5 Tips to Market Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Practices

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery has been getting a lot of well-deserved press lately, and we hear that more and more people are asking for this approach. We also know where these people, aka patients, will turn for information — to the internet! Here are a few tips on how to market yourself if you or your practice performs minimally invasive spine surgery and get your website found:

This article was written by Dick Pepper, a medical marketing specialist who blogs at VoxMD.com and can be reached at dick .pepper@voxmd.com.

1. Know What Your Patients Are Looking For

You know that patients aren't the most clinically accurate people, right? Sciatica means just about any back or leg pain, and the terminology they use for minimally invasive spine surgery varies as well. According to the Google Adwords keyword tool, the US searched for "minimally invasive spine surgery" 3,600 times. This compares with "minimally invasive back surgery," which got 2,900 searches. It is unlikely you, as a medical professional, used that term. Regardless, this is what patients have been looking for. Compare that to "minimal access spine surgery," a phrase used in a recent article found here. While it may be a phrase used in the medical community, Google reports exactly zero searches for those keywords last month in the U.S. You can find out what the public is searching for by using the keyword tool found in Google Adwords. It's free, and will give you all of the search terms that matter to the public.

2. Give Them What They're Looking For

You have to have content about minimally invasive spine surgery in order to get found by Google. Having the words under your services performed is not enough. If you perform minimally invasive spine surgery, you should have an entire page dedicated to that specific topic. Your patients will look for this information elsewhere if you don't have it, and Google needs to see this phrase in context in order to reward you with a ranking. By creating this content you will also be able to use all of the various versions of terms that your patients search for and can now find on your page. And it has to be your own, so don't try to game the system by copying device company content.

3. Get Found on Google for Minimally Invasive Search Terms

It's pretty easy to get found for certain terms if you do all of the things Google tells you to do, but most people miss the obvious — put it in the title of the page on your website that is about minimally invasive spine surgery. The title is not what you see, but what the search engines see. If you use Internet Explorer, look at the blue bar that is at the top of the window. If you use Safari or Firefox, it's the gray bar at the top of the window. That is the real title. It's something we humans don't look at, but it is the most valuable piece of web real estate for getting found. Put the words "Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery" in that title. Do not put your name or practice name first, because that isn't what the patients are looking for. Put your practice name after the keyword-rich title. Now update your sitemap and upload it through Google Webmasters tool. If you don't know what this means or how to change your title, tell your marketing people. If they don't know what it means, its time to call a medical marketing specialist to help you with all the other problems you have with your online marketing.

4. Look at the Local Competition

Google will show a lot of the same results, regardless of where you live, for minimally invasive search terms, but they will also bring in local site listings if you have the right terms in the search title as the previous step indicates. You can see this in action by changing your location and see what comes up. For instance, if you look on the right hand side of the Google results for "minimally invasive spine surgery" you will see your town's name and state. Below that are the words "Change location." Click that to change to a different city and/or state. If you change to Chicago, IL, you'll see the top listing change to Dr. Patrick Sweeney's website. If you change to San Diego, CA, you'll see San Diego Spine Institute a few levels down. Try out cities and states near you and you'll get a good idea of how a properly executed website can really capture this audience.

5. Buy the Right Keywords

If you don't want to wait for Google to find and rank you, buying Adwords is the quickest way. These are the paid ads that appear at the top and side of Google search results. But don't be fooled by what you see! There are lots of ads for the term "minimal access spine surgery," and the competition is high and that means costly. But it is all based on the perception that patients are looking for this term, and Google's own tool tells us they're not! Don't rely on what you think. Use the keyword tools to do the diligence and you'll find a lot of great values for an inexpensive, but effective, Adwords campaign. For example, there were 33,000 searches for "minimally invasive" compared to 5,400 for "minimally invasive spine." Ad pricing for "minimally invasive" is significantly lower, and you're likely to get some click-through for those terms. Localizing terms is also a great way to get found without the high cost. Buy the term "minimally invasive spine surgery dallas " or whatever your city name is. It often gets pulled into more costly search terms simply because it's local.

There are many other ways to get found by your patients for minimally invasive spine surgery, such as landing pages, keyword-rich domain names, social media strategies and more. Contact us at info@voxmd.com or your local medical marketing specialist for more information, and capture those patients searching for minimally invasive spine surgery.

More Articles on Practice Marketing:

10 Tips Diving Deeper Into Orthopedic & Spine Practice Marketing
Get Small: 6 Tips to Mobilize Spine Practice Marketing
7 New Google & Facebook Marketing Tools for Spine Surgeons

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