48 Ways to Attract New Patients to Your Practice

41 Ways to Attract New Patients to Your Practice in 2022

You must look beyond physician referrals to acquire more patients for your medical practice. Patients now use digital channels to proactively research their conditions and choose physicians they want to see. This means you have to think differently about how to attract patients to your clinic.

Don’t believe you’ll get more patients through self-referral? We work with a spine practice that sees 70% of office visits and surgeries from self-referring patients acquired through digital marketing.

This kind of new patient growth only happens through a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.

In the patient acquisition guide below, you’ll find 45 digital marketing strategies to attract more patients to your practice. Some of these you may be familiar with. 

Still, I guarantee many of them you won’t find anywhere else, including creative ways to increase patient volume. RUNNER has built these strategies with our extensive medical practice marketing experience to drive thousands of leads and millions in practice revenue.

Know what information you’re looking for? Click the link to take you right to the data. If not, keep reading.

(1-13) Invest in Advertising
(14-19) Publish Content
(20-27) Optimize Your Website
(28-31) Build Out Your Practice & Physician Listings
(32-35) Optimize Your Front Desk
(36-48) Find Innovative Ways to Connect with Patients

Ready to Get More Patients

Request a consultation with a RUNNER medical marketing expert and get a FREE practice marketing plan.

45 Ways to Attract New Patients to Your Practice

Invest in Advertising

1. Target with Google PPC Ads

Target those searching for your practice, physicians, treatments, and conditions with Google PPC Ads.

Yes, you should buy your brand and physician names even if you already appear in the results. Not only does it protect you from competitors who might buy your brand name, but research has also shown that you’ll receive more traffic than if you only appeared organically.

Google search ads are the most targeted way to get new patients for your practice. That’s because they reach patients actively researching the conditions you target or seeking the treatments you provide. These searches will most likely convert any digital marketing tactic into new patient office visits. They’re also low-risk, as you only pay when someone clicks on an ad.

More like this: Google Ads Benchmarks for Medical Practices (with Real Data!) and What’s A Good Conversion Rate for Medical Practices?

2. Expand Your Google PPC Ads to Bing

Once you’ve established a Google search ad campaign that’s working well and maxed out on spend, how can you get even more patients into your practice? 

You should consider creating a Bing search ad campaign to grow your leads. Bing currently has around a 7% market share in the US, so that Bing will have additional search traffic with a small buy. In addition, the cost-per-click is much cheaper than Google. At a minimum, you should buy your brand name searches to protect your brand.

3. Target Site Visitors Who Don’t Convert with Remarketing

Most potential patients will not convert on the first site visit. Remarketing campaigns allow you to target visitors who don’t become leads to your site. All major digital ad platforms include remarketing — we’d recommend starting with Facebook.

More like this: Google Ads Benchmarks for Medical Practices (with Real Data!

4. Target Engagers With Remarketing

Remarketing isn’t just for those who visit your site. An often overlooked remarketing strategy targets those who engage with your social ads. This means targeting people who like, comment, or even watch a video for a certain amount of time. Remarketing ensures you’re not wasting advertising spend on potential patients that aren’t interested and that you continue to target those who do.

More like this: How to Get More Patients With Facebook Ads

5. Get New Patients with Facebook Advertising

How to get new patients with Facebook?

Facebook provides the most extensive reach of any digital platform. However, organic Facebook posting isn’t enough. As Facebook has become a “pay-to-play” platform. Advertising on Facebook should be a core part of any medical practice marketing campaign. Therefore, it’s essential to experiment with ad types and targeting.

One essential targeting strategy is lookalike audiences. You use Facebook’s algorithm to find more patients that look like those submitting leads or your current book of patients.

More like this: 3 Things We Learned Managing $1 Million in Facebook Advertising and Facebook Ads for Medical Practices [14 Best Examples]

6. Find Potential Patients with YouTube Ads, Pay Only When Someone Views

Next to Facebook, Youtube has the next most significant reach, but more importantly, the average session time on YouTube is 40 minutes – MUCH longer than any other platform.

The ad types include video and text, and skippable ads ensure you don’t pay if someone skips your video ad. Another thing that makes YouTube unique is its targeting. Unique targeting includes targeting ads on YouTube using patient searches on Google and targeting based on potential patients viewing on YouTube.

More like this: 16 Types of Medical Marketing Videos

7. Use Content to Attract Patients Through Native Advertising

Most native ads appear as “related content” on new articles, as pictured in the screenshot below. They can be used effectively by medical practices that feature ads promoting blog posts related to conditions and treatments. Essentially, you’re using the content to attract your most qualified patients. Native ads are highly cost-effective and can drive a high volume of traffic.

Native Ad Example
Native Ad Example

8. Advanced Patient Targeting with Programmatic Advertising

One of the most targeted forms of digital advertising is programmatic. What makes programmatic advertising unique is the use of advanced third-party data for targeting ads.

Programmatic platforms are essentially marketplaces where advertisers can bid on ads, and specify the target audience they’re going after – which includes more sophisticated targeting. Here are some examples of the kinds of things you can target using programmatic. 

– OTC pharmacy purchase behavior

– Propensity models for specific conditions

– Self-reported PPO insurance

This is the same type of advertising that pharmaceutical manufacturers use, now made accessible for a medical practice marketing strategy.

More like this: Programmatic Advertising For Medical Marketing

9. Find More Similar New Patient Leads with “Lookalike” Targeting

Most advertising platforms now offer “lookalike” targeting. This involves tasking an algorithm to analyze millions of data points to target those people who “look” like your ideal new patient lead. 

These algorithms are “trained” on data you provide, such as the visitors to your site or those who submit leads. This type of targeting has become one of the highest performing  and is extremely easy to set up.

Lookalike targeting is available on most digital ad platforms for medical practices, including Facebook, Instagram, Google, Youtube and more.

10. Expand Facebook Ads to Instagram

If you’re already running Facebook ads successfully, expand your ad placements to include Instagram. Since Facebook owns Instagram, it’s as simple as checking a box and can expand your reach dramatically. However, remember that sometimes you need to customize your creative for best practices on Instagram.

More like this: Facebook Ads for Medical Practices [14 Best Examples]and How to Get More Patients With Facebook Ads 

11. Buy Google Search Keywords on Youtube

Google owns Youtube, so it has some great ad formats that many advertisers don’t know about. 

One is Youtube’s “custom intent audiences,” – which allows you to target Youtube ads based on Google Search behavior. So if you have keywords you’re doing well for on Google, chances are they’ll work well on Youtube.

And remember, Youtube is considered the second largest search engine next to Google, so potential patients may be searching on Youtube as well.

12. Run Google Local Services Ads

Google Local Services Ads are a way for medical practices to run locally targeted ads that show up when people search for relevant services you offer in your area. Then potential patients can call, send a message request or schedule an office visit directly through the ad. 

What makes Google Local Services Ads unique is they allow practices to only pay for leads.

In addition Google verifies advertisers, allowing your practice ads to stand out with a “Google Guarantee or Google Screened” badging, as pictured below.

Google Local Services Ads


It should be noted that only some medical specialties are eligible for Google Local Services ads, including:

Allergist, Chiropractor, Dentist, Dermatologist, Dietician, Opthamologist, Optometrist, Orthodontist, Physical Therapist, Podiatrist and Primary Care. 

13. Experiment With Google Performance Max

Google Performance Max campaigns, also known at PMax, are a newer type of Google Ad campaign that medical practices can run to find new patients across all of Google’s ad properties – including Youtube, Display, Search, Gmail, Maps and more.
As a practice, you define your goals and Google’s Performance Max campaign uses AI to optimize performance to find you the most conversations, no matter what platform. You simply provide Google a bank of ad assets, including text, images and video to run across all platforms. 
If you have additional budget, Performance Max campaigns can be a great way to both build brand awareness for your medical practice and generate new patient leads.

Publish Content

14. Start Publishing Blogs

One of the most important long-term strategies for medical practices to acquire more patients is to begin creating content. This is most easily achieved through starting to publish blogs. 

The hardest part of blogging is consistency. Establish a posting cadence you’re comfortable with — we’d recommend monthly, finding numerous folks in your practice that can contribute, or hiring an agency to create content. Make sure you’re creating content that answers patient questions.

More like this: 4 Must-Haves in a Healthcare Content Marketing Strategy

15. Post Updates on Your Google Business Profile Listings

If you create blog posts, post them on your Google Business Profile listings for the practice. You have the ability to create “posts”, as pictured below.

This is a great way to make your GBP listing stand out and signal Google for local search listings. Make sure they include the keywords you want to target!

Example of update on Google Business Listing
Example of update on Google Business Listing

16. Update Old Blog Posts

If you’ve already been posting to your blog, an often-overlooked strategy is to update existing blog posts that can improve in rank with a bit of updating. Unfortunately, even blog posts that rank well will “decay” as Google views them as less relevant the older they are. So make sure you’re adding new paragraphs.

More like this: 4 Must-Haves in a Healthcare Content Marketing Strategy

17. Create Downloadable Content to Capture Leads

Downloadable content is a great way for practices to provide valuable patient education materials to identify your best leads. 

For example, a “treatment guide” is a great way to explain questions a potential patient might have about a procedure they’re researching. Still, it also allows you to capture some lead information to nurture that prospect into a patient. 

Producing downloadable content is also a way to ask qualifying questions in the form submission that might tell you if the patient is qualified. Such as the timeframe they’re looking to seek treatment.

More like this: 4 Must-Haves in a Healthcare Content Marketing Strategy

18. Publish Regular Video Content

Video content is one of the best ways to empathize with potential patients and build trust for your practice and physicians through education. Make sure you allocate a budget to promote your best video content with paid advertising.

For example, in a recent advertising campaign, we saw a 3.3x increase in leads submitted through video ads vs. text ads.

More like this: Guide to Video Marketing for Doctors: How to Get Started

19. Add Videos To Your Site to Increase Dwell Time

Video content is also a great addition to crucial site pages, as it increases the amount of time people spend on your site. This is called “Dwell Time” and is an essential measurement of quality that Google uses when determining how pages rank in SEO. For example, we’ve seen practice websites increase rankings and traffic by adding educational content about conditions or treatments.

More like this: 16 Types of Medical Marketing Videos

Optimize Your Website

20. Make Your Phone Number Prominent

One common mistake we see medical practices make is not displaying the phone number prominently in the navigation on their website.

This simple addition will SIGNIFICANTLY increase your leads overnight.

More like this: 10 Things Patients Want From Your Medical Website

21. Offer Form Submissions, Not Just Calls

Suppose you’re not offering another way for patients to contact you other than a phone call. In that case, you’re also missing out on incremental leads you’re not getting today. At the very least, consider adding the ability for patients to request an appointment.

More like this: 3 Easy Ways to Automate Your Medical Practice Front Office

22. Exit Intent Pop-Ups

These pop-ups are a great way to capture leads from visitors before they leave your practice site. However, they only pop up when a visitor signals their intent to close the browser or navigate away from your site.

More like this: Beyond Default Forms: Better Lead Generation Tactics [Video]

23. Add a Chatbot to Your Site

Chat is a great way to drive leads, especially after hours when your front desk does not take calls. You don’t need a live person answering chats 24 hours a day. Instead, you can create a chatbot on your website to answer the most common questions and direct visitors to call during business hours or submit a lead.

More like this: Building A High-Performing Medical Practice Website

24. Rethink Your CTA

While many of your patients will call, many others will not. Think of your website’s primary “call-to-action” as your cash register. Rather than “contact us” CTA, think about adding CTAs that are more tied to your primary goals with the website.

One of the best CTAs you can have is “schedule an appointment” and allow visitors to self-schedule. Another example of a great CTA is “verify your insurance” — for visitors who may be considering your practice but are unsure if you take their insurance.

One of the CTAs we include for many of our Spine & Orthopedics practices is a “pain assessment” form.

More like this: Beyond Default Forms: Better Lead Generation Tactics [Video]

ISSI right
ISSI middle

25. Add Educational Videos

Educational content is significant as patients take a more proactive approach to research conditions and treatments. Therefore, we encourage practices to create educational videos and blog posts to better connect with your practice.

In addition, educational videos can be transcribed and repurposed in blog posts, and Education videos can use shorter clips in advertising.

For example, we added a video to a recent client’s site. We increased the time spent on their website by 25% and the overall lead conversion rate by 23%.

More like this: Guide to Video Marketing for Doctors: How to Get Started

26. Showcase Physicians

Creating trust with patients is difficult if you’re not showcasing your physicians. This means not just having website pages with bios for each physician, but also making sure critical pages like the homepage and key conversion pages showcase your physicians. Unfortunately, medical practices that don’t showcase physicians have lower conversion rates.

27. Add High-Quality Patient Testimonials to Your Site

Patient testimonials are table stakes. Yet many medical practices either don’t include them or only have them in ways that come off as inauthentic — like anonymous text testimonials. High-performing practices will take the time to generate video testimonials.

More like this: Online Reputation Management for Doctors Your 2022 Guide

Build Out Your Practice & Physician Listings

28. Expand Your Google My Business Listings

Google My Business Listings are important ways practices can quickly generate more patient leads. Yet, many medical practices have local listings with incorrect information or incomplete profiles. The more built out your profiles are, the more likely you will rank well for local searches and motivate potential patients to call or click through to your site. Make sure you include photos use the content updates.

Just getting started? Wondering how to attract patients to a new practice? Google Business Profile listings is one of the single most important marketing strategies next to getting your website built.

29. Create Physician Directory Listings

While most practices have created Google My Business listings, they don’t always generate physician listings. According to Google, if you have multiple physicians in practice, you should have BOTH a practice listing and a listing for each physician. This will increase your overall visibility in searches.

30. Create More Practice & Physician Reviews

Your practice should have a plan to generate a high volume of patient reviews. This involves automating your outreach, so you’re constantly asking for reviews without doing outreach manually. It also means having a strategy for WHEN to ask for reviews and screening reviews using an NPS (Net Promoter Score), so you’re only asking for reviews from patients who’ve had a positive experience.

More like this: How To Grow Your Patient Reviews

31. Connect Social Profiles to Your GBP Listings & Begin Posting Regularly

Your medical practice Google Listing will now begin displaying social posts from Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. This means that it’s important for your practice to establish social media profiles and begin posting regularly, and including locally relevant search terms that will increase your SEO visibility.

Optimize Your Front Desk

32. Re-engage Past Patients

Instead of worrying about how to increase patient volume in your medical practice, an easy way to immediately impact revenue is to drive past patients back to the practice. Re-engage past patients through email nurturing, SMS, and phone outreach.

One of the biggest areas of loss for most practices is not being able to get existing patients to follow-through with scheduling treatments, or come back to the practice for additional medical needs.

33. Re-engage Cold Leads

It’s also vital to re-engage cold leads that may have delayed seeking treatment or continue researching a provider. Practices can also re-engage these leads through email nurturing, SMS, and phone outreach.

Understanding why these leads didn’t convert to tailor your message appropriately is essential.

So, for example, if you know a potential patient started feeling better or just wasn’t ready, those messages would be more personalized than truly cold leads that you don’t know anything more about.

You must also be persistent.

Remember that patients screen their phone calls differently now, with many calls going to voicemail. Because of this, it often takes more phone calls to reach them. Yet many practices give up after just a few attempts. So keep calling — try different times and days of the week.

How to get patients to respond? Our recommendation is at least 12 touches over two weeks.

More like this: How to Fix Your Medical Practice Call Center and Stop Losing Patients

34. Email Nurturing Sequences

Email outreach to re-engage prospects or patients should include email nurturing. This means a sequence of emails to move a prospect towards scheduling an appointment. Email sequences can explain treatment in more detail, address objections, provide patient testimonials, and more. They can also be triggered by actions like a repeat visit to your website.

More like this: Why Email is (Still) Your Single Greatest Determinant for Inbound Marketing Success

35. Use SMS to Interact with Prospects

Many practices are still not using SMS as a part of practice communications. Yet SMS open rates are as high as 98% and response rates as high as 46%. Simply put, potential prospects are MUCH more likely to see a text message than an email. We include it as an essential part of our marketing campaigns for medical practices.

More like this: How to Securely Text Message Patients



Find Innovative Ways to Connect with Patients

36. Get Involved in Facebook Groups

Patients increasingly turn to social media to learn more about conditions and treatments. Facebook Groups are a popular place for patients to discuss diagnoses and treatment options. In addition, physicians can be great places to provide valuable patient education and build your reputation.

More like this: Six Social Media Tips For Medical Practices

37. Create Your Own Facebook Group

There’s also the opportunity for practices to create their own Facebook Group. For example, if you don’t find any existing groups around your particular specialty or if you want to create a local version of a larger group. Keep in mind that this tactic must be considered a long-term endeavor and involves some nuance to ensure your approach is not overly promotional or running afoul of group rules.

More like this: Six Social Media Tips For Medical Practices

38. Host “Virtual” Informational Events

Suppose your specialty involves a good amount of education. In that case, one possible strategy is to hold “virtual” information sessions to generate leads. Think of these as “webinars” for patients. These can be pre-recorded and replayed monthly, as long as you have someone attend them to field questions. This approach can lead to more qualified patients who clearly understand your offer.

Remember, you need to use paid advertising to promote these events.

More like this: Think Your Content Doesn’t Need Paid Social Promotion? Think Again.

39. Broadcast Live Video on Social

Live video on social media is an excellent opportunity for potential patient education. You get all the great benefits of video without production hassle — no editing is needed.

In addition, live videos can be archived so prospects can watch whenever they want. It’s important to remember that most views will not happen during the live broadcast but afterward. After the fact, high-performing practices will spend some advertising dollars promoting these videos.

More like this: 16 Types of Medical Marketing Videos

40. Amplify Your Physician Referral Outreach

Most practices haven’t evolved their approach to physician outreach. While you may have staff dedicated to these efforts, practices can use digital marketing to support them, such as LinkedIn or Facebook advertising to target a specific list of target physicians or other referral sources.

Reach out to an expert at RUNNER to learn more about these advanced advertising tactics.

41. Custom Lists for Paid Advertising

If you already have a list of physicians, you’re targeting for referrals. You can use it in paid advertising and target ONLY them. This custom list advertising is available across many platforms — we’d recommend LinkedIn and Facebook.

More like this: How To Use LinkedIn For B2B Healthcare Marketing

42. Physician NPI Targeting

Through programmatic advertising, in addition to custom lists, you can do advertising that targets the specific NPIs of the physicians you’re targeting. You can even tell in reporting which physicians are engaging with your ads so you know how to target your outreach efforts.

More like this: Programmatic Advertising For Medical Marketing

43. LinkedIn Advertising

LinkedIn is the most fruitful advertising for most digital marketing targeting physicians. In addition to using custom lists above, you can use LinkedIn to target specific practice groups, for example.

More like this: How To Use LinkedIn For B2B Healthcare Marketing

44. Create a Course

Education is one of the primary ways that physicians build trust. One way to get more patients is to provide a better education than your competitors through an online course. It’s never been easier to create an online course with video content, and the patients you acquire from a course will have much better knowledge when you see them for that first office visit.

45. Start a TikTok Account

There are several medical practices seeing success creating TikTok accounts. Unlike other social platforms, the TikTok algorithm ensures that every piece of content gets the chance to be viewed, with the most engaging content surfacing to the top.
Why TikTok? Because it’s the fastest growing social platform in the last several years and has already amassed more than 80 million US users.

Medical conditions and treatments have become a popular topic. Here are some examples of the number of views for key medical hashtags:

  • #backpain – 3.5B views
  • #surgery – 15.4B views
  • #doctorsoftiktok – 5.2B views
  • #addiction – 5.9B views

We’ve seen many medical practices build a large following and hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok through organic posting.

46. Run TikTok Ads for Your Practice

In addition to creating an account and posting, you can also run TikTok ads for your medical practice. TikTok ads are very cost-effective compared to other ad platforms. They include ad formats that allow patients to submit leads directly from your ads. Targeting for these ads consists of standard dimensions on other platforms. For medical practices, this means interest and hashtag targeting for the conditions and treatments you want to prioritize and demographic targeting.

One key limitation: TikTok ads cannot yet be targeted down to the zip code, only the city.

But your ad creative is the most important factor when running ads on TikTok. So what ads perform best for your practice? TikTok publishes a library of high-performing ads. You can sort by industry to see the highest performing medical practice ads. You can view their TikTok ads library here.

47. Partner With Influencers

For some practices, such as med spas or other cash pay businesses, there’s an opportunity to partner with influencers that reach your target audience to get more exposure for your practice. 

This may be in the form of either payment, or more often, providing services in return for the influencer posting about your practice. Keep in mind that all such partnerships must be disclosed, per the FTC’s endorsement guidelines

There’s also an opportunity to work with influencers to create content on behalf of your practice – ie, working with them to create more authentic videos for you to use in ads or social marketing.

48. Create a Tool

Tools can be a great way to engage with patients, helping them get answers to pressing questions, but also generating a lead for your practice. Some examples of tools include:

  • Condition assessments – these tools help potential patients understand the severity of their symptoms, and can help create urgency for patients to schedule an appointment. Example – a “pain assessment” for a spine practice.
  • Cost calculators – help patients understand variables that can contribute to cost. These may be especially important for elective or cash-based specialties. Example – filler cost calculator for an aesthetics practice.

Ready to Get More Patients?

Request a consultation with a RUNNER medical marketing expert and get a FREE practice marketing plan.

Bonus – Hire an Expert to Develop a Patient Acquisition Strategy

While all of the above digital marketing strategies will help you attract more patients to your medical practice, it’s often difficult to understand which you should prioritize for your practice.

With the help of healthcare marketing experts like RUNNER, you can understand where to invest your time and advertising. We know how to increase patients in your clinic, and grow your medical practice.

Request a free consultation today if you’d like to speak with an expert about turning your medical practice into a patient acquisition machine.

Last Updated: 11/29/2023

Picture of John Keehler

John Keehler

Chief Strategy Officer

Ready to Grow Your Practice?

If you’re ready to explore the kind of growth strategic Search Engine Optimization can bring, get in touch with us. We’d love to help.
Speak with one of our experienced medical marketers to see how we can help you meet (and even exceed) your growth goals.

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