We’ve learned a lot in the last week, and here are a few things that you should know when planning your digital marketing strategy for the foreseeable future.
Now is the time to communicate
Make sure now more than ever that your website and online profiles accurately reflect the kinds of services that are available in your practice or at your business. This may include adding new services that you activate, such as telemedicine or online meetings, or just highlighting services that have always been available but require new focus, such as ordering contacts online or contactless delivery.
What should I highlight on my website?
The three most popular requests we have seen in the last two weeks (aside from setting up COVID-19 notifications) have been primarily in optometry:
- Letting your patients know your capacity for handling emergency eyecare.
- Adding a link to reorder contacts. If you have an Avelient FlexSite, look here for more information.
- Adding a link for telemedicine (as you can see on this site, for example).
In other businesses, we have seen a variety of requests, including:
- Teledentistry - this doctor created a new page on her site allowing patients to have a virtual consult for a variety of services. Please check your state for what is allowable by law - the CCHP website is a good place to get started.
- Virtual Appointments - In the vein of telemedicine and teledentistry, there has been an increase in the number of businesses offering virtual appointments to their clients, specifically in the insurance industry. They ask that we post a link to an online booking system, such as Calendly, and then handle their meeting using a tool such as Zoom.
- Contactless pickup/delivery service - If you have the ability to allow for contactless pick-up or delivery, there should be information about this on your website. Some of our retail customers have recently developed content around this type of service.
In general, any new service or offer that you have developed in direct response to COVID-19 should be prominently displayed on your website. Work with your marketing team/company to come up with the best solution for you.
I heard Google My Business (GMB) isn’t verifying listings anymore. Should I bother verifying mine?
Yes. Google has a longer verification process than normal at this time, however, if you are a health-related business your listing will be prioritized. Even if you aren’t, if you have the extra time now verifying your listing is always a good idea. Not sure how? You can go here to get started.
What else can I do for my GMB listing?
You can also take advantage of 3 options Google offers to reflect a temporary status in your business:
- You can set up temporary hours for your business
- You can set up your business as temporarily closed in your GMB dashboard
- There is now a COVID-19 update post you can use to provide information relating to the coronavirus and your business. We have not seen these posts go through a standard Google review process, so they should be posted relatively quickly after you publish them.
Should I be getting reviews?
No. At least, it shouldn’t be something you’re emphasizing in your marketing plan right now. Currently, users can still write reviews, but Google won’t make them publicly visible at this time. Google has also temporarily disabled Review responses and Q&A features.
Avelient can help
If you’ve been overwhelmed by all of the services you’ve had to think about when updating your patients or customers, we can help. We offer options to help you manage the information on your website and the information you have in your online directories and Google My Business profile.
We hope you stay safe and we will continue to provide insight into what we’re seeing on the front lines in this ever-changing situation.