Marketing is important for urgent care centers because they are competing with doctors’ offices and hospital emergency rooms for patients. It’s important for urgent care centers to get the word out about themselves and their advantages if they want to be able to compete.
There are several ways that urgent care centers can get the word out and make more patients aware of their services. Health fairs and other community outreach initiatives are great options for connecting with potential patients. However, online marketing can also be a great tool. Most patients who go to an urgent care facility are seeking out medical care as soon as possible, and many of those patients will search online to see what their options are locally. This is your chance to get in front of those patients.
Ready to start marketing your urgent care center online, or amp up your already-existing online marketing strategy? Give these marketing tactics a try.
If you plan on marketing your urgent care facility online, it’s critical for you to have a website to provide patients with more information. Other types of online marketing are helpful, but they often do not allow you to provide as much information as you could on your website. Your website is the hub of your online marketing; you can link to it in all of your other online marketing efforts to help patients learn more about your urgent care center.
Not just any website will do, however, if you want to grab the attention of potential patients. Your website needs to be informative, and the information needs to be easy to find. It also needs to be easy to navigate on a mobile device, as many patients will be looking for this information while using a mobile device. Patients will likely be looking for your hours of operation, location, and services first, but they are also likely to look for your phone number, insurances accepted (if any), and whether or not they should schedule an appointment beforehand.
You might also benefit from adding more in-depth content to your site. You may not need to get as detailed as a medical practice might, but you can still create content that helps to answer patients’ questions. Frequently asked questions would be a good option, since patients who have never been to an urgent care facility may have questions about what can and cannot be handled at your facility.
Once you have your website and content in place, you can move on to other online marketing options.
2. Local SEO
Local SEO is also a very important part of online marketing for urgent care facilities, as many patients will choose your facility based on proximity. Local SEO will help local patients searching for urgent care find information about your facility more easily.
Local SEO involves setting up local listings on sites like Google, Bing, Yellow Pages, etc. You can then link back to your site from these listings so that patients can learn more about your urgent care center. Make sure that you also optimize your website content to put more emphasis on your location to strengthen your local SEO efforts. Title tags and meta descriptions can be very helpful in this instance.
3. Social Media
Social media isn’t always the first thing we recommend to medical practices, but it can work really well for urgent care facilities. Social media can help you get the word out about your facility. Patients may not be aware of your facility, especially if it is new. If a patient needs medical care outside of normal medical practice hours or can’t get an appointment soon enough, you could help that patient avoid a costly trip to the emergency room. But, they first need to know about your facility and what you can help with.
Facebook is a good place to start because it’s easy to share posts, link to your website, and have others share posts with their friends. There is a real sense of community on Facebook, and that can be a great win for your facility. It may take some time to build up a following, but in the meantime, you can try targeting with ads to help get the word out.
4. Online Ads
Online ads are a great way to get the ball rolling for your urgent care facility. If you’ve got a great website and are set up with local SEO and social media, well-targeted ads can help grab the attention of patients seeking help. There are several different advertising platforms out there, but paid search and social media ads can both be very effective.
Paid search ads are helpful in catching the attention of patients who are searching for after-hours care or an urgent care facility. These are the ads that you see at the top of search results. If you’ve done your due diligence with local SEO, your facility’s website and listings may already be showing up in organic search results, but this is another opportunity to catch their attention because it’s the first thing a user sees when looking at search results.
If you’re just getting started on social media or need to build up a bigger following, social media ads can be quite helpful. On Facebook, ads show up in a user’s timeline and look just like regular Facebook posts, although they are noted as “Sponsored.” With the right targeting, your ads can show up on the timelines of users who are most likely to benefit from your services.
With the right marketing strategy, your urgent care facility has the opportunity to get in front of more patients who could benefit from your services. Patients want the types of services your facility provides, but you have to get them the information they need to get them in the door.
Want more practice marketing tips? View our 50 Ways to Market Your Practice guide!