In a recent survey, Binary Fountain discovered that half of all marketing departments are planning to focus on telemedicine initiatives once they emerge from COVID-19. Competition to promote telemedicine is only likely to increase in the coming months and years. Learning how to market telemedicine now could give you an advantage in this rapidly changing field.
This guide will teach you how to utilize your website to promote your telemedicine offerings. We’ll show you how to optimize your pages and the tools you can use to increase your rankings in search engine results (SERPS).
1. Create Effective Messaging to Market Telemedicine
The first tip in our how to market telemedicine guide is to start by determining who your telemedicine customers are. Then adapt the messaging on your page to meet their concerns. For example, if you typically treat chronically ill patients, write messaging that highlights how your service allows them to avoid inconvenient travel, saves them the cost of a travel attendant, and other travel expenses, and avoids unnecessary readmission. Tech-savvy patients will respond well to the on-demand nature of telemedicine. Rural patients will appreciate not having to drive for long distances to receive care.
Two common concerns about Telemedicine are that it’s more prone to misdiagnosis and doesn’t offer as good quality of care. While these concerns appear to be dropping with time, it would be wise to address them. Explain how your online care offers the same accuracy and quality of care as in-person visits.
2. Have a Telemedicine Webpage That Features an FAQ
Telemedicine is just now breaking into the mainstream, so many of your patients and future patients will have questions. A crucial part of your telemedicine promotion will need to be answering those questions to put patients at ease. While you could make telemedicine additions to an existing general FAQ, it would be wise to feature common questions and answers on your telemedicine’s main webpage.
- Are you seeing new patients or just existing patients via telemedicine?
- What specific health issues can you help with?
- What is the cost of this service?
- What insurance do you accept?
- What is the process?
- Are patients immediately connected with a provider?
- Do patients fill out a form and then hear back?
- What days and hours are you available?
The UNC Medical Center’s Virtual Urgent Care page is an excellent example of a FAQ page. It answers many common consumer questions before the patient even has to ask.
3. Homepage Banners, Pop-Ups, and Other CTAs
You’ve honed your messaging and created an FAQ page that answers consumer questions regarding your telemedicine offering. Now you need to drive internal web traffic to your telemedicine web pages.
A homepage banner is a natural place to start. Generally, a homepage banner is a great way to drive patients to a new service.
The Billings Clinic’s homepage banner accomplishes this with bright colors and large, easy-to-read text. It’s an effective way to direct traffic in the “lobby” of your website.
Homepage pop-ups are another option you could consider. Advanced ENT has instituted a pop-up that displays automatically over the homepage banner when users open their homepage. While pop-ups generally aren’t thought of as something web users enjoy, pop-ups that offer users something of value and aren’t challenging to close do get positive results.
You may want to consider using pop-ups on other high traffic pages as well, along with telemedicine call to action (CTA) buttons and text.
Not all of your website visitors begin their visit on your homepage. Current patients might skip your homepage and go directly to a page they’ve previously visited.
In response, you should also draw attention to telemedicine on your topmost visited webpages to ensure all patients are aware of your telemedicine services. If you have an appointment scheduling page, we highly encourage you to advertise telemedicine on this page. Sites with chatbots should also consider using this tool to inform patients about telemedicine.
4. Help Patients Decide If Telemedicine Is Right for Them on Your Appointment Scheduling Page
Appointment scheduling is one of the most crucial points in the customer journey for telemedicine promotion. It’s imperative that patients consider telemedicine while setting up an appointment.
Cone Health’s appointment scheduling page is a powerful example of how a website can guide patients to the ideal appointment type for their condition and budget. While your organization may not offer the same number of service offerings, your patients will appreciate your guidance on the appointment type that is best suited for their needs.
Readers should also take note of the way COVID-19 instructions are built into this webpage. If you are seeking to use telemedicine as a tool to shield your providers, be sure to direct your online traffic to book online care when they go to schedule appointments.
5. Make Sure Telemedicine Marketing is Part of Your SEO Strategy
Now that you’ve taken some steps to integrate telemedicine onto the face of your website, you’re ready for the last step in this how-to market telemedicine guide. The final goal is to ensure that the SEO on the backend of your site is set up with telemedicine promotion in mind.
Updating your meta information is a great place to start. Be sure to use keywords and phrases for your telemedicine service in the meta descriptions of all applicable webpages. When appropriate, you may even use a telemedicine call to action phrase. This could entice higher click-through rates for viewers who find your webpages through search engines, and indirectly lead to higher search rankings. These keywords should also be used in the meta title of your telemedicine specific webpages.
Once this is done, ensure that all of your telemedicine webpages have been indexed. If your site has duplicate versions of the same content, such as a .pdf that has the same content as a webpage, use canonical tags on both assets to instruct Google as to which asset to display in search.
Structuring your FAQ data to be displayed in Google is another great SEO best practice that may allow your questions and answers to appear in zero click searches. Adding the correct data structuring will allow your questions and answers to appear in the Q&A formatted snippets carousel. This guide from Google explains the concept further. You may need to consult your web team to institute this. However, this guide explains how to use structure data if you have a basic understanding of HTML and JSON syntax. Structuring your FAQ data for Google Search could help you increase your SERPS, which makes it an optimization that could pay off quickly.
For more on how to market telemedicine, browse these related posts:
• [Blog] The Numbers Behind Telemedicine: What Healthcare Marketers Should Know
• [Webinar] COVID-19, Telemedicine and Your Online Presence
• [Blog] Telemedicine Marketing: How to Manage Listings for Virtual Care
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