The demand for urgent care services is growing, between 3% and 6% every year, and it doesn’t look like that’s likely to change anytime soon.
As part of a growing market, how do you stand out above the competition and ensure that patients come to you first?
You get noticed!
Since the urgent care industry is growing so significantly there is plenty of competition for patients, but there are several proven effective methods that will help you rise above and become the number one choice for urgent care in your area.
If you’re new to the marketing space, it can be confusing to understand what the best marketing strategy is for your urgent care center.
There are dozens of different marketing routes you can take to help bring patients in the door, from referral programs and word of mouth to your online presence; each one is a part of the marketing puzzle.
Hopefully, we can make it a bit more simple today.
Marketing Strategies for urgent care clinics encompass three main points. Owned Media, Paid Media, and Earned Media.
Owned media plays a crucial role in urgent care marketing as it represents the channels under the control of a urgent care clinic that can be utilized to advance its brand and offerings.
These marketing channels offer an opportunity for the urgent care center to establish an online persona, interact with potential patients on a personal level, and increase its visibility.
Websites, blogs, social media, email campaigns, and patient portals are a few examples of channels that fall under the umbrella of owned media.
Through proper utilization of these channels, a healthcare organization can effectively promote its services, provide valuable information, and establish a positive image among its target audience.
Moreover, the messaging delivered via these channels can serve as a supporting element for the organization’s overall marketing endeavors, enhancing its impact.
Paid media in urgent care marketing is a powerful tool to reach a wide audience and deliver your message quickly.
Instead of relying on organic methods of promotion, this type of advertising requires a financial investment to ensure your content is seen by the right people.
To get the most out of your investment, it’s important to choose the right channels. Online advertising through platforms like Google Ads, display ads, or social media ads can reach people where they spend their time. Alternatively, you can opt for print ads in local newspapers or magazines, radio spots, or television commercials that reach people through audio and video, respectively.
Creating ads that connect with your target audience is crucial to making your paid media campaign a success. By considering factors like budget, target audience, and marketing goals, you can tailor your ads to resonate with your target audience and achieve your desired outcome.
The goal is to make sure your investment pays off and meets your marketing objectives.
Earned media in urgent care marketing is all about the exposure and recognition a healthcare organization or provider receives from sources that are outside of their control.
This type of media coverage, often referred to as “earned,” is not a result of paid advertising but rather stems from positive news, recommendations, and reviews from patients, healthcare professionals, and other key players in the industry.
What sets earned media apart is its credibility and influence, which often surpasses that of paid advertising. People are more likely to trust and act on recommendations from other patients and healthcare professionals than on advertisements.
For healthcare organizations and providers, the key to earning positive earned media is to provide exceptional care, build strong patient relationships, and inspire patients to share their positive experiences and recommend their services to others.
This can include things like patient reviews on websites like Yelp, Google, and Healthgrades, media coverage in local or national news outlets, word-of-mouth recommendations on social media platforms, and referrals from other healthcare providers. By earning positive earned media, healthcare organizations and providers can boost their reputation and reach more potential patients.
By combining these three elements, urgent care clinics can develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that maximizes reach and impact.
Paid media creates a strong initial impression, owned media keeps the clinic top-of-mind, and earned media solidifies its reputation as a trusted provider.
When executed effectively, these three elements work hand-in-hand to build a strong brand, engage the target audience, and drive growth for the clinic.
The three concepts outlined above provide an overarching view of how successful marketing campaigns are structured. Each part plays an important roll and without one or the other would be lacking in efficacy.
Fortunately SEO or “Search Engine Optimization” encompasses each puzzle piece.
For urgent care centers, having a strong online presence is crucial, and this starts with owned media.
Owned media refers to your website and all the content you publish on it, such as blog articles, images, and videos. The goal of owned media is to provide valuable and relevant information to potential patients, showcasing your facilities, services, and expertise.
In the context of SEO for urgent care, your website is your digital storefront, and it’s essential to optimize it for search engines. By creating engaging and informative content that’s optimized for search engines, you can attract more potential patients and rank higher in search results. This way, when people are in need of medical attention, they’re more likely to find you.
So, why is creating valuable content for potential patients so important? It’s simple – the more value you offer, the more likely people are to trust and choose you.
By providing useful information, answering common questions, and showcasing your expertise, you can establish trust and credibility with potential patients, making them more likely to choose you when they need medical assistance.
Owned media is an essential part of SEO for urgent care centers, and creating valuable content for potential patients is key to building a strong online presence and attracting more patients.
While paid media is not technically part of SEO, it can play a significant role in boosting your online visibility and driving traffic to your urgent care center’s website.
With paid media, you can run targeted advertisements that reach a wider audience and direct them to your site. This can be especially useful when testing the interest and conversion rates of potential key terms before investing in an organic SEO campaign.
Paid media is like a turbo boost for your online presence, giving you the opportunity to quickly reach a larger audience and gauge their interest in your services.
By incorporating paid media into your overall marketing strategy, you can complement your organic SEO efforts and achieve your desired results faster.
Earned media is a critical aspect of SEO for urgent care centers, as it can have a significant impact on your online presence and search engine rankings.
Earned media refers to the opinions and recommendations of others about your services, and it can come in the form of customer reviews, testimonials, and recommendations.
Positive customer reviews can greatly enhance your credibility and build trust with potential patients. When people search for medical care, they want to choose a facility that they can trust and has a good reputation.
Positive customer reviews can serve as social proof and help increase your visibility in search results.
It’s important to note that search engines consider earned media when determining the relevance and authority of your website. When you receive positive customer reviews and recommendations, search engines view your website as a trustworthy and reputable source of information, which can lead to a higher ranking in search results.
Therefore, it’s crucial to encourage your patients to leave positive reviews and to respond to both positive and negative reviews in a professional and polite manner. By leveraging the power of earned media, you can create a strong online presence and attract more patients to your urgent care center.
SEO is a cost-effective and critical marketing solution for urgent care centers.
It combines owned, paid, and earned media to reach target audiences, create a strong online presence, and drive patient traffic.
Additionally, Local SEO, (ranking for localized search terms) can supercharge your ability to reach new patients.
Today, almost everyone looking for medical help starts online. Whether it’s seeking information about that mole on their back or booking an appointment for a sprained wrist, the first place people go is online.
In fact, according to The Pew Research Center, almost 60% of people do regular medical research online. Over half of the total addressable market exists online, and when these people need immediate medical attention the result is the same.
They go to Google.
This is why marketing, specifically Local SEO, is so important for urgent care centers. Local SEO or search engine optimization is the act of setting up your site to “rank” (show up on Google) for specific search terms like: “Urgent Care in Baltimore” or “Emergency Medical Services Near Me”.
This is done through a three-pronged effort: On-Page SEO (Technical Optimizations), Off-Page SEO (Google Reviews and Backlinks), and Content (Answering search queries). But more on that later.
The point of the matter is that for people in your area actively searching for emergency services, Local SEO helps you be the one they find.
If you own an urgent care center, it’s essential to make sure you’re visible to the right audience – those searching for medical services in your area.
Think about it, if someone is searching for a nearby healthcare center on their smartphone, they’re likely looking for immediate care. In this scenario, being found on Google can mean the difference between a potential patient visiting your center or going elsewhere.
Studies show that 76% of local smartphone searchers visit a physical location within 24 hours of their search, with 28% resulting in a purchase.
By optimizing your website for local search terms, you’re putting your urgent care center in front of more potential patients and increasing your chances of driving more revenue.
At urgent care centers, it’s all about making sure patients can find you when they need you most. And that’s where local SEO comes in. It operates similarly to regular SEO, but with a twist. When someone performs a search in their area, Google scours the internet to bring up the most relevant results.
However, Google uses a specific set of ranking criteria to decide what pages are the most relevant for local searches. This includes the user’s location, the center’s Google My Business profile, keywords used in the profile, and even online reviews.
The centers that have the strongest online presence, both on their site and through off-page elements like directories and reviews, are more likely to rank well for local searches. It might seem like a lot to tackle, but the good news is that many centers aren’t optimizing for local SEO. This gives you a competitive advantage just by paying attention to your local search results.
When you search for something on Google, you might have noticed a different kind of results page. Instead of just a list of websites, you’ll see a map with nearby business listings – this is called the “Local Pack.”
As an urgent care center, the Local Pack is a crucial tool for attracting new patients. It puts your business right in front of potential customers, complete with important details like your phone number and customer reviews.
Not only does the Local Pack give you the best chances of getting clicked on compared to other Google listings, it also has a 500% higher success rate than ads in converting leads into paying customers.
If you’re looking to improve your patient base and increase your revenue, taking advantage of the Local Pack should be a top priority.