As the end of the year approaches, it’s crucial to look ahead and see what’s in store for the future of hospital marketing. What does your hospital or healthcare organization need to do in order to reach the right patients and stay relevant in an ever-changing industry? Take a look at the latest hospital online marketing trends and what your organization needs to do to keep up.
Below are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your hospital's online marketing strategy for 2016...
Having a Mobile-Friendly Website Matters
According to a study by Google and Compete, Inc. study, about 1/3 of patients use mobile devices or tablets on a day-to-day basis to research or schedule appointments. With so many patients completing these activities on their smart devices, having a mobile-friendly website is a must! The easier your website is to access and use on the go, the more potential patients you will be able to reach. Failing to make your site mobile-friendly could affect your organization’s ability to rank well in searches, as Google changed its algorithms in April 2015 to give mobile-friendliness higher importance in mobile searches.
Patients Want Less Propaganda & More Helpful Content
People go online to get information that is relevant to them, not to hear clever slogans and sales pitches. From both an SEO ranking perspective and a patient conversion perspective, it continues to be important for hospitals and other healthcare organizations to provide useful and relevant information that actually educates their website visitors. To create the most effective content, you should learn what type of information your target audience is searching for and where they are going online to get it.
You Will Need to Protect Your Online Reputation
People have more options than ever before when it comes to healthcare services. Not only that, but there are now many more platforms that patients can use to share their healthcare service experiences. What does this mean? It means you will have to be proactive about managing your online reputation. Keep track of what patients are saying about your healthcare organization on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as on review sites such as Healthgrades and even Yelp.
By monitoring your online reputation, you can learn how to better serve your patients, which can eventually turn into positive reviews. You can help control some of the information that is being shared by creating your own social media campaigns.
SEO Will Continue To Be Important
More and more patients are using the Internet to research their healthcare service options. The Google and Compete, Inc. study mentioned above showed that search generates almost 3 times more visitors to hospital sites than non-search visitors. By using the right keywords and search engine optimization (SEO), you can drive more traffic to your website and possibly bring more patients to your hospital, medical office, or other healthcare facility.
Don’t let your healthcare organization’s marketing strategy fall behind in 2016 and the years ahead. Stay competitive with marketing solutions that will best meet the needs of your prospective patients moving forward.