Telemedicine is becoming an integral part of the way societies function. With COVID-19 changing the way we live, getting remote consultations from qualified medical professionals became a necessity.
While some companies in the healthcare industry are losing money, others are reinventing themselves by turning to remote options. If you are offering telemedicine services, you need the right approach to marketing them.
Similar to the majority of healthcare-related promotional efforts, telemedicine SEO is highly specific. In this article, we’ll go over the best practices for this approach to help your company stay ahead of the competition.
What is Telemedicine?
Are you considering telemedicine to adjust your practice? You need to know the basics of this approach to streamline your marketing efforts.
Telemedicine makes healthcare accessible and cost-effective. It increases patient engagement and allows companies to adjust to the new realities of remote interactions. Even though telemedicine debuted in the middle of the 20th century, it hasn’t been too widespread until recently.
The lack of proper communication technologies made telemedicine (also called telehealth or e-health) not as effective as person-to-person contact with the healthcare professional. However, as internet speeds started improving and high-quality communication software appeared, telemedicine became more appealing and accessible.
People, who benefit from telemedicine the most are older patients and those, who reside in rural areas. Anyone who finds it problematic to access a physician can take full advantage of this approach.
During a remote consultation, patients can share information about their condition and send photos if necessary. They can also transfer readings from medical devices. Special telemedicine software simplifies diagnostics and makes it easy to undergo treatment at home.
Wide acceptance of telemedicine doesn’t just improve healthcare efforts, it reduces the strain on hospitals and emergency rooms. Eventually, this approach saves money for patients, doctors, and the government.
Types of Telemedicine
While telemedicine encompasses remote delivery of healthcare services, three common types of this approach exist:
- Interactive medicine – allows patients and doctors to communicate in real-time while complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
- Store and forward – involves collecting information from the patient and forwarding it to another doctor at a remote location.
- Remote monitoring – allows monitoring remote patients by using mobile medical devices for data collection (blood pressure, blood sugar levels, heart rate, etc.).
To arrange a telemedicine practice, most providers need simple video conference software that complies with HIPPA. Large hospitals usually create custom telepath software to cater to the multiple needs of the organization.
Besides employing software, it’s important to set up rules and regulations according to the laws of the country and state to regulate telemedicine efforts.
It’s possible to conduct telemedicine with portable telemedicine kits, which feature a computer and portable medical devices. Physicians also need high-resolution cameras to simplify diagnostics.
Smart Approaches to Telehealth Marketing
Telemedicine marketing requires a special approach. Besides telehealth SEO efforts, you need to incorporate several important steps to ensure the best outcome. They can help you improve your search engine optimization strategy.
1. Create a Patient Persona
Before beefing up marketing efforts for any type of service, you need to create a patient (buyer) persona. You need to understand who the person you are offering health services is.
When it comes to telemedicine, it’s fairly easy to identify your target audience. However, it may differ depending on what type of services you offer. You may need to create a different persona for each service.
Are you marketing to older patients? Patients with children? Each set of targeted buyers should have a list of obligations, objectives, and pain points. By identifying these people, you are simplifying your content marketing efforts.
2. Outline Patients’ Journeys
When you have your buyer personas ready, you can use them to create a theoretical buyer’s path to see what helps and motivates these people to make decisions about your services.
If possible, you can question your existing patients to find out about the challenges they face, the goals they set, and the questions they have before taking advantage of your services.
If you don’t have patients who can answer such questions, you may want to look at what your competition has done to identify each phase of the journey.
According to HubSpot, a buyer’s journey has three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. By identifying these stages, you can figure out which marketing tactics to apply to achieve conversions.
3. Create a Social Media Strategy
A solid social media strategy can assist you when you are setting up your SEO campaign. While it doesn’t affect the SEO directly, your efforts on social media can help attract clients to the website.
You can use social media channels to engage prospects with your content. Since a big chunk of your target audience is likely to use social media, it’s an excellent source of potential patients.
When writing a social media post, make sure to set clear goals. The content needs to address the challenges that patients face and encourage questions and feedback.
4. Encourage Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Healthcare is one of the industries affected by word-of-mouth marketing the most. That’s why it’s important to pay special attention to reviews. While incentivizing clients to recommend your services is black hat marketing, you can use many legal techniques.
Pay more attention to listing your services in as many directories as possible. This way you are letting patients leave comments and reviews. Make sure to put your practice on doctor review websites, such as:
When reviews appear, reply to all of them no matter how good or bad they are. Your involvement shows your desire to improve and demonstrates care for patients.
6 Approaches to Telehealth SEO
Regardless of the services your practice covers, telehealth SEO has several key components. Let’s look at what they are and how you can implement them.
1. Search for New Keywords Related to Telehealth
Telemedicine marketing requires a new keyword search. Patients who need remote assistance ask different questions than people taking advantage of the standard doctor-patient relationship. You need to conduct a thorough keyword search to boost your search optimization efforts.
Just as you did in the past, you can focus on such websites as:
Then you can take advantage of the most reliable yet free keyword generating tools such as:
While it’s possible to find the necessary keywords by using the available tools, it’s necessary to sort some of them out manually. For that, you need some experience working with search engine optimization. Not all keywords generated by automatic tools may be what you need.
Consider looking at what the competitors have done with their keywords. What works for them is likely to work for you. Meanwhile, by figuring out what they’ve missed, you can find a way to get ahead in the search engine result race.
2. Telehealth Content Marketing
The patients you are working with today may need different content from the telemedicine target audience. Since the services offered via telemedicine vary, you need to create sufficient content for each one while using the keywords you found.
Since repetitive content isn’t welcome, try to find new subjects to write about while addressing the pain points of your current audience and potential telemedicine service users. You’ll need to create new webpages, a new section in your blog, a new thread on the forum, etc.
Content is the most powerful weapon in the hands of an SEO expert. You need to wield it as often as possible to see good results.
The most important part of telemedicine is quick and worry-free access. Emphasize these points in the new content you create. Make sure it’s available to both audiences in case you want to convert some of your existing patients to using telemedicine options.
3. Pay Special Attention to Internal Links
Both internal and external linking are highly important to proper SEO efforts. Since as a medical practice, you probably have sufficient content written on your website, take full advantage of it.
Each time you create new content, make sure to add two or three internal links. For that, you need to diversify your articles and make them sufficiently long.
If you haven’t done any internal linking work in the past, you should start now. Review all your past articles and link them to each other whenever possible. You can also link parts of your articles to your service pages.
Make sure all your internal links point to related content. Overusing internal links could raise a flag with Google Algorithms.
Avoid linking to the homepage or a contact us page. Too many pages are linked to those as it is. Try not to link to the contact page until it’s absolutely necessary. The visitor is already on the website, the contact button should be readily available on all pages anyway.
4. Beef Up Your Backlinking Efforts
Backlinking is also a way to establish credibility and boost brand awareness. Even if you’ve spent a lot of time on the tactic in the past, telemedicine should push you to improve it. Take the opportunity to examine existing backlinks and remove broken ones if any.
Write useful blogs and offer them to related websites as guest posts. Some of the best healthcare-related websites you should consider are:
If you have an established blog, don’t hesitate to accept guest blogs as well. The promotion effort can go both ways.
Put more effort into listing your company on all the related directories. They aren’t just an excellent source of reviews as we described above. Directories can help you take full advantage of backlinking.
While the majority of top backlinking strategies stay the same over time, some may change. It’s important to follow the latest trends.
5. Take Full Advantage of Videos
Videos can drive organic traffic to your website and improve search engine rankings. Since you focus on telemedicine, create videos for improving brand awareness, answering questions, addressing pain points, and more.
Patients look for support. Plain text may not always cut it. However, a video that features a qualified professional can do wonders for conversion rates and higher rankings. While you are posting videos, make sure they are shareable on social media.
Optimize all your videos and images by including keywords in captions and adding alt text. All the media you post on your website must be adjusted to your telemedicine SEO efforts.
6. Track the Progress
Just like any search engine optimization strategy, Telemedicine SEO needs time to start working. To make sure you are on the right track before you notice visible results, it’s important to analyze the progress.
Many different SEO progress tracking tools exist, including:
The good ones aren’t free. Meanwhile, you need to be ready to spend time learning how to use them. Tracking SEO efforts can be complicated and often requires a professional approach.
Take Full Advantage of Telemedicine SEO to Promote Your Services
No matter how good the rest of your marketing efforts are, achieving top results without SEO is impossible in any industry. If you are planning to offer telemedicine services, you need to work out a special approach to search engine optimization and start implementing it as soon as possible.
Start by identifying your “patient” persona and goals. Continue by creating top-notch content, generating backlinks, redesigning your website, and tracking the progress. For more information, please contact our Telehealth SEO company at any convenient time.