Contact us today to start attracting more patients! 310 879 8003

Last updated: Friday, June 21, 2024

Are you an elite refractive surgeon wondering why your top-tier services aren’t resulting in more consultations and procedures? If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many highly skilled surgeons face the same challenge.

It’s not a reflection of your skills or expertise. The landscape has changed, and potential patients now predominantly seek services, including eye care, online.

So, you might be wondering:

  • “Can I leverage the power of digital marketing to help my refractive surgery practice reach potential patients?”
  • “I don’t have the internal capacity to find and test strategies. Can I entrust my eye surgery marketing needs to a third party?”
  • “What makes Digital Spotlight different from the other agencies I’ve worked with that promised results but never delivered?”

The good news is that online marketing can help you reach prospective patients actively searching for laser vision correction surgery or other refractive procedures.

How do we know? We have over 15 years of experience launching and managing digital marketing campaigns that produce qualified patient leads, consults, and procedures for healthcare professionals.

Unlike other firms, we use a data-driven and math-based approach to uncover marketing efforts worth your time and investment, not fake guarantees of unbeatable results.

To prove our confidence in the effectiveness of our unique marketing strategies, we’ll audit your website and ad campaigns and even give you a detailed custom plan before we ask you to spend a dollar.

Leave your marketing needs to us so you can focus on what you do best—providing unmatched eye care services. Call (+1) 310 879 8003 or email to get started.

Refractive Surgery Marketing: Revenue Boosting Tips

Here’s an interesting tidbit: our average healthcare client typically works with three to four agencies before they find us. Prior to our partnership, they won’t see results.

There’s a reason for that: most firms work to get clicks. Yes, more clicks mean more eyes on your refractive surgery practice and, by extension, more chances of securing consultations and procedures.

However, many digital marketers fail to understand that clicks without additional revenue and return on investment (ROI) are worthless—it’s putting the cart before the horse.

But not us. We work to deliver where the additional profit for your ophthalmology clinic comes from— high-quality leads. And how do we get these valuable leads, you ask?

Here’s how:

Meet Them Where They Are

Forget television, radio, or print ads. While they might have been effective advertising channels in the past, these traditional marketing techniques are now relics of a bygone advertising era.

If you’re looking to attract potential patients for LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) or other eye surgery procedures, you must advertise to where your desired audience is.

According to recent data, that location is the digital landscape.

Roughly 97% of people turn to search engines and social media sites as their go-to source for finding businesses, products, and services— possibly even eye care options.

Here’s where our love of mathematics comes in.

Using advanced statistical analysis, data modeling, and multi-variant testing, we can determine where your ideal customers—those interested in your offerings and ones ready to become patients—are on the web.

With digital marketing avenues like search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SMM), and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, we ensure we reach those valuable individuals.

What Millennials Value

As of May 2024, there are approximately 92 million “millennials,” born between 1980 and 2000, in the US (United States), making them the most significant population by generation.

Why does this matter for your refractive surgery practice? Compared to previous generations, millennials are more prone to vision problems, which makes them a significant potential patient base.

Unfortunately, being known as the “Net Generation,” millennials have been inundated by digital ads. So, generic advertising techniques won’t work on them.

If you want to tap into this significant market, your marketing materials, such as your ad copies, social media posts, and website content, must exude authenticity— what millennials value.

Fortunately, that’s what you’ll get when you partner with us. Unlike other agencies, our marketing philosophy prioritizes addressing your audience’s needs, not tricking them into buying something.

Smile, You’re on Camera

Did you know that people typically remember 95% of a message if they receive it in video format, compared to 10% when in text? Don’t get us wrong. Text ads are still practical tools to market your services.

However, other ad formats, such as images and videos, may more effectively drive prospective patients toward your refractive surgery practice and potentially increase the number of your procedures.

But don’t worry— our agency’s not a one-trick pony. Using images, flash, audio, or video, we’ll ensure your promotional materials leverage the format that resonates the most with your target audience.

The good news is that we’ll always know what that format is.

After all, you define your ideal audience. Our researchers will then look for patterns and trends based on the information you supply and determine which moves will deliver the most returns.

Millennial Money Matters

On average, patients will spend around $4,200 for LASIK surgery. Conversely, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) surgery can cost patients roughly $2,300.

In other words, treating vision problems, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and presbyopia (age-related refraction error), isn’t cheap.

Fortunately, millennials are highly health conscious, making them one of the most desired audiences for refractive surgeons. However, millennials— or anyone— won’t spend on a procedure performed by someone they don’t trust.

 Roughly 80% of millennials will check reviews before making a spending decision. So, to boost your practice’s revenue, you must convince millennials that you’re worth their investment.

We can help with that.

Our digital marketing services include reputation management, which involves identifying PR (public relations) initiatives to help control perceptions about your practice and improve credibility and authority.

Digital Marketing for Refractive Surgeons

Many industries, from airlines and automobiles to energy services and specialty retail, were negatively affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Interestingly, however, the refractive surgery niche thrived. Whether people wanted to be glasses-free during video calls or had extra money to invest in their health, interest in refractive surgery rose.

Unfortunately, no one can see the future. So, it’s unclear how long you can rely on this heightened demand to bring you a steady stream of LASIK patients and other refractive surgery clients.

Enter digital marketing.

With services like SEO and paid search campaign management, we can help your medical practice reach the top of the search rankings and establish a robust online presence.

What is the benefit of this increased search visibility? Internet users will believe you’re the #1 brand. Thus, your practice stays on people’s radars regardless of global events.

Start Strong

We understand how tempting it is to launch a marketing campaign immediately. After all, the earlier you leverage online marketing, the sooner your refractive surgery practice reaps the rewards.

While that’s true, we’re here to tell you to slow down.

While it offers various advantages, digital marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution— an undisputable fact many agencies fail to or don’t want to acknowledge.

That’s why before we launch a LASIK marketing initiative or any refractive surgery campaign, we’ll research, analyze, and audit your situation.

Doing so helps us understand your needs and what you’re trying to accomplish through digital advertising. With this insight, we can tailor our approach to ensure your campaigns start on the right foot.

Spend Wisely

Digital marketing is generally more cost-effective than more traditional forms of advertising, especially since you can direct your efforts to reach a precise audience base.

Still, digital marketing can be a significant financial commitment.

For instance, a PPC campaign requires constant funding. Otherwise, it stops bringing results. On the other hand, an SEO campaign may require an initial four-month-to-a-year investment before you see any returns.

Fortunately, we have the inside track on the mathematics that search engines and social media sites use, giving us insight into how best to allocate your marketing dollars.

Want proof? In over 2,000 client campaigns, on average, we’ve:

  • Reduced wasted advertising spending by more than 30%
  • Lowered cost-per-sale by 23%
  • Increased lead and sale metrics by 83%

What do these figures mean for your refractive surgery practice? Your website will become more valuable with us, while your lead acquisition expenses will become cheaper.

Offer Virtual Consultations

You can utilize the latest advancements for your LASIK practice or offer the most competitive eye care services. Still, potential patients may look elsewhere if you can’t promise convenience.

After all, life moves fast. Due to busy schedules, saving time and effort has become a priority. That’s why people demand and expect more convenience from products and services.

 So, what better way to ease your patient’s journey than providing virtual consultations? But what if that’s not in the cards for you? Does that mean you should let prospective clients slip away?

No. That’s why you have us.

From letting internet users call you directly from your advertisements to making your website more accessible, we can help streamline your consultation process and give searchers a positive user experience.

Focus Sales on Revenue-Driving Procedures

Although offering various eye care options gives you a broader reach, doing so can take attention away from the procedures that deliver the highest profit margins for your practice.

So, what do you do? Do you convince potential patients to sign up for a service they don’t need? Do you tighten your refractive surgery portfolio and solely focus on big-ticket procedures?

If you partner with us, you won’t need to do either. We excel at identifying and understanding your ideal customers and highlighting the services that will appeal most to them.

We can also optimize your refractive surgery campaigns to target the right audience with the right message, ensuring your ad dollars drive conversions for the procedures that matter most to your bottom line. 

Increase Your Marketing Spend

We aim to reduce our clients’ marketing spend— at least, usually. However, we may recommend investing more money in your campaigns when data suggests otherwise.

But unlike other digital marketing firms, we’ll never ask you to pay for a strategy or a service that we don’t believe will benefit your refractive surgery practice.

We pride ourselves on our transparency. If we’re not confident an additional financial commitment is the right move, we’ll tell you instead of wasting your dollars trying to see what happens.

Fortunately, you’ll never have to wonder where your advertising dollars are going. All our marketing efforts will be done using your accounts, not ours, ensuring transparency and giving you complete control of your budget.

Website for Patient Acquisition

We offer website development and design services. But here’s something you would never expect to hear from a digital marketing agency that does: your refractive surgery practice doesn’t need a website.

That said, there are various advantages to allocating some of your marketing budget to create a website or improve an existing one. So, let’s discuss them, shall we?

Optimize for a Better User Experience

We’re not going to sugarcoat it— a website that’s slow, clunky, or inaccessible to mobile devices will frustrate visitors and send them running toward your competitors.

On the other hand, a well-designed website that provides a positive user experience ensures that internet users stay engaged long enough to see your refractive surgery offerings.

How do we tweak landing pages and websites to make people want to stay and revisit? While the steps we take vary depending on the client, they generally include the following:

  • Raising your website’s PageSpeed score—a metric that measures how quickly your website can be opened—aiming for 90 or higher
  • Improving navigation by ensuring your internal web pages can redirect users to other pages within your website
  • Making your website mobile-friendly, such as by integrating responsive design that scales based on the user’s screen size

Make Conversion Easy

As mentioned, clicks mean nothing if they don’t lead to consultations and procedure bookings for your refractive surgery practice. A well-thought-out website, however, makes these conversions more likely.

The question is, “What does a website that makes conversions easy look like?” It’s a website that addresses visitors’ needs and desires, not one that solely promotes services.

Why? Simple: when you focus on providing value to your audience, pitching your LASIK procedures or other refractive surgery services becomes unnecessary— they sell themselves.

Educate Visitors With Robust SEO Content

For something as life-changing as refractive surgery, people would want to know all they can before making a decision. Are there any side effects? How do LASIK surgeons differ from ophthalmologists?

By having a website, you provide these curious searchers with a hub where you can educate them about refractive surgery, which helps establish your credibility as a surgeon.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

We have an in-house team of veteran writers, proofreaders, and editors whom you can trust to produce informative, rank-ready, high-quality articles and blogs for your practice. 

Testimonials and Success Stories

According to 2020 data, around 2,800 ophthalmologists practicing in the US identify themselves as refractive surgeons. So, how do you convince potential patients to consult with you over these other eye care experts?

One way is to have a website featuring client testimonials and success stories. Showcasing positive patient experiences on your site can help alleviate people’s concerns and instill confidence in your skills and expertise.

That’s why our marketing efforts, particularly when improving websites for patient acquisition, also include procuring and highlighting reviews and testimonials.

Clear Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Yes, it’s true. If you focus on providing value rather than convincing your target audience to pay for your refractive surgery skills and expertise, you no longer need to sell your services.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t nudge website visitors into performing your desired action, such as making an appointment for a consultation or procedure.

Fortunately, you can leave crafting CTAs to our experienced digital marketers. After all, they’ve mastered the art of writing calls to action that flawlessly balance being compelling and straightforward.

Interactive Features

Users who have a positive experience when visiting your website are more likely to stay, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Although the initiatives we mentioned can make your web pages engaging and responsive, there are other ways to do so, one of which is implementing interactive features.

That said, while chatbots would be a great addition to your website, integrating interactive web elements doesn’t always need to be an overly complex or broad-scoped process.

It can be as simple as providing a before and after gallery of your refractive surgery procedures, which we can help with by curating appropriate photographs.

Do you need help with improving your refractive surgery website through interactive features? Call (+1) 310 879 8003 or email to talk to our digital marketing experts. 

Mobile Marketing

If your marketing efforts are solely geared toward desktop and laptop users, you’re missing out on a significant patient base—mobile searchers. After all, there are over 276 million of them nationwide!

Fortunately, our digital marketing approach involves making your web pages mobile-friendly and optimizing your refractive surgery campaigns for mobile devices.

This process generally includes the following:

  • Targeting mobile user-preferred keywords (terms and phrases that trigger your ad’s appearance)
  • Incorporating Google Ads extensions to your ads, such as site link, location, and call
  • Providing straightforward navigation and contact options on your landing pages

Local SEO

Search engine optimization is an organic (nonpaid) tactic for boosting online presence. It involves improving your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Local SEO is the same. The only difference is that the tweaks are focused on improving your local search rank— helping you appear for searches containing geo-specific keywords like “near me.”

Now, why is local SEO essential for a refractive surgery practice? Because potential patients are looking for eye care options in their immediate area, and here’s the proof:

Keyword Search Volume (May 2024)
lasik eye surgery near me” 40,500
lasik doctors near me” 40,500
prk near me” 12,100

How do you make sense of these figures? The search volume column refers to the number of monthly Google searches for a refractive surgery-related query containing a local-based keyword.

But as luck would have it, our digital marketing services also include local SEO. So, here’s how we’ll leverage local SEO tactics to ensure your practice reaches potential patients in your area:

Listings and Citations

Online business listings and NAP (name, address, phone number) citations help improve your local search and Google Map Pack rankings. The latter includes your practice’s Google Maps location.

Our responsibility is to create business listings and acquire local citations for your refractive surgery practice on platforms like the Yellow Pages, Yelp, Facebook, and Bing Places.

Most importantly, we ensure that your listings and NAP mentions display accurate information about your practice, as wrong phone numbers and misspellings can lower your SERP placement. 

Google Business Profile (Formerly GMB)

Online business listings help you establish a robust local presence. But brand profiles aren’t created equal— some are more weighty than others.

Enter Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly Google My Business (GMB). Your GBP is one of the most essential local SEO ranking factors determining your local search and Google Map Pack position.

For this reason, we’ll ensure that you claim your refractive surgery practice’s GBP and that it displays essential information, including your service area and contact details.

We’ll also personalize your GBP by adding eye-catching photos and unique descriptions of your eye care services. Doing so guarantees it will appeal to and leave a lasting impression on your desired patients.

Geographical Keyword Strategy

Targeting the right keywords is critical for local SEO. After all, if your chosen search terms match or are relevant to the user’s query, your website, content, and online listings may appear as one of the results.

Fortunately, we have a sophisticated keyword selection process that prioritizes location-based keywords—those with “near me” or “in [insert location here].”

This process is backed by data from industry-standard keyword research and planning tools, including Ahrefs, Semrush, and Google’s very own Keyword Planner tool.

Optimized Location Pages

Your landing pages— the pages that searchers “land on” after clicking on your SERP link or ad— are one of your primary touchpoints with potential refractive surgery patients.

So, making an excellent first impression is crucial. How do we accomplish this objective? By creating web pages relevant to your target geographic location, which involves efforts like the following:

  • Incorporating locally relevant search terms into your headings (H1, H2, and H3)
  • Producing rank-ready and market-relevant articles and blogs
  • Improving your landing pages’ mobile-friendliness

Getting More Reviews

Online reviews can help you establish industry credibility, earn the trust of prospective clients, and influence your local search ranking. Our job is to identify opportunities to get you more of these appraisals.

However, we’ll never discourage negative assessments or buy positive ones since those acts violate Google’s guidelines on fake engagement and can erase your practice from search.

Local Backlinks

Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites that redirect users to your site. Consider them “referrals” from businesses. The more you have, the more credible your refractive surgery practice appears.

Fortunately, we have an in-house outreach team you can trust to spearhead link-building efforts—to connect you with relevant and authoritative figures in your local market.

Localized Content

If an individual is seeking eye care options in LA (Los Angeles), would they be interested in or even bother reading an article discussing the best refractive surgeons in India or Australia?

Unless they’re visiting those countries purposefully to undergo refractive surgery, they’ll likely scroll past such content. 

In other words, your content must be relevant to your desired audience and target market. Thankfully, our content department can produce articles and blogs that are just that— locally relevant.

Inbound Marketing

Local SEO and inbound marketing are very similar at their core. They’re strategies designed to attract leads through personalized content and experiences.

What makes inbound marketing so effective for driving patients toward your refractive surgery services is that the efforts are focused on providing value and fostering meaningful relationships.

Sounds familiar?

That’s because that’s our firm’s marketing philosophy: meet customers where they are and give them what they want, not bug them into buying something against their wishes.

Engaging Content Marketing

“Pump out as much content as possible.” Many digital marketing agencies still echo this strategy. While it may have worked in the past to enhance a brand’s online presence, it is no longer effective.

Today, quality is king.

Are you curious how our team of writers, proofreaders, and editors ensures that your refractive surgery articles and blogs are high quality? Continue reading to find out.

Educational Blog Posts

Creating content allows you to highlight your skills and expertise as a refractive surgeon and communicate your practice’s unique value proposition to potential patients.

But it’s also an opportunity to ease your audience’s worries about refractive surgery procedures and give them all the information they need to make an informed decision.

For this reason, our content department not only focuses on making your articles and blogs engaging and compelling but also works to make well-researched, informative content.

Interactive Infographics

Did you know our brains process images 60 thousand times quicker than text? This is an interesting fact, for sure. But it also means that leveraging images can help you communicate your message better.

Fortunately, we can procure photographs that you can use to create visual media like interactive infographics. They not only cater to the brain’s ability to process images quicker but also keep your visitors engaged.

Patient Stories

It’s not only millennials who are sick of in-your-face advertisements—almost everyone is. Hence, sales-focused content, like those featuring refractive surgery or LASIK marketing strategies, may not be as effective.

So, how do you convey your message without turning potential patients away? You let other people do it for you by acquiring and spotlighting client success stories in your content to demonstrate your skills and expertise and instill confidence in your refractive surgery practice.

Email Newsletters

Think of digital marketing as your surgeon’s toolbag. Within this bag are the various tactics you can use to get noticed and attract prospective clients.

Among the tools inside is email marketing.

Email newsletters can be an effective channel for nurturing patient leads and keeping your refractive surgery practice top-of-mind. Talk to us if you need help writing the contents of those newsletters.

Webinars And Live Q and A Sessions

What better way to keep your target audience “engaged” than actually engaging with them? Fortunately, you can do just that by hosting online seminars or question-and-answer sessions.

If your practice doesn’t have the internal capacity to host live events, you can always interact with and address potential patient concerns about refractive surgery through organic posts on social media.

Is hosting a live event the best move for your refractive surgery marketing campaign? Call (+1) 310 879 8003 or email to find out.

Direct Mail Was the Least Helpful at Bringing In New Patients

If email marketing is a strategy that involves sending emails to your desired patients, direct mail is the offline version—you send physical mail, such as postcards, flyers, and catalogs.

Yes, email inboxes can get crowded, which could make direct mail marketing seem like a fantastic alternative to digital mail. However, it may not be the solution you think it is.

After all, the average conversion rate of direct mailers generally ranges between 0.5% to 2%. In comparison, emails convert 15.22% of the time, making it superior in terms of ROI.

Reputation Management for Refractive Surgery Surgeons

To say that “people use the internet for information on refractive surgery” is an understatement, especially since 99.2% of patients do just that.

If this statistic tells us one thing, it’s that controlling and protecting what information potential patients can see about your refractive surgery practice is essential.

Fortunately, we take a holistic approach to digital marketing, offering not only strategies and services for building your online presence but also for managing your reputation.

Digital Reputation Management Best Practices

If searchers can’t find positive mentions of your refractive surgery practice on the webonly negative onesthey’re unlikely to move forward with their patient journey and seek you for a consultation.

Our reputation management services can help with that. How? Here are some of our best practices to help you instill trust in potential clients and inspire confidence in your practice:

  • Determine the primary culprits causing your negative online reputation
  • Highlight neutral and positive reviews and citations
  • Explore PR (public relations) opportunities to help you overcome damaging online assessments

How Can You Improve Patient Experience?

We’re a digital marketing agency. So, our reputation management services can only do so much. If you genuinely want to improve perceptions about your practice, you must provide a positive patient experience.

The question is, “How do you do that?” Here are some tips:

Let Them Choose the Music

Eye surgeries can be scary. Just thinking about getting a procedure done can cause your patients distress. So, why not ease their journey? One way to accomplish this task is by playing music.

According to a study, eye surgery patients who listen to relaxing music feel less anxious and require less sedation. Unfortunately, “relaxing music” can mean different things to different people.

So, take things further and let your clients pick their guilty pleasure songs or music that makes them comfortable. It’s a simple act, but it goes a long way toward providing a good experience.

Place Yourself in Their Shoes

The thought of having your eyelids held open, lying on an operating table, and seeing all the bits, bobs, and doodads the surgeon might use on your eye is naturally anxiety-inducing.

So, imagine the range of emotions your patients are likely feeling leading up to the refractive surgery—anxiety, discomfort, apprehension, and pressure.

The key to a positive patient experience lies in whether you consider these emotions in your interactions with your patients pre-surgery.

Are you helping them stay relaxed? Do you project a reassuring presence? Did you explain each step of the procedure and address their concerns patiently?

Keep in Touch

Imagine you just bought a luxury car. But after driving it out of the dealership, it immediately breaks down. How would you feel if all the dealer said was “tough luck” and refused to offer a replacement or refund?

Not good, right? The same goes for patient care—the patient journey doesn’t end after you complete the surgery and your patient leaves your clinic’s doors.

Clients will be vulnerable post-operation and may require your assistance. So, check in with them. Did they get home safely? How are they feeling? Are they experiencing any discomfort?

Following up on your patients ensures you’re updated on their progress and current condition, allowing you to identify potential issues early, address concerns, and offer reassurance.

Promoting Refractive Surgery With Google Ads

There are plenty of digital marketing avenues to promote your refractive surgery offerings. Unfortunately, there are too many, making finding the right one to leverage challenging.

While other agencies will waste your money trying various strategies to determine the best one, we recommend Google Ads (previously Google AdWords and Google AdWords Express).

But why? One of the most significant reasons is that the search engine giant gives you access to a broad range of platforms to advertise your services, allowing you to reach millions of potential patients.

It also offers precise target options, letting you choose for whom to make your pitch based on keywords, location, demographics, interest, and device types.

Additionally, compared to other online marketing strategies like SEO, Google Ads can give your refractive surgery practice immediate visibility and your website guaranteed traffic.

Unfortunately, running a successful Google Ads campaign and reaping all of these benefits is always easier said than done—something you may be all too familiar with if you’re reading this.

Enter our Google Ads services.

If you choose us as your Google Ads partner, you can focus on your practice without worrying about anything else. That’s because our management services are designed to:

Maximize Return With the Right Account Structure

Google Ads uses a PPC pricing model. In other words, you pay whenever your advertisements generate traffic, making Google Ads highly cost-effective if managed correctly.

To explain, you must first understand that Google lets you advertise via its four primary products, which are:

  • Google Search: Gives you access to the Google Search Network and Google Search Partners like and 
  • Google Display: Lets you promote your refractive surgery services to over 90% of internet users via the websites, apps, and videos in the Google Display Network
  • Google Remarketing: Allows you to target, reengage, and urge existing patients to perform a desired action, such as booking a consultation
  • Google Shopping: Permits you to showcase your brand, products, and essential information about your practice to users actively searching for your offerings

If you choose the wrong product to leverage for your account, you’ll see how quickly your hard-earned money can disappear. Fortunately, we excel at finding the “right mix.”

After all, we utilize a dataset built by investing millions of dollars across over 2,000 client campaigns. This practice ensures we maximize your investment for unbeatable returns.

And did we mention that we’re a Google Partner?

This Google certification gives us exclusive benefits that your refractive surgery practice can leverage to drive more patients toward your services, including the following:

  • Hotline access to Google’s senior support staff
  • Priority privilege at Google’s new beta features
  • Nonpublic data on search trends and patterns

Facebook Advertising for Refractive Surgery

We don’t know how else to say it: Facebook is a marketing avenue you don’t want to ignore, especially considering that the platform is massive, with billions of active users.

Fortunately, like all things digital marketing, we can help you with your venture into Facebook advertising. Here’s what you can expect from us:

  • Leverage Facebook’s targeting options to focus marketing efforts on your most valuable audience
  • Create advertisements using various ad formats, allowing you to showcase your refractive surgery services creatively
  • Help you foster meaningful connections with potential patients through social media engagement

Our SMM services can also help you promote your refractive surgery practice on other social sites, including Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and TikTok.

Full-Funnel Paid Media Strategy

If a patient is looking for information on the different types of eye care options for their specific vision problem, would you give them a list of your credentials?

Probably not. Otherwise, you’ll only drive these potential patients away. After all, effective marketing is all about providing what your target audience wants, not something you want them to desire.

Here’s where the value of mapping your customer’s journey comes in.

You’ll need a unique approach to reach potential patients depending on where they are in their customer journey, making identifying where that stage is essential.

Fortunately, we’re math addicts. Instead of guessing, we dig into the numbers to determine where potential patients jump in and drop off in your marketing funnel.

Our data-driven approach allows us to effectively reach and engage your desired clients, no matter where they are in their refractive surgery journey.

Guidelines for Refractive Surgery Advertising

We understand why you’d want to leverage digital marketing as soon as possible, especially if your less-qualified competitors are pulling in more numbers because they have a better online presence than you.

But in an industry as life-changing as refractive surgery, you can’t advertise thoughtlessly. So, here are some guidelines to ensure your marketing efforts comply with regulations:

Statement of Purpose

Every advertising platform has unique guidelines for refractive surgery marketing. However, the standards we’ll discuss in the following sections are intended to empower you to create truthful and informative ads.

After all, as a refractive surgeon, you must uphold ethical standards and comply with legal requirements when promoting your services.

Legal Framework

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FDA) Act prohibit deceptive or misleading advertising, particularly for restricted medical devices like those used for LASIK surgery.

But what if your advertisement is technically accurate? Under these acts, your ads can still be considered “misleading” if:

  • Your ads create a wrong impression
  • Your marketing materials omit crucial details, such as side effects

In other words, you must ensure that your promotional materials, such as patient testimonials, convey accurate information and won’t mislead consumers.

Otherwise, you may face disciplinary action, which will vary depending on your state’s laws and regulations on false and misleading commercial claims.

Definition of Advertising

The FTC considers print media like brochures, radio and television ads, seminars, and videos as advertising. So, wouldn’t digital marketing let you off the hook?

Unfortunately, no. The FTC also views internet adverts as “advertising.” In plain English, you’re still subject to ethical and legal implications even if you’re promoting your refractive surgery services online.


You may face legal consequences if your ads aren’t truthful or accurate. But what if you outsource your digital marketing initiatives to an agency?

Under the FTC and FDA acts, you’re legally responsible for following legal requirements, regardless of whether a third party prepared your promotional materials.


Like how we base our digital marketing strategies on the math behind search engines and social media sites, the FTC requires you to have a “reasonable basis” for your refractive surgery claims.

These supporting elements can be reliable scientific evidence, such as peer-reviewed clinical studies and replicated research, not anecdotal evidence.

Informed Consent

The FTC understands that your ads may not give potential patients all the details they need to make an informed decision. But if your ads make a safety claim, you must mention critical information in the fine print.


Just as you can’t make a claim without a reasonable basis, you cannot use testimonials without back-up evidence—competent and reliable scientific evidence.

MD or Expert Endorsements

You can use endorsements from other physicians for refractive surgery procedures in your marketing campaigns. However, that’s only if the endorser complies with the following:

  • Qualifies for evaluating the refractive surgery service
  • Ensures the endorsement made is an independent review
  • Communicates if they have any personal or financial connection with your practice

Advertising Claims

Digital marketing isn’t for everyone. The same is true for refractive surgery. That’s why your marketing materials must communicate that your claims aren’t substitutes for consultations.

Efficacy Claims

Every patient is unique, and their experience with refractive surgery will vary. So, to ensure transparency and avoid legal challenges, you must only make qualified efficacy claims.

In other words, your advertisements must:

  • Acknowledge that results may differ from person to person
  • Have substantiating evidence from reputable sources, such as clinical studies
  • Use references and disclaimers like “Our procedures ONLY treat nearsightedness”

Comparative Efficacy Claims

Even if you’re the most skilled refractive surgeon in your state or your practice uses the most cutting-edge equipment, you cannot make comparative claims without competent, precise, and reliable scientific proof.

Safety Claims

Every surgery has risks, whether bariatric, oral, or refractive. Therefore, if the ad includes safety claims, it’s your responsibility to discuss in your ads the dangers of the procedure to avoid relaying incomplete information to potential patients.

Permanence and Predictability Claims

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) guidelines require you to support permanence and predictability assertions in your advertisements.

In other words, you cannot make guarantees like “Our refractive surgery procedures will give you perfect vision that will last a lifetime” unless you can back these claims up with your surgical outcomes data or current scientific evidence.

The bottom line? Unless you can prove it, avoid using language in your marketing materials that suggests your refractive surgery procedure results are guaranteed or irreversible.

Success Rate Claims

Your promotional materials can mention success rates like “90% of our patients see 20/40 or better after our LASIK procedure.” But only if—a big if—you can prove the statistics and replicate the results.

If your success rate claim is based on a clinical study, you must ensure the research is scientifically reliable. In short, rigorous analysis was done with minimal bias.

You must also ensure that your advertisement promotes the same procedure used in the study you’re referencing, and that you’re following the same protocols.

“Painless” Claims

While anesthesia is generally used in refractive surgery to minimize discomfort during the procedure, it’s critical that you avoid claiming the surgery is entirely painless.

Patients typically experience some temporary pain and discomfort after the operation. You’ll most likely prescribe medication to help them manage this discomfort.

So, using terms like “painless” or “pain-free” in your advertisements can be misleading and is likely to be considered deceptive by regulatory bodies.

Refractive Surgery Marketing Consultants

In our 15+ years in the digital marketing industry, we’ve successfully bridged the gap between healthcare professionals and those needing their skills and expertise.

Unlike other online marketing providers, however, we’ll never ask you to sign up unless we believe—without a shadow of a doubt—that our services will benefit your medical practice.

We genuinely want to help.

That’s why we provide technical audits, which cost thousands of dollars in and of themselves, at no obligation or additional cost. So, schedule a consultation today!

Call (+1) 310 879 8003 or email You can also visit our California office at Suite 700, Encino Gateway, 15760 Ventura Blvd., Encino, CA 91436.

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