Primary Care Marketing: Attracting and Retaining New Patients

As a primary care provider, you play an essential role in helping people get and stay healthy throughout their lives. Plenty of research suggests that regularly seeing a primary care provider leads to better health outcomes — yet many patients don’t visit theirs consistently. 

Even if you’re confident in your medical expertise, potential patients can’t benefit from your care if they’re not aware of your practice. That’s why it’s increasingly important to invest in a marketing strategy that helps people find you, learn about your practice, and ultimately, book an appointment.

Below, learn more about how to attract and retain new patients using digital marketing strategies. 

Why primary care doctors should modernize their marketing strategy

More and more patients are using urgent care for primary care needs, so it’s vital to differentiate your practice to attract (and retain) people who need ongoing care. Getting online and using services like Zocdoc can amp up your visibility to the patients you want to attract. 

Sheila Littles, DNP, a nurse practitioner who owns Practitioners Community Care in Georgia, says she didn’t use any digital marketing strategies when she started her practice nearly two years ago. Once she started using Zocdoc and other online approaches, her patient base began expanding. 

 “At first I relied on insurance directories, but I found people are utilizing Zocdoc more to find providers, and my practice has grown tenfold,” she says. 

Primary care marketing strategies to increase patient volume

There are a few ways to approach digital marketing in this landscape to get new patients in the door. Many patients search for their primary providers online, so your goal should be making it as easy as possible to find your practice, learn about you as a provider, and make an appointment. 

Make it easy to schedule appointments

Above all else, many patients are looking for convenience — they don’t have time to search online, vet a potential doctor, and figure out how to make an appointment. Investing in a service like Zocdoc allows patients to book an appointment instantly, saving patients time and energy. 

To create more opportunities for busy patients to see you, it may help to expand your availability beyond typical work hours, or to be available on certain weekend hours. Texting patients when it’s time to book another appointment is also a great way to keep them on a consistent schedule. While these practices can be appealing to new patients, they’re also important practices for retention. 

Design an attractive website

Your website is often the first experience potential patients have with you and your practice. So to stand apart from the competition, it’s a good idea to invest in creating an attractive website. Focus on a modern-looking website that’s simple to navigate, so potential patients can easily get the information they need to decide if your practice is a good fit. 

Along with provider bios and practice info, consider adding a blog to your website. You can regularly publish articles that establish you as an expert on primary care health topics. Integrating online booking into your website increases the likelihood patients will book an appointment, since you can capture them when they’re most motivated. 

SEO search engine optimization can help attract new patients

Another effective way to attract new patients is through search engine optimization (SEO). Adding commonly searched terms to your website helps your search ranking, which means you’ll be closer to the top of the list when someone is searching online for a primary care provider. 

Consider adding any of the below PCP-related terms to your website:

  • Primary care provider
  • Primary care doctor
  • Primary care physician near me 
  • Primary medical care
  • Family practitioner
  • General internist
  • Find a family doctor
  • Medical insurance
  • Health insurance plans

Depending on the details of your practice, you can research the best keywords to incorporate in your web copy and blog content. 

Reviews can attract new patients

One of the key Zocdoc features that’s helped Littles’ practice is the patient reviews. “Zocdoc leads my existing patients to write positive reviews, so I have a lot,” she says. “Now, many of my new patients tell me they’ve read those reviews.”

Of course, the best way to get positive reviews is to focus on providing the best possible care, which includes medical care and customer service. Optimizing your office space to feel comfortable and modern can also help boost your ratings. If you haven’t already, signing up for Zocdoc can streamline the review process, making it easy for people to rave about you as a provider. 

Primary care advertising

Along with marketing, it’s important to invest in certain advertising strategies that more directly promote your practice to the people you want to find and book appointments at your practice. Your own website and social media pages are two easy places to do that. 

Primary care content marketing

Content marketing uses content, such as videos, photos, or blog posts, to attract and retain customers. For example, you can regularly publish blog posts on your website that not only establish you as a credible provider but use commonly searched keywords. That way, when people are looking online for a primary care provider, they can easily land on your website. 

You can also use mass emails to boost your content marketing strategy, by distributing blog posts that lead back to your site or creating content with a specific call to action (like booking an appointment). 

Social media marketing

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are also great places to promote your practice. Many primary care providers start pages for their practices. In addition to sharing information about your practice, you can use social media to post informative content. 

The more of a following you build, the more people will see you as a reputable expert in primary care — which can only help grow your patient base. 

If you haven’t tried out digital marketing before, pivoting to online marketing can be a learning curve. But just as you modernize your medical approach to keep up with the latest research, it’s important to revisit your marketing strategy. The best part? Unlike flyers and business cards, you can easily determine what’s working and what’s not, so you can only spend time and money on what’s actually helping you meet your practice goals. 

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