Internet to gain from TV ad share decline
Understanding The Importance of Building Your Base in LASIK marketing!
by Michael Dobkowski
In today’s competitive refractive surgery marketplace it is time to clearly understand and implement an Internet marketing strategy that will bring your practice into the future. If this is not done your business will suffer. Working from the assumption that organic search engine optimization and pay per click advertising on search engines will undoubtedly bring practices the most potential patients from any marketing medium it is easy to see why developing a long term strategy makes sense. In order to launch a successful strategy you must build a base of operations or a refractive website that can initiate all strategy. Just getting to understand this point can be challenging for practices.
Many practices have built their own ophthalmology or LASIK websites and are well on their way to successful web-based patient acquisition. Creating your own practice website is the doorway to a successful Internet strategy. Practices that choose an easier path and opt for web positioning via directory sites as their core focus will ultimately fail over time. Directory sites can be very useful and play a role in the Internet strategy but the focus should not be on a directory site listing. The reason is simple! When you pay a directory website for a listing you are building web equity for another company. You are renting a space and have no guarantees as to what will happen with this space as the politics and pricing changes. Practices that choose this path often neglect their core site and help these directories to gain leverage and increase page rank. At the same time their site lies fallow with no content updates, no link exchange, and page rank that remains low. Why would you build equity for someone else when you can have your own house? The core focus of your Internet strategy should entail the practice site first and Internet advertising initiatives second. Whether the advertising initiatives are pay per click or a directory site it does not matter. Your website needs to be the center of your strategy.
Once the Internet strategy has been developed and goals have been set you must prepare this site for the task at hand. As with a house you may want to paint it, fix up or plant some shrubs. Your website should reflect the advanced nature of the practice work. Your website should talk to your patients, Your website should offer education and incentive offers. If done correctly your website will return the investment quickly and keep on giving. The Internet is still a marketing medium that delivers extensive returns because it is still new. The impact of TV advertising and radio will become less effective and cost more to make impressions.
Elements For Consideration
Designing a website for ophthalmology
Designing a website for LASIK
- Is the website design and navigation patient friendly?
- How easily can you navigate the website?
- Do all of the procedures come on one long page?
- Do you have multiple contact forms in key places on the website?
- Are educational graphics used to explain ocular disorders?
- Does your website contain self-evaluation tests?
- Do you have patient satisfaction surveys?
- Does your website collect OPT-IN email addresses?
- Can you install a contest system and database on the backend?
- Is your content custom written (not duplicate)?
- How optimized is the code structure?
- Do you have a link building plan?
Tips For Optimizing a Website for Ophthalmology
- Choose a professional company that can show an ROI scenario
- Talk with clients and people that used this company
- Choose a company w/ results within your area of interest
- Choose a company that can help with link building
- Choose a company that uses white hat/legitimate SEO techniques
- Choose a company that can design and optimize, not one or the other
- Choose a company that will explain what they are doing and not afraid to tell you about it!
Internet Promotion – What can you do?
Once you have your website developed your work is not over. This website is a base and all operations will work form this base. Additional website work should be viewed as marketing and promotion of the practice. There are many things that a practice can use a website for. Websites can be used as backend databases for contest systems with voting. websites can be used to track potential patients. Websites can be used to acquire patients via SEO. Websites can be used to educate your patient base. Websites can be used to open communication lines with your patients with newsletters and e-mail. Websites can be used to clearly explain financing, website can be used to facilitate OD relationships, websites can be used to differentiate you from your competition. The biggest mistake practices make once a website is completed is to leave it a do nothing with it. It must be made clear that this is a vehicle and you must put gas in it to make it go!