Eight Key Tips For a Stronger Practice Recovery
We’re inspired by the positive, can-do attitude that eye care professionals have displayed during these times
We’re all trying to help each other adjust as fast as we can. At EyeCarePro, we want you to worry less and help more patients. So, we thought to provide these eight key tips for a full practice recovery. Get your practice booked out as much as possible while still keeping it safe and maximize your revenues where you can.
A Strong Marketing Strategy During COVID-19
Current GPN numbers show that exam volume is down by 17%
in terms of appointments. Even if you had a large backlog once you re-opened, that will eventually peter out. Stable growth needs new patient growth. And for that, you need a strong marketing strategy that communicates who you are to new potential patients while letting existing patients know how you’re holding up.
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Communicating to Two Audiences
Communicating who you are to new patients:
Communicating where you’re holding to existing patients:
- COVID Regulations
- Mobile-Friendly Site Updates
- Social media
- Community support
Let's get right to it, then!
What it Takes To Jump Start Your Practice Growth
Communicating who you are to new patients
Communicating who you are to new patients is important now more than ever before. As the virus has spread, more and more people are working from home. This means that instead of frequenting the eye doctor near their office, people may be looking for a new practice near them. Here are four ways to make sure you are at the top of their search results.
1. GoogleMyBusiness #GOALS
Over 90% of internet searches are done on Google, which makes it extremely important for your practice to be seen on Google, front and center. The best way to go about this is to ensure that you have a single, verified, and optimized GoogleMyBusiness profile connected to your practice’s website. Your GMB should include images of your practice location, staff, doctors, and optical, reviews, posts and links to your website and scheduler. We’ve rounded up all the GMB things you need to know here.
2. Google Reviews *****
Even if your GMB is all fleshed out, it needs to have reviews to complete the picture If you only have six, 3-star ratings from 2012, people will likely keep scrolling to those with more ratings, even if they’re lower down on the page. It’s important that your reviews are numerous, up to date, and come with lots of shiny, gold stars (five, to be precise!) Here’s a bit more information on garnering those sweet reviews (and we even have an app so patients don’t need to linger while giving you your well-earned stars!)
3. SEO for Optometry
So your GMB and Reviews look good, but how well is your actual website ranking? In order to be “found” by potential patients searching the internet, your site needs to be ranking in one of the top spots on a Google search results page. While COVID was taking center stage, Google snuck in a new algorithm, which can affect how your site will rank now. Protect yourself from future Google updates by surrounding yourself with strong SEO guidance (such as this guide) from a qualified team of marketing experts (yes, that’s us. Shameless plug). Continue to add strong, unique content that is interesting to patients, and get rid of old, irrelevant content to keep the site fresh and clean so that Google ranks your site as the most up to date and educational resource in your field.
4. Video Marketing
Double-dipping as part of a solid SEO strategy, as well as a powerful communication tool, video allows you to bolster up your online presence and create engaging content. With patient numbers still fighting to reach their usual peak, you should try to film as much as you can now, while your cleaning crew scrubs down the optical lane (or better yet, video your whole staff sterilizing your office together!) We have plenty of tips on video curation here to get you started.
What it Takes To Ignite Practice Growth
Communicating where you’re holding to existing patients
There’s so much information being sent out, and people are worried about what to expect next. If there was ever a time to “hold the patient’s hand”, it would be now. Your goal in patient retention is to ensure that your patient base is up to date on the latest goings-on in your practice.
5. COVID Regulations 😷
Your patients want to know that it’s safe to return to your office, so it’s important that you let them know you’re adhering to government regulations. Whether you have new waiting areas, a different system for trying on frames or lining up to pay, it’s important to communicate these updates with your patient base. Email and social media are great platforms to do so, and we recommend having print materials on hand to keep these changes top of mind. If you haven’t already done so, you can download our COVID resources here.
6. Mobile- Friendly Site Updates
As your patient base settles into their new normal, you can expect your site traffic to reflect increased mobile visitors. Keep your patients updated with the latest news about your practice in regard to COVID by posting changes to your website. Make sure that these changes are viewable on mobile devices, as you can lose patients if your text is too small or is blocked by an oversized image. Learn more about mobile optimization in this article.
7. Social media #stayhomestaysafe
If there was ever a time that society got together while #stayinghome, it was now, on social media. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok are all constantly being trolled and brands and businesses are turning towards these platforms to stay in contact with their customers. Let your patients know what’s going on inside your practice, discuss your hopes, dreams and goals, but most importantly, send them love by engaging and responding to their every question, comment and emotional outburst. Catch our webinar on social media for our top tips here.
8. Community support
Lastly, stay engaged with your patients by showing them where you stand and not just in regards to their next eye exam. Practices that band together with their local online community show that they are engaged, courteous, and willing to be a part of a greater entity. This is also your opportunity to support local causes and movements, a trend that is increasingly important to patients these days. We’ve written a full guide to engage with your local online community here.
We hope this roundup of tips to stay communicative with your existing patients while optimizing for new patients will help you work towards a full practice recovery. Drop us a comment below if you have any questions, and let us know if you have any tips or tricks that helped your practice towards a strong recovery.
Did You Know?
At EyeCarePro, we make SEO optimized and beautifully designed homepages and location pages on a daily basis. Interested in learning more? Fill out the form and schedule a call with us. An optometry marketing expert will be happy to discuss the location optimization strategy that will work best for your online presence.
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