Medical professionals need an omni-channel approach to local marketing. Many firms rely too much on word of mouth marketing or passive organic search while ignoring other channels and strategies that are limiting their growth.

Building on Word of Mouth

Physicians who have been practicing in a local community for 10+ years will have a steady clientele and some have even limited their intake of new patients. Medical professionals who recently opened a local practice or those who want to add new patients need to be intentional in their local marketing efforts. While “word of mouth” marketing is effective, there are thousands of searches done each month by consumers who are looking for local medical advice and treatments.

While Google search is an important element of a successful (local) medical marketing strategy, and the keyword costs much lower than the legal industry, consumers have other factors to consider when selecting a doctor. Consumers want to know which doctors are in network and also how consumers rate their services.

It can cost a podiatrist $7.28 each time a consumer clicks on their Google ad for the keyword “foot doctor near me.” If the conversion rate (appointments set) of these consumers is low, possibly because the doctor does not accept popular insurance plans, SEM advertising could be a costly mistake.  Some example keywords costs are shown below:

Navigation, Social, and Video

A comprehensive medical marketing strategy must include Google Maps and online reviews. In the example below, the search for “foot doctor near me” yielded three medical organizations bidding for that keyword, as shown in the red dashed box. Keep in mind that the first one shown for NYU Langone Health is located 75 miles away! This is likely a big waste of money for Langone.

As consumers scroll the down page, to see which foot doctor is near their home, a different ad strategy is available. Notice that only “NYU Langone Health” knew that they could promote their Google My Business listing to the top of the map pack. (look for the word “Ad”) A trained eye will also see that three local podiatrists have placed little emphasis on their Google reviews. A medical practice that has been in business for 10, 20, or even 30 years should have hundreds of reviews.

Riverview Foot and Ankle Associates has only one review!.  Biebel & DeCotiis Podiatry Associates has been in business 34 years and has only 3 reviews.  A popular medical practice with under 10 reviews? Yes, it is very common across the country yet few understand the negative impact it has on new business.

While medical practices are investing in Google SEM, they are missing many aspects of a cost effective, local marketing strategy.  What happens to consumer click results when a podiatrist focuses on reviews, social media, maps, and paid marketing? They get an increase in organic and paid traffic!

Be Your Customer

Consumers spend hours each day on social media, watching YouTube videos, and sharing information on messaging apps. Is it possible that medical groups and local doctors have been so focused on Google SEM that they have ignored social channels.  Here is a search done on Facebook from the same computer, in the same location as the Google search above.  Notice that the three local podiatrists (in the Google Map pack) did not appear on the Facebook search.

Sadly, when you look at these Facebook pages, two of the three doctors are in New York. Only the first medical practice “Garden State Foot & Ankle Center” was a feasible local choice. This means that all the other podiatrists in the local market are not leveraging Facebook at all!  A missed opportunity for organic visibility and paid advertising.

A comprehensive local marketing strategy must include all places where consumers spend their time, and rarely have we seen a medical practice that has leveraged all media channels to grow their business at an affordable cost.  If you would like to discuss how Localiente can help you, take a minute to schedule a free consultation.


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