Many of us who grew up in the 70’s vividly remember the public service announcement that asked “Do You Know Where Your Children Are?” This was meant to remind parents of curfew times that were in effect and prompted parents to think of the whereabouts of their children.
Questions of where the children might be, what they could be doing, and are they doing what they should be doing, would run through a parent’s mind. All of these thoughts would go back to the recesses of their mind once the children walked through the front door within minutes of the curfew.
Today, hospital marketers often run through the same thought process when they think about where their website is, what it is doing, and what it could be doing. They look at other websites on the internet, see they look similar to theirs, or worse, and then tuck those thoughts away for another day.
STOP ASSUMING THAT ALL IS WELL WHEN YOUR HOSPITAL WEBSITE SHOWS UP ON TIME!
Your website has not been behaving as it should and you really need to be aware of the problems lying beneath the surface.
1) Low Self Esteem – Your hospital website really is suffering because even though 88% of those looking for health information start with search engines, your website doesn’t even show up to the party.
2) Lack Of Social Skills – On the rare occasion they do get to the party, 50% of the time the party is on a mobile devise or smartphone, and because your website is not optimized for this platform the party goers leave and don’t bother to come back.
3) Unable To Carry On A Conversation – Your website starts with the same talking points for every conversation. Visitors want to talk about cardiac recovery or bariatric surgery and your website tells them what the ER wait time is and how the hospital was named as one of the Top 100 Hospitals In Business since 1876.
So what is the point?
Your hospital website is capable of so much more than it is currently delivering and more than any other marketing resource you have available to you today! Yet, because it shows up on time, looks ok, and opens up when someone types in your web address that was on your billboard, which doesn’t happen, but if it did, you think it is doing its job.
IT IS NOT OK!
Healthcare today is in the midst of huge internal and external influences all of which make patient attraction, talent attraction, and community engagement more important than ever before. How you get paid, how much you get paid, and by whom you get paid has essentially shifted the healthcare industry from institutional to consumer control overnight.
Reaching the right person with the right message, and at the right time is more important than ever before. Combining this with the fact that we are in the midst of a generational revolution that has totally changed how people shop, research, and communicate, it is easy to see how the healthcare industry has fallen behind.
IT IS TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE!
Today, YOUR PROSPECTIVE PATIENTS shop differently than they did even 10 years ago. In fact, that difference has coined the phrase “Zero Moment Of Truth.” This is the point in the buying cycle when someone goes online to research or find a product or service. In the case of healthcare, 88% of those looking for information start with a search engine. This occurs multiple times during the healthcare selection process including at symptom, diagnosis, professional referral, treatment, and recovery.
Search marketing, unlike any other form of marketing, provides you the best opportunity to deliver the right message to the right person and do so at the right time. No other form of media has the targeted reach capabilities that search marketing does and your ability to deliver engaging information to your perspective patients is too valuable to ignore.
If you do not have a consolidated strategy built around Search, you really need to take the time to dig a little deeper and learn what your hospital website is and is not doing.