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Hospitals Attract the Decision Making Customers Through SEO

Hospitals Attract the Decision Making Customers Through SEO

A mother from Decatur, Ala named Amanda Burt, whose young son was suffering from cerebral palsy, decided to get ways to let her son walk.

She started surfing the net for her son's symptoms and finally got a process known as Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy. The procedure had obtained positive feedbacks when applied on the children with her son's kind of condition.

She continued her search on Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy through Google.

She said that the first site that came up was St. Louis Children's Hospital's. According to her the website was simply great. She endured her son's surgery in the hospital and now he is able to walk with a walker.

It was quite obvious that the website of St. Louis Children's Hospital came up at the beginning of Burt's search; since the hospital's promotion strategy recruits SEO or search engine optimization to ensure parents, who are in search of information on SDR, will promptly directed to its website and they will use the services offered by the hospital.

The hospital is featured on Facebook. It is a user of Twitter and operates videos on YouTube. Moreover, St. Louis Children's Hospital financially supports Momslikeme.com, a site where the mothers share information. Besides, conventional ways of advertisements like TV commercials, direct mail, radio spots and prints are also used by the hospital for marketing purpose.

Steve Kutheis, the director of marketing at St. Louis Children's Hospital told that they feel that it is wise to share their story with parents to make them aware of the services they offer. He added that they want to be out there.

Being 'out there' is the key to hospices across the nation as they work on their efforts to draw the attention of progressively confident customers that are thinking about the procedures to go for and where to get them.

According to the Cynthia McCafferty, the president and partner of St. Louis-based PR firm Fleishman-Hillard Inc., a lot of increased hospital marketing is motivated by the patients, their needs and where they are moving towards for getting information.

The hospitals are promoting their brand and marketing their services through their website. They also opt for online video sharing to serve the purpose of marketing. They are hugely making use of internet; since consumers become internet-savvy and they prefer to surf the net for entire healthcare information.

Kathy DeVries, the director of marketing at Barnes-Jewish Hospital told that the hospital has reinvested marketing resources for putting better investment on the web. This is more advantageous and less expensive to create and post an online video than producing a TV commercial.

Jennifer Arvin, marketing manager at Barnes also supports the importance of web marketing.

In accordance to the survey conducted by the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, a division of American Hospital Association, the hospitals are increasing their marketing budget to reach more and more customers. The average budget is raised by 18% between 2004 and 2007.

The number is even greater in case of hospitals with less than 101 beds. The budget grew by about 55% during the same period of time. According to the marketers, the reason behind this is small community hospitals are striving to enhance their brand, since they have to compete the large teaching hospitals offering advanced healthcare services.

Jerry Hobbs, the executive vice president of Prairie Dog/TCG, a Kansas City-based healthcare marketing firm, said community hospitals often get underestimated by the communities. However, they are sometimes even more eligible than people could think of. He said that his company works to educate people about what they can avail near their home.

Neil Kiesel, the executive director of marketing and communications for SSM Health Care, St. Louis said marketing conducted by the hospitals are more effective than advertising.

Although, marketing budget can differ from hospital to hospital, but all of them often contribute for community outreach projects like health fairs and free screenings.

Another motivating factor behind marketing effort is the rising figure of new healthcare participants such as individual imaging centers and physician teams that draw attention of insured individuals. On the contrary, hospitals charge excessive costs that they always can't completely recoup, because of increasing number of both underinsured and uninsured individuals along with government compensations that do not cover expenditures, always.

The marketers say that the hospitals sell skill and image to win patients to fill up their hospital beds.

As said by Tess Niehaus, the vice president of marketing and communications for St. Anthony's Medical Center, they don't create stipulation for their services. Rather, they want to inform people about the services they offer so that they can opt for them if required.

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