As the office-based lab (OBL) practice model becomes more prevalent across the country, standing out from competitors becomes increasingly important.
Interventional radiologists who are building their own practices have many obstacles to maneuver to get started. Doctors must consider hundreds of things, from funding and contracts to staffing and organizing their space – it’s a lot of work.
Building your OBL and opening your doors to patients can be over a year-long process. The expenses can be daunting. Many doctors get to opening day and realize they need to figure out where their next patients will come from. Building your referral base takes time. Networking and meeting with physicians to build rapport and a steady influx of referrals will come as you grow your brand.
Whether you are getting started on your OBL journey or have an established presence in your community, the question of how to grow your practice and bring in more new patients remains. In addition to strong networking and building a referral base, doctors across the country are beginning to develop solid websites and are using their online presence to get the phone ringing to fill their practice with patients who are searching and finding them online.
A strategic approach to your website and online presence is essential to standing out from the crowd. If you do not have a web presence that converts new patients, you are missing out on an entire segment of potential patients searching online for alternatives and solutions to their conditions. The following elements of your online presence are the stepping stones to growing your practice and bringing in more qualified patients for the procedures you and your team want to do more of.
Here are the top pieces of advice for marketing your office-based lab online:
Think of your website as your digital office. You spent all the time and effort making your office a patient-friendly and conducive space to make your visitors feel cared for and comfortable. This is your opportunity to put your best foot forward for prospective patients and present yourself as a knowledgeable and informative industry leader. It is also the foundation for everything your practice will be doing online, so it needs to be done right. This will be your opportunity to tell visitors what conditions you treat, show off glowing 5-star reviews, host new-patient forms, direct physician referrals, and ultimately convert site visits into phone calls and form fills. Many website builder options exist, from do-it-yourself GoDaddy websites to top-of-the-line WordPress websites. Your website, just like everything you’ve purchased for your office, is a long-term investment in your practice. You want to be sure your website has the code, design, and functionality to allow Google and other search engines to return your website in the search results alongside and above your competitors.
- Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile is one of your most valuable assets as an OBL. When set up and optimized correctly, this profile is a traffic and lead generator for you and your practice. Google gives you a full page of real estate when prospective patients or physicians search for your name (Dr. Smith) or your practice name. You should have a fully completed profile for yourself as a doctor and your practice. The profile should contain practice information, including address, phone number, hours of operation, photos, videos, information about the procedures you perform, linked social media profiles, blog posts, and more. Google constantly updates these features and requires love and attention to grow and improve your visibility. As you build these profiles, you will also see the clicks and calls grow.
- Search Engine Optimization
When you search for “uterine fibroid treatment,” “vein doctor near me,” “peripheral artery disease doctor,” or “interventional radiologist,” who shows up? Your website requires search engine optimization (SEO) if it’s not you. Google chooses between millions of websites every time someone searches for something, and its algorithms are designed to return the highest quality results to its consumers. Your website needs to be optimized with the right content, have the correct links pointing back to it, and be a beacon for Google to choose you among all the other possible sites to show to a potential patient on page 1 of their search. When done correctly, your search engine optimization will be a long-term investment in steadily increasing visibility, clicks, and patients.
- Digital Advertising
Paid digital advertising is a way to supercharge your online presence immediately and essentially buy your way to the top of any Google search. Google’s AdWords campaigns allow you to get highly targeted with the audience you want to reach when you want to reach them as they are actively searching for treatment options. Buying ads through Google, targeting down to the zip code, and only paying for the clicks for keywords you want to show for is a great way to compliment your organic presence with SEO and get results fast.
- Reputation Management
Patients want to do extensive research on the doctors and practices they visit to ensure they get the best treatment possible. Most patients will be vetting you online, so you need to make sure 5-star reviews are abundant across the internet will be extremely important. Populating your Google Business Profile, Healthgrades, and Vitals accounts with glowing reviews is a great way to get ahead of the competition online.
These are the pillars of a successful online presence. When executed strategically, these elements can vastly increase the number of patients you see for the procedures you want to do more.
The team at OBL Marketing can help you improve your online presence and increase your new patient intake. Give us a call to get started!