research and marketing

The sweet romance between research and marketing

There is a lot you can do internally to amplify the impact of your online marketing. In this article, we talk about the research you can do in regards to your patients’ information needs. With that intel, you can make your online presence stand out and drive more patients to your practice. 

research and marketing

The sweet romance between research and marketing

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

May 25, 2022

The two-way power solution to grow a practice

research marketing

When we discuss the synergies between research and marketing, there are actually two ways these areas can work together:

  • Marketing your research: The easiest tactic to implement is to talk about your medical research on your about page. You would include links to papers and abstracts you have participated in, and you would mention the research and projects you are interested in.
  • Researching your marketing: This is where we turn things around. As a doctor, running a private practice, you can do some pretty powerful internal research in regards to your patient’s digital behaviour. We can then top it up with more advanced patient behaviour research, should you decide to work with us for your marketing.

Let’s see how you can start collecting the data that will reshape your clinic for years to come.

The consumer research every doctor can implement

consumer research

Your phone calls, emails, web form requests and consultation notes can deliver invaluable data to define what your patients actually want. Yes, they want to find out more about their health problem and possibly get better. Or they want the best option for their pregnancy or elective surgery procedure. But before they choose you, what would they love to learn, know, confirm or clarify? 

Here’s an overview of what you could start documenting as of today, building your own consumer research as a doctor or practice manager.

The checklist to start collecting your data

marketing tactic

Content marketing is an amazing medical marketing tactic. Simply because it creates sustainable value, making your website rank higher and driving more patients (business) to your practice.

What you need, to get the ball rolling, is clarity about what your patients want to know. We can help you with patient behaviour research, and you can also get started today, collecting some essential puzzle pieces that become the cornerstones of your future marketing content.

Here’s a checklist to get you started:

  • Info about symptoms: descriptions of symptoms, medical terms and the common names people use, clarification on the occurrence of symptoms from a layman’s perspective.
  • Questions about conditions: what causes conditions, what treatments are available and what could be the consequences if a condition is left untreated?
  • What to expect content: summaries of the diagnostic journey, how to prepare for treatment or surgery and what to expect in the days/weeks before, during and after the treatment or surgery?
  • Who is involved: if the treatment or diagnostic journey involves tests, procedures or consultations with other healthcare professionals, list the experts involved and the order of the steps that may seem very logical to you as the specialist doctor, but potentially confusing for the patient.
  • Reception FAQs: the most common questions your reception team gets, via email, in person or over the phone. Some questions are medical, others are related to rebates or insurance, and other questions will be purely logistical. The more comprehensive your FAQ list becomes, the more content you can create that delivers value to your website visitors, and please remember that all common questions are also common Google searches which could lead to more online visibility if you’re the doctor who provides answers on their website

The proven way to build your reputation as a doctor

business planning for doctors

Doctors used to stick to GP-referral marketing to grow a private practice. GP events, networking with general practitioners and word-of-mouth used to be the preferred marketing tactics.

With the ongoing expansion of what we call digital, consumers are now more in charge of the journey that leads to a consultation with a specialist. In other words, it’s their choice to use Google, what to search for, how to look at doctor profiles online and when to engage with a doctor through their website or social media profiles. Business planning for doctors is now entangled with running professional and coordinated online profiles, tools and content.

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

"The case studies we have been using here at Digital Practice in the last 5 years all have one thing in common: These successful strategies all start with custom market research, using content that is confirmed as the most common content in patients’ online searches, and then generate visibility which we keep reinforcing year after year, month after month."

Marketing your health practice based on live data is relatively new in Australia. Before, it used to be a scattered process working with web designers, copywriters and SEO agencies.

The integrated way to manage your online profile and keep an eye on your online lead generation is what our customers appreciate because it gives them peace of mind and predictable growth. 

The ongoing dance between research and marketing

seo for surgeons

This is where SEO for surgeons and doctors is often misinterpreted. Or rather, SEO services follow a path that was once seen as the best way to do it, but is now outdated. 

In the past, medical SEO was all about creating random backlinks. Links from other websites to yours. They would be created offshore by people who have no capacity to understand your local market, dropped in comment boxes on random websites, and sold to you as SEO backlinks.

In recent years, Google has optimised its algorithms and made it pretty clear that high Google rankings for doctors can’t be purchased (except when you buy Google Ads). Your content will rank better if it’s good content.

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

"The little-known secret to SEO for surgeons and doctors is about the frequency to look at your performance data and your update frequency. In other words: don’t leave your website content sitting there, and make sure you plan updates based on traffic and performance data."

The ideal cycle includes an assessment of your visibility in organic search for specific niche keywords on a monthly or at least quarterly basis. What you then learn from this data is the visibility your content generates, the interaction people have with your content, and the conversion rates that are coming from that marketing effort. It takes away the guesswork and creates predictable growth. I like to call it the ongoing dance between research and marketing because all future marketing efforts and investments you make are now based on live market data and data that are generated on your own medical website. 

Some of our customers start with a conservative growth plan and will plan quarterly assessments and updates. Others prefer to grow their practice over the course of a 12-month period and will choose accelerated growth packages.

The dance between research and marketing works best when you start looking at your online profile as the extension of your identity as a leading surgeon or doctor.

research and marketing
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which keywords to use

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