Marketing of medical services - what is it?

27 September 2020

A patient comes to the doctor and the doctor asks: How did you find me? Do you know through what channels customers find out about your clinic? Or maybe you are wondering what to do so that patients finally start filling the waiting room of your office or clinic. The answer to these questions is medical services marketing.

What is medical marketing? Why is it worth taking advantage of the opportunities offered by medical services marketing? What activities are allowed when promoting medical facilities and what are not? You will learn everything from this article.

Medical marketing is a set of activities aimed at making, for example, a medical facility appear in the consciousness of the consumer, i.e. a potential patient. Can we call such activities advertising? Well, no, and that's because Polish law prohibits advertising medical practices. Pursuant to Art. 14. points 1. of the Act of 15 April 2011 on medical activities, an entity performing medical activities may make public information about the scope and types of health services provided, provided that the content and form of this information do not constitute advertising. In other words, medical offices cannot directly persuade patients to use their services or purchase treatments. However, they can inform potential customers, e.g. about the advantages of disease prevention, or even educate them on health-promoting behaviors. It is also allowed to provide information about the types, methods and scope of services provided at the facility. Medical marketing focuses on such activities, and their goal is to build a positive image of the office, doctor or clinic and increase their visibility on the Internet.

Why is it worth investing in marketing medical services?

Although the growth dynamics of the private healthcare sector is decreasing every year, it is still a developing market. According to the PMR report "Private healthcare market in Poland 2019" market value amounted to over PLN 27 billion last year. I think that in the post-pandemic period, society learned from experience and more aware of the risks associated with chronic diseases will begin to attach even more importance to health. In the long term, expenditure for this purpose will increase, and not only physical but also mental health services will gain an increasing share.

The shape of the sector is also influenced by demographic trends and the currently observed digitization of services, i.e. the transfer of many health care services (teleconsultations, video visits, consultations via chat, as well as the development of the e-prescription system) to the virtual space. You can read more about the transformation of the healthcare industry on a global scale in the report "The global healthcare outlook".

Competition on the market for broadly understood medical services is high and will be increasing, and patients are increasingly looking for proven specialists online. When we are looking for a hairdressing salon near home, we enter an appropriate query in Google. Hungry and thirsty in a foreign city, we also look for proven places on the Internet. What do we do when a tooth hurts? The operating pattern is exactly the same. Patients look for doctors on the Internet and if we want them to use our services, we also need to be visible there. Gemius/PBI data from September 2019 shows that as many as 15 million Poles are looking for information on the Internet about disease treatment, proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. In 2019, on average 57% of Polish Internet users searched for health information online. There is one difference between hairdressing salons, restaurants and medical offices. The latter cannot be used to promote advertising. However, this does not mean that they are forced to remain passive. Marketing of medical services and a number of possible activities that increase the competitiveness, visibility and effectiveness of online activities come to the rescue.

Check the Case Study of SEO activities & Content for a dental clinic

  • Number of phrases in TOP3 - 62 ? +6100%
  • Number of phrases in TOP10 - 274  ? +1590%
  • Number of phrases in TOP50 - 1687 ? + 2577%

The chart below shows the number of keywords in the TOP10 of

The main benefits of using medical marketing are:

  • increased interest in the company and, consequently, there is an increase in the number of patients,
  • improving the company's image in the eyes of patients,
  • increased trust in the facility and the services offered.

I want my office to be visible on the Internet! What's next?

Just having a website or a business card on Google, although helpful, is not enough to effectively attract patients. As in other industries, marketing offers many tools that will bring the expected results and increase popularity to offices. These certainly include having a well-designed website, using SEO practices, content marketing and a social media presence. But let's start from the beginning.

1. Website of the medical facility

A well-designed, functional, mobile-friendly and modern website is the basis for success and the foundation of your online presence. Many offices do not have their own websites or their websites are outdated. It's worth fighting for your own website, being one step ahead of the competition.

What should a medical facility's website contain? Certainly information about medical activities, a clear offer, introduction of the medical staff, information about the location, working hours and contact methods. All this supplemented with photos and graphics (they are also an element of medical marketing). If the website has an online application form or an online registration system, this will be an additional advantage. A good idea is to post recommendations from satisfied customers on the website or allow patients to add ratings and recommendations. Preparing a FAQ section will also be a plus, in which you can address many issues related to the offer, treatments, visits and organization of the clinic's work.

2. Positioning of a medical office

Each query entered by the patient into the search engine generates a list of websites where the answer to the question appears. The number of results from a single query usually amounts to hundreds of thousands of pages. Your website is somewhere among them, but it's not enough? In practice, if your website doesn't appear on the first page, the patient won't land on it. To rank high in search results, a website must be properly optimized for the search engine. The topic of SEO for medical offices (as well as for any other industry) is very broad, but in short it is about ensuring that the website's subpages, articles and images contain content rich in relevant keywords. Appropriate, i.e. what the recipients of our services are looking for. patients. These can be both generic phrases (expressions), e.g. orthodontist in Warsaw, and long tail phrases (entire queries), e.g. when should I get vaccinated against the flu?

Example: Generic query

Example: Long tail query

The biggest advantage of SEO activities on a medical facility's website is that it allows you to reach a very wide group of recipients without fear of violating the law.

3. Local positioning in Google

Unless you are a world-famous professor of medical sciences whose patients come from all over the country, your goal will probably be to reach patients from the city, district or province where you operate. How to achieve this? Marketing in the medical industry is largely related to location, so in addition to including address data on the website, it is worth setting up a business card for the office in Google My Business and Google Maps.

Example: Google My Business Listing

If a patient is looking for a medical service that you offer and is nearby, your office will appear as one of the options in the search results.

Example: Local list of clinics in search results

4. Medical content marketing, i.e. the office's blog

It's no secret that Poles love to self-medicate. Ever since they have access to the Internet, they have been looking for diagnoses and solutions to their health problems on Google. Nothing stops people from finding answers to queries entered into a search engine on your office's website. The best place to move in This type of content is combined with a blog. Running a blog has many benefits. A medical blog is the right place to publish articles directly or indirectly related to the services offered. It certainly enriches your website's content and allows for more effective search engine optimization. It is also a perfect place to build the image of a doctor as an expert, e.g. by posting advice and tips for patients, case descriptions and effects of treatment at the facility.

Example: Blogs run on medical facility websites

5. Clinic profile on social media

As in other industries, also in the medical industry, profiles of clinics and offices can bring many benefits. Profiles on Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube can be used to build the image of doctors, contact patients, or share news about the work and operation of the clinic. The fanpage can also be used to present profiles of doctors, their achievements and distinctions. Regardless of the choice of medium, remember to post information regularly, respond to opinions and comments, and reply to received messages.

6. Presence on doctor ranking websites

It has become common for consumers to search for opinions about products and services on the Internet. This phenomenon is particularly intense and noticeable in the medical industry. When entrusting their health to a doctor, the patient wants to be sure that the doctor is a qualified and trustworthy person. Therefore, platforms such as or are a mine of knowledge. Although a few years ago these websites aroused a lot of controversy and opposition among doctors, now their presence there is almost obligatory. In addition to having a profile, it is necessary to constantly monitor the opinions given by patients in order to respond to them efficiently if negative reviews appear.

7. e-mail and SMS medical marketing

e-mail and telephone are still important and valued channels of communication in medical matters by patients. SMS reminders about scheduled visits, notifications about available dates or the ability to send an inquiry to the doctor's e-mail address are other elements of medical marketing communication. If, when registering for a visit, the patient expresses his desire to receive notifications or subscribes to the newsletter, you can stay in touch with him, invite him to leave a review or remind him from time to time about the clinic's offer.

Example: SMS reminder about a scheduled visit

In the era of a constantly expanding market for medical services, growing needs and expectations of society, as well as digital transformation in the area of health care, medical marketing is becoming an indispensable element of running a medical practice. When neon signs of clinics and offices are visible on every corner, building the image and gaining the trust of patients becomes especially important. The basis is, of course, the highest quality of services provided, but with an empty waiting room and without appropriate marketing activities, even the best clinic may not cope with ruthless competition.

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