8 Easy Ways to Build Credibility Online for Your Cosmetic Practice
by Nikki Tubil, on August 6, 2019
We all know that any variation of medical procedure can be anxiety inducing, even for seasoned veterans. These procedures can send both new and experienced patients alike into a full-blown panic attack if they haven’t done their research, or have been around the block before, but get cold feet in a sterile waiting room. Some may just be scared off by the industry in general.
A lot of this is due to the negative connotations that come with a lack of knowledge, which can be partially due to spotty or non-existent marketing on the cosmetic medicine company’s behalf. What do I mean by this?
Regardless of their reasoning for being frightened, even if it’s non-existent, it’s your job as a cosmetic medicine provider to market to your prospective clients in a way that exhibits transparency, credibility, industry knowledge, and warmth. This demonstrates that you aren’t just a business trying to churn out as many procedures as possible.
Marketing your services in a way that will exhibit to your prospects that you’re here to ensure they have a good experience and meet their anticipated needs will help you stand out, and help to ease patient anxiety; not to mention the level of credibility you’ll achieve, both online and in the consultation.
You want to make it clear that you’re here to improve their lives, and that they aren’t just a dollar sign to you. So, how do you go about doing this, and what are the steps that need to be taken? Also - how do you make sure your patients can find you?
Invest Time in SEO
Unlike paid search, organic search doesn’t cost you a dime - the only thing that you need to invest in your SEO strategy is your time! (We didn’t intend to rhyme there).
Performing proper keyword research, keeping track of algorithmic changes, emerging trends, website development and more, is all a crucial part of a well developed SEO strategy that will drive traffic, increase conversions, and most importantly, help people get to know you and what your practice stands for.
Without SEO, you’re either paying for your website to be noticed by your prospects, or you’re waiting for patients to blindly stumble across your page. Neither of these things is the dream situation to be in, especially if your patients are actively looking for answers, or to spend their money, and come up empty handed after their online queries.
Actually ranking in the top three spots in Google to be easily found is certainly not an easy task, but once accomplished, can result in a long term pay off. Your clients, once they’ve seen your website optimized by the search engine, will recognize this as a sign of credibility. What better way to market yourself to nearby patients than being the first thing they see?
Having a strong local SEO presence is equally, if not more important. Our blog goes into great detail on how to optimize your website, content, and website to be locally found.
SEO has strong potential to be able to turn former browsers into leads. In order to complete this goal, your main focus should be sticking to your strategy, frequent testing and evaluation, and repeated adaptation to whatever the industry calls for.
Post Your Reviews, the Good and the Not so Good
This ties right into transparency, building credibility, and shows you have nothing to hide. Patients and customers alike love online reviews. In fact, 80% of customers feel inclined to trust an online review as much as a referral, even one from a friend or family member. In addition to this, 92% of consumers now read online reviews, so post them if you have them!
As a business, you may subscribe to the belief that it’s best to only show the best and the brightest when it comes to patient reviews. This sounds good in theory, but doesn’t provide much peace of mind for those performing research on your practice.
When you come across a website that’s scrubbed clean of any negative, even constructive commentary, you begin to wonder about the credibility of those five star reviews. You may wonder if they’re simply employees posing as customers, or if the practice paid these users to say what they wanted said about their services. Whatever the assumption, it will induce a feeling of undeniable skepticism.
In addition to trusting online reviews, they’re also taken with a grain of salt, no matter the context. A bad review isn’t going to deter someone from using your services, it will simply give them a better idea of what they can expect from your practice. Now, if all of your reviews are bad - this may be an indication that something has to change!
A bad review is also a chance to engage a patient and resolve a problem. This shows that you’re action oriented, patient focused, and stress quality control within your practice. If you associate a human element with your brand by providing a response to the concern that isn’t robotic, this will show your personality, and build confidence about your services within the patient.
Be Easy to Find with a Local SEO Strategy
Consumers and patients alike love local, and it’s all the rage right now. Shopping local and supporting local businesses is booming, and you want to identify yourself as such online to receive some of this traffic. In addition to the trend, the numbers back up local; 80% of disposable income in the United States is spent within 20 miles of home. This is great news for a cosmetic medicine clinic trying to make a name for themselves in the area - with the right strategy, you could be the first one they turn to when they want something nearby!
Here are just a few ways to have your cosmetic procedures noticed through some local SEO tactics!
Write a Good Meta Description
Meta descriptions are a big factor in telling users what your website is going to offer to them. Searchers will read your headline and the description below to determine how relevant your content is to them - ideally, you want to be presented as the most relevant option, and should write your description accordingly.
To help persuade the user, make sure you’re using action-oriented language, and providing the answer or solution to whatever it is they’re looking for in their search. Adding these few key elements will make you very hard to ignore!
Including the keyword you’re trying to rank for within your meta description is extremely important for telling Google what your page is about, though it’s very important to avoid keyword stuffing! Your description should be compelling enough to generate the right amount of clicks, without giving away enough information that they feel no need to visit your website.
Optimize for Mobile
You want your users to have an efficient experience when visiting your website on mobile - by this, I mean it should load quickly and be user friendly, fitting whatever device and size of screen they’re using. This is called responsive design.
Users are very likely to leave a page if it doesn’t load quickly enough, therefore providing a poor user experience. The last thing you want is to drive a potential patient right to the website of your competition, simply because they’re mobile friendly.
Build Links Wherever You Can
When Google crawls your page to determine its’ relevance in the search results, having strong links can really increase your credibility.
Strong links are links from esteemed websites and publications - these powerful websites associating themselves with your content is extremely trustworthy in the eyes of Google, and will help push you closer to the top of the results.
This credibility will greatly aid in establishing your brand, and help to increase your exposure online. Obtaining back links from authoritative cosmetic medicine resources, businesses and blogs can really aid your own level of authority in the eyes of Google, and help you to claim your rightful spot at the top.
Develop a Social Media Strategy
The cosmetic medicine world provides many opportunities for great social media, and improved social sharing. Why? It’s almost entirely visual!
The behind the scenes of the procedures isn’t necessarily pleasing to look at, but the positive impacts of the procedures are! Cosmetic alterations leave so much room for creativity in your posts, and people love to see a happy ending.
When it comes to engaging with and attracting a wide audience on social media, it’s best to use the platforms that your potential and current patients are already active on.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons surveyed 100 patients of aesthetic medicine practices to find out where they were on social media, and how often they engaged with their preferred platforms. This study found that the respondents were most interested in before and after photos, which comes as no surprise - after all, they’re most interested in the cosmetic outcome of using your services! Why not show them the great things you can do? Give the people what they want!
The respondents’ most favoured social platforms were, in order of appearance; Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Snapchat, with Twitter being the least popular platform among the group. Surprisingly, Instagram did not make the list, though it will help to reach a younger crowd.
You’ll want to conduct your own research in your own specific field to determine the best course of action when it comes to logging on and investing time into any platform; whether it’s advice from plastic surgeons, information on botox cosmetic procedures, a before and after of how your latest patient achieved a more youthful appearance, you’ll want to be posting it to the right place.
Write Lots of Content for Reassurance Purposes
The beauty and cosmetic industry has become notorious for leaving the safety, ingredients, and other valuable information about their products as somewhat of a secret.
This has prompted the newest trend of ‘clean’ beauty. Clean beauty is defined by the products that are crafted to specifically cater to the health of our bodies, and the health of the environment.
These ingredients are ethically sourced, without proven or suspected toxic ingredients involved. People like this for obvious reasons – with clean ingredients you know what you’ll be putting into or on your body, and can feel confident in doing so! It also helps when you’re able to read the ingredients.
Given this is the newest, most prominent trend in the industry, your cosmetic medicine practice should be jumping on board if you haven’t already. Your patient should be kept in the loop at all points of the procedure – from the initial consultation, to the options being provided, to the procedure itself. People like to know what they’re putting in their bodies, and as the expert, it’s your job to provide them with this education.
The industry is complex, and most importantly, medical. This means that the general population doesn’t necessarily have a full understanding of exactly how procedures work, what they can expect from their doctor, and what they can expect during the aftermath, or their recovery.
You can provide these details to a patient during your consultation, but there’s only so much talking you can do, and only so much information to be absorbed in a single conversation.
This is where the effective nature of online blogging and writing quality content can really supplement your efforts. Blogging is absolutely booming online right now, and is a great resource for your patients that love to do their research, and love to know it all. In fact, you should be encouraging patients to do their research, and make it simple for them by providing all the content they’ll need to make an educated decision, and to be informed.
53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority. In addition to this, the number of online bloggers is expected to reach 31.7 million 2020 - that’s nearly the entire population of Canada!
To start blogging, you may want to generate a list of topics to touch on that will benefit your audience, and help to guide your patients in the right direction. The goal isn’t to steer anyone away from your services after they’ve read the full scope of what they’ll be subjecting themselves to, but to keep your patients informed, educated, and prepared.
Topics that will create transparency include:
- Pricing Information
- How to Estimate Your Price
- What Insurance Does and Doesn’t Cover
- All Procedures You Provide, with Specific Details
- Side Effects and Possible Complications
- Ingredients Used in all Products
These topics will eliminate the element of surprise, and show your patients you have nothing to hide - plus, it’s a great marketing strategy!Blogging will not only give patients helpful information, but with well integrated SEO practices, can actually help generate new clients. 80% of a website traffic begins with a search query, and when a user searches for a cosmetic medicine practice within your region, you want to be the first one on that page.