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Incubating Success in Healthcare: Digital Marketing for Hospitals

Incubating Success in Healthcare: Digital Marketing for Hospitals

Healthcare digital marketing is an investment you can't afford to skip.

A rare opportunity to gain public trust and defeat entrenched competitors

Healthcare digital marketing is at a once-in-a-generation crossroads. Unprecedented disruption and shifting balances between business and government are a gold mine of opportunity. Digital marketing for hospitals, clinics and specialists are poised to have the most lucrative market to date.

Among a flurry of apps, content and websites, how can your healthcare practice capitalize and expand? Thanks to Google, we’ve got some fascinating research on the digital customer journey.

The Personal Search for Health

Increasingly, patients are exerting more control over where and how they receive treatment. When it comes to making a decision, 61% of patients researched at least 2 hospitals before converting. Is your digital presence conspicuously more compelling than your next 2 competitors?

Here are some insights our Houston SEO team found intriguing:

  • 48% of patients begin researching more than 2 weeks before scheduling an appointment
  • 1 in 5 patients now book appointments through a computer browser or mobile
  • Over 80% use both online and offline research sources

These findings make it abundantly that hospital or medical websites need to be optimized for patients and search engines. (See also, SEO Explained: a Timeline) Keep reading to see how mobile and search can boost your healthcare practice.

Mobile + Search: Foundations of Healthcare Digital Marketing

Successful gigital marketing for hospitals is highly dependent on mobile and search technology.

Every day, 1 in 3 patients use mobile devices to research hospitals and healthcare practices. Digital marketing for hospitals must encompass areas such as dynamic call tracking, content marketing and conversion improvement. Many agencies claim to be “SEO Experts”, but our internet marketing company lives every practice area daily.

77% of patients will use search to schedule their appointment. Is your site equipped to handle navigational queries such as doctor information, and informational queries such as procedure overviews? Patients use a wide range of methods to decide on a healthcare need:

  • Symptoms
  • Conditions
  • Hospital/medical brands
  • Treatment options.

Developing comprehensive content and mastering SEO basics is only the price of admission of healthcare and digital marketing. You must quickly foster trust with potential patients if you hope to win their business.

Video and Beyond

Video is an excellent, rapidly maturing medium to connect with potential patients. Of patients that watched a video about a hospital, almost half watched patient testimonials. Almost a third of the patients then talked to family or friends about the hospital. The Forthea team can help you understand the mechanics of hosting videos, developing strategy and tracking detailed engagement analytics with your healthcare videos.

Your Brand

Above all, trust is the most important factor to patients. 94% say reputation is their deciding factor. How well have you translated your physical, offline brand to the digital space? Find out your competitive gaps and opportunities by speaking with a Forthea team member today.


Nick Lindauer
Nick is the vice president, client services and operations at Forthea. He’s been working in internet marketing since 2002, when – ironically – he answered an ad in the newspaper. When he’s not at work, he’s off spending time with his family, working on his house, building furniture, cooking on his two Big Green Eggs & brewing hot sauce.

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