Digital Marketing for Independent Dermatology Clinic
– A Case Study in ROI by Webology
Over half of all search traffic in Google is local search
Local people go to search to learn more about clinics just like yours.
And it’s a vetting process…
People look at a dermatologist’s reviews to decide if they want to become a patient or not.
A dermatologists ability to attract new patients depends on their ability to control online reputation in places like Google, Bing, and Facebook.
These were some of the justifications presented to the client for this digital campaign. They agreed to allow us to promote their practice online and we documented the results. This absolutely is a real client. We know the dermatology space, and you can read a 3rd party verified review on our Clutch profile from a client just like this one.
This is going to be a long article, so let me go ahead and present the cliffsnotes to you. WE SCALED UP THEIR PRACTICE. New patient leads average 10-15 per month consistently. Over the course of the campaign we delivered 4,200 unique site visitors to this business using Search Engine Optimization.
Landing a Dermatologist top placement on the Google Map Results
We’ll tell you exactly how we delivered these new patients further down, but it’s important to first mention that the map listings in Google are the most important place for your business to be visible. It’s the most valuable position to earn because it earns the lion’s share of the local leads. Top keywords like “Dermatologist Birmingham” earn over 800 unique searches per month:
That’s one of our clients dominating the local map results and earning a large share of 800+ relevant searches each and every month from Google. Let’s take a look at the specific strategies we use to deliver new patient leads with digital marketing.
We realize the rest of this article is marketing jargon. If you’re a busy dermatologist that just wants new patients without having to spend years mastering digital marketing, give us a call.
We already learned your industry, and we know how to deliver new patients in any market.
For the rest of you, let’s dig into some specific strategies that will work consistently for any dermatology practice in the US.
Top Strategies for Marketing a Dermatology Practice
Setting the groundwork for rapid patient acquisition
Promoting your practice online is easy with the right strategies. It’s a formula…We simply generate new patient leads by driving local traffic to the website.
Your site must cause them to take some for of action such as a call, email, or interaction with your office staff through live chat.
No matter what action they take, you’ve successfully converted them from website visitor to inbound lead. But there’s one more step in the new patient acquisition process. This next step is critical…
Successfully Reaching & Converting New Patients
Patient Acquisition Depends on Skilled Office Staff
Consumers are impatient. They expect someone to pick up the phone on the first call. They will leave your site if someone from your office does not immediately respond to a chat request. Speed and efficiency in the back office is the real secret sauce for new patient acquisition.
We stress this to all of our clients because if we don’t it reduces the overall ROI of a digital marketing campaign. We tested all lead sources thoroughly before driving traffic to the site.
This included “mystery shopping” to ensure the phones were ringing through correctly and that inbound leads were being serviced in a fast and professional manner.
Advertising a Dermatology Clinic in Google
This clinic had already tried several different marketing avenues with mixed results. They had heard about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and were hoping to try it out.
We would have preferred to have started out with paid ads as well due to the immediate ROI, but the practice understood that SEO would take time and agreed to be patient.
We both agreed to a set of benchmarks and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to measure the success of the campaign.
Important Note: If you offer Botox as a treatment though, you may run into issues with Google’s advertising policies that require you to get an online pharmacy certification. We can help you sort that out though if you choose to run paid ads with us.
Search Engine Optimization for a Dermatology Website
SEO is a widely misunderstood discipline that takes years to master. It’s an ever-changing and technical field that seeks to improve a website in order to make it rank higher in Google and other search engines.
In spite of all the change, SEO results have always relied on three fundamental things:
QUALITY CONTENT written on a website that is TECHNICALLY SOUND and FAST TO LOAD with lots of other quality websites LINKING BACK TO IT.
That’s the basic formula, but it goes much deeper.
Specific SEO Strategies for Dermatologists
We began with keyword research, which is the foundation of every successful SEO campaign. It’s easy to identify high-traffic phrases like the one above, but it took us months to earn that ranking. Instead, we prefer to start our campaigns targeting less competitive phrases so that we can deliver early results that get better over time. Here’s a few of the phrases we targeted:
-Pediatric dermatologist in Birmingham, AL
-Botox treatment in Birmingham, AL
-Skin cancer treatment clinic near me
Once we had our keyword list set, we started optimizing the site. It required a combination of technical know-how in WordPress along with some SEO wizardry to put all the pieces together.
On-Page Optimization Techniques
Step 1 is to make a site that loads fast with a good user experience. We started with a Google LightHouse Audit to make the site technically sound in the eyes of the worlds biggest search engine.
After cleaning up the site code, we started working through the following changes:
-URL Structure Optimization
-Meta Titles and Descriptions
-Heading Tag Optimization
That’s all pretty standard stuff for any experienced SEO consultant but if that’s not you, give us a call and we can explain everything in detail. It would take up too much of the article to go into full details on these steps, and we have a lot of ground to cover. So, let’s move on to content and off-page optimization.
Content Marketing for Dermatologists
Not to be critical of your industry, but most of you don’t blog enough!
Blogging is very important for SEO. Google values sites that are rich with authoritative content, and what’s better for authority than having a board certified dermatologist write on skin care topics?
Our client didn’t have to work very hard in this area because most of the competition doesn’t even update their site copy once every 5 years. We used SEMrush to analyze each page on the site beginning with the Home and Service pages.
It allowed us to identify important words and phrases that relate to our target keywords so that we could include those in the copy. It also looks at competitor pages and suggests a minimum word count needed to rank against the competition.
Once we optimized the content on the main pages, we suggested a monthly blog posting schedule. Blogging allows you to create compelling articles with a call to action to attract new patients. More importantly, constantly updating your website helps it rank in Google.
Targeting relevant blogs in the skin care niche
Next we went about building up the authority of their site in Google. Getting other websites to link to yours acts like a ‘vote of confidence’ that your site provides a valuable experience to users and isn’t spammy. These ‘backlinks’ are the primary ranking factor used to determine where your website ranks.
We wrote and published articles on everything from acne to brown recluse spider bites. These are considered to be ‘guest posts’ where bloggers allow your brand to write and publish content on their site. It allows you to get in front of their audience, while usually including a link back to your website.
We also built up a lot of profiles on local directories like Superpages, Yelp, and others. These links include your business location data and help you rank better in the local map results. We build new links to client sites each month to maintain their authority and ranking within the Google search engine.
Looking back we have months of data to benchmark our work and see how well we’re doing for our client. Being a local business, map results tend to drive the most new patient leads, so let’s take a look at Google My Business performance year over year:
It’s easy to look at vanity metrics like impression share and hope you are doing well. It’s another thing entirely to look at source data from Google that proves calls to your business went up over 300% from the preceding year. That’s how you know your digital campaign is delivering the ROI you expect. Always track actual calls to the business. Know your closing rate from inbound calls and compare that against your search marketing expenditure. If the math makes sense, either continue what you’re doing or scale up with a bigger budget.
We hope you found this case study informative and helpful for you and your practice. We’re a leading digital marketing agency headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Over the years, we have had the privilege of working with dermatologists just like you to help deliver new patient leads.
Currently, we only take on one dermatology client per major city. That’s just so that we’re not competing against ourselves because that would be some serious competition!
Give us a call and let us know where you’re located. If we don’t already work with someone in your local market, we would love to hop on a strategy call and discuss ways to grow your business through digital.