In the first part of our special telehealth marketing series, we discussed why medical marketing is vital for online healthcare providers. We shared how patient behavior changes and how important it is to have visibility where so many people begin their search for medical care.
In today’s post, we’ll share digital marketing strategies for the healthcare industry with an eye toward telehealth and how your business can thrive in the age of always-on health services.
Telehealth: A multi-billion dollar industry
Believe it or not, telehealth in some form has been around for over 60 years. -But what was once a “nice to have” for patients has become a multi-billion dollar part of the healthcare industry. Underused and understudied until 2019, telehealth leaped into the forefront of patient care as the COVID-19 pandemic made social distancing a vital part of human interaction.
As the telehealth industry grows, so does the demand and availability of services. Service offerings now include a range of preventive, promotive, and curative medical care, including patient monitoring, appointment reminders, intervention, patient admissions, and more. As of the end of 2022, 27.6 million Americans were using telehealth services, and 38% of clients in the U.S. used telehealth applications.
In other words, the future is here for medical practices, healthcare organizations, and those in the healthcare business – and the future is telehealth.
Medical Marketing: The doctor is in.
Telehealth, like any specialized field, comes with its own set of challenges. One is the understanding prospective patients may have of telehealth and telemedicine. Telemedicine only covers remote services, while telehealth systems cover a much broader scope. This is a part of educating your patients – and a point we touch on later in this article.
Let’s explore other unique challenges:
1. Local and National Reach
Telehealth providers have a dual challenge. The need to appear in local searches for people who seek virtual care is common. However, some providers also cater to a national or even international audience.
For example, some have specialized medical services or are experts in their particular field. Others may be in an area with geographical disparities, and telehealth bridges the gap by connecting patients remotely who might otherwise not have regular healthcare.
2. Medical Content Expertise
Creating authoritative and accurate medical content is essential for healthcare practices. Patients rely on the information they find online for their health decisions. Therefore, expertise in medical content creation is paramount.
Healthcare workers can write the content and provide technically accurate information, but what if they don’t have the time? Who creates the content, builds the landing pages, and handles the content marketing strategies in the long term?
3. Regulatory Compliance
Maintaining patient privacy is not just a legal requirement but also an ethical one. Most are familiar with HIPPA and the need to keep patient information secure. But are you familiar with your state’s telehealth regulations? Do you know your telehealth licensing needs?
As well, the FTC and FDA have guidelines governing medical marketing and advertising practices. How do you keep track of it all?
4. Trust Building
Building trust is a fundamental aspect of healthcare and telehealth services. Patients must have confidence in their healthcare providers to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. Building trust through online channels can be challenging, from clearly placed data and privacy policies to patient education and reviews, but it’s crucial for telehealth providers.
As you can guess from the billion-dollar price tag, competition in telehealth and telemedicine can be fierce. Many providers are vying for the same online audience. Standing out requires strategic SEO.
Flaunt your medical marketing strategies.
Strategic healthcare SEO – that thing you do to make your medical practice stand out when prospective patients search for practices. It’s part of what helps you rank higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). And it all begins with getting the keyword research right for your medical website.
Keyword Research for Telehealth
Keyword research is the foundation of SEO. It’s not just guesswork; you must understand the language your potential patients will use when searching for telehealth services. Here are key steps in telehealth keyword research:
1. Identify Core Services: List the primary telehealth services you offer, such as virtual consultations, mental health counseling, remote monitoring, or prescription renewals.
2. Location Targeting: If you serve specific regions or states, include location-based keywords like “telehealth in [location]” or “virtual doctor [location].”
3. Patient Queries: Consider the questions patients might ask, like “How do virtual doctor visits work?” or “Is telemedicine covered by insurance?”
4. Competitor Analysis: Analyze the keywords your competitors are targeting successfully. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush can help, but you can also search for the term and see what organizations come up.
5. Long-Tail Keywords: Don’t forget long-tail keywords, which are longer, more specific phrases. They often have less competition and can bring highly targeted traffic. Example: “online cardiologist” or “online health services”
As you can see, choosing the right keywords and phrases is a strategic decision and can significantly impact your online visibility. Getting them right is the foundation of your marketing.
7 On-Page SEO Best Practices for Telehealth Websites
1. Quality Content: Create high-quality, informative, and accurate medical content. Address patient questions and concerns comprehensively.
2. Optimize Metadata: Ensure that each page has a unique and descriptive title tag and meta description that includes relevant keywords.
3. Mobile Optimization: Given the rise of mobile healthcare searches, ensure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly.
4. Local SEO: Make sure you have an optimized Google Business Profile for your staff, as well as each department.
5. Structured Data Markup: Implement structured data (schema markup) to provide search engines with more information about your services, such as telemedicine availability and accepted insurance.
6. User Experience (UX): Prioritize a positive user experience, including easy navigation, clear calls to action, and secure patient portals.
7. Backlinks: Earn high-quality backlinks from authoritative healthcare websites to boost your site’s authority. These can include hospitals as well as related government and education sites.
Mastering on-page SEO and telehealth marketing isn’t a quick in-and-out process. Much like a cardio surgeon performing delicate surgery, the meticulous attention to detail makes the difference.
Crafting Engaging Healthcare Content
When building a medical website–or any site, for that matter–one of the first things a site owner notices is… “I need content.”
Content is the heart of your online presence, and in the digital healthcare landscape, it’s your primary means of connecting with your audience, building trust, and showcasing your expertise:
1. Educating Patients
One of the primary roles of your content is to educate your patients. You’re not just providing healthcare services; you’re empowering patients to make informed decisions about their health.
2. Building Trust
Content is a potent tool for building the trust we talked about earlier. When patients find valuable, accurate, and easy-to-understand information on your website, they’re more likely to trust your expertise.
3. Engagement and Loyalty
Engaging content keeps patients coming back. It nurtures a sense of loyalty and encourages patients to choose your telemedicine services over others.
4. SEO and Visibility
Search engines love fresh, relevant, and well-structured content. Creating content that aligns with your target keywords boosts your SEO and makes your website more discoverable.
Now, let’s explore how you can craft engaging telehealth content that resonates with your audience and supports your marketing efforts.
10 Telehealth Topics to Talk About
One of the many ways to create content is through articles and blog posts. What’s the difference?
- Blog post: Dated and expires quickly. Blog posts are generally in a list that rotates out and are considered dated content.
- Articles: Evergreen. Evergreen articles may need to be updated, but only occasionally, as information in the industry changes.
Here are 10 topics to get you started in creating content for your medical site.
1. Telehealth Benefits: Start by explaining the benefits of telehealth. Why should patients consider virtual doctor visits? Highlight convenience, accessibility, and time-saving aspects.
2. Virtual Consultation Guides: Create step-by-step guides on how virtual consultations work. Address common patient concerns like privacy, technology requirements, and preparation.
3. Condition-Specific Content: Develop content tailored to specific medical conditions. Explain how telemedicine can help manage chronic conditions, mental health, or common illnesses.
4. Telehealth vs. Traditional Care: Explore the differences between telehealth and in-person care. Highlight situations where virtual visits are a suitable alternative.
5. Patient Testimonials: Share success stories and patient testimonials. Real-life experiences resonate with readers and build trust.
6. Telemedicine and Telehealth Technology: Explain the technology behind telemedicine and telehealth. Offer tips on setting up a suitable environment for virtual consultations.
7. Insurance and Telehealth: Provide guidance on insurance coverage for telehealth services. Patients often seek this information.
8. Telehealth Etiquette: Create a guide on telehealth etiquette for both patients and providers. How to dress, behave, and communicate during virtual visits.
9. Mental Health and Teletherapy: If you provide mental health services, talk about teletherapy and its benefits for mental health patients. Offer coping strategies and resources.
10. Telehealth and Pediatrics: Explore the application of telehealth in pediatrics, addressing parental concerns and child-friendly virtual visits.
Remember, the key to engaging telehealth content is making complex medical concepts accessible and relatable. Use plain language, avoid jargon, and tell stories that connect with your audience.
The Power of Video in Medical Marketing
Video is an incredibly powerful tool in medical marketing for telehealth services. It’s engaging, personal, and can convey complex medical information in a digestible format. Here’s how you can leverage video:
1. Virtual Tour: Create a virtual tour of your telehealth practice. Show patients what to expect during a virtual visit.
2. Patient Testimonials: Record video testimonials from satisfied patients. Video testimonials have a strong impact on trust-building.
3. Educational Videos: Produce short educational videos on various healthcare topics. Keep them concise and informative.
4. Provider Introductions: Introduce your telehealth team through video profiles. This humanizes your practice and makes patients feel more comfortable.
5. Explainer Videos: Create videos explaining how to use your telehealth platform, ensuring a seamless patient experience. This is even more important the more complex your offerings and system are.
Wrapping It Up
As we move through the digital landscape of medical marketing, it becomes more and more obvious that the future of healthcare lies in the blend of digital technology and medical services. The demand for accessible, convenient, and efficient healthcare solutions, though pushed into the limelight by COVID, is expected to continue to grow at an exponential rate. -And when patients turn to online platforms for healthcare information and services, the importance of effective telehealth marketing can’t be overstated as the proper response.
When you’re ready to embrace the future of healthcare marketing and provide telehealth services, contact Level343. We have the medical know-how to provide the content you want, as well as the marketing acumen for the strategies you need.