hip replacements, lower back pain or dental implants: there is a constant flow of Google searches interacting with new content. On medical web pages, forums, social media profiles, YouTube videos and on hospital websites.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"The ongoing-growth mindset in medical marketing means that we look at your traffic, your visibility for your key treatments or procedures and your competitive ranking. Then we define what we will do to maintain and expand your visibility in the next 30 or 60 days."

If you are still in the old paradigm, you would probably forget about your website for months. Possibly for years. The switch to the new medical marketing vision is simple: your website is a live channel and the way it generates leads and business for your practice, is dynamic. 

A dynamic ongoing-growth program is one that includes real live data and local market research to measure what patients search for, how often they land on your content, what they click on, what content makes them stay on the page for longer and what leads to more new patient leads or new bookings.

This single insight has radically transformed the way some of our most successful customers look at their private practice. One that is in tune with the digital times we live in.

The bling of social media

Medical marketing free strategy session

We can be brief. Social media is extremely powerful when it comes to amplifying word-of-mouth. An educational and inspirational profile as a doctor will help your name float around in the community. 

If your branded content is shared and that reminds people of your leading position as a specialist, great. It adds to the mix and it drives additional traffic to your profile.

But don’t let the bling of social media tools blind you. If your website – the one and only platform that you fully control and own – is not converting, then your social media efforts are not contributing to more patients.

It takes a balanced, strategic and cost-effective approach to make social media content drive additional quality traffic to your web pages. Purchased fake followers and irrelevant overseas followers won’t become your next new patient, so why focus on just getting those numbers up?

Let's meet

Let’s talk business development

business development in private practice

Business development, brand creation and online marketing for the private practice are the backbones of what we do. If you need help seeing the forest for the trees, make use of our free strategy session offer. I look forward to discussing your business growth via Zoom!

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Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

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