Angela Stansbery

Angela is an SEO associate at Sagapixel and a member of our healthcare SEO team. She works on SEO accounts including plastic surgeons, home care, therapists, and other healthcare providers.

How to Increase Patient Volume: Strategies for Medical Practices

Table of Contents

If you’re a new medical practice or an established one that’s struggling to stay open, your biggest concern is likely how to increase patient volume. Without a steady stream of new patients, it becomes difficult to cover operational costs and sustain growth.

In this article, we’ll share what’s worked for our clients as a digital marketing agency that specializes in healthcare SEO and PPC. From optimizing your online presence to enhancing patient experience, we’ll help you not only stay open but thrive.

If you’d like to schedule a time to meet with us to discuss how your healthcare practice can increase patient volume through SEO and PPC click here.

1. Optimize Your Online Presence

An overwhelming majority of patients are seeking new medical providers online, relying heavily on patient reviews, search results, and social media in their decision-making process. Ultimately, this means that your online presence is often the first point of contact prospective patients have with your practice. If you can’t be found online, your potential clients are likely going to choose your competitors instead.

An updated and well-maintained website, effective SEO strategies, active engagement with online reviews, and robust social media management are crucial. Ensuring your practice is easily found online and presents a professional image will attract more visitors and convert them into patients.

Update & Maintain Your Website

We’ve all been on old, outdated websites that were hard to find what we were looking for. How long did you stay there? A few minutes? A few seconds? That’s how long your potential clients will spend on your website if it’s not user-friendly.

Ensure your top navigation clearly displays your services so potential clients can find exactly what they need. Each service should have a dedicated page with up-to-date information regarding what you offer.

See below how we intentionally outlined our top navigation:

sagapixel top navigation

You can’t miss our services (SEO, web design, Google ads), which make it easy for our website visitors to navigate to relevant information.

Most importantly, don’t forget about mobile users. A large majority of patients will access your website via their smartphones, so a mobile-friendly website could easily make or break their decision to schedule an appointment, learn more about your services, or trust your practice altogether. Check to make sure all buttons work, the pages load quickly, and the formatting isn’t messed up on a smaller screen.

Implement an SEO Strategy

To effectively increase your online visibility and attract more patients, start by developing a comprehensive SEO strategy. SEO, or search engine optimization, involves optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results, making it easier for potential patients to find you. For a medical practice, this often means creating service and location pages that target specific keywords like “chiropractor in San Jose.”

Begin by identifying how people are searching for your services through keyword research. Determine whether your ideal clients search for terms like “botox injection” or just “botox.” Ensure that your pages target the exact phrases potential patients use, such as “scar revision,” instead of less common terms like “scar reduction procedure.” Understanding search behavior is crucial for attracting new patients and keeping your appointment schedule full.

Competitive research is also essential for creating top-ranking content. Your content should not only match but surpass the value provided by other high-ranking pages. Once you know which keywords to target and the information to include, write your page with strategic keyword placement and relevant entities to optimize it well. Additionally, use internal links to connect this page to other relevant pages on your site and ensure it’s not an orphan page, which can hinder its discoverability by Google.

Acquiring backlinks from authoritative websites is another important aspect of SEO. These backlinks serve as endorsements for your content, boosting its credibility and ranking potential. Avoid link farms or spammy sites that can negatively impact your page.

Engage with Online Reviews

Online reviews can make or break your practice’s reputation and, ultimately, whether you’re able to increase patient volume. Responding to patient reviews, even more so. Would you call a business where you saw a scathing review with no reply from the company? Maybe no reply means that the review is right. Maybe no reply means that the company doesn’t care. Either way, it doesn’t reflect well on your medical practice.

Responding to both positive and negative reviews shows that you value patient feedback and are committed to improving your services.

Actively Manage Social Media Accounts

Actively managing your social media accounts is crucial for engaging with your audience and attracting new patients. However, a common misconception is that health tips, patient testimonials, and updates about your practice are enough.

It’s not.

Posting on social media is a lot like posting content on your website. You need to make content that people are actually searching for. You may care about your new office remodel, but potential clients (and social media algorithms) won’t.

Our digital marketing agency is going one step further and helping our clients connect their social media accounts with their SEO strategy. This means repurposing engaging content from your blog to your Youtube channel, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook accounts. By filming video first, we can engage with audiences on both long-form and short-form video platforms and utilize the transcript to create a blog post out of it.

This comprehensive strategy will help maximize the payoff from a single piece of content, nurture potential clients on the platforms they’re already using, and ensure your medical practice stays top of mind when new patients are ready to convert.

2. Enhance Patient Experience

Providing an exceptional patient experience is key to retaining current patients and attracting new ones. Patients who feel valued and well-cared for are more likely to return and recommend your practice to others. Enhancing the patient experience involves several critical areas, from the initial interaction to follow-up care and each one is vital for growing your practice.

Improve Patient Service

Delivering top-notch patient service starts with training your staff to be courteous, empathetic, and efficient. Ensure that every patient interaction, whether in person, over the phone, or online, reflects the high standards of your practice.

I know I’ve taken my business elsewhere when someone answering the phone was rude. Don’t let your practice fall prey to that mistake. Your medical practice can implement a phone call tracking system like Callrail that allows you to listen back to ensure your staff is following best practices for patient service.

Streamline Appointment Scheduling

Simplify the appointment scheduling process to make it as easy as possible for patients to book visits. Offering online booking options and clear communication can significantly reduce scheduling friction and improve patient satisfaction.

We’ve recently helped many of our clients set up Calendly, the same booking system we use for our digital marketing agency. Simple calendar access where patients can choose a day and time that works best for them (and you). A smooth, online user experience will encourage new patients to rely on your medical practice for their needs.

Offer Telehealth Services

Incorporating telehealth services provides patients with flexible and convenient care options. Virtual consultations can attract patients who prefer or require remote healthcare, expanding your reach and enhancing the overall patient experience.

While telehealth services won’t be possible for practices like med spas, chiropractors, or anything that demands in-person visits, you can still utilize this option. Instead of in-person consultations, offer them as video meetings. The convenience will encourage more people to schedule, and during these meetings, you can nurture that lead so they actually come in for your services.

Foster a Welcoming Office Environment

A welcoming office environment is crucial for making patients feel comfortable and cared for. Ensure that your waiting area is clean, comfortable, and child-friendly, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. Consider adding amenities such as complimentary beverages, reading materials, and Wi-Fi to enhance the patient experience.

Friendly and attentive staff members who greet patients warmly and assist them promptly can also significantly contribute to a positive office environment.

Reduce Patient Wait Times

Long wait times can be a major deterrent, something likely hindering your ability to increase patient volume. Implement efficient scheduling practices and ensure your operations are streamlined to minimize wait times. Keeping patients informed if delays occur can also help manage expectations.

Offering pre-appointment paperwork online can help reduce time spent in the office, allowing patients to complete necessary patient intake forms before their visit. Additionally, consider implementing a check-in system that allows patients to notify the office when they arrive, enabling staff to prepare for their visit promptly.

3. Leverage Marketing & Advertising

Utilizing targeted marketing and advertising strategies is essential for attracting new patients and growing your practice. By investing in paid advertising, hosting community events, and developing referral programs, you can effectively reach a wider audience. Creating and distributing informational content and newsletters keeps potential patients informed and engaged with your practice. These marketing efforts help build your practice’s brand, establish trust, and drive more patient appointments.

Use Targeted & Paid Advertising

Paid advertising, particularly Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, is a powerful tool for bringing in new clients by ensuring your practice appears prominently in search engine results. PPC ads, such as Google Ads, allow you to bid on relevant keywords related to your services, so your ad appears as the first result in search results for those terms. This strategy ensures that your practice is seen by individuals actively looking for the medical procedures you offer, leading to higher conversion rates.

For example, anyone searching for “SEO agency NJ” will see a full screen of ads before they ever reach organic links.

google search seo agency NJ

You may be wondering why you would ever do SEO if this is the case for your target keywords. PPC is great for quick wins but you’ll have to pay every time someone clicks on your ad and once you stop putting money toward it, your listing will come down.

Comparatively, with SEO for medical practices, when you make a page that’s optimized for Google, it’ll stay in search results forever. SEO is an evergreen channel to bring in new clients.

Both types of marketing are helpful, and we often recommend a combination of these strategies to help medical practices increase patient volume.

Develop Referral Programs

Encourage current patients to refer friends and family to your practice. This form of word of mouth is often a strong way to increase patient volume. Offer incentives like discounts or free services for successful referrals. A well-structured referral program can significantly boost patient volume.

Send Out Newsletters

Sending out newsletters is a powerful tool for nurturing leads who aren’t ready to convert immediately. Regularly scheduled newsletters keep your practice top-of-mind for potential patients by providing them with valuable information and updates. This consistent engagement builds trust and familiarity, making it more likely that these leads will choose your practice when they are ready to make an appointment.

For instance, a med spa can include articles on skin care routines, a chiropractor can share tips for maintaining good posture, and a wellness clinic can provide advice on stress management. By offering valuable information, you are not only helping potential patients but also demonstrating your expertise and commitment to their well-being.

For leads that aren’t ready to convert yet, newsletters serve as a gentle reminder of your practice’s presence and offerings. Each edition can include soft calls to action, such as inviting readers to schedule a free consultation, attend an upcoming community event, or take advantage of a special promotion.

4. Expand & Diversify Services

Expanding and diversifying your practice’s services can attract new patient demographics and meet a wider range of patient needs. By introducing new specialties, treatments, and wellness programs, you position your practice as a comprehensive healthcare provider, ultimately increasing patient volume.

Add New Specialties & Treatments

One way to increase patient volume is to attract a new type of patient, something that can be done by offering a new suite of services. If you’re a chiropractor, consider offering acupuncture. If you’re a med spa, start offering the latest filler that’s making big waves on social media. Identify what type of clients you want to reach and conduct research to figure out what services you could offer to get them through the door.

Offer Wellness Programs

Offering tailored wellness programs can attract a broader patient base and enhance the appeal of your practice. These programs position your practice as a leader in your space, as you meet a crowd of potential clients.

For example, medspas should consider introducing programs focused on skin care routines, anti-aging treatments, and holistic beauty approaches. Dermatologists can benefit from offering wellness programs that address common skin conditions and promote overall skin health.

For SMP (Scalp Micropigmentation) artists, wellness programs could include scalp health education, hair care tips, and ongoing maintenance sessions. A medical or dental practice can introduce wellness programs that focus on oral health education, preventive care, and cosmetic treatments, such as teeth whitening sessions.

Provide Flexible Hours

Offering extended and flexible hours can make your practice more accessible to patients with busy schedules. Evening and weekend appointments can cater to working professionals and families who may find it difficult to visit during regular office hours. This opens your practice up to new patients that you would otherwise have missed out on.

5. Engage with Your Local Community

Engaging with your local community is essential for building strong relationships and increasing your practice’s visibility. Participating in local events and offering valuable health resources can position your practice as a trusted and integral part of the community. Activities such as health fairs, community sports event sponsorships, and free health workshops not only showcase your commitment to community health but also attract new patients and strengthen the loyalty of your existing patient base.

Participate in Local Events

Being present at local health fairs and community festivals allows you to interact directly with potential patients, providing them with information about your services. These interactions create personal connections and build trust, making attendees more likely to choose your practice when they need what you provide.

Participate in local health fairs, sponsor community sports events, and offer free health screenings at local festivals. These activities showcase your commitment to community health and position your practice as a trusted local resource.

Network with Other Healthcare Providers

Building a network with other healthcare providers in your area can lead to valuable referrals and collaborative opportunities, enhancing the overall healthcare landscape in your community. Attend local medical conferences, join professional healthcare associations, and participate in multidisciplinary meetings to establish connections with other practitioners.

6. Implement Technology Solutions

Integrating advanced technology solutions into your practice can streamline operations, improve patient care, and enhance overall efficiency. Utilizing tools such as Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, patient reminder systems, and practice management software can help you manage patient information more effectively and reduce administrative burdens. Analyzing patient data for trends can also provide valuable insights to improve treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Use Electronic Health Record (EHR) & Practice Management Software

Implementing EHR and practice management software allows for better organization of patient records, easier access to information, and improved coordination of care. These systems streamline administrative tasks such as scheduling, billing, and documentation, freeing up more time for patient care.

EHRs also enhance communication between different healthcare providers by making patient information readily accessible, ensuring continuity of care. Practice management software can help you track performance metrics, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your practice.

Implement Patient Reminder Systems

Automated patient reminder systems help reduce missed appointments by sending timely notifications via text, email, or phone calls. These reminders not only enhance patient adherence to treatment plans but also improve scheduling efficiency.

By maintaining regular contact with patients through reminders, you demonstrate a commitment to providing optimal patient outcomes, which can lead to increased patient loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals.

Analyze Patient Data for Trends

Analyzing patient data for trends can provide insights into common health issues, treatment effectiveness, and patient behavior, enabling more informed decision-making and personalized care. By identifying patterns in patient data, you can tailor your services to meet the specific needs of your patient population, thereby attracting more patients seeking specialized care.

For example, if data reveals a high demand for a particular treatment, you can focus marketing efforts on promoting that service. Additionally, understanding seasonal trends or peak times can help you optimize staffing and appointment scheduling, ensuring you can accommodate more patients and reduce wait times.

Optimize Revenue Cycle Management

Efficient billing processes reduce the likelihood of errors and delays, ensuring a smoother experience for patients and increasing their satisfaction. By streamlining revenue cycles, your practice can reinvest in marketing efforts, new services, and technology upgrades that attract more patients. Additionally, a robust revenue cycle management system helps identify and address financial inefficiencies, allowing your practice to allocate resources more effectively and accommodate a higher patient volume.

7. Focus on Patient Retention

Focusing on patient retention is crucial for maintaining a stable and growing practice. Keeping your existing patients satisfied not only ensures their continued loyalty but also encourages them to refer others to your practice. Building strong, lasting relationships with your patients can lead to increased patient volume through word-of-mouth referrals and repeat visits.

Follow Up After Appointments

Consistently following up with patients after their appointments shows that you care about their well-being and treatment outcomes, helping to build trust and loyalty. These follow-ups can be done through phone calls, emails, or text messages, offering an opportunity to address any concerns or questions the patient may have.

This ongoing communication not only reinforces the patient-provider relationship but also increases the likelihood of positive reviews and referrals, contributing to patient volume growth.

Create Loyalty Programs

Implementing loyalty programs that offer rewards or discounts for repeat visits can incentivize patients to return to your practice regularly, fostering long-term relationships. These programs make patients feel valued and appreciated, encouraging them to choose your practice over competitors. Loyalty programs can also attract new patients who are looking for added value and benefits.

Provide Personalized Care

Personalized care that addresses each patient’s unique needs and preferences can significantly enhance patient satisfaction and encourage them to stay with your practice. This involves understanding each patient’s medical history, preferences, and concerns and tailoring your services accordingly.

Personalized care can lead to better health outcomes and a more positive patient experience, making patients more likely to remain loyal to your practice and refer others.

Understand Patient Demographics

Understanding your patient base’s demographics allows you to tailor your services and communication strategies to better meet their specific needs, ensuring a higher level of patient satisfaction and retention. Analyze data on your patients’ age, gender, socioeconomic status, and health conditions to identify trends and preferences.

This information can help you develop targeted marketing campaigns, offer relevant services, and communicate more effectively with your patients. By aligning your practice with the needs of your patient demographics, you can enhance patient satisfaction and loyalty, leading to increased patient volume through referrals.

Increase Your Patient Volume with Digital Marketing From Sagapixel

Increasing your patient volume requires a strategic approach. If you’re looking for a way to see a short and long-term increase in patient volume, you need to invest in digital marketing. By optimizing your online presence and implementing targeted advertising campaigns, you can create a robust pipeline of new patients for your practice.

At Sagapixel, we specialize in crafting customized digital marketing plans that deliver results for medical practices just like yours. Our expertise in SEO and PPC allows us to develop strategies that boost your online visibility, attract more qualified leads, and convert those leads into loyal patients.

Contact Sagapixel today to learn more about how our digital marketing services can help grow your practice.

Schedule a call with us