Australian consumers are a notoriously health-conscious bunch who are becoming increasingly concerned about their wellbeing.
It’s a good time to offer health-related services, but that doesn’t automatically make attracting new clients any easier when you’re operating in a highly competitive, rapidly evolving marketplace.
Now more than ever, Australians are using their smartphones to look for local, reputable practitioners who they can trust with their treatment (and their vitality!), so you need your practice to be popping up as often as possible.
How do you stand out in such a crowded digital space? Here are a few key insights and pointers to boost your visibility and help potential clients find you.
How do Australians find health services?
Google and TNS Australia published a “micro-moments” guide highlighting some of the core ways that people are looking for health services. They discovered:
- 77% of smartphone owners have used their device to find local health services.
- Australians conduct 3.1 searches when finding a new health service provider.
- “Near me” searches for health-related services have doubled since 2015.
And these behaviours have only become more prominent since the research was conducted. For example, in 2019 we saw a 60% year-on-year increase in “near me” searches and 46% of all Google searches were looking for local information.
In today’s world, Australians aren’t just looking to buy generic products online. They’re also seeking out personal experiences and services (in 2018, 38% of all “near me” searches were for personal care), so it’s never been more important for your health clinic to make a digital impression.
When people are reaching out in their moment of need for information on availability, prices and location, your practice needs to be the one that rises to the top for your area. It’s all about building trust – and fast.
Google and TNS note that people are looking for messaging simplicity, high levels of specialisation, patient testimonies, proven results and a sense of professionalism to help them feel confident that you can deliver. Medical jargon and mysterious pricing structures are out – total clarity is in!
What’s clear to see is clients are doing their research, exploring their options and trusting search engines to help them find the best solution to their problem. So, how do you make sure they find you?
Connecting with new clients.
Here are some actionable steps you can take to make your online presence more potent.
1. Show up for relevant “near me” searches.
People using this search term are eager to take immediate action, so it’s the perfect moment to snap up new clients. “Near me” searches are also extremely prevalent in the healthcare industry because the services are very location sensitive.
In order to improve your visibility for searches like this, you need to do a few things, including optimising your listing on Google My Business, creating targeted website pages for every location of your business, acquiring backlinks with geographic anchor text and optimising your site for mobile (psst! 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site). You can even leverage Google Ads if that’s in your repertoire! Remember to focus on removing the hassle for mobile searchers by bidding on location-specific keywords and using local extensions.
Want a tip that will really help you get ahead of the competition? Consider how your potential clients might be using their smartphone’s voice search functionality and optimise your Google My Business listing for these specific queries too.
2. Highlight key preferences, like “open weekends” or “online appointments”.
If you want to be seen in search results, it’s critical that you list the specific benefits of your health clinic on your website. And don’t just mention them briefly. This is your chance to talk yourself up and showcase what makes your offering perfect for your ideal client, so be sure to incorporate a variety of treatment-specific terms into your web copy.
Google (and the world) doesn’t know you offer free initial consultations unless you make that clear in your online messaging. Spell everything out and give search engines the go-ahead to present your business as the crème de la crème of all health clinics. You never know, that one differentiating feature could be what convinces and converts the client!
3. Be clear about the treatments you offer.
Clarity is the key to success in digital marketing (and in life!). It’s vital you communicate the exact treatments your health clinic offers so that Google recognises your listing and website for suitable search queries.
As you well know, practitioners in the health space work with an incredible range of techniques addressing a vast array of different conditions and issues. In a highly technical and specialised field where search engines and potential clients know relatively little about what’s on offer or what’s relevant, it’s even more important to detail the precise services your business delivers.
While you’re at it, ensure all your essential information is up-to-date too. This might include your business hours, address and phone number.
4. Focus on building instant trust and authority.
The key to winning sales always comes back to earning trust, particularly when you’re talking about something as personal and life-altering as health services.
Google My Business reviews are a win-win in this respect. They are a great way to create a positive first impression with prospective clients (if people leave good ones, that is!) and they’re used as a Google Maps ranking factor. Make sure you respond to reviews that patients leave in order to further bolster your brand – or do a little damage control, where required! Remember, this is just as much about addressing the concerns of the “silent audience” (the reader rather than the reviewer) who may be in a critical part of their decision process right now. Give them every reason to choose you.
You can also boost transparency and humanise your brand by sharing high-quality practice photos (or even a virtual tour!), detailed practitioner bios and insurance coverage information that helps potential clients feel like your clinic is a safe bet. It’s about getting that balance between professionalism and passion, so people can see how much you care and why you love what you do.
5. Leverage convenience to encourage conversion.
Your next client wants to be able to contact you directly – now. They don’t want to fill in generic forms or wait around for an email response. Why? Because people searching for health services have a pressing and personal need.
It’s important to offer clients flexibility and control by giving them the ability to either call you straight from search results or book an appointment online. The entire experience needs to be easy, seamless and hassle-free. Try adding “click-to-call” buttons and “click-to-message” ads as well as including a simple online booking tool that allows people to get straight to business.
6. Leverage convenience to encourage conversion.
Beyond all of the above optimisation strategies, we just wanted to weave in a friendly reminder about how valuable it is to share useful content with your audience.
Of course, in a scientific and medicalised space, it can be more challenging to write content due to legal and ethical issues, such as client confidentiality and rules around giving broad-spectrum medical advice. However, you can still publish blog posts featuring upcoming health trends, day-to-day wellness tips, digestible highlights from medical studies, practice announcements, and much more.
This tactic can also lead to greater link acquisition from reputable websites (if your content is good!), helping you rank better and eventually become a thought leader in your niche.
Making your mark.
When it comes down to it, digital success is all about showing up, being relevant and delivering a seamless experience – on time, every time. Australians want to feel sure that their chosen practitioner has what it takes to heal them. This starts with creating a digital presence that oozes clarity, consistency and accessible communication.
Feeling like this could be a lot of hard work? Remember, at least 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase, so rest assured your online efforts will make a huge difference to your bottom line. Just keep at it and reach out for support from the experts if you need to.
We hope your clinic can use these insights into how Australians find health services to make even smarter decisions about how to drive growth during this year and beyond.
Are you eager to increase your impact online? Clinical Marketing is here to help you get more ideal clients, more often. We specialise in creating game-changing marketing strategies for growth-hungry health clinics. Reach out on 02 4036 3332 to get started today.