One of the most common questions I am asked is how a physician can generate more website traffic?
Most people, I think, are hoping that I have a quick fix, something that will instantly get more traffic and increased Google rankings.
The bad news is that it takes a little time to do it the right way and ensure long-term success. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a robust physician marketing platform.
The good news is that it isn’t rocket science, and there is a formula for success. And while Google’s algorithms are continually changing, the basics of building a successful online marketing campaign remain the same.
Based on my experience in physician marketing, here are five ways to increase your website traffic:
1). Create Content Worth Reading
The saying “content is king” has been around a long time when it comes to internet marketing. And it’s still true today.
What you’re trying to do as a physician when you create content is to provide something that will be helpful for the patients you want to attract. That way, when they research online for a problem they’re having and find your content, you’ve immediately established yourself as an expert in your local market. This increases the likelihood of them scheduling an appointment with you.
The other thing you’re trying to accomplish is gaining patient referrals by way of the content you’re creating.
People are social and often share some of their health struggles with those close to them.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen a content that a physician has created, that someone shares or tags someone they know to check it out.
Content truly is king, even today.
2). Be Consistent In Your Publishing Schedule
If you don’t blog and create content regularly, you can’t expect your website traffic to go up. There’s really no other way to put it. You can’t be inconsistent and expect your online marketing to work.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Google’s algorithms won’t rank your website well if they don’t see you “investing” in your site continuously by adding new content.
- You need to build in predictability with your readers. You’ll find you have “regulars” who will come back to your website every week if you are consistent in posting at the same time(s).
- Frequency leads to visibility, and visibility leads to traffic.
For most physicians, I recommend publishing one new blog post per week. Always be sure to do this on the same day if you can.
You can always increase your frequency based upon the data generated over time.
3). Have Your Own Domain Name
From the perspective of creating a personal brand, what do you think is better: traviswmark.wordpress.com or traviswmark.com?
Obviously, the latter name is much easier to remember and to share. Additionally, it provides credibility and professionalism right from the start.
Ideally, you want your name and speciality if possible. This will help Google better index your website, and provide a signal for what your website should rank for.
Plus, when people do a Google search just for your name, you’ll be able to capture that traffic as well.
4). Include Your Website Address Everywhere
One of the easiest ways to grow website traffic is to include your website address in as many places as you can.
Email signatures are a great and often missed opportunity to include your website address. Just think about each email you send every day. Each one can be an opportunity to drive more traffic to your website, which also helps it rank better on Google.
Social media profiles are another place to include your website. In fact, my view of social media is that it should primarily drive traffic back to your website and generate appointments.
And don’t forget about the in-office marketing of your website. Having signs in the exam rooms is a good idea if you’re able. Even better, handing out business cards with your website address to each patient that comes in, and share with them why you blog and what you blog about. This also makes it easier for patients to refer you to their friends and family.
5). Utilize Social Media
If you want to drive traffic, especially if online marketing is new to you, you have to go to where the people are.
When you create content, you should first post it on your website, and then share it on social media.
Most social media platforms, Facebook included, tend to reward helpful content. If your content is strictly selling your practice, you’re not really going to be rewarded for that. But if you create content that is designed to educate patients, you’re much more likely to see positive results.
Another helpful strategy is to invest a small amount in Facebook Ads each week, helping your new content to be visible in your local area.
So go to where the people are, and use social media as a channel to direct people back to your website.
Lastly, be patient and commit to the process. Building traffic and improving your rankings in Google takes time. But you can do it, and the rewards are worth it.
I know of no better short-term or long-term physician marketing strategy than this.