If you own your own medical facility where you and your staff perform any of the following medical procedures --
Then your establishment falls under the umbrella category commonly known as a plastic surgeon practice. And if you do you are well aware of two realities:
But there is a challenge - The lure of big bucks and growth in procedures being performed has led many more medical doctors to choose to specialize in plastic/reconstructive surgery. This has resulted in increased competitive pressures as more and more of these types of practices are established.
With competition as intense as it has ever been, every avenue of promotion and advertising is being used. It is not uncommon today to see TV, radio or print ads for plastic surgery practices. Advertising of course means big budgets as these forms of promotion are quite expensive. To many it seems like a price that must be paid as there is seemingly no good alternative out there.
Traditionally, plastic surgeons have relied on three channels to get new clients:
Referrals. A major source of ongoing new business is, of course, clients who are sent to you from other medical professionals. Patients receiving a referral from their primary care physician tend to trust that the practice they are being referred to will give them excellent care and treatment.
However, there are a finite number of primary care doctors practicing in your locale, and many of them probably send patients to established practices, so it can be difficult to grow this side of your business unless you can dramatically grow the size of your referring network.
Media Advertising. Another time-honored channel for securing clients is through direct advertising. As mentioned above though, media outlets such as radio and TV or print publications are expensive to utilize. They also suffer from the limitation that it is impossible to ensure that you are only paying to advertise only to an audience who is interested in your services. These ads go out to a general (mixed) audience, and most of them will simply ignore your presentation.
Word-of-Mouth. This is, of course, an excellent source of new clients. There is nothing like a good recommendation from a satisfied patient who speaks highly of your expertise and the level of care they have received from you. If you have an established practice you can see a significant amount of business from this channel, however if your practice is new and your roster of past clients is limited you may not see many new clients being referred to you from them.
Let's be honest: Today, if you are not being seen online you are not anywhere. The simple truth is that even if they receive a professional referral from their family practice physician or see, hear or read your advertisement or promotional spot, prospective clients will still check you out online:
For example, according to a study published on the PubMed Central (PMC) website, "the use of social media is growing tremendously along with its impact on the practice of plastic surgery, for better or worse. Patients are increasingly using social media to obtain information about either the procedure or the surgeon." (emphasis ours)
Of course, the number 1 concern of prospective clients revolves around your credibility and reliability: are you really who you claim to be and can you get the job done?
The heart of SEO for plastic surgeons treatment centers is to increase your site's credibility. Some think that the task is to increase online visibility. It isn't. It is to increase credibility. No amount of SEO gimmicks will rank a site that Google does not trust.
Increasing your site's credibility will automatically increase its ability to rank well.
And these are not some type of tricks to "fool" the search engines - you must make your site credible for humans, not search engines.
Here are a few that things you can do - RIGHT NOW - to increase this all-important credibility component.
How many websites have you seen that offer no clue, not a scrap of information about who is running their operation? They rely instead on making generic statements like, "We at XXX have it as our goal to be ranked world-class in..." or some similar wording.
Instead, make sure that site visitors know that there is a real organization in existence here. Demonstrate that you actually "exist" out there. Provide a physical address, show photos of your facility (both inside and outside), a location map, that you are registered with your local Better Business Bureau.
If you are providing resource articles on your site, or presenting statistical information, quote established authorities in the field. And provide links back to the original clinical or professional publications. This third-party referencing adds great credibility and helps to assure visitors that you are not promoting some quack treatment or medically questionable viewpoint.
You have no doubt taken great pains to secure well-qualified people to staff your treatment facility. No doubt, at least a few of them - most likely senior staff - would qualify as experts in their field(s). Make sure that their credentials are highlighted prominently. If your organization is partnered with others who are well known, make sure that information is provided as well. As well, as the senior partner or owner, make sure that your own qualifications are prominently displayed: education, board certifications, awards, teaching positions you have held or currently hold, etc.
Resist the temptation to discuss (on your website) treatments that are considered by the medical authorities as controversial or even worse, questionable. Don't link to sources promoting goofy ideas or agendas. You become more credible by associating with trustworthy sources - and less credible by association or affiliation with bad sources.
A site trying to establish credibility in any medical field needs to have a credible way to be contacted. Sites lacking a physical address and phone number are not building anyone's confidence or trust. Who wants to submit information through a website inquiry form to an organization they don't know anything about?
We highly recommend a street address be referenced that shows your physical location. If you have another address like a P.O. box where you receive mail, list that as well, as well as the main telephone and fax number and an email address.
Most visitors to your treatment center website are going to form a judgement about you by the appearance and functionality of your website. Think about the purpose of your business - does the visual layout and appearance of your site convey a professional image that is consistent with your messaging? You can't communicate a professional image if your site looks like a mommy blog!
And don't forget function. When visitors are on your site they should be able to find the information that they are looking for and should not have to wait and wait for pages to fully load. Nor should they be frustrated by clicking on links that lead to nowhere - links that are broken.
If you are like most of your competitors you probably have a significant amount of resource/research information on your site. But how current is that information? Are you staying up with the latest research? If you are putting fresh content on your site, make sure it is tagged with the date so that they (and search engines as well) will know how old it is. New forms of treatment, new medication therapies, updates about your physical plant, welcome to new staff - all of this can be used to help keep your site content current.
Here's a quick tip: For content that is largely still current and relevant, do a quick read-thru and make some minor edits and rewrites, not necessarily major changes. Then you can post the tweaked content and include a tag "updated [date]." If you maintain a blog on your site, make sure that new, fresh content is pushed out at least twice a month, each month. (Hint: Posirank has expertise in writing all sorts of medically-focused content. Contact us today if you need to give your site/blogsite a content freshen-up.)
While it might work for other sites, it is unlikely that people would react favorably to a plastic surgery website that featured ads from other businesses or which was offering some sort of discount or promotional coupon. Any "advertising" you do on your site should be indirect - get people to contact you by your site content and credentials and leave it at that. And, please stay away from using annoying popups - they just irritate people.
Don't be afraid to put your site under intense scrutiny. It needs to be 100% proofread, and there should be no spelling errors, typos, bad grammar or malformed HTML code causing display issues. Making these type of mistakes is very common and hard to avoid, but clean it up anyway. And if you have issues with your site not being online or taking too long to load, get with your web designers and/or hosting service and get that straightened up immediately.
This last one is a biggie. It is a huge assurance to prospective clients (and their families who may be booking their family member for treatment) to know of the many others your practice has helped on to a better life. Readable, factual, and ideally verifiable testimonials and references are a must as a part of any SEO campaigns for plastic surgery websites.
And a part of this mix will - and should - involve a social media presence. When people are looking for a surgery center they will often check social media platforms they are a part of - and you need to be there to interact with them. A Facebook business page is a must. And you should be monitoring social media channels to discover what people are saying about your facility, and respond to it if needed.
Related to this is the need for ongoing Reputation Management. You don't want to allow negative content to be posted about your facility, and if it has appeared you need to mitigate the damage, either by getting the content taken down or by providing a reply or update demonstrating that you addressed the situation.
...At least not initially. Why not?
You see, some SEO firms want to get your quick buy-in on a standard "package" of some sort, so that they can quickly move on to the next customer - and they really aren't too focused on getting you future results because their real priority is to get you to spend money today. And if the results are not forthcoming? Well, there's always another customer who will take your place. We call this approach the "churn-and-burn" method of SEO.
Could you imagine running your practice in this way? Why, you would find yourself out of business in a flash - and rightly so. As an ethical practitioner you take the time to listen to your patients, run any needed diagnostic tests and develop a plan of surgery that best fits the needs of that individual.
That's frankly what we do at Posirank as well.
The process begins with a conversation (perhaps several if you think it best). A conversation where we discuss your business and the goals you have for your practice. From there we will look at your website, looking at areas where improvement is needed. We also look at your competitors to see where they may be outranking you - and develop a plan to beat them at their own game.
Only when all the pieces are in place will we talk budget and specific campaigns. Our pricing is transparent and our reporting is clear and understandable.
We know you are a busy medical professional, so your time is valuable - precious, in fact. So we will honor that by allowing you to pick a date and time that best suits your schedule. The call is free, there are no additional "management fees," "setup fees," or any other foolishness - and no contracts to bind you.
Here's what you should do: Click this link TODAY and pick a date and time slot that best fits with your schedule. You'll get a reminder notice and we'll reach out and talk. At the end of the call you will either feel 100% that we are the best choice for you - or we'll agree to part friends.
But you have to make the first move - schedule that consultation call right now while you are thinking about it. We would love to work with you!