Having the latest eye testing technology or the greatest collection of eyewear on the planet only makes a difference if you can get new people to your practice. Marketing should be a focus for any successful optometry practice. And more than ever, digital marketing matters.
Channelling your digital marketing into strategic avenues makes it easier to measure results. It also makes it easier to keep your marketing momentum. In the sea of online marketing, it can be easy to wash ashore. But here are 5 things your practice needs to do to stay competitive.
Have an Awesome Website
Your website is the foundation for all your marketing efforts, and all roads lead back to your website. Think of it as a Grand Central Station for your online marketing: you want it to have a WOW factor that people will remember, but you also need it to facilitate all the traffic coming and going. Your website needs to be attractive, functional, and fast.
We all know the difference between a “blah” website and an eye-catching design. The design of your website is the first thing your patients will notice. It’s a great way to showcase your brand and set the tone of your practice. Work with a marketing team that creates a website which captures exactly who your optometry practice is.
Beyond the visual appeal, your website needs to make it easy for users to take action. Make sure your website has calls to action on every page. A call to action (CTA) is a button or link that lets a user take the next step for engaging with your business. “Book an Appointment Now” is a good example of a CTA. You need to have CTAs on every page of your website and in multiple places. This makes it easy for your patients to book an eye exam or purchase eyewear.
People will be viewing your website on all different types of screens and devices. No matter how stunning your website is, it needs to work for the user! Make sure your website is adaptable, meaning it can be viewed seamlessly across multiple screen sizes. More than ever, your patients will be viewing your website from a mobile device, so make sure your website is compatible.
Invest in SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website to gain more visibility. This is done in several ways that, in the eyes of search engines, make your website relevant for what the user is searching for. Successful SEO generates organic, unpaid (not paid advertising) online traffic to your website.
Focus your efforts on more than just Google! Pinterest, YouTube, and Reddit have search engines too. SEO is all about relevance, so making sure your website and webpages connect with a search query is very important. Use keywords in appropriate ways and always have a “Contact Us” page for each practice location.
Write blogs! Writing content often shows Google that you are an industry leader and knowledgeable about specific eye care. This means Google is more likely to show your content in search results. Blogs also give your prospective patients information that will help them and the opportunity to connect with your optometry practice.
Value Your Positive Reviews
Let the world know that people love your business! One of the most important yet overlooked aspects when it comes to marketing your optometry business is showcasing positive google reviews. Make it easy for online users to access your reviews and pick a favourite for your website’s home page.
Online reviews have replaced “word-of-mouth” recommendations in some sense; they are patient-to-patient referrals. Patients trust online reviews because they come from their peers who are in the same community. Your patients are usually looking at reviews before booking an appointment, so more 5-star reviews mean more credibility for your practice in the eyes of your patients and Google.
Ask for reviews! Don’t be shy about asking a patient if they’ll leave a review for your optometry practice. Most people are excited about leaving a great review when they’ve had a positive experience at your practice. People love sharing their thoughts and emotions, so nudge your patients for some online feedback.
Stay Active on Social Media
Social media has become much more than just a way to talk with friends. Social media is an exposure engine for your optometry practice. There are nearly 3 billion monthly Facebook users alone! Engaging in social media has become an essential part of marketing your business.
But don’t limit yourself to Facebook alone. You can appeal to various demographics depending on your target audience. Research shows that different groups of people interact with different social media platforms, so know your audience. For instance, seniors love Facebook and millennials are heavily engaged on Instagram. Focus your social media marketing on the groups of people your practice caters to.
Social media platforms offer hyper-targeted advertising options that let you zero in on your ideal patient. They also provide a great way to showcase your brand, gain engagement, and build awareness. Using social media effectively is an absolute must for marketing your optometry practice.
Communicate with Emails
It’s all about communication! Emails keep your current patients informed and introduce potential patients to your practice. Skillful email marketing nurtures potential patients who may not be ready to visit now but will have you first in mind when they are ready for an optometrist.
Eyecare has naturally long cycles between patient interactions. An eye exam, for example, often occurs only once a year. Use emails to remind patients to book eye exams. This is a great way to keep patients on schedule and keep their eyes healthy. Email marketing can be used as a tool to tell your community what’s happening in your practice.
People do respond to emails that offer promotions and provide exciting information. Email marketing continues to deliver high ROI compared to other marketing channels. So beyond keeping your patients updated, emails can help increase the bottom line of your optometry practice.
Essential Marketing for Every Practice
What every optometry practice needs to do is market effectively. Focus your time and budgets on methods that will return results. There are some necessities that every modern marketing strategy should include.
Use SEO and social media to drive traffic to your website. Capture viewers with a website that pops, and gain their trust by highlighting positive google reviews. And use emails to keep your patients informed, engaged, and coming back.
These marketing musts will help your optometry practice grow in this digital age. And if it seems a bit daunting or time-consuming, there are marketing experts ready to fulfill your needs.