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6 Ideas to Drive More Patients for Bariatric Surgeons

By: Keisha Dunstan

Only 1% of eligible patients choose Bariatric Surgery as an option. Although it’s the #1 solution for long term, weight loss with proven results, it’s the most underutilized method for weight loss.

Only 1% of eligible patients choose Bariatric Surgery as an option. Although it’s the #1 solution for long term, weight loss with proven results, it’s the most underutilized method for weight loss. Why is this? Of course, there are legitimate reasons why someone may not move forward with the surgery. And one of those is the emotional commitment. Potential patients are nervous about having this type of surgery. They believe the surgery is more dangerous than obesity itself.

Personally, when I’m nervous about something I have a tendency to research to ease my nervousness. I’m not an anomaly. Today’s consumer is digital savvy and turn to Google to find everything. Potential patients are not ignoring Google when it comes to important searches and this includes weight loss surgery. And if you’re Bariatric practice is not sitting at the top of Google’s search ranking, then it’s buried under a list of other Bariatric providers and needless to say, that’s not good.

So, how do you fix this?

A patient acquisition strategy is a great place to start. In order to acquire new Bariatric patients you need to address the process of finding a lead, turning the lead into a prospect and then turning them into patients. I know this sounds like a long process, but actually finding lead and prospects isn’t as difficult as it may seem. There’s really no shortage, the challenge is getting them through the final stage.

Let’s Get On The Same Digital Page

In my January 15 blog, I talked about the healthcare marketing trend providers should look at to grow their practice in 2019. These tips are a great direction when you’re looking to build your marketing plan. Today, let’s dive into some items related to patient acquisition. From educating the right Bariatric patient, interacting with them and of course following up properly.

  1. We’ve all heard “Content is King”. This is not going away. As matter of fact, having more unique and quality content gives opportunity to rank well in search. Add useful content to your website that your visitors will consider valuable, such as downloadable tip sheet, blogs and before and after photo galleries.
  2. How often do you get frustrated with trying to find information on a website and decide it would be easier to refine your search in Google? Personally, I’m guilty of this. Adding call to actions can ease this frustration and is the best approach to meet patients where they are in the purchasing journey.
  3. The patient has found your website. Now make it easy for them to click to your contact page where they can ask for more information, or participate in a live chat. Use a managed chat service to connect with visitors to your site 24/7. Providers who use chat are seeing a 40% increase in leads!
  4. Educating potential patients should not stop once they leave your website. And part of the buyer journey is following up properly. Give your site visitors opportunity to share their email addresses by offering free content that is engaging and can be used often, like a downloadable recipe book.
  5. Provide all the facts they need about bariatric surgery in an online bariatric surgery seminar. This is a great introduction and helps with providing the right content to the patient. Of course, this is a not meant to be a replacement for the in-person seminar, but a great introduction to your practice.
  6. And of course, the foundation of your strategy is your website. If your website is not optimized properly, it will miss the mark on being found and providing the right experience discussed in the other 5 tips. Check your website’s SEO to make sure potential patients are finding you when they conduct online searches.

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