How to Attract More Patients to Your Practice in 2024

Learn the latest and greatest strategies for attracting more patients to your private practice and ensuring sustainable clinic growth.
January 25, 2024
6 min

Having a steady stream of new patients is crucial for sustainable clinic growth. With plenty of options available, patients can now afford to be selective — forcing healthcare providers to adapt and embrace a more tech-powered and patient-centric approach.

If you’re searching for effective strategies to attract more patients in 2024, this article offers a bunch of actionable tips healthcare organizations can use to become more appealing and accessible to potential patients.

First, define the characteristics of your typical patient

The solution to patient acquisition is not just about throwing more money into your marketing machine. The first step should always be to define your patient profile — a persona that embodies the key characteristics of the typical patient that visits your clinic.

Patient persona profile example.
Patient persona profile example. Source: Paragon

Look at your internal patient data and analyze their demographics and psychographics — age groups, ethnicity, prevalent health concerns, income levels, activation levels, lifestyle choices, how tech-savvy they are, and similar. 

A targeted, deep understanding of your target audience will help you personalize your services and marketing messaging in a way that will resonate the most with the intended patient population.

Patient expectations in healthcare have significantly evolved, with a greater emphasis on convenience, transparency, and personalized care. Modern patients (especially younger ones) expect seamless access to health services, clear communication from their healthcare providers, and a more holistic approach to their treatment. 

What does your typical patient care about the most? Ask them directly. The easiest way to do that at scale is to survey your existing patient base using a short but smartly crafted questionnaire.

When you have that information, all of the following strategies will be easier to implement and manage.

1. Work on your online reputation

Over 70% of patients look at online reviews when choosing a new provider. This is why online ratings and comments on your website and platforms like Google My Business, Healthgrades, and Yelp have become a critical factor in patient acquisition. 

Here are several strategies for encouraging satisfied patients to leave positive reviews:

  • Provide exceptional service throughout the whole patient journey: Focus on minimizing wait times, ensuring a welcoming environment, upholding high care standards, adopting a personalized approach, and embracing digital conveniences.
  • Actively encourage patients to leave reviews: Politely request reviews in person or through personalized messages with survey links, immediately following their visit when the experience is fresh.
  • Make the submission process as simple as possible: Guide patients to user-friendly platforms and provide step-by-step guides or QR codes for easy access.
  • Educate patients on the importance of reviews: Explain how feedback contributes to clinic improvements and the quality of care for the community.
  • Always respond to negative reviews: Regularly monitor review platforms, maintain professionalism in responses, and show dedication to continuous improvement.

If you’d like to explore these tips in more detail, head over to our post on generating patient reviews.

Responding to both positive and negative reviews is a crucial aspect of managing an online reputation. Acknowledge positive reviews with gratitude, but also address negative feedback — constructively, showing a willingness to listen and improve. 

2. Invest in digital marketing

A comprehensive digital marketing strategy, built using the action points below, will increase the online visibility of your clinic while establishing trust and authority.

Optimize your website

Your website should look professional and be user-friendly, informative, and mobile-responsive.  

A user-friendly design ensures simple and easy navigation, while informative content can address patient concerns and frequently asked questions. 

Build trust by prominently featuring your: 

  • credentials
  • certifications
  • patient testimonials
  • the state of the art technology you use
  • strategic partnerships you established
  • and anything else your typical patient might care about. 

Work on your social media presence 

Choosing the right social media platform requires a deep understanding of your target audience. Clinics should consider factors like the age group, interests, and online behaviors of their patient demographic. 

Platforms like Facebook might be more suitable for a general audience, while Instagram or TikTok aim at a younger demographic. Selecting the right platform ensures that the clinic's social media efforts reach the intended audience.

Focus on regular posting, engaging content, and audience interaction through comments and messages. This includes sharing health tips, clinic news, patient testimonials, and relevant updates (like changes in working hours). 

If this isn’t a channel you want to focus on, at least make sure that the profile is always up-to-date and share a couple posts each month to keep it active.

Consider paid advertising

Certain types of clinics and medical services are particularly well-suited for paid advertising. 

Specialized clinics, such as those offering elective procedures, cosmetic treatments, or specific medical specialties, often benefit from targeted advertising. These ads can be tailored to reach individuals actively seeking specific services.

Google, Instagram, and Facebook ads are the most prominent platforms for clinic advertising. Google Ads are advantageous for targeting users actively searching for healthcare services, but they can be competitive and costly. 

Facebook and Instagram ads allow for detailed demographic targeting and visual ads, making it ideal for building brand awareness; the downside can be a lower user intent compared to Google.

Beyond Google and Meta, other advertising options include YouTube for a younger male demographic, and local advertising in community publications or through sponsorships. 

Each platform offers unique benefits and downsides, with the most important factor being which platform is your target audience using the most.

Don’t forget about SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps clinics attract patients organically by improving their website's visibility in search engine results. Effective SEO practices ensure that a clinic's website appears higher in search results for relevant service-related keywords, making it more likely that potential patients will visit the site.

A list of 10 healthcare SEO tips.
Healthcare SEO tips. Source: SEMrush

To improve visibility in search engine results, consider doing the following:

  • Use relevant keywords: Identify keywords that potential patients are likely to use when searching for healthcare services and optimize your service pages accordingly.
  • Create quality content: Regularly develop and publish informative content that addresses common patient questions and concerns. This not only attracts visitors but can also earn backlinks from reputable sites.
  • Optimize for mobile: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as a significant portion of online searches are conducted on mobile devices.
  • Improve website loading speed: A faster loading website provides a better user experience, something search engines appreciate very much.

3. Implement patient referral programs

A patient referral program means offering incentives to patients who refer others to your practice. These incentives could range from discounts on future services to small tokens of appreciation like gift cards. 

The key is to make the referral process simple and ensure that both the referrer and the referred feel valued and happy about grabbing this opportunity. However, before you put anything in motion, check your state’s laws and regulations about incentive marketing, 

Building relationships with other healthcare providers for cross-referrals can also help you to attract more patients to your clinic. You’ll have to focus on networking, collaboration on patient care, and understanding each other's specialty areas. Establishing a mutual referral system with providers whose services complement yours can result in a steady flow of patients, benefiting all parties involved.

4. Improve the overall patient experience

Exceptional patient experiences are crucial for retaining patients and attracting new ones. Focusing on patient satisfaction through personalized care, reduced waiting times, and responsive and transparent communication will often lead to word-of-mouth referrals. 

Happy patients are more likely to return and recommend the practice to others, thereby helping you grow the patient base organically. The three main areas to focus on include: 

  • Streamlining administrative tasks by reducing patient wait times, improving the intake efficiency, and eliminating other common causes of frustration. 
  • Offering quality care that is tailored to each individual patient based on their needs and activation levels. 
  • Using clear language and messaging, both in-person and digitally, that keeps patients informed and engaged. 

Visit our full guide on patient experience for a more comprehensive list of strategies and insights.

Key takeaways

Sustainable growth of any private healthcare practice demands ongoing effort — it's not just about implementing strategies but continually adapting them to the evolving healthcare landscape and patient needs. 

Define your target audience, optimize your website, decide which channels you are going to focus on, and start testing different marketing tactics. 

If your marketing messages don't seem to resonate, learn how to use patient feedback to create ones that will.

InsiderCX Editorial Team
This article was researched, written, polished, and published by the InsiderCX editorial team.

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