Business owners have always known that excellent customer service is an integral part of running a successful business. Physical therapy is no exception, as satisfied patients spread the word of their positive experience and are largely responsible for helping a practice grow. Disgruntled patients, on the other hand, likely won’t return to your practice and may even tell other people that they weren’t pleased with their treatment. This underlines the importance of physical therapy reputation management, which must be a major focus of your strategy if you want your practice to continue thriving.
Patients May Critique Both Patient Care and Customer Service
These days, with just about everything being on the Internet, your online reputation is priceless. The [pullquote2 textColor=”#000000″]Managing what’s being said about your physical therapy practice may be the most essential marketing you can do[/pullquote2] reputation you develop is largely based on what’s been said about your practice on review sites, and there is currently an abundance of these types of sites that patients can use to speak their minds. This is why managing what’s being said about your physical therapy practice may be the most essential marketing you can do.
If you break it down, there are actually two processes of your practice that your patients can review on social media. The most common area they may comment on is their actual patient care, which is the hands-on treatment that he or she receives from a physical therapist. But they may also take note of and review your customer service and the way they are treated by your receptionist, billing department and other support staff. When you take stock of your online reputation, look at each of the comments and categorize them into customer service-related comments and patient care-related comments, so you can address their feedback with the appropriate members of your practice.
Addressing Pain in Physical Therapy Reputation Management
There are some aspects of physical therapy reputation management that can be a little tricky. Physical therapy sometimes involves pain for the patient. [pullquote2 align=”right” textColor=”#000000″]If you are receiving online feedback from patients expressing frustration about this aspect of their treatment, you may want to try to be a little more compassionate and offer clearer explanations to your patients. [/pullquote2]It often involves pushing patients slightly past their levels of comfort to help them improve their strength and regain critical physical skills to improve their quality of life after an injury or painful condition. If you are receiving online feedback from patients expressing frustration about this aspect of their treatment, you may want to try to be a little more compassionate and offer clearer explanations to your patients. This will allow you to maintain the same treatment regimen with your patients, but broadens their understanding and minimizes their complaints. In many cases, complaints about physical therapy “hurting” or being “too aggressive” are really a failure in communication and not a failure in therapy.
Responding to comments as they are posted online and making sure you have a much higher percentage of positive ratings than negative ratings are crucial first steps. However, how can you focus on providing the excellent customer service your patients need if you’re spending all your time on your physical therapy reputation marketing? Can you develop internal processes to improve patient care if you are constantly monitoring your reviews online? It can be a bit of an endless cycle that leaves you spread too thin to grow your practice effectively, and you may need some additional help with these efforts.
[colored_box bgColor=”#000000″ textColor=”#de2022″]We would love to help you out by doing what we do best, so that you can continue providing the best customer service and patient care possible to all of your patients, which will help ensure they post glowing reviews about your practice online. Please contact us to find out how we can help your practice thrive in the age of social media. In addition to helping you with physical therapy reputation marketing, we can optimize your mobile website, send out newsletters for your practice, and handle all your marketing needs both on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as search engine based marketing on sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo.[/colored_box]
In the field of medicine, your reputation is everything. Getting just one bad online review can have negatively impact your business in major ways. The worst part is, you may never know the business that you actually lost, since no one is going to tell you about it. This highlights why reputation marketing for physical therapists should be an essential component of your online strategy.
You need to be proactive when it comes to managing your reputation in the online space. If you’re not, competitors and the inevitable disgruntled patient will otherwise control the entire narrative of your practice online. With that, we bring you these three top tips for reputation marketing for physical therapists.
Use Negative Keywords When Marketing Online
Having a good keyword strategy is a necessity. However, this keyword strategy must include a way to limit your exposure to people who do not need your services. This saves your practice a great deal of money and ensures your patient base trusts you more through the door.
The negative keyword keeps your ads from showing up in places you would rather not be. If you start out with a happier patient base, you risk less problems down the road. However, no medical practice truthfully has the time to keep up with the ever-changing world of keywords. One of the best investments of resources in medicine is outsourcing at least the initial research of the proper keywords to target.
Aggregate All Citations
It’s difficult to have a complete grasp of what people are saying about you online. With a seemingly-endless number of review sites—Yelp, Google and Foursquare, to name a few—it’s possible for people to talk about your practice without you ever knowing it, since you may not even know that the page exists. In addition, there are many niche-oriented deep web pages that dedicate themselves to reviewing medical practices that you may not know about.
Fortunately, with the right software or the right partner, you don’t have to know about every comment that people make about you. You can focus on your current patients while the algorithm scours the Internet automatically for all citations or mentions of your practice across the entire Internet. This information comes to you delivered neatly for analysis.
[pullquote1 align=”right” textColor=”#000000″]Once you know who is saying what, you can fix immediate problems[/pullquote1] Once you know who is saying what, you can fix immediate problems. When you trace back comments to their source, you also figure out where people comment on you most frequently across the Internet. With this information, you can make a real decision about whether to monitor that space more frequently. This allows you to better control the narrative about your practice.
The number one advantage to aggregating citations is pointing out trends. It’s much easier to see problems in your practice when you have information from multiple sources in one place.
Build Positive Links Consistently
The major search engines pay attention to pages with dynamic content. They also associate pages with similar citations to each other. In short, if the underlying message associated with your practice is negative, Google will raise the profile of all websites with negative information about you. If the consensus is that your practice provides good service and effective treatment, Google will raise those sites.
Aside from providing good service, you also tip the odds in your favor through consistent link building. Crowdsourcing articles related to your practice or putting up a few video marketing examples is a great way to advertise your practice directly and build links for the search engines.
We Can Help with Reputation Marketing for Physical Therapists
[info_box]Please feel free to contact us with any question about your presence on the Internet. We pride ourselves in offering a wide variety of services that encompass the entire spectrum of what you need to succeed online. We guide your company in search engine marketing, email newsletters, websites and responsive websites, video marketing, social media marketing and reputation marketing.[/info_box]
Maintaining a good reputation is important for any business, but it’s particularly important for anyone in the healthcare industry. To keep your private practice at the top, it’s critical to focus on reputation management for physical therapy right now.
Don’t Wait for a Problem before Taking Action
Physical therapists often focus on the importance of prevention, and this very same concept should apply to your reputation. This is why you shouldn’t wait until your physical therapy practice has a bad reputation before you do something about it. By being proactive now, you can help ensure that people find good things about your practice when they search your name.
Hiring a good reputation management firm, such as E-Rehab, can be a great approach to tackling this issue. However, there are also some steps that you can take on your own to help boost and maintain your practice’s reputation. Below are some useful tips that will help your practice earn a reputation that reflects its high quality.
Post Your Own Positive Content
To improve your online reputation, it’s helpful to first think about how your practice will appear to a prospective patient. With this in mind, try to address the following:
First of all, if you want people to find positive things when they enter your practice’s name into their favorite search engine, then you have to ensure that these positive things exist. This means that you should be creating online content that relates to your practice.
For example, if you haven’t already started a blog, you should definitely consider doing so. A blog can help with your search engine optimization, show the world your expertise, and it can be the first thing people find when searching for content related to your practice.
You should also build social media profiles on all of the big social media sites, including some that you might not have thought about using in your industry, such as Pinterest.
Lastly, it’s helpful to build profiles of yourself and your practice on physical therapy-related websites, upload informative videos to YouTube and build a profile on all of the local review sites.
Don’t Ignore Negative Content
It’s easy to ignore negative reviews and posts from others, but doing so can actually be quite harmful for your practice. [pullquote4 bgColor=”#000000″ textColor=”#46c0e9″]Regardless of whether someone’s post is true or not, those who see may often change their opinion regarding your practice. This can obviously pose a problem and cause potential patients to go to your competitors for treatment instead of you.[/pullquote4]Regardless of whether someone’s post is true or not, those who see may often change their opinion regarding your practice. This can obviously pose a problem and cause potential patients to go to your competitors for treatment instead of you.
If you make an effort to communicate with the person who has complained, however, in most cases you can improve the situation. If you address the negative comment, the person who posted the negative review might be willing to delete it or amend it. Even if they don’t take either of these actions, those who see this communication will at least know that you and your practice made an effort to respond to a problem or concern that a patient had.
Gather Testimonials and Reviews
Over time, have probably had quite a high number of patients that were satisfied with the treatment they received at your practice. So, why not use their satisfaction to your advantage?
The best way to do this is to gather testimonials from satisfied patients and post them on your website
You should also encourage your patients to post their feedback on the major local review sites and directly on your website
If people who are seeking physical therapy see that your previous patients are happy with the care that you have provided, then they might be more likely to give you a call for their physical therapy needs
Don’t Overlook Your Reputation Management for Physical Therapy
As you can probably see, reputation management for physical therapy isn’t necessarily easy, and it may require a lot of work. But if you look at the big picture, you’ll see that building and maintaining a strong online reputation is critical if you want your physical therapy practice to be successful.
[info_box]Along with tackling some of these steps yourself, it’s a good idea to work with a reputation management firm that understands your practice and wants to make it a success. To find out more about reputation management for physical therapy, as well as search engine optimization and marketing, contact us at E-Rehab today.[/info_box]
For many private practices, physical therapy reputation management may seem like a vague process. Physical therapists specialize in knowing their patients, dealing with injuries and building back strength, but when it comes to creating a proactive plan for a healthy reputation, you may not know where to start. If this sounds familiar to you, the following short primer will show you how a reputation management firm like E-Rehab can help your physical therapy practice establish authority in a digital age.
Physical Therapy Reputation Management: What it is and is not
In the most basic sense, [highlight3 textColor=”#000000″]physical therapy reputation management is creating content that matches your goals and standards so that patients know what they are getting from you.[/highlight3] If your practice specializes in spinal rehab, but your marketing information makes it sound like you’re the best place to go for arm injuries, this can create a disconnect with visitors. In this case, patients expect one thing and get another. This can lead to your patients writing negative reviews about your practice on various review sites (Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.), which will in turn hurt your reputation, even though you’re an expert at spinal care.
Reputation management seeks to establish in people’s minds what you do and don’t do well, so they know what to expect. It does not seek to create false reviews, attempt to get poor reviews taken down (this doesn’t include patently false, libelous reviews), or otherwise take pushy actions to establish your reputation.
Walk the Talk
[highlight3 textColor=”#000000″]The most important part of physical therapy reputation management is that you have information out for people to access: newsletters to subscribers, blogs to the public, and targeted marketing to the right patients and referring physicians. [/highlight3] This information must match what people actually experience from your practice.
With proper information designed and marketed to the right audience, your business reputation will increase consistent with your desired goals and specialties. Walking the talk is the foundation for all other aspects of reputation management. With it, patients will give you great reviews and build your reputation with minimal effort on your part. Without it, your patients will feel confused and let down because they did not receive the service they expected.
In physical therapy reputation management, the next essential step after establishing a clear connection between your actions and your message is creating the right marketing materials. [highlight3]From your brand to your planned content, your marketing material needs to reflect your business in both quality and content.[/highlight3]
Much of physical therapy happens at a level people cannot see, so at first they will judge you less by the results of your actions and more by the materials they see. Your marketing material therefore needs to be designed in such a way that it catches the eye of potential patients and referring physicians and displays that you do what you advertise.
Much of the marketing in physical therapy is specialized and therefore needs to be done by specialists. For example, if you offer therapy that helps address the symptoms of insomnia and narcolepsy, you do not want your advertising materials for it to be bright yellow, orange or green. When marketers want to communicate sleep-oriented products, they create a dark blue color scheme to communicate peaceful sleep. This is one of the many tricks-of-the trade which marketers use to communicate to the public beyond just word. Style matters, and it pays to have experts in style design your marketing materials.
[highlight2 textColor=”#000000″]Simply put, reputation management is producing the right materials to let patients know what your practice offers and the core values you hold as a physical therapist. This is accomplished by using modern marketing and networking materials and techniques with a goal to educate your audience and establish your authority in the physical therapy field.[/highlight2]
[squeeze_box4]If this all sounds overwhelming and you feel that you need some extra assistance with your physical therapy reputation management, have no fear: we can help. At E-Rehab, we specialize in all aspects of online marketing strategies that can help your reputation improve and your practice prosper. Contact us today to find out how we can help you develop an online reputation that reflects the quality of your business.[/squeeze_box4]
Are you struggling to create a successful physical therapy reputation marketing approach? If so, you should strongly consider writing blogs if you’re not already doing so. Although blogs are often treated like an afterthought by many businesses, they can be a powerful tool for boosting the reputation of your physical therapy practice.
Why You Should Blog to Improve Your Physical Therapy Reputation Marketing
Business owners often neglect the importance of a blog when it comes to reputation marketing, but that is a huge mistake: [highlight4]blogs are actually one of the most effective ways to spread your brand and reach a potential audience.[/highlight4]
This is even true of a physical therapist like you: a well-written, fun, and informative blog can provide your patients with information about common physical problems, easy self-fixes, unique personal stories, and treatment angles they would have never considered otherwise.
Build Your Authority
By way of illustration, marketing expert Steve Olenski of Forbes magazine delved deeply into the world of blog-based marketing and found that it offered a unique approach to the following: content strategy; demographic marketing, and authority building.
The latter point is especially important: if you come across like a true expert on physical therapy (by offering well-researched and engaging blog content), your reputation will grow by leaps and bounds.[blockquote align=”center”]Blogging also offers a unique way for your patients to interact with you via the comment section found in most high-quality blogs. Here, they can praise your blog content and your services, which will create a positive feedback loop that will continually enhance your reputation for years to come.[/blockquote]
Even if they come to your blog to complain, you can still turn that into an advantage by directly addressing their concerns and soothe their fears by offering a free examination. You will come away looking humble and willing to fix your mistakes: a major reputation boost.
Researching Blog Topics
Consistently updating a worthwhile blog requires finding topics you want to write about. That’s actually much trickier than it seems, especially as a physical therapy expert, since you already have an extremely extensive understanding of the subject matter. On the other hand, the audience of your website doesn’t have this same understanding, and figuring out what they’d like to learn about can be a struggle.
In this circumstance, it’s best to step back and think about an industry or service which you know little about, such as auto repair, and consider what confuses you about it. Then, you should brainstorm similar topics for your blog, such as:
Common injuries or painful conditions
Relevant treatments used to address these issues
Other techniques and services you may use during treatment
How long each treatment session takes, and how many sessions may be needed for certain injuries
Next, try to center each of your blogs around these ideas, such as ACL tear rehabilitation, to create a plethora of possible blog topics. If you get stuck trying to find a good topic, use a tool like Google AdWords to pinpoint commonly searched keywords that are relevant to physical therapy.
For example, keywords and phrases like “torn ACL” and “did I break my ankle?” commonly show up in Google searches. Pitch your blog around these keywords, adding a unique twist, such as “home remedies for a broken toe,” and you have a potential blog topic.
Always Utilize a Reputable “Author” for All Content
Creating a blog without a reputable author is one of the biggest ways you can destroy the effectiveness of your physical therapy reputation marketing. Don’t farm it out to just anyone: either write the blog yourself, find a skilled intern willing to do it for some extra cash, or find reputable physical therapists willing to occasionally guest blog for you.
Focusing your blog on truly informative and knowledgeable writers creates a sense of “author authority” that will make your blog stand out in an over-saturated market. People will immediately trust what you have to say and, as a result, your blog—and your reputation—will grow exponentially.
[squeeze_box5]By now, it should be apparent that you simply can’t avoid setting up a blog for your physical therapy practice. The boost to your reputation will be too immense for you to ignore. However, if you’re still struggling to set up a good blog or come up with a great reputation marketing strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact us at E-Rehab right away. Our physical therapy reputation marketing experts will help fine-tune your marketing approach, help you design an eye-catching and memorable blog, and get you on the road to success. After that, the hard work of keeping up with your blog should be a heck of a lot easier.[/squeeze_box5]
Running a successful physical therapy practice is about more than just knowing how to help patients rehabilitate from their injuries. As the owner of a private practice, you’re not only marketing your expertise as a physical therapist. You are also marketing yourself.
This is why reputation marketing for physical therapists is such an important component of running a successful business. The reputation you create in your community will be the biggest reason why your practice thrives or fails. You need to make sure that your patients are happy, and that they’re telling people about their positive experience at your practice.
If you’re not sure how to go about marketing your reputation, here are a few tips you can use to keep the word-of-mouth regarding your practice positive:
You might think that your reputation is something that just “happens,” without requiring any effort on your part. And in a sense, this is partly true: you will develop a reputation eventually, one way or another.
But if you don’t stay committed to shaping and guiding that reputation, then you may lose control over it. This can mean that your side of the story won’t be heard, and your satisfied patients might never get a chance to tell their stories and attract other patients.
This is why it’s so important to take a proactive role in shaping your reputation. Here’s how:
Before doing anything else, it’s essential that you ensure all patients coming to your practice are in fact satisfied with the treatment they’re receiving. If they’re not, then this should be your first priority, and you should make any necessary changes to address this problem right away.
Once you are certain that all your patients are pleased with their treatment, give them an incentive to tell other people about it. Offer a discount or bonus for referring a new patient, or ask them to leave you a review online. Most patients will be glad to help if they are happy with their outcomes.
Also be sure to stay up-to-date on what’s being said about your practice, both good and bad. If a patient is not satisfied, don’t take it personally. Instead, use it as an opportunity to show others how you respond to criticism, and professionally address any issues that patient may have with a comment. This is the true heart of reputation marketing for physical therapists: knowing how and when to engage in order to polish your reputation.
Give Them a Reason to Brag
Your patients come to you to overcome injuries and pain. You might think that if you help them do that, you’ve done your job and that’s it.
However, that’s exactly what’s expected of you. It won’t necessarily knock anyone’s socks off, and it won’t necessarily build your brand.
It doesn’t take much to set yourself apart. All it takes is something unexpected that shows you have each of your patient’s best interests at heart. For example, a study was performed that showed that waiters could improve tips by 23%, simply by providing extra peppermints after the meal.
A few extra peppermints is nothing – but it’s truly the thought and effort that counts. Try to brainstorm on how you can make the rehabilitation process a 5-star experience for patients. It could be something as simple as warm towels, a glass of lemonade, or just taking a few extra minutes to get to know your patients.
[pullquote1 align=”center” textColor=”#000000″]Give your patients more than the minimum that they would expect, and they won’t be able to stop telling their friends about you. [/pullquote1]
Make Sure Your Online Presence Captures Your In-Person Experience
After you’ve taken the time to make sure everything is perfect in your office, make sure this all translates to your online presence. Here are a few ways to make this happen:
Go through your website and see if there’s anything clunky or frustrating. If you’ve found any negative reviews, this is a great time to learn from them.
Make everything as painless as possible, from setting an appointment online to getting in contact with you, so that visitors don’t have to hunt around.
You can also use your website to provide service outside of regular hours. Consider hosting a few videos showing simple exercises for pain relief, or blog about sports injuries and other topics that will interest your patients.
Many physical therapists view their online presence as a hassle that they have to deal with. That’s why so many have ugly, plain websites that do nothing for them.
If instead you view it as an opportunity to set yourself apart, your reputation will improve and spread in no time.
[titled_box title=”Start Focusing on Reputation Marketing for Physical Therapists Today” variation=”red” bgColor=”#000000″ textColor=”#000000″]If you’d like to learn more about powerful reputation marketing for physical therapists, contact us today. We can help you harness the power of the Internet to make you the go-to authority in your area – guaranteed.[/titled_box]
Reputation management for physical therapy is an important aspect of modern marketing and business practices. Your business reputation is important, and in the social age, people can say things about you anytime, anywhere and have a drastic impact on your business processes. The following reasons PT businesses need reputation management show the value of proactively engaging your online reputation.
Knowledge – The first part of customer service is knowing what your customers are saying about you. At this stage, even the bad reviews are valuable to you. Knowledge about what people are saying gives you power to respond positively and turn negative customers into positives (if possible), increase word-of-mouth from positive customers, and address and fix systematic issues.
Visibility – With changes to Google’s algorithm, website management is social management. For your SEO to perform, for your website to be seen, you have to manage your reputation on social media sites. From accurate information (have you checked your Google+ page recently?) to creating positive dialogue (when was the last time a customer got a personal Facebook response?), reputation management creates an online presence for your business.
Manage Multiple Presences – Your business is PT. Marketing 25 years ago was simple: phone-book, physicians and hospitals, and a good location would be the primary methods of reaching your customers. With the internet, marketing has changed. You must maintain local listings on the 3 major search engines, create regular posts on Facebook and Twitter, create videos on YouTube, and do regular email updates.
Track Customers – Many people just see reputation management as taking care of social media, but a good program will integrate with websites and internal databases to locate where customers are coming from, giving you control over advertising as well as managing your reputation.
Videos – With increasing access to high-speed internet and 4G services growing in both service and technology (LTE), users are looking for full audio/visual communication from service providers. Good reputation management programs will not only set up a YouTube channel, but help you create and post videos to let people know about your business.
Review Creation – When a customer has a great experience with your business, they will want to tell their friends on Facebook or Twitter about it. If you create surveys, online comment forms, email receipts and more with Facebook and Twitter links embedded in them, you bring customers’ friends to them with the click of a button.
Technology Tracking – Reputation management experts know SEO, SEM and social marketing. It is their business. A good reputation management program works not only today, but with the changes down the road, too. Whether it is the increase in mobile technologies or changes to search algorithms, reputation management helps your PT business stay technologically relevant.
Manage Physicians and Patients – Your PT reputation is affected by both patients and physicians who refer them. The best teams will understand that physician relationship management is entirely different than customer relationships, and give you tools to reach both groups and build your reputation.
Website Maintenance – Now with mobile platforms and social networking, integrating all of these marketing platforms with your website is an essential part of a reputation management program. Physical therapy practice owners often times don’t have the knowledge and/or resources to stay on top of the constant changes that occur with online marketing. Therefore, it is important that you have someone you trust keeping an eye on this because it does impact your online reputation.
To find out more about reputation management, online PT services, and how to be found by the right people, please contact E-Rehab.
Google has made life much easier for physical therapy practice owners with the launch of its exciting new tool, Google My Business. It combines:
Google Analytics & Insights
They are all under one easy-to-use dashboard and now, managing multiple Google accounts has never been simpler and the marketing advantages are endless.
What’s more, it’s free with no hidden costs. Here’s a quick summary of some of the services included in Google My Business:
Google+ (Google Plus):
G+ (Google Plus or Google+) This is Google’s answer to Facebook. It’s a social networking platform that allows you to share messages, photos, videos and links to your followers, directly from the My Business page.
Reviews: Google is the number 1 business review platform online. Google My Business has an entire review platform that gives practices a place to manage ratings and reviews in one location.
Google Analytics: You can very quickly and easily see all of your websites stats right on your business dashboard.
Insights: Insights gives you vital information on your visibility, engagement and trends in the market.
Maps: Manage your businesses location and information available on Google Maps.
YouTube & Hangouts: Video chats with key members of your physical therapy practice (think expert interview, patient testimonials, doctor interviews, etc.).
As mentioned earlier, this is all a free service. If you currently use Google Places for business or Google+ Pages to manage your online presence, you will already have been upgraded.
Not only that, but they are fine-tuning the My Business platform for mobile use too, and it is available in both iOS and Android.
6.5 Ways That You Can Take Advantage of Google My Business
Right Now and Quickly Overtake Your Competition
1. Be easily found on Google
Brand awareness is vital for any practice. How can you gain patients if people don’t know who you are or what types of services you offer? As a small private practice, you know how hard it can be to get high rankings on Google, especially if you’re in a big market with corporate and hospital brands.
So in order to create better brand awareness your first step would be to create an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to make your site more searchable on Google. Research has proven (and you probably know from your own personal experience) that 75% of Google users never scroll past the first page. This highlights how without good Google rankings, you are simply missing new patients.
This is where Google My Business comes into play. When you create a My Business account, fill out all of the information Google requests, as it will increase the odds that your practice will show up on a Google Search, Maps and Google+.
You’ll need precise information about your location, your office hours, contact information, website address, email and fax numbers, and at least 10 pictures of your practice.
IMPORTANT: Make sure that the information you put on Google is the exact information NAP (business Name, Address, Phone number) that you have on your website and any other places where your practice is listed online. Consistency is very important in SEO and it can affect your search engine rankings if there are any inconsistencies.
The more information you add, the more Google’s search algorithms will work to help your search ranking.
Together, all of these features will give your patients an inside look at your practice. As a result, when potential patients are comparison shopping or simply doing a broad search for “physical therapy and a location”, they will be more likely to find your Google My Business listing and visit your website.
2. Connect with existing and potential patients
Not only can you manage your practice listing (AKA Google online phonebook listing), you can also manage your Google+ page from your My Business dashboard. It has taken a while for people to get used to the Google+ social network, and most people still prefer and use Facebook and other social media sites, but bear in mind that your Google+ business page increases the trust in your practice name and gives you significant boost to with respect to your Google Local SEO listings.
Google is always trying to provide its users with the best, most relevant experience. As such Google takes note of those who comment, shares or +1 your G+ page posts, captures this information, and identifies your audiences identity, activity and interests. From there, they can even deliver your Google+ page content to your followers in the organic search results. It’s truly amazing how Google provides users such a customized experience.
The other advantage of using Google+ is this; while other social media sites place a “no follow” tag on any link you post, Google+ doesn’t. So if you posted a link on Facebook for example, any links that you put in your posts (to your website in attempts to improve search engine optimization) will not influence your practice’s Google search results. Google, on the other hand, treats them G+ posts as web pages, which then helps increase your sites visibility and page rank.
But even without the SEO benefits, Google+ is also a terrific way to engage with past patients and build a long term relationship with them, which will increase the trust in your company.
Just as on any other social network, if you expect any kind of results on Google+, you need to be consistent and post regularly. If you have a practice blog, post the links on your page and ask your audience to read and share them. Post fun pictures of you and your employees so that your followers can get to know you better and have a clearer picture of who you are. It will encourage brand loyalty.
It is worth reminding you that any content you share should be relevant and interesting to your audience. You don’t want to keep posting promotional offers like Free Screenings or Discount Massages. The point of Google+ is not to push your physical therapy services on people, but to create a close-knit community, which will inspire trust and loyalty in your practice.
3. Hang out with your clinicians
If you are not already familiar with it, Google Hangouts are another great way to demonstrate your clinical expertise. You can hang out with up to 15 people at a time.
It’s the perfect way to build an online video marketing strategy for free. Use it to answer questions, share information about your new services or even give online demos of treatment.
4. Check the Performance of your activity
It’s helpful to post on Google+ and host Hangouts with your patients, but it could all be a waste of time and effort if they are not producing the desired results.
This is where the Insights tool comes in for your Google+ page and Analytics for your presence across all Google platforms. Both of these tools make it very easy for you to see how many views you’re getting, and you can even see how many people are reading your specific Google+ posts. It even gives you information on how many people have checked out your practice on Google Map searches.
5. Encourage and Respond to Patients’ Reviews
Whether you love them or you hate them, some patients want to leave a review about your practice. It’s part of online culture and people will either want to rave or complain about any experiences that they’ve had.
Side Note: the most common “bad reviews” are about patient billing and payment. It’s worth knowing this and making a little extra effort to make sure patients understand your physical therapy billing practices and policies.
Since online reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising, it’s worthwhile to make it easy for patients to post ratings (0-5 stars) and reviews (text comments about your practice). Chances are positive reviews will generate more business for you too, as many patients decide to make decisions based solely on what their peers have to say about your practice. Google My Business makes it easy by allowing you to claim your practice listing so that patients can add their rating and review by simply by Googling your name and clicking on the blue Google+ page link under your business listing.
The dashboard even makes it easy for you to promote the reviews on your Google+ page and monitor reviews on other platforms like Yelp. This will help you to easily respond to positive reviews, while professionally and politely dealing with any negative reviews. You will have a great pulse on the online reputation of your practice…certainly an asset for any physical therapy practice these days.
6. Create an AdWords Express Account
It probably won’t surprise you that at the bottom of the My Business dashboard, there is a button that will bring you to an AdWords account. After all, advertising is where Google makes 95%+ of its money.
The “express version” if AdWords, in my experience is very easy to use for private practice owners, but your ads will often show up for keywords that aren’t related to your business. This will result in unnecessary clicks and expense. Nevertheless, it still super easy to quickly create ad campaigns. It’s very similar to the right-side and inline Facebook ads, where you simply write your ad and set your budget and then Google AdWords will do the rest the work.
6.5 Stay Informed on Your Mobile Device
Just as 30-40% of your patients are likely to visit your physical therapy practice website while browsing on their smartphones, Google My Business will allow you to do manage My Business with either both iOS and Android apps. The mobile streamlined dashboard makes it easy for you to simply swipe through all of your tools and data, allowing you change dates, manage ads and modify your online presence from wherever you are.
Claim Your Page Today
With Google My Business, you will find all of the best Google tools are right in front of you by simply by logging into your dashboard. It makes management of your online presence easy.
[info_box]As you can see, Google My Business is a robust practice brand management platform; but, as with all aspects of online marketing, your web performance is only as good as you can make it. It’s very important that you include as much relevant information about your practice as you can. If it’s done right, it really can make a difference between your online success or failure.[/info_box]
If you are in any doubt or would like more helpful tips and advice on how to make the most from this great tool, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
E-rehab.com is now offering video marketing services for physical therapy private practices.
Other than a direct referral from a doctor or a patient, there aren’t many better ways to market to your community than with the video endorsement of the quality of your physical therapy services.
What would a prospect think if they searched for you and saw videos similar to these with your name on them?
Ratings and Reviews are Quickly Becoming a Highly Trusted Marketing Channel
Use the Power of Video Marketing
There are some very effective ways to achieve top Google positioning and beat your competition
Back in 2006, when Google paid $1.6+ billion for a tiny business above a pizza parlour, many wondered if the management at Google had lost it!
However, that tiny business was YouTube and in just a few years later it has officially become the number 2 search engine (second only to Google itself).
The growth of video is crazy. It already accounts for 70% of the search engine results on Google with text trailing in third behind images. In fact Cisco Systems, the world wide leaders in networking and the way we connect on the Internet, predict that by the end of 2015, video will drive 90% of web traffic.
If you are marketing your local business online and haven’t started to use video marketing yet, it’s time to get started.
Generate more Physical Therapy Referrals and Improve Customers Service with Video
They say that ‘a picture is worth 1000 words’. If that is true, imagine how much more effective video can be. It is a scientific fact that humans make a decision based on emotions. Motion pictures have the power to tap directly into the emotions of a viewer with a combination of video, words, voice over and music in a way that words simply can never achieve.
Business surveys have proven that videos convert visitors into buyers three times better than a normal sales letter. With a sales letter the viewer can scroll down the page very quickly and not read the benefits of your rehab services or the reasons why they should should choose you.
With a video on the other hand, you control the whole sales sequence, unfolding your presentation in the way that shows your office, your services, your clinical expertise in the best possible light and only revealing the call to action at the precise ‘magic moment’ when your viewer is primed with the benefits your service will provide them.
The result is more happy patients and more calls from prospects that are comparison shopping.
However, that is only the beginning. For example, imagine trying to learn how to tie your shoelaces using just written instructions. But when you show visitors how to do it, with video, they understand instantly.
Improve Your Chances of Ranking High on Google
Google unveils ‘universal search’.
In an effort to better accommodate users, Google now provides universal search results. What this means is that search results are now a mix of text, news, graphics…and yes, video.
It now takes less effort to rank your video on YouTube and it’s a wonderful opportunity to show up on the first page of Google’s search results. Imagine how many your visitors your website would receive from ranking high on the largest and second largest search engines in the world, simultaneously.
You too can rank your videos on YouTube and Google for the most common search patients do when looking for you…your business name (we blogged on this months ago).
Follow this simple rule – include your business name and the city your practice location is in in the title, the description and the tags of your YouTube video. In most cases, this will do it. That’s it!
Just Do It!
There is no doubt that creating videos for your business will attract more visitors and potential patients to your website but we also know that it might all sound rather daunting.
The worst thing you can do is ignore the video revolution that is happening all around. Video really is here to stay.
The good news is that E-rehab.com is here to help you to take advantage of the easy and affordable opportunity.
Contact us today to learn more about our video marketing services and how we can create an affordable video marketing strategy that will help establish you as the market leader.
Call us at 800-468-5161 x 1101 for more information.
Do you need more customers? Are you sick of people visiting your website but not calling to schedule an appointment?
Much worse than having no visitors to your website is actually getting visitors, but no new patients. That can be quite frustrating.
If that has happened to you, don’t despair. We are familiar with marketing for small physical therapy practices and know a few tricks to help you attract not only new patients to your website, but expand your patient base with ones who will eventually decide to come to your practice for treatment.
Identify your target audience – don’t try to reach out to everybody
The first and most important step for any business is to identify your target audience. Do it right, and you will have a much easier time converting visitors into patients. Do it wrong, and you risk creating a product/service that nobody (or not enough people) wants.
It is well known customers want to interact with brands they can connect with.
To do this, you need to know what kind of image you want to portray and then adapt your marketing to directly appeal to the ideal brand of patient you want to attract to your practice. This is done by creating ideal buyer persona (an image or profile of your ideal patient) based on their buying habits and lifestyle.
So instead of searching for patients, help them find you. Go to the sites and places they go to; put yourself in the places they want to be and invite them to come and see you. If you have a clear image of who you want to serve, you are going to be in a better position to give them what they want.
A lot of companies make the mistake of thinking that everybody is a potential customer. They are not! You need to focus on the dreams and desires of the people most likely to become patients, and then pay them special attention by treating them well.
Don’t try to rent your audience, build your own instead
Some businesses try to take a short cut by renting eyeballs or clicks. They buy and rent email mailing lists in order to get extra customers. Sometimes the gamble can pay off, but if you want patients who are looking for the physical therapy services you offer, it is much more profitable to grow your own list instead.
This is not hard to do. For example, on your Facebook page you could provide shareable, inspirational and humorous content like images and quotes to encourage visitors to engage with you.
The people who enjoy the content on your site are generally the ones who will be more likely to come to you for treatment or refer others, and you can quickly attract a lot of eager new fans and patients.
Word of mouth marketing
The best way to attract new customers to your site is by word of mouth, and social media marketing, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., makes this easier to do than ever before. It is fast, free and easy.
We are experts in social media marketing and have lots of great ideas for you, so don’t be afraid to give us a call to see what we can do to help you.
Ditch the large-scale marketing campaigns
In the old days, marketing used to be large-scale isolated advertising and media events, but things have changed. Your patients don’t live on a campaign schedule. They are always on the move and are constantly being bombarded with new information and offers wherever they go. As a result, they have become more discerning and advert aware.
Social media makes it easy to follow a person from their first visit to your site, to the point that they become a lead and eventually, if all goes well, a new patient.
The relationship doesn’t end there, as your constant engagement and relationship building with them should continue long after their first treatment session with you. You can easily get them to come back in the future or give referrals if you handle it right.
[note_box]Use social media to establish and build relationships with potential patients, but don’t forget to continue to build relationships and engage people once they become patients. This makes it easier to get them to come back in the future or refer their friend, family and other people they know.[/note_box]
Copy your competition
Do a bit of research. Find out how your competition is attracting new patients. Do they advertise on the Internet or is it mainly offline? Do they buy advertisements in local media like newspapers and radio, or do they have a large social media following online?
If they are doing something that clearly works for them and are getting new patients, you need to try and adopt similar measures so that you don’t continue losing patients to them.
Attend physical therapy conferences and exhibitions
We are big fans of attending conferences, exhibitions and networking events. It is a great way to make new connections and spread the word about your practice to new potential patients.
This type of event is also perfect for showing potential patients how caring you are and that you strive to make all patients happy. Exceptional customer service plus excellent service will always ensure that you have a thriving business.
[note_box]People buy from people they have met. So, if you are seen and are active at events, people will be more inclined to come to you for treatment. Use these events to get people to visit your website and join your mailing list, so you can stay in constant contact with them.[/note_box]
By using some or all of these methods you will be able to attract more visitors to your website and practice, who will hopefully turn into new patients.
[colored_box variation=”steelblue”]It is an exciting time for small businesses and you don’t want to miss out on the revolution that is happening at the moment. Old marketing methods no longer work. The way that consumers buy is changing and you need to change with them, knowing who they are, where they are and why they make business decisions.
If you are interested in any of these marketing strategies or want to talk to us about other ways that we can help your practice, we would love to hear from you.[/colored_box]
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]
I get calls from my clients almost every week – “These Yelp sales people are hammering me,” is what I heard yesterday. They share numbers that aren’t likely to be accurate (e.g., number of leads & page views) and try to convince them them they are missing out.
I thought I would share my perspective on their advertising program.
Here’s what Yelp offered one of my PT clients:
“We offer 6 programs that vary based on how aggressively you want to advertise your business on Yelp. All packages include the mentioned* features and are based on an annual agreement.
Ultra Premium- $2,200/mo – includes 6,500 targeted ads per month
Super Premium- $1,600/mo – includes 4,650 targeted ads per month
Premium- $1,050/mo – includes 3,000 targeted ads per month
Standard- $800/mo – includes 2,100 targeted ads per month
Basic- $550/mo – includes 1,200 targeted ads per month
Intro- $350/mo – includes 500 targeted ads per month
*Mentioned features include: video production, video hosting, picture slideshow, Call to Action button, competitors ad removal, tracking in your business owners account, and an Account Manager.”
[note_box] Most of these things aren’t clear.
Video production – who produces the content for the video? Who owns the video? Can the video be used on your website?
Call to action button – what is that?
Competitor ad removal – does that mean that others that are advertising on Yelp, will be removed? I bet not.
Tracking – how is this accomplished to demonstrate if a patient truly came into the practice?
These are not easy questions to answer.
Will Yelp Pay for Itself…Probably Not
Financially, there are 3 ways that I see you can analyze this opportunity and see if it makes sense for you.
A. Straight Profit and Loss Analysis
Remember, you have costs to treat/run your business (i.e,. salary & overhead) for every patient and what you have left over is profit of course.
Each one of you is different but the typical profit on a patient case is 10-20% and average revenue per patient about $800 (so, profit per patient case is $80).
If you aren’t getting a minimum of 4 patients from your Yelp advertising, you are losing money.
Conclusion: No one I have spoken with (well over PT practice owners about this) has used Yelp’s paid advertising and made a profit. Note: 1-3 patient per month, for most PT clinics, even if they advertise at the cheapest level, will not result in a break even ROI.
B. Lifetime Market Value Analysis
In this analysis you take into account the number of patients (generated from your advertising campaign) that will return when calculating ROI.
For example. Let’s say you spent $550/mo on Yelp ads (the basic package noted above). You have a year contract as well so your annual expense is $6600. Applying the rationale from Straight Profit and Loss Analysis, you need to generate at least $6600 in new patient revenue to break even.
Let’s say you generate 5 patients/mo (this is very aggressive and unlikely but let’s use this number). That is 60 patients per year. Your profit is $80/patient and your ROI from your Yelp advertising is 60 x $80 or $4800.
Now, let’s consider that 30% of those patients will come back (that’s 18 total over the course of the year). The number of new patients you generated from your Yelp campaign might be considered to be 60+18 returning or 78.
Now multiply 78 x $80 and you get $6240 of profit.
You still don’t break even.
Obviously, this analysis depends on a number of factors. The total number of patients you get per month, your profit margin, and the percentage of patients that return to you (i.e., Lifetime Market Value of your patient).
Conclusion: Looking at ROI over the long haul. This is a reasonable way to analyze your ROI for an ad campaign but your ROI is recovered over a longer period of time (i.e., the time it takes for the patients to come back a second time, or even a third time).
C. Gross Revenue Out and In Model
In this analysis of your campaign spend, you aren’t concerned about profit. Rather, your objective is just to cover your costs, pay your salary, your staff and your overhead. In other words, you want to keep your doors open It looks something like this.
You generate 60 patients (5 per month) in one year from your Yelp advertising at a cost of $6600.
Your gross income generated from the advertising campaign is 60 new patients created from Yelp ads x $800 of revenue/case = $48,000 of gross revenue from Yelp Ads.
Assuming a 10% profit per case, your profit is $4800 (i.e., 10% of $48,000 gross revenue).
Your cost to do the Yelp ads, again is $6600.
Your total $4800 in profit – $6600 in Yelp ad costs = ($1800) loss.
NOTE: if you consider Lifetime market value (i.e., your ads generated 78 patients), your profit is $6240-$6600 in ad costs and you still lose $360.
Conclusion: If you are more interested in getting people in the door, then this might be a way to analyze your advertising costs. In the end, you are still losing money and most practices can’t afford to do that anymore.
Things to Consider
These analyses heavily depend on the number of patients you get from the Yelp advertising. Five new patients per month, that would have NOT come to you anyway, is a large number. I don’t think this is possible except in the largest markets like San Francisco and NYC.
Opportunity Costs: Finally, you need to ask yourself, if I am committing to spend this kind of money (i.e., $350/mo+) on marketing, is there a better use of this money doing something else? For example, Google Ads, Doctor Lunches, Novelty Items like shirts, postcards mailing, patient follow up campaigns, etc., etc. I think there might be some better options. What do you think?
[colored_box variation=”deepblue”]Take Home Message: I don’t believe, based on the input of many others that have advertised, and the financial analysis, that Yelp advertising is a good use of your dollars. However, you have to plug in your own values (percentage of profit margin/case, number of patients you get from Yelp ads, lifetime market value, and the number of months you are committing to run the Yelp ads) to arrive at your own conclusions.[/colored_box]
Please share your thoughts too and help your colleagues and help your colleagues make good decisions about how they spend their ad dollars.