website assessment

A website assessment is like a blood test

Leading doctors keep assessing their practice with a 360-degree view. Is your online reputation in line with your reputation in your local community? Do you look at the vital stats of your private practice as a business? Let’s go over the ingredients of an effective website assessment for doctors. 

website assessment

A website assessment is like a blood test

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

August 19, 2022

Are you missing out on research data?

data about medical marketing

Here’s a shocking reality: it seems like the evolutions in digital and online communication go faster than the evolutions in medicine. Think about it. There are breakthroughs in healthcare but there are far more revolutions in digital behaviour. Smartphones, social media and video alone have changed the way our kids grow up and the way we share, connect and consume. 

Why is this relevant for you as a doctor? While your evolution speed is defined by new treatment techniques, consumers are on that other roller-coaster when it comes to medical information.

They click. They like. They share. They comment. They subscribe. They follow. They do a lot of things that their parents or grandparents never did.

Here’s some good news. Even if you have been missing out on the latest digital trend, you can upscale your private practice and convert it into a digital practice quite easily.

We specialise in using data about medical marketing that is based on actual online searches by real patients. With that data, your content becomes a growth tool to build a resilient private practice.

This is where a website assessment is a smart first step. With our help, you will find out if your top content (the content that is linked to the main income avenues of your private practice), is actually visible in Google Search when patients are clicking, following, liking and sharing stuff.

Because you don’t want to miss out on those conversations that eventually convert into new patient relationships for one doctor or another. 

The drama of static medical marketing

fresh website content

Let’s assume that you start getting excited about getting new content for your medical website. You have now been reminded about the new reality: patients use Google and your private practice needs that visibility to capture the low-hanging fruit. Why spend money on advertising if you can reverse the exercise and simply be ready when someone is searching for you?

That simple logic makes a big difference and doubles or triples a surgeon’s turnover once they start applying it. 

There is more.

If you do this hard work once, it will make a difference, that’s for sure. The other thing we need to remind ourselves of is that Google is not stupid. Its artificial intelligence is growing by the minute and rather than looking at it as this big scary monster, we can start understanding what it is actually looking for. It turns out the monster loves fresh website content and it can’t get enough of it.

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

"Google looks at many things. One of the key drivers for Google to rank you high when a patient is looking for a doctor like you is freshness. That’s right. How fresh and recent is your content and does it indicate that you are making an effort to be up-to-date?’"

How can Google know this? Just like you look at blood results and scans, Google looks at indicators. If your blog or news section dried up 3 years ago and there are no ongoing updates, it may look like you have given up. The drama of static marketing is that it looks like you don’t care about updating your audience. So why – in Google’s case – not rank that other doctor higher when there is a monthly blog? 

Fresh website content as opposed to static marketing is a successful habit that leading doctors have embraced years ago. You can change your habits too and we will be happy to help you in that process.

Disclaimer: If you fill up your website with fresh content that is not relevant, off-topic, not optimised for Google, sitting on a slow website and with a bad image/text ratio or a lack of meta descriptions, this will not make any difference. Ask how we can help you tick all the boxes, including the one that makes you compliant with healthcare advertising guidelines.

Poor content may kill a good practice

promotion for doctors

That’s right. Poor online content can really kill your growth potential.

Promotion for doctors is one of the most misunderstood areas in the marketing industry. The main misconceptions are:

  • We can’t do it: Many doctors think they just can’t communicate because they heard of the AHPRA Advertising Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals in Australia. If you are in another jurisdiction, you may have similar guidelines or rules, and even in a more liberal economy, you will still have basic consumer legislation that applies to you.
    Yes, you can do it: Provided your agency follows the rules, you can communicate, educate patients, and talk about conditions you treat and treatments that are available. There is an ethical way to go all the way and market your practice without breaching any guidelines.
  • We can do it cheaper: Many doctors think they just need the commodity of a web person to fix their medical website. Promotion for doctors and surgeons not being the core of these web agencies, you are at risk of having an empty website, with a fancy design but zero content. Cheap marketing services are known to be outsourced to the Philippines, India, and Pakistan and end up being executed by junior low-cost staff who have no idea what your private practice is about, let alone what your local consumer expects from a medical website. Yes, you can find affordable solutions if you get the right advice on what needs to happen first. It’s best to do things well rather than accumulate scattered marketing tactics across different platforms and we will give you advice on what really helps get those extra referrals or patient enquiries.
  • We can do it ourselves: Yes, you will come across a Practice Manager or Receptionist who does a bit of WordPress and a bit of Instagram. It does not mean this person has the skills, experience and 360-degree perspective to implement a strategy or make the most effective use of those tools. A medical marketing agency starts with the research, patient data on Google behaviour, and a clear strategic vision for your content and your brand positioning as a clinic. That’s what helps our customers convert 2x or 3x more compared to when they first came on board.

Most of these misconceptions lead to poor content that does not perform organically.

Poor content can also relate to the soul of your practice. If your content is too academic, generic or factual, another clinic could capture all the referrals and leads because they offer a story. Modern medical writing is a multidisciplinary activity. Your story should always focus on the human aspects of choosing you as the preferred doctor, weaving in your qualifications and experience.

The spirit of your practice and the personal warmth that patients expect should be an important part of your online presence. Choosing, organising, directing, handling and embedding the right type of images is often another weak spot of promotion campaigns for doctors.

website assessment

What to look for in marketing quotes?

marketing services

Marketing services for doctors come in many shapes. So what to look for when you compare medical marketing proposals?
In this overview, I go over the feedback our time got over the years, working with ambitious leading doctors all over the world.

  • Vision: You want your marketing partner to understand medical content, that’s a given. Yet, you also want them to understand you. What makes you tick? Why you have chosen to create this business? The vision you have for your practice 2 or 5 years down the track.
  • Data: You want your agency to bring experience in medical market research. The people who will work with you directly, what is their experience on the tools when it comes to analysing patient search behaviour? Understanding google behaviour along the diagnostic and treatment pathway is a very specialised skill.
  • Content: You expect your team to handle complex content, analyse it, summarise and organise it for your audience: patients and general practitioners. You want the team to demonstrate senior experience in content creation, with a particular ability to convey messages of trust, and rapport and you want your content team to create clarity in complex areas. You also want more than technical writing skills since storytelling is what makes your content convert.
  • Creative: Design is a unique skill and it is not just about taste and creative talent. Designing an interface for GPs and patients requires insight into these audiences and their information needs, preferences and attitudes. Personal branding for you and your team can be an exciting journey once you set the bar higher for what you want your patients to find when they check you out online.
  • Analysis: No one likes a typical ‘SEO report’ that is basically a monthly automated email about clicks and traffic. What our customers really appreciate is a regular business meeting to interpret traffic data, conversions, leads generated and patient numbers. And most importantly, the fact that we use this data to underpin our proposed next steps.
  • Service: We live in interesting times and oversystemisation of marketing agencies leads to cheap outsourcing and poor service experiences. What you want to check is who will actually be delivering the service when you sign a marketing contract.
Audit

Order your website assessment now

website audit

The best first step? Let’s assess your current online presence. Your website audit will be the starting point for our conversation. Book your audit here and I look forward to meeting you soon! 

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