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You are likely already aware of the importance of establishing a strong internet presence for your brand and leveraging online mediums to market your practice. The bottom line is, Google is the new yellow pages. However, as a plastic or cosmetic surgeon you are often too busy running your medical practice to focus on what is effective and what is not. Sure, you built a great looking site, created some “social presence” because everyone says you need to be on Facebook and Twitter and you threw some money into Google Adwords. But as a surgeon, you do not have time to learn all the ins and outs of the latest Internet marketing strategies, and lucky for you, you don’t need to. Below are the 6 steps to help you achieve success. We will help you cut through the noise and capture and convert more quality leads into patients.

Today’s consumer is far more intelligent and efficient than in year’s past. They are busy and short on time. When today’s intelligent consumer goes online to search for aesthetic enhancement, they don’t have to go too far to find it. They understand that a simple search on Google will produce results and they also understand that once they find a doctor that they like, they can easily search for online reviews from previous patients. Most consumers search while they are at work and it is common for a consumer to fill out 2 or 3 request forms on different sites which brings us to step #1:

Step 1. Respond to inquiries at lightning speed!

Unlike referrals, consumers that find you online have no loyalty. They don’t know you and you don’t know them. They are simply looking for a quick solution to their problem. A recent M.I.T. study called the Lead Response Management Study found overwhelming evidence that contacting a lead in 5 minutes increases your chances of making contact. In fact, your chances decrease by 10 times in the first hour.

We hear from doctors that their staff is too busy to contact leads that quickly”. Our simple answer is this – If you are too busy to bring in new business, then it is time to stop wasting money on marketing until you have someone in place that is committed to delivering 20 to 30 additional patients each month.

Step 2. Manage your Google Places –

One of the major changes Google has made to the way it lists businesses is the introduction of Google Places, which puts more emphasis on local search engine optimization. Places gives preferential treatment to local businesses but there are a number of things that you must do to be one of the 7 Pack (7 listings on page). For instance reviews are very important now. There are also sites that Google pulls information from that are not related to Google so you need to make sure you are listed on these sites as well.

Step 3. Choose directory websites wisely but make sure you are listed on a few –

There are over 30 directory sites that sell advertising to plastic surgeons and cosmetic surgeons. While some charge as little as a few hundred dollars per year, others can cost thousands per month. Over the last few years, we have discovered a few gems that continue to produce good leads. Most of the sites mentioned also help your site in ranking higher on Google because of the link value they pass to your site.

LookingYourBest: Provides listings for plastic surgeons at a low cost. The site produces a great deal of leads with high conversion rates, and the leads they produce have a lot of information regarding the patient’s specific needs. While there are other sources that send more leads, they do not convert to patients at the rate those sent from LookingYourBest.

1800MySurgeon: This directory site limits the number of doctors per city and verifies all leads before sending them. While it is pricier than other directories, we have seen great conversion rates from their leads because they filter them for you. We hear great things from the doctors that use their service.

LoveYourLook: We’ve seen very good volume from their leads and the annual fees are very affordable. The site offers good listings with a lot of information about your practice.

CirujiaPlasticaEstetica: This directory site is unique in that it is one of the few that markets to Spanish speaking clients. It offers affordable listings at just $600 per year. While the volume of leads is lower than other sites, the conversion rates are very good. If you live in an area with many Spanish-speaking residents then this is definitely a great option for you.

CertifiedPlasticSurgeons: This site offers exclusive leads per city and only provides listings to one doctor in each area. Each doctor gets listed on a number of sites exclusively.

Step 4.Try Google Adwords (Again) –

This is one of the most effective ways to increase traffic to your website, however, most doctors that try this are unsuccessful at first. Two things can go wrong: your website needs work and it can’t convert traffic into leads or your ads, bids or keywords were not chosen correctly. You need an experienced Adwords company to help strategize and manage your Google Adwords campaign. Consider ReachLocal or Yodle if you want a hands-off approach.

Step 5. Make sure your website is optimized for conversion –

Always opt for web usability over aesthetics. It’s common for plastic surgeons to go with designs that look more visually pleasing but oftentimes those sites do not convert visitors into leads.

Sites need a call to action at the top right of the page. For instance Call 212-555-1212 to schedule a consultation.

Make sure each page has a form, not just a button to schedule. Since most people do research while at work, ask the visitor for the best time to call them.

Start forms with Procedures and comment boxes instead of contact info. This technique is meant to make the visitor “feel the pain” before you try to ask who they are. Once someone starts talking about the weight they gained after three children, it is easier to get the contact information.

Step 6. Get lead management software –

All the leads in the world are meaningless if you don’t have a strong system to manage leads once they arrive. It is fair to say that lead management is what will determine your success or failure. While doctors can spend tens of thousands of dollars in marketing each year, little effort is given to lead management.  Consider this:

  • Most leads are called 2 hours after they arrive
  • 80% of leads are called only once.
  • 60% of practices do not try to reschedule “no shows”

100% of practices make the mistake of reminding patients of their appointment the day before and then wonder why so many patients forget and don’t show up (we can tell you how to practically eliminate “no shows”

Newsletter marketing is ineffective but “laser targeted marketing” is highly effective (download our free eBook for more)

MyMedLeads is a lead management tool that helps you track your lead sources, track the efficacy of your staff, eliminate no shows and help you market to each prospect individually about the services that they are interested in.

We invite you to download our free eBook that focuses on lead conversion by clicking here.

Enrique Rangel is Chief Executive Officer at MyMedLeads.com, a lead management tool for medical practices.