Getting Your Optometrist Office Ahead in Marketing in Louisiana Eye Surgery
The enactment of House Bill 1065 is great news for Louisiana optometrists. In an effort to benefit citizens in rural areas, the bill expands the capabilities of Louisiana optometrists to include several key procedures that were previously exclusively performed by ophthalmologists. With extended procedural capabilities come new opportunities for business growth, and therefore the potential for an increased patient base. Developing or updating a marketing strategy now can put an optometrist at the top of the list for potential patients in need.
House Bill 1065 grants optometrists the right to perform several new procedures that do not require anesthesia and that can occur in an exam room. The first allows optometrists to use needles or injections to lance sties and chalazions (inflamed cysts) on the eyelid. Three other procedures granted by HB 1065 relate to the use of lasers. YAG Laser Capsulotomy treats what is called “secondary cataract,” which results from blurring of the artificial lens inserted during cataract surgery. Peripheral Iridotomy and Trabeculoplasty are procedures which alleviate fluid and pressure build-up in the eyes of patients with certain types of Glaucoma. The extension of these injection and laser privileges to optometrists is an effort to better serve patients who may not have access to an ophthalmologist and who may be in need of recurring ocular care.
However, from a provider perspective it may be difficult to reach patients in rural areas and to communicate the nuances of HB 1065 to all patients. Therefore, eye care providers must initiate a marketing campaign that informs as well as engages patients to be proactive about their eye care. The first step is a clean and modern website that is updated with the latest news and information on eye care services and capabilities. An optometrist’s new capabilities should be prominently displayed and explained on the website, so that patients understand what can and cannot be done in that provider’s office. Additionally, in the case that a patient’s needs match an optometrist’s offerings, contact information must be clearly displayed in every facet of the site.
In addition to an excellent site, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can ensure that a provider’s page displays at the top of search results. Currently, a search for “cataract surgery Louisiana” returns a list of surgery centers and ophthalmologists. Simple SEO tactics can ensure that the name and website of a newly certified optometrist appears alongside those ophthalmologists who perform similar procedures. Marketing in Louisiana can be done if you have the right team by your side (hint, hint).
Further, a blog can teach readers about eye health while allowing optometrists to engage directly with their patient base. This interaction builds the provider-patient relationship that is necessary to fostering trust and subsequent repeat visits. Blogs also increase the credibility and authority of a provider while appearing in search results when related key words or search terms are entered by a patient in need.
You have new capabilities and responsibilities to worry about, so let us take care of reaching new patients for you. Give Online Optimism a call today to create a new marketing in Louisiana strategy for your practice. Feel free to reach us at (504) 521-6222 or send an email to [email protected].