Marketing Tips for Orthopedic Surgeons

Orthopedic marketing strategies blog post header image featuring a group of medical professionals discussing marketing tactics for orthopedic practices.
Learn about six orthopedic marketing strategies that can help increase your patient list and revenue.

If someone’s knee isn’t recovering properly after surgery, then you have to X-ray the knee, check out what is going on, and come up with a plan to fix it. 

In the same vein, if your office isn’t bringing in new patients, and your waiting room is always empty, then you have to take action — and a solid marketing plan is a good place to start. 

Just like orthopedics, marketing won’t be effective unless you’re doing it correctly. Your healthcare practice has to compete with others in the area, as well as hospital-owned clinics backed by big marketing budgets. Growing your practice will take time and effort outside the patient room.

The good news? There are lots of strategies and tools out there to help you with your marketing messaging. Use the full power of these six orthopedic marketing strategies, and you will see more new patients, increased revenue, and better performance than your competitors.

1. Publish search engine optimized content on your website

Optimize your website with relevant, search engine optimized (SEO) content to drive quality traffic and leads. To do this, you’ll need to create content that uses local SEO practices. Local SEO involves naming the cities and areas you want to target. 

If you are based in the northern Denver, CO area, then choose target areas where it will be easier to rank. If your site is new, it will be harder to rank in Denver. Pick areas like Thornton and Westminster to start, and use those city names throughout your copy.

Create specific area pages for those cities, too. Mention the services you offer, like orthopedic surgery or hip replacement. To find other keywords you want to rank for on Google, use a tool like Google Keyword Planner.

Once you find keywords, use them to brainstorm blog topics, like surgery after-care tips or patient case studies. Keep a blog on your site and publish new content to it regularly — Google likes to see new, fresh content on websites. 

3 strategies to bolster your online presence

  • If you don’t have the time to write blogs yourself, you can reach out to marketing agencies like Ogilvy Health or H4B Chelsea that specialize in medical content. 
  • Claim any listings you have on Yelp, Yellow Pages, or any other NAP (name, address, phone number) citations. You can optimize them for search engines as well to boost your online presence.
  • Include bios about you and your staff on your website. This helps potential patients get to know you and establishes trust.

2. Complete your Google Business Profile

52% of people found a medical provider by searching for the type of doctor or specialist they needed and adding “near me.” When a person searches for local businesses, Google Maps usually shows up with business listings. You want your orthopedic practice to show up there for maximum visibility. To do that, you need to fill out a Google Business Profile. Without one, it’s tough to show up in search results.

4 things you need to know about managing your Google Business Profile

  • You may have one already. Search for your practice and claim the listing. There may be a verification process to go through.
  • Add your business information, including your hours of operation, location, link to your website, insurances you work with, and photos.
  • There is a section about services. Fill this out with detailed info, so anyone searching for you knows exactly what you do.
  • Post photos, links to your blog, and news updates regularly. Just like your website, Google also likes to see fresh content here.

3. Connect with new (and current) patients using video marketing

TikTok, Facebook Stories, Instagram Reels, YouTube — the ways you can promote your practice using video are numerous. Remember the dancing dentist from a few years back who went viral? You don’t necessarily have to showcase your moves online, but you can show off in other ways.

An overwhelming majority of brands say they’re using video marketing — and out of those businesses, 93% report bringing in new customers as a result. If you aren’t using video, but your competition is, you’re losing out to them. 

If you’re stuck on where to start, look at trending topics that apply to orthopedics. Or think about a list of frequently asked questions that you get from patients. Here are a few examples from orthopedic surgeons to inspire your own creative process: 

Dr. Brian Nwannunu MD, Ortho on TikTok
Dr. Brian Nwannunu, MD, Ortho on TikTok
Dr. Charles Toulson MD, Ortho on TikTok
Dr. Charles Toulson MD, Ortho on TikTok
Dr. Alejandro Badia MD on Instagram
Dr. Alejandro Badia MD on Instagram

5 tips to make effective videos

  • Use captions on your videos. Many people watch them on silent, and it’s also inclusive for those who are hard of hearing.
  • Practice your videos before recording and create a script that you can follow.
  • Don’t make your videos too long. You risk losing attention if you don’t get your point across quickly.
  • If you use music, pick a song that you can legally use. Video content can be taken down for copyright infringement.
  • Use hashtags related to your posts so people can find you on different social media channels. 

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4. Ask current patients to leave reviews for you

Social proof is important, especially for a doctor. Your patients need to know they can trust you — that’s where customer reviews come in to provide proof that you offer quality services. 

A 2020 survey from Doctor.com found patients are 1.7x more likely to rely on online reviews versus a referral they get from a provider. Patients also say those reviews are the number one influence on their decision. 

So when you get reviews from your patients, share them. Put them on social media and feature them on your practice’s website. If you get enough reviews, make a separate reviews page on your site for all of them. Make sure you stick to HIPAA regulations on patient privacy when you do share. Don’t share their name or any identifying information unless you have written permission from them to do so. 

5 ways to get more reviews

  • Send automated review requests to patients with a tool like rater8. You’re busy and likely won’t have time to chase down patients when they’re not in your office. Automated review request tools help you generate more reviews.
  • Ask patients to provide reviews when you follow up with them. If a patient is in your office, give them the opportunity to leave a review for you. Some might be willing to give a video review, which would provide great content for social and your site.
  • Post on social media asking your patients to provide a review. 
  • Incentives are powerful. Offer a gift card or donation to a nonprofit for anyone who gives you a review/testimonial. 
  • Post a sign in your waiting room to ask for reviews. Add a QR code patients can scan, so the review instantly shows up on your site.

5. Set up paid advertising on social media and Google

Paid advertising on search engines and social media can help bring in new patients. But those ad campaigns need to be set up properly to see a solid return on investment.

When you set up a Google Ads campaign, develop a list of keywords you want your ads to display for, such as:

  • Orthopedic surgeon near me
  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Orthopedic doctor
  • Sports medicine
  • Orthopedic surgeon
  • Joint replacement

Create ad copy and high-quality landing pages for each of these keywords. Your landing page design should be focused on your goal: patient acquisition. Make it easy for them to convert (in this case, book an appointment) while they’re on that page, whether it’s through a button or a simple contact form.

For paid social ads, like on Facebook and Instagram, use images, videos, and customer testimonials to grab someone’s attention. Set up your audience for people who are likely to need an orthopedic doctor in the future: athletes, parents, elderly people.

3 tips to maximize your ad spend

  • On Facebook, make sure to geotarget correctly. If you’re a practice in Atlanta, GA, you don’t want to display your ads out to the entire United States. You’ll be wasting your money if your ads display to someone in Nebraska.
  • In Google Ads, set up a list of negative keywords that you don’t want to appear for. There are words closely related to what you do but that you won’t want to target. If you’re targeting certain cities but not others, then make a negative keyword for “orthopedic surgeon Golden, CO.”
  • Perform  A/B testing to see which copy/images are more effective. You might have certain ads that perform better than others, but you won’t know that until you measure their performance against each other. For example, you might test “5-star rated ortho surgeon in Thornton” vs. “Trusted ortho doctor in Thornton.” One may get more clicks than the other. If that happens, allocate more budget to the best one.

6. Show how you provide a better patient experience

You need to differentiate yourself from competitors — one way to do it is to show off the ways you provide a superior patient experience by: 

  • Posting on social and sharing on your site the apps you use that help you and your patients communicate better. 
  • Demonstrating in video format how the tools you use support your patients and measure their progress as they recover at home. 
  • Communicating on your social media channels that you encourage patients to download an app that provides appointment reminders.

2 tools to provide a better patient experience

  • Exer Health: Our app offers patients reminders to perform their HEPs, uses artificial intelligence to analyze a patient’s range of motion, and helps physicians closely monitor their patients’ recovery process. No wearables are required for the app, either.
  • PeekMed: An app like Peek Med allows surgeons to use AI to pre-plan their operations. This makes surgeries faster for you and safer for your patients.

Elevate your orthopedic marketing with the right tools

Growing your patient list will take time and dedication, but if you focus on what makes your orthopedic practice different from all the others, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition. When people know what makes you different from the other choices out there, they can make the best possible choice for them.

No extra hardware, no sensors.

Exer software runs on mobile devices that patients and healthcare providers already own.

It's finally possible to drive business and patient outcomes with verifiable motion health insights that don't require up-front hardware costs or invasive, clunky sensors.