A successful Travel Clinic is one of the most profitable private services for Community Pharmacies. But how is success achieved? How are those profits unlocked? Let’s go through the Top 5 ways any community pharmacy can boost their Travel Clinic bookings.
Is running a Travel Clinic worth it?
By now, most pharmacists in the UK understand the opportunity of Travel Clinics. But that’s the drawback for a lot of people. “Everyone’s doing it,” you think. It’s not worth doing when it’s so competitive, right?
Making your Travel Clinic successful
Despite the fact that a lot of pharmacies now run Travel Clinics, unless your local competitor happens to be dominating the space, it’s absolutely worth your pharmacy running one too. Even if they are dominating the space, it’s likely because there is no competition.
1. A Travel Clinic Website
Travel Clinics have huge revenue potential. Some of our clients make enough money from their Travel Clinic alone, it is its own business. Any successful Travel Clinic should have its own website. Just in the same way that Argos is owned by Sainsbury’s. You’ll often find Argos stores within Sainsbury’s stores, and yet the websites are kept completely separate.
Because they’re two separate businesses, with different services and products on offer, trying to jam everything into one website dilutes the message and dilutes the brand.
Some of main benefits of a separate Travel Clinic website:
- A more intuitive patient journey with specific online booking calendars
- Doesn’t confuse your pharmacy website
- Focused Travel Clinic content
Whilst there are people who prefer buying struggling businesses and turning them around, most buyers want a healthy business. The majority of bets in a horse race are on the favourite. And higher profit margins equals a higher purchase price.
Google Adverts for your Travel Clinic
What do you do when you know what you need but you don’t know where to get it? It certainly isn’t flicking through the yellow pages anymore. You do what everyone does. You Google it.
I’ve heard people judge Google Ads before they’ve tried it. “I don’t click on ads,” they said. They presupposed that because they didn’t click on Ads, nobody does.
Do people click on ads?
The reality is, people do. Without getting too bogged down with the hows and the wherefores, most searches don’t have commercial intent. Around 93% of searches on Google are either informational or navigational, according to a survey. And those people do not click on adverts, in general. Of course they don’t. If you’re looking up how to cook fish, it’s unlikely you’re clicking on an advert selling fish, no matter how low the low prices are. Because if you’re looking up how to cook it, the chances are you already have the fish.
But if you’re searching for cheap fish, then the odds of you clicking that ad leap like a salmon.
A 2021 study carried out by GroupM UK and Nielsen reported that 94% of total search engine clicks go to organic results, with just 6% of click share left for paid search ads.
The stats for searches with commercial intent (7%) matching up with the overall click share of searches being (6%) shows that, contrary to popular opinion, searches with commercial intent do get clicks. Which is great, because those are the clicks you’re after. Paying for people to click on your ad when they aren’t booking an appointment is a waste of money.
2. Google Maps Ads
Google Maps advertising is a recent addition to the marketing arsenal available to pharmacies. Just in the same way you would advertise anywhere else, Google Maps advertises…well, in Google Maps. When people search on Google Maps for “Travel Vaccines”, “Travel Clinic” and other related searches, that is a HUGE signal of intent. You don’t ask generally for directions unless you’re on the way.
Appearing at the top of the results on Google Maps is a great way of increasing walk-ins for your Travel Clinic. And because it’s new, there isn’t a lot of competition on the platform.
3. Google Search Ads
If you want any proof that Google Search Ads work, you only need look at who’s currently running them in your area when you Google “Travel Clinic”. More often than not, it’s the big boys.
“I can’t compete with them,” you say. The reason the top results on Google win is convenience. Shopping around takes time. But community pharmacies win at convenience. The likelihood is that people will pick the option closest to them, and that’s you. (For example, my nearest Clinic by clicking on a big supplier was in a neighbouring town, over 30 minutes drive away.) If there was a rivalling community pharmacy with an option close to the top on Google, I’d 100% go there instead.
Search Engines – Get found for “Travel Clinic” in your area
A common misunderstanding with websites is that just having one is enough. Without understanding the intricacies of the Internet, it’s a fair assumption. But having a website is just like having a pharmacy. If it isn’t listed on the map, how can people find it?
How do search engines work?
Search Engines like Google help Internet users navigate the world wide web. You almost certainly know that already. Like you know that when you put your foot down on the accelerator, your car goes forward. And you can know that, but not understand how the engine works. The same is true for how Search Engines work. You understand what they do, but not how they work.
Every website is designed, just like every car is assembled. But just like a Mini Metro is built differently to a Ferrari Enzo, website design varies too.
Search Engines regularly run what are essentially MOT’s across all websites, assessing them for suitability for users.
4. Optimising your Website for Search Engines
Optimising your Website for Search Engines is like letting an engineer fine-tune your car before it goes in for its MOT. Without it, you probably won’t check all the boxes, and you’ll be ranked lower. With it, you’ll tick every box and have a much higher chance of ranking amongst the top results on Google.
5. Optimised Travel Clinic Content helps your website get found
Search engines will only point people in the direction of your website if it thinks your website has what they’re looking for.
How do the search engines know if your website has what they’re looking for? You write content for it.
For instance, if you want to be found for Yellow Fever Vaccines? Create a page specifically for Yellow Fever. Answer some FAQ’s and away you go.
Want to learn more about how content on your website can help drive footfall into your pharmacy? Check out Why every Community Pharmacy should be Blogging.
Read our Complete Guide to Winning Google for…a Complete Guide to Winning Google. It breaks down SEO, how people use Google and how combining the knowledge of those two things gets your pharmacy higher up that results page.
Combining these three tactics is a winner
How do we know? Every Travel Clinic we’ve helped market using all three of these tactics in their strategy is a successful business. (Website/Ads/SEO).
Want Pharmacy Mentor’s help with your own Travel Clinic marketing? Book in a call for a chat with our Pharmacy Growth Specialists.