Leveraging the Internet to your practice's benefit — 6 medical marketing strategies from Dr. Tony Mork

Sixteen years ago, spine surgeon Tony Mork, MD, of Newport Beach, Calif., and Miami, discovered how to leverage the power of the internet for his practice's marketing purposes.

"The most expensive part of any business is to acquire new clients," says Dr. Mork. He connected with about 75 percent of his patients after creating a strong medical practice website. TonyMorkCurrently, he connects with about 25 percent of new patients via the website.

After implementing key marketing strategies for his own practice, Dr. Mork wrote a book, "Medical Marketing Demystified," to help other physicians create strong websites.

Here are six key medical marketing strategies from Dr. Mork.

1. Patient education. You have about two seconds to three seconds to engage a patient visiting your site, so "you better have something there that is going to catch their attention almost immediately."

Patients look to physicians to provide answers to their problems, so craft a practice website focusing on education. Provide site visitors with value — whether that is information about condition symptoms or procedure details.

2. YouTube video. Dr. Mork believes a video serves an essential role on a practice website. Ensure the video offers the education component as well as outlines your practice's philosophy.

"I think the videos have a lot of latitude, but I think the main thing is they have to be relatively short, and I think getting in front of the camera personally works," advises Dr. Mork.

Give the video an attractive title to visiting patients, emphasizing your ability to help them solve their medical problems.

3. Aesthetic design. Dr. Mork often sees medical practice websites mirroring brochures. He strongly recommends against this, and instead suggests creating an interactive, alluring design.

Choose appropriate colors and properly sized fonts. If visitors are straining to read information on your site, they won't spend much time on it.

Additionally, tailor to your specific clientele. If most of your patients are older, for example, don't anticipate they will feel comfortable booking appointments online.

4. Grab Google's attention. Integrate proper key terms into your site that represent what your practice is all about. Utilize search engine optimization practices to ensure your site matches key words your targeted patients type into Google.

"You're trying to engage Google for the search and engage the patient searching for certain words," explains Dr. Mork.

5. Stay active. A medical practice website serves no purpose if physicians ignore it. Google ranks sites based on activity, so make sure to upload a blog post, short video or podcast frequently. Dr. Mork suggests posting something to your site every two weeks.

Balance your site to include both organic content and paid advertisements.

6. Contact is crucial. The ultimate purpose of a medical practice website is to bring in more patients. So, provide a portal for visitors to type in their contact information.

Dr. Mork's website offers patients various options for interactions. They may choose to receive free downloads or presentations; receive free MRI consultations; or ask Dr. Mork to contact them.

"You start a relationship with someone in advance of meeting," says Dr. Mork.

Those interested may purchase "Medical Marketing Demystified" on Amazon or download it for free, here

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