It’s 2020 and your patient expectations are higher than they’ve ever been. As we’ve mentioned before, holistic retail experiences provided by companies like Apple and Amazon have upped the ante for LASIK practices. Much like walking into any Apple store, consumers now expect a fast, secure, and clean experience from your brand.
This means providing excellent in-house interactions—and you’ve probably put in the time to ensure your patient experience is professional, clean, and customer-centric. But in-person experiences only get you so far in 2020. Nowadays, LASIK practices must also ensure the online experience they’re offering is designed around their patients.
The modern consumer has the ability to shop around for LASIK providers. And many are willing to seek out the best experience possible—even if that means traveling a little farther from their homes. If you don’t provide them with an intuitive, simplified online experience, they may choose your competition.
The New LASIK Patient Experience
The new patient journey can now encapsulate numerous touch points. Although the journey to vision correct surgery culminates with an in-person office visit, the road to that initial booking has become multitudinous. And it almost always begins online.
In a 2018 survey, 80 percent of U.S. adults said they used the internet to make a healthcare-related search. 63 percent said a strong digital presence would help them choose one provider over another. And it isn’t just digital natives either; according to the survey, more than three-quarters of respondents aged 60 and older used the internet for healthcare searches.
While single-touch attribution models of the past may have worked for healthcare practices, these days, users may enter and exit your website through various channels. This includes everything from reading reviews on third-party listings like Healthgrades or Yelp, to visiting a practice’s social media profiles. That’s not to mention paid search ads, which can significantly increase your ability to target specific audiences across platforms like Google and Bing.
Ultimately, your online experience must match your in-person one. Because digital channels inform patient decisions at all stages across the patient journey, ophthalmology professionals must take the time to invest resources accordingly. You must provide a cohesive brand experience—every step of the way.
Local SEO Can Help Improve & Organize Your LASIK Marketing
It’s essential to invest in a multitouch marketing model that ensures you’re accounting for various customer touchpoints. For starters, local SEO helps ensure that your LASIK practice is organizing your webpage around local users. In turn, this can help you attract more qualified prospects and leads. Below are three central components to local SEO—and how you LASIK practice can leverage them to create a consistent, cohesive brand experience.
1. Google My Business Listings
Claiming and maintain a Google My Business (GMB) listing increases your visibility across Google search and maps. It helps ensure that local traffic looking for LASIK services discover across your practice in the first place. But ultimately, it guarantees that your listings are accurate and that your practice is providing users with the right phone number, address, office hours, and more.
As this blog outlines, verifying and claiming your GMB profile is fairly straightforward. However, a digital marketing agency can optimize your efforts to ensure your listings are working in your advantage.
2. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO basically encompasses the individual pages of your website. It analyzes the organization and optimization of your pages. The goal behind on-page is to get your pages to rank better—so you can attract qualified local traffic. From content, title tags, to URLS, there are best practices that all business websites should follow. As we’ve discussed, Google prefers pages that show expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
So where should you begin? From optimizing content to rewriting webpages, a digital marketing agency can help ensure your website is set up for success.
3. Online Reviews
People trust other people’s recommendations—especially when it comes to healthcare providers. According to the aforementioned survey, 60 percent of consumers have selected a provider based on a positive online reputation. What’s more, 90 percent of respondents aged 60 and older said that negative ratings would influence their decision to choose a new provider.
Managing and maintaining a stable of reviews helps build credibility with Google and other search engine platforms. And because the consumer healthcare journey often begins with a simple search engine search, these ratings are often the first thing that prospects see. Getting patient reviews is often easier than it sounds. As we’ve discussed before, a survey found that seven out of 10 consumers will leave an online review if asked.
For more information on getting patients to review your practice, check this blog out.