Define your ideal patient
One of the first things you’ll need to do to optimize your Facebook page* is to determine
who you want to attract to your practice. What are the demographics and
psychographics of your ideal patients. You know, THOSE patients you’d love to have booked in every appointment slot: they show up early for their appointments, they come every year for their annual eye exams, they buy a backup pair of glasses with their contact lenses, and they refer their friends and family on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, a common mistake many eye care professionals make (and, for that matter, many small business owners in general) is to assume they want anyone and everyone as a patient. “Just fill those appointment slots,” they’ll say.
This may work for awhile, but as seasoned marketers know, without defining your ideal patients, you won’t begin to understand how to find them, how to solve their problems, and eventually how to convert them to life-long patients who are ambassadors for your practice.
Now, more than ever, you’ll need to understand your potential patients’ needs and fulfill them with your products and services because industry “disruptors” like the growing threat of online eye exams, plus, ever changing medical and vision insurances are threats to your bottom line.
Because I believe this is such an important foundation for ALL of your marketing efforts, I have created a tool for you to define your ideal patient or patients. Click on this link to learn more about the tool and use it to begin the process of optimizing your practice’s Facebook page.
Define your most important keyword phrases
Now that you’ve defined your ideal patient(s), it’s important to define keyword phrases you believe these patients would type into Google’s or Facebook’s search fields to find someone like you who can solve their problems. If someone knows your name and types it into Google (if your web designer has done a good job) your company should appear on the first page of the search results. What you’re trying to capture are patients that don’t know your name, but are trying to find an eye doctor who can solve their eye care problem(s).
For example, if you provide specialty contact lens fits, you may want to create a list of keyword phrases that address this specialty, but from the point of view of a prospective patient. These keyword phrases may include: “hard to fit contact lenses,” “can I get contacts for astigmatism,” “are there bifocal contacts,” and any other phrase you think a prospective patient may type into Google to solve their problems. If you can optimize your Facebook page (and all other social media platforms while you’re at it) for these keyword phrases, you’ll be able to rank high on the results page of Google when someone types in those phrases. If your practice name continues to show up in the first, second or third position, an ideal prospective patient will start to believe you are the best solution for his or her problem.
By Dr. Sandi Eveleth