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3 Tips to Retarget Your Healthcare Audience Online

By Lara Nour EddineNov 9, 2015

retargeting your healthcare organization

It’s well-known that customers research everything before they decide to make a purchase. Thanks to the wealth of information on the Internet, patients can also research different healthcare providers before choosing what facility to use for treatment. Whether it’s a primary care practice or a hospital, patients can now get detailed information on who they want to see before ever making an appointment.

This online visibility adds fuel to the competitive fire for healthcare providers, meaning they need to develop efficient ways to attract patients and keep them coming back for all their medical needs.

So how can healthcare organizations vying for patients stand out?

Through retargeting.

With only 2 percent of Web traffic converting on the first visit, this increasingly popular trend has helped companies remain at the forefront in the minds of the other 98 percent doing online research, and it can help healthcare companies maximize their online exposure to potential patients.

Retargeting is cookie-based technology that uses code to follow your website visitors’ activities and where they go once they’ve visited your site. If a visitor doesn’t request an appointment on the website, ads will appear to encourage conversion, such as “Schedule an Appointment Today” or “Contact Us.”

Here are three tips to retarget your healthcare audience.

1. Make Sure Ads are HIPAA-Compliant

Medical professionals are probably wondering right now if retargeting is allowed through HIPAA. The answer is yes, but organizations have to be careful. Ads cannot contain content that would imply knowledge of personal medical or health information. Organizations also cannot obtain any information that would identify a patient, such as their email address or phone number.

This means the messaging in your ad must be general, providing only information about the hospital or department within the hospital, but cannot be specific about the treatment of a condition. The ad should highlight your organization’s expertise and knowledge in a certain department, without naming a specific health condition.

For example, if a user visited a healthcare website searching for information on neurology and left before making an appointment, a subsequently appearing ad should prompt patients to contact the neurology department, rather than mention stroke symptoms, even if a page specific to strokes was visited.

retargeting your healthcare organization

2. Be Strategic With Your Ads

It will not do you any good to target every non-converting lead that comes to your website. Not every visitor intends to use your organization for healthcare; they could be coming for educational information about certain conditions for a school project or other research, particularly if you provide healthcare marketing content on your site. Therefore, it makes the most sense to implement retargeting only on the pages of your site that are conversion-oriented.

Identify the pages on your website most likely to attract conversion, such as key services or procedures your organization offers. That way, when visitors look at your hospital’s neurology page, they will see ad impressions for that page once they leave your site. Also, make sure these key pages have a visible call to action to contact your organization and make an appointment.

3. Limit Retargeting Efforts

If a visitor has not converted on your website, cease retargeting after 30 days. One month is a realistic period of time to assume that if the patient has not made an appointment with your organization, they have chosen a different route or perhaps never intended to make an appointment and were simply doing research.

Also be sure you are updating your lists to reflect when a visitor has completed a converting action to alter the potential for new actions. If a patient has in fact made an appointment with your organization, you don’t want to keep showing them ads to make an appointment. Instead, have a generic ad for your organization appear or cease showing that individual your ads altogether.

Getting Them to Come Back

Today’s age of information overload leads patients to more options than they know what to do with. Healthcare organizations must get as creative as they can to attract patients’ attention and prove they are the best solution to their problems.

Reminding previous visitors of your capabilities and specializations even after they’ve left your site is a great way to encourage conversion and get new patients. With more people turning to the Internet for healthcare resources, organizations must tailor their marketing efforts to align with visitor search behaviors. Retargeting your healthcare organization is an effective way to do this, as it attracts those who have already expressed an interest in the product or service.

Want more demand generation techniques for your healthcare organization? Check out The New Demand Generation eBook today

The New Demand Generation

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The Author

Lara Nour Eddine

Lara’s love for journalism began when she was eight years old and decided to take a news broadcast class instead of going to summer camp. From third grade on, she anchored her school’s weekly broadcasts. This passion for storytelling resurfaced in college, where Lara worked on the school newspaper, and ultimately lead her to positions in journalism, PR and marketing. With a Bachelor’s in journalism and a Master’s in PR, Lara lives to tell stories and tells stories to live. Outside of storytelling, Lara can be found spending time with her family which includes 4 kids (yes, you read that right) and 3 cats. She aspires to be a good cook and dreams of traveling the world.
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