Cash flow is the lifeblood of every optometry practice, and your website may play a bigger role in having consistent cash flowing in than you think. Yes, direct mailers with coupons will always be one of the strong contenders in your traditional marketing strategy. But patients, both current and prospective, are now also responding to digital marketing because it feeds their need for instant information, and offers them the convenience they require to be satisfied. Your website can play a big part in that. Here are 3 ways having a website can bring in more cash flow.
1. Online Booking
Usually when a patient’s day dies down is when they remember to catch up on personal tasks like scheduling their doctor appointments. The catch is your practice is most likely closed at this time. Because life is so fast-paced, it’s important for both your practice and your patients to have options outside of making a phone call during office hours to book an appointment. This is where having an ‘Online Booking’ feature on your website is imperative.
Not only does it keep your current patients coming back to your office, but it also gives potential patients the option to try your services. If a prospect is scrolling through your website they are already showing interest in having their eyes checked at your practice. That is the most optimal time to try and generate new visits – by offering them a prominent ‘Schedule Online’ button.
2. Content Marketing
Content is king – even Google says it when referring to the power it has on SEO. 59% of patients are saying they access health information more frequently. With the flood of both accurate and inaccurate health information on the web, your practice can take the lead in engaging your current and prospective audience with interesting articles or email newsletters focused on eyes and eye health. If your content has quality ideas and is done consistently, you can retain your patients with loyalty while bringing in new patients who are persuaded by your thought-leadership. There are also marketing solutions that offer a robust collection of industry-specific content.
Your website is also a great place to list your specialties, services and the different insurance you accept. Though this may not directly point to more cash flow, it will reduce the phone calls your office receives and gives them more personal time with patients to offer a positive experience.
3. Optimization and Reputation
As mentioned earlier, content is an effective tactic in the strategy to enhance your SEO. But managing and expanding your online presence is just as important. First things first, build a profile on the main review sites like Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades. Then, implement some ways you can easily direct your happy patients there to leave a review. Some ways could include ‘Thank You’ emails with a ‘Review Us’ link, or simple requests via text message to leave your practice a review. Your staff can even ask verbally if the moment is right. The more positive (4+ star) reviews and visibility your practice has, the more inclined new patients are to try your services.
Another opportunity for visibility and an optimized online presence is online business listings. There are hundreds of data-aggregating listing sites that pull your information – whether it’s correct or not – and post it. These need to be managed and completely filled out just in case a prospect finds you on one of those listing sites. If the site offers an online booking link be sure to use it. You never want to pass up an opportunity to acquire someone new.
Seize your cash flow opportunities to protect your bottom line, and when you can, implement tools that will fulfill this need for your staff.