Guide to Market & Expand Your Urgent Care Services Online

By Jeremy Allen
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Over 30,700,000 searches for urgent care services happen every month, many of which turn into walk-in patients.

Many Urgent Care brands today are capitalizing off of the online world and have turned it into a way to acquire new patients. Although their strategies may differ, they’re using digital marketing to create new ways to get more business.

And we know it’s true that urgent care clinics face a unique set of challenges in today’s marketing world. So often owners are forced to ask themselves “How do I market my urgent care online?”. To do this effectively, they need to accomplish these three things.

  1. They need to be able to stay top of mind with potential patients so they think of their brand first.

  2. They need to be found online so that searchers can be turned into patients.

  3. They need to be in front of people online each relevant digital touch point and on the right device.

These are all keeping in mind that the number one priority here is acquiring new patients while increasing the rate of recurring visits from past patients.

And this won’t be possible to achieve with a website alone. As a business owner, advertising and promoting your urgent care across all devices is necessary for people to know you exist.

One marketing tactic alone cannot achieve these three goals. Giving money to Google to promote your website in search results is far more effective when supported by non-paid tactics like SEO.

And being at the right digital touch point when people are considering which urgent care to go to is just as critical as showing up in Google – which is best achieved through programmatic advertising.

Because the tactics to marketing your urgent care can be hard to visualize, we’ll walk you through how to achieve each above-mentioned point and which tactic you need to do so, starting with number 1.

1- How to stay top of mind with potential patients so they think of your urgent care center first

Staying “top of mind” means every time someone thinks “I may need to go see a doctor” or “I need to get a check-up” your brand name should follow that thought. To position your brand this way, the marketing tactics you need to use focus on building a targeted brand awareness.

A powerful tactic for this is virtual fencing (or geofencing).

With virtual fencing, you can draw a fence on an exact geographic location and target those in that area in real-time.

Imagine the following scenarios:

  • Reaching someone in your service area on the weekend only a block from your urgent care with an ad that says, “Have you had your checkup yet?”
  • Reaching someone impatiently waiting at a competing urgent care center with an ad that says “Wait too long? Our center has a 30 minute or less average in and out time.”
  • Reach someone that visited your urgent care center a month ago that says “Free flu shot at our place”
  • Even draw a fence around hospitals so the patients there see your ad saying: “Avoid expensive ER costs with us.”

Another good tactic is advertising based on behavior.

With this, you can reach people who are actively looking for your services (showing behavior to want to choose an urgent care) across the web with your message.

For example, when someone searches for and Urgent Care center or a service related to urgent care, keyword search targeting gets you in front of them wherever they go, phone, desktop, or tablet. It does this by tagging potential patients that searched for a term and shows your branded ads to them.

Targeting based on behavior works for beating out your competitors, too. When a potential patient uses a competing clinic’s brand name in a search, you can reach them where they go online to stay top of mind with them – aka, competitor conquesting.

Classic Geotargeting is also a great tool.

Targeting a geographic area from national to regional, down to ZIP code targeting allows you to deliver high targeting messaging to the right service areas. It can be customized based on behavioral profiles layered onto a geographical area to be even better. The above tactics are all part of advertising method known as programmatic.

2- How to be found online so that searchers can be turned into patients.

When people decide that they are in need of an urgent care facility, they often find them through online search. Because of the nature of urgent care centers, many of these searchers are in a hurry and won’t look past the first few options. Thus, it is critical for your urgent care center to show up in search results when it matters most.


Engine Optimization allows your brand to pull traffic in from Google and onto your site. This kind of traffic is non-sponsored and is a result of Google listing a page of your website in search results for people to click on.

But SEO is the most effective when you’re in both sponsored and un-sponsored results. This way, you can make 100% sure that those searching for you can find you, while also giving twice the impact.

A great method of getting new walk-in patients is with PPC (Pay Per Click).

When you pay Google or Bing to show your ad, the best part is that they show your ad based off the intent of the searcher. So when someone searches, “Best place to get my annual prostate exam.” your ad will show up in paid search results.

And with PPC, results are almost instant so you get traffic and new walk-ins right from the start. Especially with over 30 million people searching for urgent care services, its critical to be in this space.

A efficient way to turn searchers into patients is with site retargeting.

Whenever a potential patient visits your site and leaves without taking action, you can reach them again with an offer.

The cool part is that you can tell what they were looking at and easily customize your ad based off that and get them to come back.
98.5% of people leave websites without taking action. Know what they were visiting you for and reignite that curiosity.

3- How to be in front of your online audience during each important digital touch point.

Do you know who your target audience is? Have you researched who most often visits your urgent care centers? You can hyper focus on who they reach them on any device.

Take this example of targeting doctors.

You can drill down further to find the perfect audience and stop wasting money on general branding where the vast majority of those seeing your promotions aren’t relevant.

And you can use your customer data to do some pretty cool stuff.

Known as data on-boarding, you can reach out to previous patients and keep them coming back time after time. Because you know what their last visit to you was for, you can customize your message to resonate even more with each person.

Imagine a past patient of yours, John, came in for his yearly prostate exam, but he hasn’t been back in over a year. Reminding him of this exam will likely jog his memory and increase his chance of returning.

Data on-boarding works from a list of the past and current connections to reach them with an offer or general branding to build retention and increase loyalty with past patients.

And you can easily change your message from season to season, and holiday to holiday.

Why does this actually work for urgent care centers?

This blend of tactics forms a strategy that makes sure urgent care centers can be in front of the right people at the right time. It works because of the following reasons.

  1. Being found by those with the intent to go to an urgent care center leads to a higher rate of walk-ins.

  2. Targeting the service area around an urgent care center with relevant ads leads to raised brand awareness, and in turn more patients.

  3. Being found easily in search results leads to more traffic on the website, of which a good percent of visitors can decide if it a good fit with their needs and wants.

  4. Targeting the patients who have been to a competing urgent care building lead to a significant amount of new patients taken from an untapped market.

  5. From 17 years in healthcare marketing, we know how to deploy sophisticated online strategies to drive traffic to your website, convert searchers to patients, and keep you always ahead of your competitors.

Many of today’s digital advertising companies are doing online advertising wrong. They focus only on impressions and clicks. Our number one priority is cost-effectively generating you, new patients, while increasing rate of recurrence from those who have visited you in the past.

If you want to see if we’d be a good fit, connect with us and let’s talk!

Tags:- Behavioral targetingcompetitor conquestingGeo-fencingPay per Click

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