Why is it that some websites consistently bring in new business, day in and day out, 365 days a year, while others just sit there, lost in cyberspace, not earning a single penny?
It can be very frustrating for owners of physical therapy practices with a non-performing website, particularly if their site has cost them a lot of money and they aren’t seeing a return for that investment.
This article is for any private practice owner who feels they aren’t getting enough new patients from their website and is wondering if it was worth it to start one in the first place.
[note_box]There a few quick changes that you can make to the content to transform your website to give it a better chance of converting visitors into patients. They will make your website come to life and be a true ambassador for your practice and earn you more money.[/note_box]
Ditch the Corporate Jargon and Make Your Site Patient-Friendly
Your website should focus on the needs of your patients and the benefits of your services. Unfortunately, companies are still using too much corporate jargon or tech-speak on their websites. As a result, most websites in the same business genre all look and sound exactly alike. There is little to distinguish a difference between them, so visitors lose interest very quickly, and many will decide not to venture beyond the first page of the site.
Instead of littering your site with jargon, try to engage your patients. Think of words and phrases they are more likely to use when searching for your services. Use those phrases as headers or key links on your site. When visitors see those phrases, they will know at a glance that your website contains the solution to their problem and they will be more inclined to visit your practice for treatment
Design Your Site Around Your Target Patients by Creating a Patient Persona
The best way to engage with visitors and encourage them to come to you for treatment is to write your site’s information with your patients in mind. You need to know that you are reaching the right people who visit your site and the information they find there is relevant for them.
The way to do that effectively is to create a prospect persona. In other words, you want to build up a clear picture of a typical patient who will come to you for treatment and speak to them through your website.
Creating a persona for your ideal customers helps you to target your message to that persona, making your marketing more effective as you create content and information that is relative to the visitors you are attracting.
This is not as daunting as it might initially sound. After all, you have a good idea what kind of person would be in need of treatment or other services from your practice. So, when thinking about content for your site ask yourself:
- Who comes to us for treatment? Is there a particular demographic or industry that would benefit most from physical therapy? Start to shape the information on your site to speak directly to people in that industry. Chances are likely you will generally come up with more than one answer. That’s okay. More than one persona is good. As you learn who is most likely to come to you for treatment, your content will be more effective and begin to generate higher quality leads and result in more business for your practice.
- Why do these patients come to you for treatment? Put yourself in their shoes: sometimes it’s by choice; other times it’s required. What physical problems will physical therapy solve for them? What challenges or obstacles will it help them resolve to make their life easier? As you think about the answers you come up with, you’ll have a much clearer picture of the challenges your prospects are trying to address and how you can create content for your website that speaks directly to them and motivates them to come to you for treatment.
- Where do your patients hang out on the Internet? Where do they spend time looking for information? If you can determine their prime locations, it makes it much easier to reach them with the right message. For example, if your visitors mainly use LinkedIn or YouTube, then it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of time creating content for Facebook.
Building up a patient profile like this helps you to get a better understanding and clearer picture of who your prospects are. It helps you tailor your website content to talk directly to them instead of trying to reach everybody. By shaping your message and content, you’ll be more effective at providing relevant content your prospective patients can relate to and find useful.
Add Testimonials and Real Case Studies
A great way to engage with your visitors is to create an emotional connection with them by featuring other patients who are just like them. It’s time to ditch those old brochures and generic case studies that are not only incredibly boring but a complete turn off for your visitors.
It adds so much more credibility if your website features some of your satisfied patients speaking in their own words, in their own environment and telling their own stories about how they were able to improve their physical condition through treatment received from your practice.
Testimonials are very easy to obtain. Contact your best patients and ask if they would provide you with one. If they are genuinely happy with the treatment you provide, then very few will say no.
If your client wants to write his own testimonial, that is great, but some clients don’t always know how to put their feelings concisely into a powerful statement. They may find it a chore to think of something to write. So although they might be willing to provide a testimonial, you might have to wait a long time to get it, if you get it at all.
A quick tip is to make it easy for them. Interviewing them on the phone or emailing them a short questionnaire of 3-4 questions can help to focus their thoughts, and then you can write the testimonial yourself.
Clients often appreciate you saving them the time and the effort of having to think about what to write or say.
Your questions need to be very specific, aimed at highlighting the benefits of your services and treatments. Ask them what they feel is the most important benefit they received as a result of treatment or an exercise program.
Here are some samples of questions that you could ask:
- How did treatment directly benefit your physical improvements and overall success?
- Describe the most outstanding strategy/trait that gave you the best result you were seeking
- Was our practice: Easy to work with? Accessible? A Team player? “Went that extra mile”? Great with employees/patients?
- You need to write the testimonial from the patients’ perspective and really rave about how great you and your services are, and the dramatic results.
- Don’t put words into your patients’ mouths. The testimonial needs to accurately reflect their feelings about you, your practice and your services. It needs to be something they are happy to put their names to.
- Always allow your patient to review his/her testimonial and sign a consent form before you use it. This consent form can be a simple statement that says: “I understand that my testimonial and name may appear in any marketing or promotional materials created by (your practice’s name). I also understand that I will not receive any compensation for its use as stated and I waive my right to inspect or approve any finished product wherein my testimonial appears.”
- While they may not be gaining any monetary benefit for providing you with a testimonial, they will receive other benefits. For example, it will raise the profile of their business by having their name and company name on your website and promotional materials. So it is a win-win for all concerned.
- Remember to use testimonials in all your PR strategies, not just on your website. Add them to brochures, ads and sales letters.
- If your patient agrees, you could even use audio and video formats on your site so people cannot just hear but they can also see how great people think you are.
Add a Phone Number
A telephone contact is such a basic, fundamental way of communication, yet it is surprising how many small practices make it very difficult for customers to contact them this way. Many websites still don’t include a number at all, or if they do it’s hidden away, making it harder for a potential patient to contact them.
Customer Confidence and Usability
Here are some reasons why your phone number should be on your website:
- A phone number is an effective way to get your visitors’ instant feedback or to allow them to speak to you before they make their final decision whether to come to you for treatment or not.
- A prominent phone number on a website builds the trust and confidence. The Internet is impersonal enough already for some customers. By adding the evidence of real people out there—like a physical address or a phone number—can make some potential patients feel more comfortable.
- A telephone number also offers an additional, convenient way to schedule an appointment and, most importantly, it implies that a live person is ready to assist. Your sales will increase as a result of prominently displaying your telephone number.
These quick fixes will significantly increase business for your practice by encouraging more visitors to come to you for treatment.
[colored_box bgColor=”#788794 ” textColor=”#ffffff”]If you have more serious concerns about your website because it simply isn’t making any money and want somebody to cast a professional eye over it, please don’t hesitate to give E-Rehab a call. Sometimes it can just be a very simple change that makes all of the difference to help your website start converting visitors into patients.
E-Rehab is here to help your private practice grow by attracting new patients, so please give us a call or contact us through our website if you need any additional assistance.[/colored_box]