In today’s fast-paced, digital world, it’s become necessary for businesses to adapt to consumers living online 24/7. In order to do so, a strong online presence is required. You want to make sure that when the time comes for a potential patient to pick up the phone, they dial your optometry practice and not a competitor. Growing your practice’s online presence is the best way to acquire new patients in the areas you service. Here are a few tips to grow your optometry practice with digital marketing.
Be Found in Search Results
As most business owners know, there are two types of search results: organic and paid. The organic search results are referred to as SEO and the paid search is called PPC, or most often Google AdWords. Both SEO and AdWords can work together to support each other. In fact, one of the best things you can do to attract customers from search is to have an AdWords ad running and show up in those precious top results on the organic listings as well.
Because AdWords is paid, and if you have a budget to dedicate to it, you’ll see results quickly. Organic results take more work and time to realize the ROI. Your website must contain enough of the SEO “juice” that Google is looking for to rank your site. This includes expert website design and development, location-specific content, directory listings and reviews on multiple platforms. Not only does your site need all of those elements, it needs to be updated with fresh, relevant, location-specific content on an ongoing basis. This is best accomplished by blogging regularly.
Be Seen on Social Media
A recent study shows that of time spent online, 20% of it is spent on social platforms. You want to be where your audience spends their time. When you share pictures of happy patients on Facebook or Instagram in their new glasses or a teen putting in his first pair of contacts, you build a relationship with your potential audience. They can picture themselves in new glasses (or no glasses!).
In addition to sharing images, share your expertise. If you are blogging, post your blogs to social media. Become a trusted source of information regarding optometry. Remind people of the importance of regular eye exams. Share stories from other trusted sources, like contact and eyeglass manufacturers, about the latest options.
Many people also use social media to get references. There are two ways this happens. One is when someone posts, “Who knows a good eye doctor in our town?” If you’re on Facebook, ideally one of your customers will respond and when they type your name in the response, a link to your Facebook page will come up. This makes it easy for your new potential customer to get to know you and to see what others are saying about your business through reviews. The other way potential clients get references is by reading the reviews that can be found on Facebook and Google My Business.
Consider Paid Ads on Social Media
Both Facebook and Instagram offer the ability to run paid ads on their platforms. Paid social media advertising is a great way to reach people who are not already your customers. Plan and execute a campaign that gets the word out about your practice, special offers, new styles or annual back-to-school eye exams. Advertising on social media allows you to be very specific in your targeting. You can reach a specific audience based on a combination of factors including age, gender, location and even interests.
Don’t be shy about asking for mentions on social media. If you happen to service a news personality, athlete or well-liked political figure, ask them if they are willing to give you a mention on their account. They likely have thousands of followers and the exposure can boost name recognition, website traffic and likes to your social media accounts.
Growing your optometry practice online isn’t hard and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It simply takes time and a plan. If you can dedicate time to creating and executing the plan, your practice will grow. If you don’t have the time, reach out to a marketing company like Surefire Local that specializes in working with optometrists on local marketing strategies.