Digital Marketing for Gastroenterology Practices
Today, if your gastroenterology practice isn’t engaged in the digital marketing world, your competitors are probably burying you. Digital marketing involves building a strong internet presence, and the centerpiece of this is your gastroenterology practice website. From there, your digital marketing extends through active social media pages, informative blogs, email campaigns, multimedia content, and accurate directory listings across the web.
This guide examines 14 unique gastroenterology marketing channels. We have divided this guide into two sections: Digital Marketing Ideas and Traditional Marketing Ideas. The goal is simple — drive more patients to your gastroenterology practice.
Gastroenterology Internet Marketing Strategies
Please click on any of the links below to jump to the section of your choosing!
- Gastroenterology Website Design
- Gastroenterology Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Local Gastroenterology Directory Listings
- Gastroenterology Reputation Management
- Gastroenterology Social Media
- Gastroenterology Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Gastroenterology Email Marketing
- Gastroenterology Blogging
Gastroenterology Traditional Marketing Strategies
Please click on any of the links below to jump to the section of your choosing!
- Offline Gastroenterology Advertisements (TV, Radio, Billboards, Newspaper, Direct Mail)
- Gastroenterology Business Development
- Gastroenterology Referral Program
- Gastroenterology Offline Events (Open Houses, etc.)
- Gastroenterology Community-Building Events
- Gastroenterology Speaking Engagements
Gastroenterology Website Design
Today, it’s your practice website that is your calling card. It’s where potential patients are now likely to find out about your gastroenterology practice. You want to be sure to showcase your treatments, your skilled staff, and everything else that separates you from your competition.
Your website needs to function seamlessly on all devices from smart phones to laptops, clearly convey your gastroenterology practice brand in the digital world and make it simple for a patient to instantly contact your office whether with a question or to schedule an appointment. Of course, having a beautiful website and great digital marketing is all for naught without reliable, fast web hosting.
To navigate the digital marketing world, you should only turn to a company that has specific experience in gastroenterology practice website design. You want an agency that understands different conversion strategies for the gastroenterology sector of the aesthetic world. And your gastroenterology practice website should have certain design features — informative content, animations of procedures, gastroenterology blogging, and strong calls to action to help patients move from curious interest to making an appointment.
Gastroenterology Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google, Bing, and the other search engines have a singular goal — to accurately answer the searcher’s request in as little time as possible. The algorithms that drive these engines weigh various factors to determine if your website is relevant to the query, is trustworthy, and if it deserves a high ranking in organic search returns. SEO for gastroenterology practices involves optimizing your website to rank highly for search terms that match the treatments and procedures you specialize in.
To facilitate this, you need to create and provide original content on your key treatments and procedures to your gastroenterology SEO company. This enables the firm to optimize that content to move your practice up in the search returns. Where to start? Start with your top five procedures and answer the top five questions your patients ask. Then add the top three benefits for each procedure.
Local Gastroenterology Directory Listings
You’d be amazed at the sheer number of online directories out there. Checking each one and making sure your gastroenterology practice information is consistent isn’t feasible. Plus, that time-consuming task isn’t exactly what you want your staff members doing. Yet, inconsistency across listings confuses search engines; they assume different variations in the way your information is listed (i.e. Road vs. RD. vs. Rd.) mean different businesses. Having accurate NAP information — name, address, and phone — ensures that search engines and patients have correct information. This consistency across the web instills trust, helps bring patients to your gastroenterology practice, and is crucial in your SEO marketing.
Your gastroenterology practice needs a digital marketing firm that can handle your directory listings, making sure they are consistent across every single direction so you don’t have to worry about them.
Gastroenterology Reputation Management
Online reviews aren’t just for the new Thai restaurant or a product on Amazon. Reviews have become crucial to build trust in all businesses, gastroenterology practices included. You need positive reviews to convert curious website users to new patients, as they can be the first impression point a new potential patient has with your practice. Plus, you can respond to online reviews for free, which gives you a chance for engagement without a dollar spent.
Generating and responding to reviews needs to be a standardized routine in your gastroenterology front office. But it’s hard to stay on top of this stuff. How do you even know when a new review has been posted?
Your digital marketing firm needs reputation management software that alerts you when a new review is posted. This software also needs to help you generate reviews from your happy patients. Advice Media has review management software that does all of that, and then some.
Gastroenterology Social Media Marketing
Social media and the world of gastroenterology may seem like a strange pairing. But social media has become a necessity for businesses, even medical practices. Potential patients check out your social media presence and its interactions and this can affect whether they become actual patients. Social media can help build trust and it allows patients to connect on a more personal level with your gastroenterology practice and your entire staff.
Regular posting is a must, and that can be difficult for your practice staff to keep up with. It’s worth considering having your digital marketing firm handle your social media profiles and regular posting to take the burden off your staff and keep your social media visitors engaged.
Gastroenterology Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Organic search is becoming more challenging as search engines give more prominence to paid search. For that reason, paid search needs to be part of your digital marketing plan. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has that moniker because your gastroenterology practice only pays when a user clicks on your ad and is directed to your website. With PPC ads you truly get exactly what you pay for.
That’s where robust, engaging content and beautiful website design come in, keeping a curious visitor on your site and encouraging that person to push deeper into the pages. This increases your ROI.
There are different SEM ad types, and they require different strategies to optimize your ads to generate leads. That’s why you need a gastroenterology practice marketing firm to manage your SEM. The two most common search engine advertisements for gastroenterology practices are text ads (the paid returns atop the search engine results page) and display ads (ads on the right side or across the entire top of regular webpages). Unlike text ads atop search engine results pages, display ads show up on pages of websites that you set as parameters. For instance, a display PPC ad for your practice could show up on a page where someone in your local area is researching Crohn’s Disease.
Setting your SEM campaign and budget involves first setting your overall SEO strategy. This optimizes your website to ensure your budget is efficient and your ad quality scores are high.
Gastroenterology Email Marketing
Email marketing can be a great way for your gastroenterology practice to stay in touch with patients. This is important, as many gastroenterological problems tend to be recurring. Coupled with a referral program, email can also be a great way to generate new patients. If you handle your email marketing in house, you need to choose an email marketing platform based on two factors: ease of use and price. Prices are usually dictated by frequency of your emails and the size of your list.
Our typical recommendation for a gastroenterology practice is to send out one email every month. The content should be educational, could discuss treatment approaches, and should mention your referral program information. That referral program needs to offer something to a current patient who refers a new patient. Your staff needs to collect these email addresses and manage your gastroenterology practice email list. To do this you should have a connected form that directly links your website to your email marketing software.
A blog is an important part of an active, engaging website. Blog posts can drive traffic and potential patients to your site, provide regular content to share on your social media pages and through email marketing, and are an important part of SEO. This is because the web crawlers continually looking at website content view blogs as new content, and new content is rewarded in organic search.
Each blog should also focus on a single one of your gastroenterology practice procedures, or it could be a problem and your solution. And the information should be valuable for the reader, not just fluff. Blog information can help establish your practice as the expert resource patients with gastrointestinal problems are desperately searching for.
But you need to be consistent, writing one post each month. That can be difficult — you’re a gastroenterologist, not a writer. Many gastroenterology practices farm out their blogging duties to their digital agency or a freelance writer. This ensures every blog has fresh content and the writing quality is high. You can always add a blog of your own if a topic comes up you want to address.
Traditional Gastroenterology Marketing
Traditional marketing channels target patients when they’re not in the digital world. Radio commercials, TV ads, billboards, and direct mail all are considered “traditional marketing.” These ads are different from paid digital ads in that you pay to possibly get in front of your target audience. They may read your ad on ulcerative colitis in the local newspaper. Or they may not see your ad. That is quite different from paid search ads in your search engine marketing campaign. There users click on your ads and you only pay when they do.
At Advice Media, we believe there is a place for traditional advertising coupled with digital marketing as described above. To make these traditional media cost effective, you need a process to track their effectiveness and ROI, which isn’t always easy. We have options for doing this by directing specific media to specific landing pages or to certain distinct phone numbers. Still, traditional media can be frustrating due to the unknowns and the cost of creative production.
Traditional marketing has been on the decline and will continue to decline for these reasons. That’s why your gastroenterology practice needs to focus as much as possible on digital marketing options.
Gastroenterology Business Development
You probably not looking to add partners to your practice, but it can be profitable to consider adding partnerships. These aren’t name on the door partners; they’re associations. For instance, your gastroenterology practice doesn’t perform allergy testing, but you probably can recommend a good dermatologist who does. That person can return the favor when they hear a patient mentioning ongoing stomach troubles.
And you can think beyond straight business referrals. You could offer to write an occasional story for your local newspaper on issues such as the signs of IBS. Local TV stations in smaller markets are often interested in new treatments for chronic conditions such as Crohn’s. A nutritionist would be a natural partner for a gastroenterology practice.
There are endless opportunities for these relationships. To flesh some of them out, get your staff together, think of your typical patient, and then throw around ways to find that patient through indirect associations.
Gastroenterology Referral Program
Referred patients are great patients because they’ve already heard great things about your skills. That’s why your gastroenterology practice needs to encourage referrals through a defined program where your current patients receive something in exchange for a referred patient scheduling a treatment. You could give the referring patient something like a gift card to a spa or tickets to a local sporting event. Referral programs are a great way to spread the word about your gastroenterology practice and reward your loyal current customers.
You will need to make this easy to implement, and you need to have a clear process in place, both for your patients and for your staff. A great way to build referrals is to incentivize your staff to generate referrals. It’s an excellent way to have your best gastroenterology practice patients spread the word and be rewarded for it.
Planning an open house is a great way to build awareness of your practice, whether it’s your grand opening, to celebrate an office remodel, or just to reward your patients. You can make an educational program, if you choose. Maybe something like “Colon Cancer: What You Need to Know,” or it can just be a reception. You’ll want to have catered food, promotional branded items with your logo and gastroenterology practice name on them, and office tours with staff members.
We recommend gastroenterology practices hold an open house once each year. That way you’ll learn a bit each year about successfully hosting these events, and your patients will begin to look forward to the event each year.
Gastroenterology Community-Building Events
Everyone needs to be a part of a community, and that goes for your gastroenterology practice. It’s a great way to build visibility of your practice, all while lending a hand or doing some good. You could have an information-oriented booth at the local health fair. You could speak on the dangers of colon cancer at the local service club.
If your gastroenterology practice is in an area with mostly older clientele, maybe you can sponsor a senior games event or something similar. Community-building events show that you value being a part of the community and that you’re willing to give back.
Gastroenterology Speaking Engagements
To build your presence as an authority in the gastroenterology world, there is no better way than speaking at a trade show or industry gathering. Attending these symposiums and continuing learning trade shows is important to stay abreast of new treatment trends, and the information learned makes great content for emails, blog posts, and on your social media pages. If you have an opportunity to present or speak at one of these events be sure to takes lots of photos and videos.
Make an Instant Impact — Let’s Get Started Today
If you seek answers and help with those 14 items listed above, you’re in the right place and on the right website. We’re Advice Media, and we can help move your gastroenterology practice to the next level with our digital marketing SEO and SEM services. For over 20 years, we’ve been building and optimizing the health care industry’s most beautiful websites, and optimizing them for search.
From tools to handle your gastroenterology practice directory listings to helping you decide whether PPC text ads are better than paid display, we’ve been the trusted partner of thousands of practices over our two decades. Ask for our featured gastroenterology practice case studies, or let’s get right to talking about improving your digital marketing. Click here to submit a contact form, or give us a call at (435) 575-7470.