Whether your optometry business is fresh out of the blocks or an established practice, you need a marketing plan. Marketing strategy varies from business to business, so finding out what really works in optical practice marketing is key. These days, no matter what your business or profession, you need a website and internet marketing should be a big part of your marketing campaign. Why? Quite simply it is one of the most effective ways to reach existing and potential patients.
Internet marketing today is vital. People can access your website 24 hours a day. Importantly, digital marketing is extremely cost effective and can drive a good return on investment. One study by the Pew Research Center last year found that a quarter of US adults are almost constantly online and roughly three-quarters of Americans go online on a daily basis. The reach is huge.
Even if your business is going well, you could be missing out on untold leads, patients and sales. It’s actually quite simple to reap the rewards. Here are 6 aspects of internet marketing you should be embracing.
6 Internet marketing strategies for optometrists
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
It’s all very well having a great website, but not so good if no-one knows your website is there. Search engine optimisation (or SEO) optimises your website for search engines. It means people who are looking for optometry services will be able to easily find you online.
Moz have a great beginner’s guide to SEO. It’s a good place to start. Of course, it can be worth making the investment and employing the services of a digital marketing expert or agency. Whether you decide to tackle SEO yourself or get help, it’s a good idea to build some knowledge around the topic first.
PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click. PPC advertising enables you to target specific audiences, such as by geographical areas, or other demographics. With PPC advertising, businesses only pay each time their ad is clicked. Google and Bing make PPC advertising available on an auction basis. To find out more about how PPC works, see here.
The marketing budget is often precious to smaller optometry businesses, but PPC is worth the investment. There are many reasons small businesses should use PPC advertising, so don’t rule it out because of cost.
Engaging with your patients on social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, is a sure way to build lasting relationships, which will help improve client retention rates. Social media posts educate on eyecare, encourage annual eye examinations, and let your clients know about any offers or promotions.
You will need to post on social media fairly regularly and respond to comments and enquiries. There is no magic formula on how often you should post on each social media channel. It is best to aim for a consistent presence with interesting posts rather than more frequent posts that don’t say very much. It’s a good idea to create a plan and stick to it.
The easiest way to keep your website updated with fresh content (search engines love frequently updated websites offering high quality content), is to write a blog. Your blog is a great way to educate, answer commonly asked questions, address topics in depth, show off your business and deep link to pages on your website. If you have something valuable to say, then why not share it!
Be sure to promote offers in your blogs and share your posts on social media too. See some more benefits and tips of blogging for your business here.
Word of mouth happens just as much online as it does through other more traditional forms of media. Consumers increasingly use online reviews to research healthcare practitioners, including optometrists. Adding testimonials to your website is key, as is encouraging clients to leave reviews about you on other review sites and forums.
Email marketing is a cost-effective way to build credibility, boost sales, strengthen relationships with your existing patients and generate new business. According to global technology company, Campaign Monitor, email marketing drives $44 for every $1 spent, and produces 174 per cent more conversions than social media. Make your email marketing personalised as these emails have higher open rates than those without personalisation.
Internet marketing is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s essential for optometry business success. I hope you have found these 6 digital marketing tips helpful.