Ophthalmology Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Ophthalmology Patient Marketing

This guide examines 14 unique Ophthalmology marketing channels. We have divided this guide into 2 sections; digital marketing ideas & traditional marketing ideas. all with the goal to drive more patients to your ophthalmology practice!

Ophthalmology Practice Marketing

Whether you are just opening your ophthalmology practice, purchased an ophthalmology practice, or have been in business for generations, an effective ophthalmology marketing plan is crucial to your practice’s success. There are many ophthalmology marketing companies and strategies that can support your practice’s success, but many ophthalmologists don’t know where to start, what marketing channel is right for their practice, or how to measure the ROI of a successful marketing campaign. Your ophthalmology practice should consider incorporating both digital and traditional strategies into your ophthalmology office marketing plan.
The good news is you are reading this guide, full of ophthalmology marketing ideas, examples, and strategies, to help you succeed!

Digital Marketing for Ophthalmologists

Digital marketing is the practice of crafting a strong internet presence, this can be achieved with active social media pages, informative blogs, email campaigns, multimedia content (ie video, practice photos, Sight Selector Animations, etc.), accurate directory listings, and most importantly your website. Online marketing and a strong internet presence for ophthalmology practice is crucial to generating new patients.


Ophthalmology Website Design


Generating New Patients Very Effective
Do It Yourself Very Difficult
Typical Cost Templated Designs: $1,000 – $3,000
Custom Designs: $10,000+

94% of users’ mistrust of a medical website is directly related to web design elements.
Source: Forbes

Your website, typically the most important marketing channel, and is where new patients make their first impression of your ophthalmology practice. You want to be sure to showcase your specialties and skills here that set you above other local ophthalmologists. Your website needs to work on all devices from phones to laptops, clearly convey your practice’s brand into the digital realm, and function frictionlessly to getting patients in touch with your practice. Great ophthalmology web design and ophthalmology website marketing is not enough, you also need reliable and fast ophthalmology web hosting.

We recommend working with an ophthalmology marketing company with a specialization in ophthalmology website design that has specific ophthalmology knowledge and expertise. You want an agency that understands different conversion strategies for your ophthalmology procedures (knowing what procedures help your practice be successful). There are many ophthalmology website design features you will want your agency to have experience with; procedure animations, ophthalmology blogging, and creating strong calls to action to get patients into your office.

Test if your ophthalmology site is mobile responsive.

Essential ophthalmology Website Design Elements

  1. Mobile Responsive
  2. Clearly Branded
  3. Conversion Focused

View Our ophthalmology Portfolio


Ophthalmology Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


Generating New Patients Very Effective
Do It Yourself Very Difficult
Typical Cost $500 – $5,000/month

73% of patients use search engines to research treatment options.
Source: Google

Every search engine has one goal: provide users with the most relevant result as quickly as possible. Google looks at signals to determine if your website is relevant, trustworthy, and deserving of being ranked higher in search results. SEO for ophthalmology practices is the process of optimizing your website to appear for relevant search terms and procedures and in turn appearing higher in the search results.

We recommend creating and providing original content on your key procedures to your ophthalmology SEO company. This will give your ophthalmology marketing firm content to optimize to help your website rank higher. The best place to start is to write down your top 5 procedures and answer the 5 most common questions your patients ask and the top 3 benefits for each procedure.

Download our SEO Checklist

Download Our SEO Checklist

5 Key Strategies to SEO Success

  1. Content Optimization
  2. Link Building
  3. Site Structure
  4. Local Directories
  5. Website Technology

Read More Here


Local Ophthalmology Directory Listings


Generating New Patients Effective
Do It Yourself Very Difficult
Typical Cost $50 – $250/month

More than 150 million people access local directories each month
Source: Google

Keeping your information consistent across 100s of online directories is not a feasible use of your time or your employees’. Having accurate information ensures patients all receive the same business information name, phone, and address for your practice. Having consistent information across the web instills trust, helps bring patients into your ophthalmology practice, and is crucial to ophthalmology SEO marketing.

We recommend working with an ophthalmology marketing company because there are medical specific directories that should be optimized.

Google Presents: Insights into how patients search for practices

Ophthalmology Practice Information to Keep Accurate

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Phone

Read More Here


Ophthalmology Reputation Management (Managing Reviews)


Generating New Patients Effective
Do It Yourself Possible
Typical Cost Free – $300/month

88% of patients trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Source: Google

Online reviews have become a crucial factor in the ophthalmology sales funnel. You need positive reviews to convert website users to patients. This is a typically patients’ first impression of your practice. You can respond to reviews and generate reviews from patients for free. Generating and responding to reviews needs to be a standardized routine in your ophthalmology practice’s front office. Many practices have realized how challenging it is to be vigilant enough to know when a new review comes in and requesting reviews is difficult without a clear process.

We recommend using a reputation management software that will alert you of new reviews and help generate reviews from happy patients. Advice Media has review management software that also includes medical specific review sites.

Download instructions to embed facebook reviews on your website!

Top Review Sources for Ophthalmologists

  1. Google My Business
  2. Facebook
  3. Yelp
  4. All About Vision
  5. Vitals

Read More Here


Ophthalmology Social Media Marketing


Generating New Patients Very Effective
Do It Yourself Possible
Typical Cost Free – $3,000/month

41% of people say social media affects their choice of doctor, hospital, or medical facility.
Source: Spark Report

Social Media has become a staple of every practice and is now embedded in the online user’s journey to becoming a patient. Social media can help instill trust and helps patients connect on a more personal level with their ophthalmologist. Ophthalmology social media can be time-consuming for practice’s to do well and it is worth considering having an agency supplement your posts to help your profile stay consistent and engaging. An active social media profile can help your practice stay top of mind with your current patients.

We recommend creating social media profiles and clearly defining a process to post personalized content/images consistently. While also working with an ophthalmology marketing agency that can help supplement your posts. This will ensure your social profiles are consistently posted to. Helping you stay top of mind while connecting with your patients on a more personal level.

How to win the Social Media Game

Tips to improve your office’s social media

  1. Consistency is Key
  2. Engage with your Patients
  3. Define your target demographics

Read More Here


Ophthalmology Search Engine Marketing (SEM)


Generating New Patients Very Effective
Do It Yourself Difficult
Typical Cost Recommended Minimum Budget: $750/month
Market Dependent

Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords.
Source: Google Economic Impact Report

Often referred to as PPC (pay-per-click) because you only pay when a user clicks on your ad and lands on your ophthalmology website. Advertising on search engines is an instantly impactful way to generate new patients as you are paying for traffic to your website. It is crucial you have robust content and a beautiful website to generate the best ROI from your SEM budget. There are different types of SEM ad types and each requires different strategies to optimize your ads to generate leads, we highly recommend using an ophthalmology marketing company to manage this strategy. The two most common search engine advertisements for an ophthalmology practice are text ads and display ads.

Prior to an SEM campaign you should implement an ophthalmology SEO strategy and have an optimized website to ensure your budget is efficient and your ad quality scores are high.

Recommended Ophthalmology PPC Budget
Specialty Rural Market Small Market Large Market Metropolitan Market
Optometry $750 – $1,000/month $1,000 – $1,500/month $1,500 – $3,000/month $3,000+/month
Ophthalmology $1,000 – $1,500/month $1,500 – $2,000/month $1,000 – $4,000/month $4,000+/month
Oculoplastics $1,250 – $1,500/month $1,500 – $2,000/month $2,000 – $5,000/month $5,000+/month

Ad’s Quality Score Factors

  1. Maximum bid amount
  2. The click-through rate (CTR) of your ad
  3. The relevance of each keyword to the ad group
  4. Landing page quality and relevance
  5. The relevance of your ad text
  6. Your historical AdWords account performance and site engagement

Read More Ophthalmology SEM Tips


Ophthalmology Email Marketing


Generating New Patients Somewhat Effective
Do It Yourself Possible
Typical Cost Free – $1,000/month

In 2016, the average ROI for email campaigns was 4,300%
Source: Copy Blogger

Email marketing for ophthalmology practices can be difficult to generate new patients because you will need the potential patient’s email. However, if coupled with a referral program, email marketing can greatly increase your new patients! If you pursue email marketing in-house there are two important factors to consider when choosing an email marketing platform for your ophthalmology practice: Ease of Use & Price. Many providers dictate price based on the frequency of emails and email list size, so you will want to consider how many emails you will be sending, both frequency and quantity.

Our typical recommendation for a practice is to aim for 1 email a month which includes: any monthly specials, referral program information, and helpful blog posts. You also want to be collecting email addresses in person in your office and have a connected form from your website to your email marketing software.

Email Marketing Services Review
Email Marketing Provider Free Plan Price Ease of Use
MailChimp Yes. Up to 2,000 contacts. $30+/month Very Easy
Constant Contact Yes. For 60 days. $20+/month Easy
SendInBlue Yes. 9,000 emails/month. $25+/month Very Easy

Top Email Marketing Benefits

  1. Stay Top of Mind
  2. Upsell More Expensive Procedures
  3. Increase Referrals

Read More Ophthalmology Email Marketing Tips


Ophthalmology Blogging

Generating New Patients Very Effective
Do It Yourself Possible
Typical Cost Free – $500/month

94% of people who share blog posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others.
Source: Shorr Solutions

Having an active blog comes with many benefits; an ophthalmology blog can drive traffic and new patients to your site, create content to share on social media or through your email marketing, and helps with your website’s SEO strategy. A blog enables you to consistently create content for existing patients and new patients. There is also the added benefit that even if you redesign your website you will always have your blog’s content! Many ophthalmologists opt to have an agency supplement their blogging content or hire a freelance writer. The most important aspects to any blog is that posts are consistently added, each blog post is focused on a single topic, and the blog needs to have tremendous value for the reader. Being an ophthalmologist you have a wealth of knowledge and sharing that knowledge helps; your authority as an ophthalmologist, drives more qualified traffic to your site, and helps users understand ophthalmology procedures, what they entail, and their benefits.

We recommend every ophthalmologist have an active blog, but because it can be time-consuming to keep updated you should explore using an ophthalmology marketing company to supplement your content. This will ensure your ophthalmology blog always has fresh content and gives you the flexibility to add your own blogs at your own pace!

Enticing the Millennial Patient

Creating an Engaging Blog

  1. Post Consistently
  2. Choose Topics that will Resonate with Your Target Patients
  3. Always Have A Call-To-Action

Traditional Ophthalmology Patient Marketing

Traditional marketing is focused on getting in front of patients offline. These channels typically are pay to play and are outbound focused (patient didn’t seek out your marketing message) verse digital marketing channels which typically are focused on inbound leads (ophthalmology patients that are seeking a solution to their problem and come across your marketing message). At Advice Media we realize there are benefits to traditional marketing so we have included tips, but inbound and digital marketing holds great potential for generating new patients. Web marketing for ophthalmologists is worth exploring for your ophthalmology practice.

Offline Ophthalmology Advertisements (TV, Radio, Billboards, Newspaper, & Mailers)


Generating New Patients Effective
Do It Yourself Very Difficult
Typical Cost Local TV: $200 – $1,500 per 30 second ad
Local Radio: $500 – $8,000 per week
Billboards: $500 – $20,000 per month
Regional Newspaper Ads: $700 to $15,000 for ¼ page ad
Mailers: $250 – $2,000 per 1,000 mailers

Comparing the weekly average (minutes/user) for Q4 2015 versus Q4 2016, traditional TV is down 9%, PC is up 57%, tablet is up 68%, and smartphone is up 100%.
Source: Forbes

Traditional marketing can be a great way to reach new patients and can instantly impact your ophthalmology practice. However, you need to make sure you have a clear goal for each of these ads and have a set process to track the ROI for each marketing channel. You can track the effectiveness of each source with a specific landing page on your website or having a specific phone number leads can call. These channels are typically large investments and take months to measure the ROI and the value they generated for your practice. The prices listed above do not account for the creative production of the ads.

Traditional marketing is on the decline and becoming less effective, harder to prove its ROI, and you need to consider your digital marketing options.

Explore Ophthalmology Digital Marketing Options

Important Pricing Factors

  1. Circulation/Reach
  2. Demographics
  3. Impressions


Ophthalmology Business Development

Generating New Patients Somewhat Effective
Do It Yourself Possible
Typical Cost Free

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.
– H.E. Luccock

An ophthalmology partnership may sound strange as a small business, but you may leaving money on the table. If you are an optometrist and recommend your patients to a few other Cataract Surgeon this is a great opportunity to form a partnership for exclusive referrals and vice versa. But a partnership doesn’t need to be limited to fellow ophthalmologists, you should consider forming partnerships with local schools (offer free eye exams for the students), local newspapers (write a monthly article about how to take care of your eyes), or reach out to other local businesses for social media contest giveaways (free party at a bounce house)! Get your whole team together to come up with creative ophthalmology marketing ideas.

We recommend first defining your ideal patient and then brainstorming with your staff and ophthalmology marketing firm for creative ways to partner with complementary businesses to grow your practice. Having the whole office work on this project helps your whole staff become invested in the success of your practice.

Why your practice needs to Collaborate

4 Keys to a great partnership

  1. Mutually Beneficial
  2. Creates Value For your Patients
  3. Both Parties Are Committed To Each Other’s Success
  4. Clear Partnership Expectations


Ophthalmology Referral Program

Generating New Patients Very Effective
Do It Yourself Possible
Typical Cost Free

92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
Source: Nielsen

Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to generate new patients for your practice. To encourage that word-of-mouth marketing you need to create a referral program that clearly states the benefit to the patient (do they receive discounted services or cold hard cash), there should be a benefit for the new patient as well, and your staff needs to have a clear process for the referrals. Ease of use is extremely important for adoption of your program by your staff and patients. You will want to train your staff on how to request referrals, how to handle referral leads, and how billing will work for referred individuals. Many practices also consider incentivizing their staff to generate referrals and follow up promptly with new leads. Incentivizing your staff ensures the program will be a priority when speaking with happy patients.

It may be a large undertaking for your office initially but once your process is clearly laid out referrals may become one of your best ophthalmology marketing sources for generating new patients!

How to start a referral program for your Ophthalmology practice

4 Keys to a Great Referral Program

  1. Easy to Understand
  2. Well Trained Staff
  3. Rewards for the Referee & Referrer
  4. Automate email notifications for both parties


Ophthalmology Offline Events (Open House)

Generating New Patients Somewhat Effective
Do It Yourself Possible
Typical Cost $500 – $1,000/event

The most frequently mentioned factors when choosing an ophthalmologist were the ophthalmologist’s competence (22%), the recommendation from someone known (21%), and the overall quality of the service provided (20%). Among the other factors mentioned were patience and respect. An open house is a great way to convey these values.
Source: JAMA Network

Planning an open house or event is a great way to create buzz for your practice’s grand opening, new location, an office remodel, or to give back to your loyal patients! You want to again consider your ideal customer, if you’re a pediatric ophthalmologist maybe renting a bounce house will be appreciated by your clients and potentially bring in new patients. You want to ensure there are activities, catered food, prizes, promotional branded material, and clear staff instructions for office tours.

We recommend trying to hold an open house at least once a year, this will help you learn from each year and patients can begin to expect the event each year!

How to plan an event on any budget

3 Tips for any event

  1. Determine Event Goals
  2. Determine Event Budget
  3. Promote on Social Media


Ophthalmology Community Building Events

Generating New Patients Somewhat Effective
Do It Yourself Possible
Typical Cost $20-$1,000/month

It’s estimated that potential patients need to see a brand 7 times before the marketing message registers
Source: Business Insider

Community building is typically used for brand awareness and can be difficult to track its effectiveness on generating new patients but will help your practice become more recognizable. Many patients choose their ophthalmologist based on proximity so you want to ensure you are well known throughout your community. You most likely pursued ophthalmology to help people and continuing this passion into other areas of your community helps your brand, your staff camaraderie, and shows that you value your patients and your community. These are just a few ophthalmology marketing tips, but every community has their own unique opportunities.

Become a staple in your community

4 great community events to sponsor

  1. Local Races- Bonus if you and your staff participate
  2. Local Food Drives- Reach out to patients to participate with your office
  3. Local Sports- From Highschool to Minor League sports are affordable options
  4. Service Projects- Reach out to local schools or churches and see if there are volunteer opportunities

Remember to always take pictures and share on your social media profiles.


Ophthalmology Speaking Engagements

Generating New Patients Somewhat Effective
Do It Yourself Possible
Typical Cost Free

The most mentioned factor when choosing an ophthalmologist was their competence (22%).
Source: JAMA Network

To convey your authority and expertise as an ophthalmologist is by showing your patients you continue your education and stay up with the latest ophthalmology trends by attending trade shows and other learning events. If you can speak at these trade shows be sure to take lots of photos to share on social media, in your newsletter, and on your website. This helps patients build trust as they see you stay current with the latest technology or are teaching fellow ophthalmologist as an expert in your field. This may not directly generate new patients but will help when potential patients are deciding between you and your competition.

How to build a thriving practice and have your best year ever!

Ophthalmology Speaking Engagement Options

  1. Local Schools
  2. Ophthalmology Trade Shows
  3. Chamber of Commerce

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