Using Digital Techniques to Market Urgent Care
Urgent care centers have become a staple in the healthcare landscape, providing convenient, affordable emergency care to patients and profitability to stakeholders.
As the healthcare industry advances rapidly, two things become important for urgent care clinics: getting more patients while facing more competition.
It’s more important than ever to direct your marketing efforts so that patients know:
- Who you are
- Where to find you
- How to access your services.
Urgent care is unique in the fact that when someone doesn’t feel well, they won’t spend hours browsing various healthcare options online. Instead, they will find the closest, most convenient urgent care facility, and go there.
Because of this, marketing for urgent care needs to be incredibly targeted to be successful.
You must be discoverable online via search, maps, and social media to catch people at the exact moment they are looking for you.
This is not an easy task, but with these proven approaches to marketing your urgent care center locally, you can be well-known in your community.
Top 5 Urgent Care Marketing Ideas
Urgent Care Marketing Idea #1: Get a Custom Website
To service potential patients who are anxious to find care, you need to be there for them on page one of the search results. A professional urgent care website gives them accurate information about where you are and how to contact you. Modern urgent care centers also provide an online waitlist so patients can “get in line” before they even leave the house.
The most effective way to do these things is with a user-friendly website.
Prospective patients need to know you take their well-being seriously. A professional site helps build trust by providing facts about your services such as the conditions you treat, the credentials of your staff, and answers to a patient’s most common questions.
Your site must:
- Look professional to inspire trust in the reader
- Load quickly, whether it’s on a computer or phone
- Rank high in search engines so you land on page one and generate qualified website traffic
- Be visible on mapping apps in your local area so users can find you
- Provide relevant information and helpful content that contains high-intent keywords prospective patients are searching for
- Be easy for prospects to navigate, with location and contact information on the first page
You might be tempted to build a website on your own using one of the many DIY third-party tools available. However, unless you already understand web design and search engine optimization (SEO), or have the time and energy to learn, you won’t end up with the polished design and user experience that will lead patients to choose you over other nearby urgent care facilities.
And even if you do have these skills, your expertise is better spent caring for patients, while trusting an experienced web developer to build your website.
Hiring a professional means you’ll have a tailored website that’s built with the user in mind, good content, and a better chance at ranking high in search engine results. Partnering with a professional developer is the best use of your limited time.
Urgent Care Marketing Idea #2: Unique Web Content and Optimized SEO
In addition to great design and navigation, your website should also have a factual and compelling copy. In a nutshell, the content you publish should:
- Show people what you can do for them
- Have the right keywords and phrases, so you show up higher in search results.
According to Google, rankings are based on several factors, including:
- Keywords and phrases that prospects search for
- Relevant, usable information on the pages
- Local SEO, including the location of your urgent care center
Of course, this is just the baseline. Even with these boxes checked, your site won’t automatically appear at the top of the list when prospects search for “Urgent Care near me.”
It takes a consistent SEO strategy with informative, original content and regularly published blogs and articles to attain — and maintain — a top spot.
It’s important to note that SEO is a world of constant change — it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it system.
Google regularly updates its algorithm to prioritize relevant content and deprioritize content that is attempting to game the system. It takes a lot of work to keep up with the fluctuations and revamp your website accordingly.
Like web design, content and SEO take time, expertise, and some trial and error to learn. Hiring a pro who understands both urgent care and SEO will get you results quickly.
Urgent Care Marketing Idea #3: Invest in Paid Search Advertising
Ranking high in organic search results — based on the SEO value of your content — is everyone’s dream. However, with billions of websites competing for attention today, it’s hard to rank high on organic search alone. A more reliable strategy is to incorporate paid media into your marketing mix.
Paid advertising is a service that places your content such as ads and videos high in the search results for a specified price. It can create a positive return on investment (ROI) because it gets you to the top of page one right away.
It’s not without risk, however. To manage your paid media budget, you need a good understanding of the:
- keywords your prospective patients are searching for
- search volume and competition of those keywords
- type of content your audience engages with
Get one of these three wrong, and you’re throwing money down the drain instead of generating new patients.
Good results with paid media take skill and experience; the kind you’ll get by partnering with a marketing expert. The payoff is that you’ll get the best value for your ad dollar and drive more patients to your facility, faster.
Urgent Care Marketing Idea #4: Use Social Media Better
Does it do any good to market your urgent care practice on a social media channel like Facebook or Instagram?
Yes, it does!
Here’s why: An estimated 90% of people in the U.S. actively use social media. Your goal is to be where your prospects are — and your prospects are on social media every day.
People use social media to connect with friends and family. They also follow their interests, like celebrities and brand accounts. Actively posting and engaging with your followers on social media helps you increase visibility, establish your facility as a trusted healthcare provider, and show that you’re friendly and helpful.
Your followers might not be thinking about urgent care providers when they read your tweets, but later when they need stitches or an x-ray, they’ll remember you. Additionally, you can invest in social media advertising to target specific user demographics.
Social media has a reputation for being spontaneous and comedic, but social media marketing is also strategic, planned, and consistent.
It’s about analyzing the interests and needs of your potential patients, planning and publishing interesting posts, and engaging with your followers. The brand visibility and confidence it brings to your audience make it well worth the time investment.
It’s also a great way to share social proof and built trust. Which brings us to our last tip…
Urgent Care Marketing Idea #5: Get and Share Online Reviews
Online reviews can make or break a business, especially in the healthcare industry. A recent survey said that 81% of patients read reviews before selecting a healthcare provider.
The number of online reviews your business has also matters. One study says the average consumer wants to see at least 40 reviews before they can trust the company.
The primary goal is to get positive reviews — and lots of them. From there, you need to make sure those reviews are available online, on your website, social media, and in search engine results. If you’re already asking your patients for reviews, that’s a good start. However, not everyone responds when you ask.
You can increase your online reviews by designating staff members to follow up with people who don’t respond, encouraging them to leave a positive review. You can also set up a system to automatically request reviews via email so you can respond to negative issues before they are published online.
Collecting and monitoring online reviews takes effort and time, and your staff may not have the bandwidth to manage it. However, positive online reviews pay off.
A digital marketing partner can help set up and manage your online reputation management program, saving you time while you reap the benefits.
How to Implement These Urgent Care Marketing Ideas
It’s one thing to talk about marketing your urgent care clinic. It’s another thing to do it.
When you have important healthcare challenges to solve, it doesn’t make much sense to try and take on SEO strategy, web design, social media marketing, paid ads, and review management yourself.
Fortunately, you don’t have to.You can kick-start your marketing by partnering with Socius for your urgent care marketing.
We have the know-how and experience in the healthcare industry to set up and manage your digital marketing so you can focus on what you do best: providing urgent care services to your patients.
Schedule a free consultation with a Socius expert today.