More than ever, consumers have many healthcare options, and rely on the information they find online when searching for a psychiatrist. In fact, three out of four people search online to learn about a doctor or medical care. For this reason, psychiatrists need a strong online and digital strategy to make the vital connections required to attract and retain patients, and grow the practice over time.
Your long-term practice success requires a variety of strategies that set your psychiatry expertise apart from your competition. To achieve the level of recognition you desire, there are specific marketing and advertising tactics you can use to support your practice.
Psychiatry patients want a trustworthy and authentic connection with their doctor, and access to the care they need, with a psychiatry practice that reflects a modern and convenient patient experience, driven by technology.
In general, practices and providers that interact with patients online and via their mobile devices give people a better care experience alongside the healthcare services they provide.
Benefits of digital marketing for psychiatrists
While personal referrals are still important to psychiatry practices, you cast a wider net with digital marketing, which contributes to consistent new business growth.
Potential patients are more likely to search online for an experienced psychiatrist than anywhere else, and tend to focus on the first page of search results when reviewing their best options. Digital marketing and advertising can help you land on page one of popular search engines, such as Google. These strategies include maintaining an updated website with engaging, informative content and bringing in a consistent stream of patient reviews.
Digital marketing strategies successful psychiatry practices follow
To attract patients who are looking for mental health resources, focus on the tools and tactics that the most successful psychiatry practices use. An overview of these tactics includes:
- An optimized website. Aside from making a great first impression, your website must attract online searchers who don’t know about your practice. To do this, you’ll need fast loading speeds, a mobile optimized design and pages that are designed to be searched, indexed and found by search engines. You’ll also need as much relevant content as you can create, related to the conditions you treat and the assessments and services your psychiatrists offer. Doing so will assure the search engines that your site is a good resource for prospective patients who are looking for answers.
- Market your practice beyond your URL. While your web presence begins with an impactful website design, your online identity stretches beyond. Start with a Google search of your practice name, where you’ll likely find numerous online directories that feature your business. Sites such as Google My Business, Bing, Vitals, Yelp! and others allow you to officially ‘claim’ your online profile. You can also add practice details and information, and even include photos, videos and answers to frequently asked questions. Invest the time to claim and update these profiles. The results lead to more website traffic and online authority, which help you get more new patients over time.
- Pay attention to search engine optimization (SEO). Another key to more website traffic is to use a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Because SEO tactics can change frequently, this is one marketing activity that’s often outsourced. But, for those who want to manage it on their own, there are tactics that drive more website traffic. For instance, use keywords that align with what patients search for on your website, online profiles and blog posts. Think of short search terms such as anxiety, depression, ADHD/ADD, PTSD, OCD, trauma reactions, and long-tail search terms like, “what can I expect from an assessment or consultation for psychiatric treatment,” or “how do I know if I need to see a doctor for my anxiety?,” etc.
- Enhance your online reputation. Your online reputation should help reassure prospective patients that your psychiatrists are highly qualified and known as the best in town. Your reputation also signals to the search engines that your practice is worth displaying in search results. The volume and frequency of your online reviews affirm to Google and other search engines that your practice is frequented often, and has local relevance. This helps your practice move closer to the top of search engine rankings and attract patients.
- Use content marketing. Publish relevant and timely content through blogging, social media, video and email marketing to extend the reach of your brand online and boost your online presence. Blogging in particular has a major impact on your search engine ranking. Video is also a channel that has gained incredible momentum, with the average adult spending nearly five hours a week watching YouTube. Lastly, content marketing benefits your online presence, and enables you to connect with current and prospective patients more frequently to strengthen the patient and provider relationship.
How SEO strategies boost business for psychiatry practices
Creating a stand-out digital marketing strategy is easier when you understand how new patients find their next psychiatrist.
Nearly all consumers searching for psychiatric care online select a provider from the first page of results on a search engine, but they often won’t directly search for a provider. Instead, people input their symptoms, medical questions, and key terms about their mental health to find an expert. For this reason, psychiatric providers must have a well-optimized website to come up first in search engine results.
By maximizing SEO opportunities on your website and in your blog, your practice will continue to show up on top - highlighting your expertise and your practice’s specialized service options above all others. However, because the algorithms for SEO are ever-changing, it’s critical that a psychiatry practice continuously focuses on long-term practice growth strategy.
Additional components of a growth strategy include:
- A user-friendly website that’s simple to navigate and connects to consumers of all ages. The design also needs to be optimized for both web and mobile devices. The content should include SEO-focused keywords and phrases like anxiety, depression, and ADHD.
- A strong web presence that shows up consistently in Google My Business, Yelp, and other popular online directories.
- An inclusive content marketing plan that coordinates blogs, social media, and email marketing campaigns to attract new business and retain existing patient relationships.
- Consistent outreach planning that includes routine appointment reminders and targeted email campaigns to support patient-provider relationships.
- Digital strategies for paid advertising to drive prospective clients directly to your practice website and boost conversion rates.
Build a solid foundation for your web presence
Convenience is a driving force behind a patient’s switch to a new healthcare provider. In fact, 80 percent of patients said they would switch providers for convenience factors alone. To accommodate consumer needs, psychiatrists must think about the conveniences they offer when designing their strategies for patient acquisition and retention.
Today’s consumers want to have the option to schedule an appointment online at any time without the additional hassle of a phone call. They also want text reminders to keep them on track with upcoming appointments.
All of these conveniences should be seamlessly included in the digital experience you offer along with:
- A no-wait online experience where a website loads quickly, looks clean, and is easy to navigate on computer and mobile devices.
- Any-time online scheduling that lets patients schedule, reschedule, or cancel appointments during and outside of business hours.
- Telehealth accessibility, which allows patients the opportunity to connect with their psychiatrist for routine visits no matter where they are through a reliable online platform.
- Text messaging, which gives patients the flexibility they need to communicate with providers at their convenience without ever being put on hold.
- Online bill pay makes it easy for patients to pay bills on the go and also streamlines practice revenue collection.
Long-term marketing strategies should also include email marketing campaigns to engage patients between appointments and deliver relevant healthcare information in an easy-to-access format. Additionally, automated patient satisfaction surveys further expand communication between a patient and the practice while allowing for immediate feedback to improve the overall patient experience.
Each of these strategies serves to help your psychiatry practice stand out and continually support new business growth.
Online advertising strategies for psychiatrists
An effective advertising strategy for psychiatrists requires a multifaceted approach –– one that must evolve over time to keep up with online algorithms.
A primary advertising focus for your psychiatry practices should include paid search advertising. Paid search or pay-per-click Google ads help move your psychiatry practice up to the top of the search engine results page for increased visibility and more website traffic. This is an effective and affordable advertising option because you only pay for ads when people click. Relevant keywords for psychiatrists might include mental health, anxiety, and depression. Conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder are also key terms people looking for a psychiatrist might search.
Another way to get your content to stand out is via social media advertising. Social media advertising helps you reach more potential patients that you might get with your organic posts. Ad campaigns and boosted posts deliver your quality content directly to your targeted demographics. SEO-enhanced banner ads on popular websites are another option for driving more traffic to your website.
If you’re already using other advertising methods, such as print ads or direct mail, your digital advertising efforts will complement what you’re already doing.
Must-haves for building a positive online reputation
Managing your long-term, online reputation isn’t totally under a practice’s control, but there are things you can do to enhance it. Psychiatry practices build and strengthen an online reputation by initially providing a seamless customer experience in the office to generate positive reviews and testimonials.
Additionally, there are digital tactics your psychiatry practice can put in place to increase patient satisfaction and boost online reputation including:
- Enhance convenience. An emphasis on convenience is paramount for connecting with patients and getting them to become a patient with your practice. The easier it is for patients to schedule appointments, complete initial registrations, and meet with providers, the more likely people are to review a practice positively. Automated reminders and text messaging capabilities also open lines of communication between provider and patient.
- Implement automated patient satisfaction surveys. Provide patients with the opportunity to provide immediate feedback after an appointment, to give them confidence that you care about their experience. Surveys also increase the likelihood your patients will follow through with posting a positive review. In fact, PatientPop research shows that patients who participate in automated surveys are twice as likely to share feedback online.
- Consider all feedback. Once you receive feedback from an automated survey, be responsive to that information in a timely manner. This is especially important if the feedback is critical of the customer service experience. Practices must also continually monitor all sources of feedback including emails, social media posts, and online reviews and consider the changes that can be made internally to provide a better patient experience.
A key takeaway is the more patient reviews a practice has, the more website traffic a psychiatry practice will receive. More traffic increases the confidence internet search algorithms have in your business to rank you higher in their results.
Content marketing for psychiatry symptoms, conditions, and treatments
Prospective patients rely heavily on the digital content available for psychiatry practices to make important decisions about their health. They’re looking at your blog, social media, and videos to evaluate the level of care they’ll receive as a patient.
With the average adult spending nearly four hours a day on their smartphone, psychiatry practices have an opportunity to connect with a captive audience directly through timely content that builds practice awareness.
Some of the top strategies psychiatrists can use to benefit from online searches include:
Post blogs regularly: Publishing regular blogs that contain relevant content promotes your practice and expertise in psychiatry. Posting one to four original blogs a month also boosts website traffic and the rank your practice has on Google and other search engines. Linking your blogs on your social media pages further supports your practice online presence and keeps you connected to patients looking for information about their mental health.
Develop multiple social media channels: An estimated 80 percent2 of Americans use at least one social media platform. Posting on platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube helps you reach prospective patients and stay connected with existing ones.
Targeted email marketing: Personalized email messages delivered directly to a patient’s inbox keeps your psychiatry practice relevant and builds confidence in your medical expertise. Email content can include timely information for patients based on diagnosis or demographics.
A few examples of content that psychiatry practices can use to connect with new customers and retain existing patient relationships include:
- A blog discussing lesser-known causes of anxiety and depression, such as stress and chronic health conditions. Highlight the benefits of psychiatric treatments.
- A Facebook post discussing ketamine infusion therapy to address treatment-resistant depression.
- An email campaign focusing on the benefits of medication management services for patients who take multiple medications for existing physical and mental health conditions.
- A Q&A video with in-house providers discussing options for psychiatric care through telehealth, noting what to expect from telehealth visits.
- A Twitter post linking to the latest FDA-approved treatments for bipolar disorder.
- An email to existing patients highlighting the benefits of IV hydration and vitamin infusion therapy in support of long-term mental health.
Other ideas for your content marketing strategy can include primary psychiatric care topics, conditions, treatments, and services like:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Medication Management
- Ketamine Infusion Therapy
- Mental Health
- Ketamine Therapy
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
- TMS Therapy
- Medical Cannabis
- Initial Psychiatric Evaluation
- Functional Medicine
- Spravato and Ketamine Infusion Therapy
- Substance Abuse
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Psychotherapy & Counseling
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- ADD and ADHD
- Suboxone Therapy
- Anxiety Disorder
- Anxiety Disorders
- Online ADHD
- Deep TMS
- IV Hydration and Vitamin Infusion
- Child Psychiatry
- Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation
- TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Developmental Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder
- NAD Detox
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Adolescent Psychiatry
- Mood Disorders
- Opioid Addiction
- Eating Disorder
- Nutritional Psychiatry
- Speech Therapy
- Psychedelic Medicine
- Treatment Refractory Depression
- Depression & Anxiety
Tie these keywords and phrases that your prospective patients are searching for into your blogs and social media posts to continually support your SEO strategies for new business growth.
When used properly, your content marketing strategies will help build awareness about your psychiatry practice, increase website traffic, and increase the volume of appointments. Ongoing content strategies also help your practice retain patients and boost patient satisfaction.