Increase Visibility and Perform Market Research via Physical Therapy Social Media Marketing

social media marketing for physical therapists

It appears to be more useful on a personal level but physical therapy social media marketing can help greatly in increasing the visibility of your business.  By promoting interaction with your patients, it can also help you to perform market research.

The Aura of Authenticity About Facebook “Likes”

Since Facebook is largely an informal space, people feel free to comment on it, either positively or negatively.  And a positive Facebook comment counts for a lot more than an advertisement, because those who read it know that there was no coercion involved.  If someone “likes” a post, it’s generally because they genuinely like it, and not because they were paid to say so.  So there’s an aura of genuineness and authenticity about physical therapy references you might get via Facebook or Twitter.

Celebrity Endorsements vs. Reviews from Friends

The skeptics among us might point out that celebrities are often paid to endorse products or services online.  This is true but most of us are more likely to be swayed by what our Facebook friends tell us rather than what a celebrity might say.  This is because there are many similarities between us and our friends.  We perceive them as being at the same or only a slightly different level of attractiveness, economic class and intellectual understanding.  We pay more attention to their “likes” because they’re like us!

Coming up with a Social Media Marketing Plan

If you’re unconvinced about the role of social media marketing companies, keep in mind that you can come up with a social media marketing plan, as suggested by this Hootsuite article.  Depending on your business objectives, your social media marketing plan may include an evaluation of what your current social media accounts are doing for you, the creation of new accounts, the development of accounts you already have and the addition of new, relevant content.  Checking out what your competitors are up to can also help you to figure out where your business is going and how social media can help you to get there.

Interacting with Prospects via Social Media

Social media helps you to stay in touch with your audience.  It’s an interactive space from which you can learn what your patient prospects are looking for.  For example, if you put up an update regarding a new type of physical therapy you’re offering, it’s possible that you’ll get a number of positive or negative comments with regard to it.  Depending on what your patients are saying, you can decide whether you want to make any changes to your service.

Staying Alert to Figure Out The Tipping Point

If you stay alert on social media, you can also figure out which way the wind is blowing, before it actually gets there.  In his book, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell talks about Hush Puppies, a type of shoe that had slowly been declining in popularity.  The makers of Hush Puppies had almost decided to stop producing them when there was a sudden upswing in their sales.  Although the middle-aged, conservative demographic had stopped wearing them, they had suddenly become popular with hipsters.

Using Social Media for Market Research of “Niche” Services

What happened with Hush Puppies came as a surprise to many people.  But this is the kind of change that soon becomes noticeable via comments or likes on social media.  Although a number of people might feel the same way about a certain product or service, there might be undiscovered market segments/audiences that feel differently.  If it’s possible for your niche service to start appealing to a new demographic, social media is a great way to find this out first.  In this sense, social media is not just a marketing platform to increase sales; it’s also a great place to perform a bit of market research and change direction if need be.

Experiment with the marketing of niche services – sports performance, vestibular rehab, women’s health, tmj treatment, and more.  Run an ad, point the viewers to a page on your website about that niche service, give them something of value (this is called a lead magnet or a trust trigger product) in exchange for their name and email address, and see what happens.

Contact us for more great ideas to come up with your own social media marketing plan.

Make Your Physical Therapy Website Local SEO Friendly

physical therapy website

The phrase “location, location, location” doesn’t only apply to real estate. When you design your physical therapy website, focusing on your location with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind is an absolute must, whether you have one location or multiple offices spread across the state.

The thing is, you can’t just have your physical address posted on your website and call it a day. There are multiple strategies that you should use to help you promote and improve your local SEO. By utilizing all of these practices, you’ll improve your reach across the Internet and among local searchers that are in need of your physical therapy services. Read on to find out how to make your physical therapy website more “SEO-friendly.”

Make Your Location a Prominent SEO Keyword

Your address or location should not be listed only in the header or footer of your website. Instead, you should focus on integrating it into your SEO strategy by putting it in key elements of your website. For instance, title headings for your webpages can be SEO-optimized instead of just giving them generic titles. Here’s an example: instead of using “Our Office” for your location page, optimize it with your location to “Our Brooklyn Office.” Other elements you can optimize include headings, titles, tags, image tags and other HTML and metadata descriptions. The more you use the name of your location throughout your website, the more optimized it will become.

Make Separate Local Pages for Each Location

If you have multiple offices, it’s important to provide separate pages that are dedicated specifically to these locations instead of just publishing content for multiple locations on the same page.[pullquote4 bgColor=”#ea8400″ textColor=”#000000″]Having multiple local pages not only helps people find the right location for their needs, but also improves your searchability across different places.[/pullquote4] Having multiple local pages not only helps people find the right location for their needs, but also improves your searchability across different places.

On each separate page, also be sure to include location-specific descriptions and content, instead of copying and pasting the same generic description or your mission statement. A good practice is to include local events you’ve sponsored in that area or describe the location in relation to special features or physical landmarks to make the description rich with local SEO.

The same should be done with other location listings: have separate pages on Google+, Yelp, Yellow Pages and other sites for each of your locations, too.

Attempt Address Accuracy Across All Map Listings

Search engines prefer consistency, especially when it comes to contact information like telephone numbers and addresses. To reach the most people, make sure that your practice is listed with the same contact information in every listing. For example, if your physical therapy office is located on “43 Main Street,” decide whether or not you will spell out “Street” or abbreviate it to “St.,” and stick to this designation throughout all uses of your address. The same goes for your practice name. The more consistent your name, number and address are, the more likely your website will be cited correctly and found.

Collect Reviews

Reviews are also an important part of building your practice’s local reputation. Besides adding testimonials to your website, you should also try to gather reviews for your local listings, such as your Google+ local page.

One of the best ways to get a Google+ review from your patients is to kindly request that they add a review before leaving your office. Set up a laptop or tablet that they can log into, and give them a few guidelines to help them write a short review. Not only does this give you a better spotlight in Google rankings, but they can also be helpful for you and your office. A great tool to use is Whitespark’s Review Generator, which will print out instructions for computer or smartphone use based on your office’s information.

Improving Your Local SEO Can Better Establish Your Physical Therapy Website

[highlight1 bgColor=”#000000″ textColor=”#3391ff”]Overall, improving the local SEO of your physical therapy website can make a big difference in your online efforts and significantly draw in new visitors that may become patients. By establishing your local SEO presence, your potential patients will be able to find you and your current patients can lend their own experience and recommendations to your practice. To get more help with your physical therapy website, contact us at E-Rehab today, and we can show you how to elevate your SEO to the next level.[/highlight1]

 

What the Best Physical Therapy Websites Have to Offer

physical therapy websites

When it comes to building a website for your business, there are a few basic practices that are standard in any industry. The following are often considered essentials:

  • An eye-catching display
  • Easy navigation
  • A clear sense of what your business is and what it has to offer

But when it comes to physical therapy websites, there are a few additional factors to keep in mind that will make your website stand out from your competitors. You want to convince new patients to come to your clinic, while also offering your current patients the information they need without getting bogged down in a marketing campaign. With that in mind, here are some features that the best physical therapy websites offer their visitors:

Valuable—and Free—Health Information

Because so many physical therapy patients are referred by their doctors, your website needs to do more than just attract business. It should stand out as a leader in the field of physical therapy by providing valuable information that patients and other site visitors may be searching for. [blockquote align=”left”]According to Pew Research, up to 80% of e-patients turn to the Internet to find out about an illness or injury. [/blockquote]

Based on this, your website should offer e-patients a credible resources with credible and useful information. There are several possible ways to accomplish this:

  • Host a blog where you write about a different physical therapy topic every week
  • Ask site visitors to sign up for a weekly email newsletter that will contain more in-depth research and columns from various physical therapists; make sure your sources are current, reliable and credible
  • Provide links to articles, and make sure to check facts before posting them

The time you invest in making your website informative will pay off when you are seen as a thoughtful and experienced leader in the field.

A Practice Run of the First Appointment

Keep in mind that physical therapy is new for many patients, and as a result, it can be a little intimidating. Give site visitors a feel for what they should expect during their first appointment. Offer a video or picture tour of the facility and include photos and bios of all the physical therapists. Give new patients a rundown of what to expect from the moment they walk in the door and answer some of these questions:

  • How long is the typical wait time?
  • What should I wear to the first appointment?
  • How long will it last?
  • What types of insurance do you accept?

Your visitors should leave your website with the confidence of knowing exactly what is waiting for them when they step through the door for their first appointment.

Online Scheduling

The ease and convenience of the Internet means that many patients are online at most hours, including hours your clinic isn’t open. Allowing patients to schedule, reschedule or cancel appointments online gives them freedom to consider their appointments during off-business hours.

Mobile access

This one goes hand-in-hand with online scheduling. More and more consumers are conducting business on-the-go through cell phones and tablets, so make sure your website is mobile-compatible. [pullquote4 align=”right” textColor=”#2aec3f”]People are using mobile devices 60% of the time compared with only 40% of time being spent on computers[/pullquote4]A recent report from comScore shows that people are using mobile devices 60% of the time compared with only 40% of time being spent on computers. Most of that mobile time is being used on apps, so it’s worth considering whether or not you can make an app for your physical therapy clinic that allows patients to track their progress, their payments and their appointments.

E-Rehab Creates and Improves Physical Therapy Websites

[highlight2]There are clearly many elements that go into building physical therapy websites that will attract new patients and still be a useful tool for returning patients. Fortunately, you don’t need to build your website on your own. Contact us to see how E-Rehab can create the perfect website for your physical therapy clinic.[/highlight2]

 

How the Future of Physical Therapy SEO Will Change (And Why You Need to Pay Attention)

physical therapy seo

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)—the never-ending quest to fine-tune (or completely gut) your website so that it performs better in search rankings—can be a tiring race to run because the rule-makers (i.e. Google) are always changing the rules. This can be especially frustrating for your practice when it comes to physical therapy SEO.

But as we push further ahead into 2016, the picture of what the SEO rulebook will look like in the future—and what physical therapists will need to do to keep up—is now starting to come into focus.

Some marketers have predicted that there are three certainties in SEO that will affect all web traffic in the future. By understanding and addressing each of these now, you can prepare your practice for the changes ahead and be ahead of the game:

1. Mobile Searches Will Triumph

As Huyen Truong, the SEO Manager for the SEO Agency in Sydney, points out: “mobile search will soon reach the tipping point—the stage at which the majority of time spent, organic traffic and paid clicks comes from smartphones and tablets rather than the traditional medium of desktop and laptop search.”

Every decision you make, whether it’s web design or social media posting, should come from a mobile device mindset. Before you begin any project, big or small, get in the habit of asking: “How will this look on a mobile phone?” [pullquote3 align=”left” variation=”red” textColor=”#000000″]Before you begin any project, big or small, get in the habit of asking: “How will this look on a mobile phone?” [/pullquote3]
In addition, having a website that uses scrolling more than clicking is gradually becoming the new standard for website design. The old system of pages, where your journey through the site’s content involves clicking through layer after layer of pages, is dying. Web designs now leverage the easy scrolling motions of smart phones to place all (or most) of the site’s most important content into a single page that unrolls before the mobile user with a swipe of the thumb. The other mobile-centric practice is, when clicking is necessary, make the buttons large and easy to hit. That helps users overcome the primary weakness of smartphone navigation: it’s hard to accurately click on small targets. And Google knows all of this. (It feels like it knows everything, doesn’t it?) One recent algorithm update specifically looks for mobile-friendly designs and gives them preference over others.

2. High Quality and Great Visuals

Some of the recent Google algorithm updates have also removed keyword optimization from the top of its priority list, and the search engine now looks at the quality of your content—especially whether it’s contextually relevant or not—when it assesses your website.

It also likes visual content, especially when paired with high quality, thorough, well-structured written content.

As the blog Keywords and Jargon explains: “Search engine results page (SERP) rankings show that images, infographics, video and other visual media are much more engaging and relevant than plain text. It’s assumed that a user is more likely to find information that is relevant to their search query.”

3. Voice Search Will Become More Important

With the entry of the oddly endearing (or not-so-endearing) computer personalities of Siri, Cortana from Windows, and Google Now, voice searches are now beginning to influence SEO.

Jason Tabeling of Search Engine Watch made some telling observations about the voice search trend:

  • 55% of teens use voice search daily
  • 56% of adults like using voice search because it makes them feel “tech-savvy”
  • Phrases that begin with “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” and “how” increased by 61% year-over-year

This spike in these phrases correlates with the increased use of voice search. When people do a voice search, they tend to begin their question with these words. Keep this in mind for your physical therapy SEO keywords or even your FAQ pages.

And in case physical therapy SEO still makes you feel overwhelmed, let these parting words from Keywords and Jargon remind you why SEO is worth the trouble: [blockquote align=”right”]”[With SEO,] instead of disrupting a user’s schedule or activity, you’re paving the road for them to easily find you when they’re ready to buy what you’re selling. Instead of having to convince them to buy a product or service, you’re establishing in advance that you are the best option to buy it from.”[/blockquote]

If you’d like some more helpful information on physical therapy SEO, contact us at E-Rehab, where we can put you on the path of capitalizing on these upcoming changes so you can stay ahead of the curve and keep your website in top shape.

Put the Best PT Marketing Ideas to Work for Your Practice

pt-marketing

Is your PT practice struggling to get new clients, losing clients, or just lacking the consistency needed to keep your therapists busy? If this sounds familiar, it might be because you aren’t taking full advantage of all the effective PT marketing strategies that are available to you. To help you make better use of these essential tools, here are the best PT marketing ideas that you can start utilizing at your practice today:

Overcome the POPTS dilemma:

Many orthopedic doctors refer to their own physical therapy  (POPTS), which can leave your PT practice hanging, especially if the majority of your patients come from orthopedic physician referrals. If this is your practice’s problem, then it’s time to overhaul your marketing strategy, which will help you rely less on orthopedic physician referrals and more on referrals from GPs, internists, returning patients, and patient referrals. When it comes to marketing, it’s best to re-order your priorities to the following groups:

  1. Referrals from GPs & internists,
  2. Returning patients,
  3. Referrals from returning patients,
  4. Walk-ins.

How do I do that?

Start with a budget for marketing. Many practices don’t worry about marketing because they’ve been reliant on orthopedic physician referrals to drive their business. With your new priority list in mind, develop a realistic budget to determine how much you can spend on marketing.

How much should you budget for physical therapy marketing?  My standard answer is as much as it takes to grow the practice and meet your goals, and not a penny more.  That said, it’s not uncommon to budget 20-30% of your profits or 4-10% of your gross revenue for marketing.

Once you’ve established a budget, focus on formulating a game plan for how you will market your PT practice.

Online marketing is the fastest growing promotional channel, and this is for a good reason: It’s quick and cheap, and also gives you access to a wide audience.

Types of Online PT Marketing to Consider

So now that you have a budget and are committed to online marketing, it’s time to get started. Here are the basics for any PT online marketing campaign:

Search Engines: the search engines are where a vast majority of your patients or prospects start the process of getting to know you.  It’s important to put some time, effort, and money into ranking your practice on page one for:
1. a search for your business name,
2. a search for physical therapy in your city (e.g. physical therapy Los Angeles),
3. a search for niche services you provide (e.g. vestibular therapy, women’s health, TMJ treatment, etc.).

Website: Your practice needs a good website that gives visitors the information they need to decide that you are in fact the right practice for them. While you can make a website on your own, it’s a better idea to have it created by professionals instead. A company that builds websites will know the right way to create a design so that it attracts attention without annoying your visitors. You want your website to look polished and professional, and unless you have experience designing business websites yourself, you will will need a professional to get the look you’re going for.

Your website should include basic contact and location information, your hours, and your practice’s specialties. Include bios and pictures of each physical therapist that details their experience, certification, and specialties. This will help you with Internet searches, since many people use it as their main tool to find a therapist who can help them with a specific injury.

Newsletter: An email newsletter is a great way to reach new and returning patients who can subscribe using their email address. These newsletters should detail news about your practice (new equipment, a new therapist, special holiday hours, etc.), along with some information about physical therapy in general. The options are really quite wide open here. Stay conscientious of the fact that your newsletter readers are interested in staying healthy, recovering quickly, and preventing future injuries. Use your newsletter as an opportunity to demonstrate that you are the experts in your field by highlighting educational and informative articles and adding in your own expert voice.

Social media: Your practice should also have a social media campaign as a way to reach existing patients who will refer your practice to their friends. Encourage your existing patients to follow your social media accounts to keep up to date with your practice. Your social media campaign should be informative and interactive. Follow and post content that relates to health and physical therapy in general, rather than topics that are only specific to your practice. Also be sure to respond to any comments you receive, both positive and negative. Having a strong social media presence will make your practice stand out within your community and will also lead to more walk-in patients.

Ratings & Reviews: online reputation is the second most trusted form of advertising.  Establishing yourself as a leader in the community, via patient ratings and reviews, will definitely drive business. Having a systematic process in place to capture the 5-star satisfaction your patients’ convey to you in the practice and then getting that message out on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Healthgrades.com, is another great way to drive new business in the door.

[squeeze_box]If an online marketing campaign seems daunting to you, don’t worry. You don’t have to be in this alone. For more information on PT marketing ideas for your practice or to find out how we can develop a campaign for you, contact E-Rehab today![/squeeze_box]

Physical Therapy Website Design: Creating a Library of Educational Information for Patients

A crucial part of physical therapy website design is providing information patients really want to know about rather than reading mere sales tactics. When prospective patients seek out physical therapy, they want to know what sets you apart from everyone else. Ultimately, most of those people likely have serious physical problems and don’t want to spend hours of time deciding between physical therapy clinics that look too much alike.

One way to set yourself apart is providing a library of educational information on your site that’s easily organized under categories. Under each category, you can bring a comprehensive list of what you do, what your mission statement is, plus answering pertinent questions most patients ask.

Here at E-rehab.com we’ll help you put this all together utilizing the best in multimedia so a first-time visitor gets a complete picture of who you are within minutes.

Creating a Q&A Section

One of the most essential elements in a menu providing information is a basic Q&A section answering the most pertinent questions about you. However, if you’ve ever been in the shoes of a patient, you know not every question is easily answerable in a Q&A. Try to think more thoroughly about what you’d want to ask and place the question and answer there. The more obscure the question, the better since someone will inevitably ask it eventually.

When creating the Q&A, organize it alphabetically or by subject for faster reference. In a mobile culture, especially, many patients are probably reading this on their mobile devices. If they can’t find information in minutes (or even seconds), they’ll likely give up and go somewhere else.

Also, when providing answers in your Q&A, be thorough in the answers. Provide information you can’t find on a Google search so patients know you went to more work for their benefit. One thing patients won’t warm to is overly simple, pat answers.

Providing Information on Individual Procedures

Most people searching for info about physical therapy want to know what type of techniques you provide for various physical ailments. Again, creating categories for each condition is a smart way to organize this information so someone doesn’t have to search on your site to find something.

Under each category, mention any innovative techniques you bring to physical therapy that few others are doing. Be thorough with the information like you were with the Q&A, especially under categories that are the most typical. Physical therapy for back problems are quite common, as are techniques to help those recovering after accidents or surgeries.

Indicate exactly how long each procedure takes and what the best results are. It’s here where you can provide a separate library of videos that showcase exactly what you do.

Creating a Library of Short Videos

When creating videos about your procedures, being as transparent as possible is essential in an era where we want facts about everything. Creating a video series is also a good idea so you break down a particular physical therapy technique into multiple, short segments.

With patient approval, try creating short videos showcasing the physical therapy taking place. By showing one session in real-time through a series of videos, you give a sense of actually being there, how patients react, and what the immediate results are.

End your video series with testimonials from those patients and how they felt after one or several physical therapy sessions. This is the best information your first-time videos can have and tells so much in a mere minute. Nevertheless, your textual information is there to complement the videos. Add detailed images of inside the body showing how physical therapy helps muscle tissue.

[note_box]

Your Website can be More than a Sales Tool

Patients check you and your practice out online before they come in for care.

Use your website as a digital tool to reinforce the information/education you have provided them verbally. A good physical therapy design should consider educational opportunities. E-rehab.com provides patient education, patient handouts, exercise videos, and more.[/note_box]

Contact us here at E-rehab.com and we’ll help you put together a library of information on your site that encapsulates everything for both mobile and desktop users.

How To Begin Your Keyword Research for Physical Therapy SEO

Good Physical Therapy SEO Starts with Some Simple Planning

New doctors and physical therapists building their practices websites can greatly improve their reach by targeting physical therapy SEO keywords. But how do you know what words to target? Here are the steps to keyword research you’ll need to implement in order to start your SEO marketing strategy, specified for physical therapists and their work.

Brainstorm First

To start, it’s important to brainstorm a list of keywords that you know will pertain to your office. This list would include (but is not limited to):

  • your name/your brand (Ex. Dr. Edward Smith Therapy/First Coast Physical Therapy)
  • physical therapy + your location
  • typical injuries your office treats (whiplash/car accident injuries, sports injuries, back pain)
  • therapy modalities you implement

Once You Pick Keywords, Then Put Them Through This Test

There are four factors to consider when choosing keywords that you will include on your website.

  1. Relevant Keywords – this is pretty simple to understand.  Relevant keywords are those keywords that your market niche will use to search for you.  A PT practice owner in Cleveland might have the thought that he/she should try to rank for a term like “low back pain treatment in Cleveland”.  However, you have to ask yourself this question, “If I rank, will people click on the link and actually call my office?”  Based on search engine rankings and the traffic that these terms (e.g. low back pain treatment in Cleveland) generate, I would argue that in most cases, there are some higher priority marketing efforts you should invest in first.  Physical therapists are not thought of as a primary care providers the healthcare system…yet.  If you are going to try to rank for terms like “low back pain treatment in Cleveland”, you will need to rank for a large number of these terms to generate enough traffic to convert website visitors to patients.
  2. Competition – if you are a new practice with a new website, and you are in a big city like NYC, there’s little chance you will rank in the next 6-12 months.  Google ranks website that have domain authority and lots of backlinks.  It takes time and a lot of effort from a good SEO company to rank in major markets.  It can be done but it is a long-term strategy.
  3. High Traffic Keywords – during your keyword analysis, you should use a tool like the Google Keyword Planner to estimate the number of searches that are done for a given keyword.  This is closely related to the concept of relevance.  If your target audience rarely searches for a given keyword, or isn’t likely to click on the Google link, of you do rank, it’s not worth the effort.  On the other hand, if there is an acceptable amount of traffic and the market isn’t too competitive, then you should add this keyword to your list.
  4. Commerciality – after you determined that a keyword is a relevant term, there isn’t too much competition, and there is enough people searching for the term, then you want to think about commerciality.  This term describes the likelihood that someone will click on your keyword and call your office.  It’s best illustrated with an example.  Let’s say that you are considering ranking for the keyword “physical therapy Cleveland”.  The other keyword you are considering is “physical therapist Cleveland”.  Both are relevant to your practice.  Neither are too competitive (i.e. with reasonable time and effort you could rank on page 1 of Google).  Both have a significant number of searches (high traffic).   Physical therapy is know to the public as a service and not a profession (this too is changing IMHO).  Therefore, the search “physical therapy Cleveland” is a better term to rank for.  If you had to choose a keyword term to spend your time and money to try to rank for, then you would choose “physical therapy Cleveland”.  Ranking for this term is more likely to generate traffic that will call your office and schedule for an appointment.  Here’s a link to a video that describes this term.

 

Use a Couple Free Tools

As you categorize your terms, you should use research tools to help you narrow down your list. If you’re on a budget, free tools like Buzzsumo or Moz.com can help you find websites similar to yours, and will allow you to study what makes these sites work. These tools allow you to see how well your website is doing, as well as how it compares to other competitors. By studying your competitors, you can get a better sense of how to optimize your website.

DO NOT Keyword Stuff Your Blog Posts or Pages

Lastly, after all your research, implement your keywords strategically. In order to improve your search rankings, you want to use your list of keywords effectively. It’s not enough to just copy and paste them in a list on your website, or heavily use them in your blog posts to push spammy messages hoping you will rank on page one. In fact, those strategies could hurt your ranking. Instead, create unique and valuable content that uses your keywords at part of a theme. For example, let’s say one of your keywords is “Physical therapy Nashville.” A blog post about staying injury-free before you take advantage of outdoor recreational activities in one of Nashville’s many parks, can generate more relevance than a generic blog post on physical therapy in Nashville.

By picking and choosing your keywords based on your own knowledge and some simple analysis, you’ll be more likely to create a successful web presence for your business. To learn more about SEO research, contact us.

3 Ideas for Local Physical Therapy Blogging

physical therapy blogging ideas

For any website, a blog plays an important role in developing physical therapy blogging. But sometimes it’s hard to find a fresh topic to write about, especially if you’re writing consistently. Here are three ways to incorporate your keywords in a refreshing way, to help you with your blogging roadblocks.

1. Address local needs.

You already know a lot about the community you work in, and what their needs are: you can learn a lot from your current pool of individuals seeking your help. Do you get a lot of student-athletes, since you work by a university? Do your demographics reflect a large population of individuals working in construction, and therefore share similar back or body aches? Or maybe you’re settled in a tech hub, and seeing people come in for rehabilitation after painful days and nights sitting at a computer. Knowing this, you can easily provide advice or tips for your local population, drawing more people to your blog. If you need help, look up statistics on the top worked jobs in your city, and apply your knowledge of that group to your work. As you address your local needs, you’ll be able to provide valuable, local, SEO content that will help your blog.

2. Apply national research to your area–with your own twist.

Staying on top of trends and news on physical therapy, and reporting on them, is another great way to boost the relevant content in your blog. For example, a recent study on Harvard’s Medical School site showed that physical therapy worked just as well as surgery to alleviate pain due to lumbar spinal stenosis, a type of lower back pain. This type of pain is typically seen among aging patients (usually over 50 years old), as the spine degenerates over time.

The challenge here, however, is differentiating your content from others that simply “pile on” to the trend. Just sharing the news isn’t enough. You should add-on a unique angle in order to create a unique post about the report. For example, with the above research, you can report on how your office can take care of this lower back pain if you’ve had patients with this problem, or know that your community might face this problem over time (e.g. your community is made up of middle-age patients that might see this problem over time). You can add local statistics of how your community might in-time, face this issue, or even add a few tips and advice on how to take care of their bodies as they age. By adding your expertise and knowledge, you can better differentiate yourself among other physical therapy blogs and results.

3. Share your community involvement.

Are you active in your community? Do you co-sponsor events, or have worked with a local non-profit to teach the public about health? Your blog is the perfect platform to share that type of news! One of the best ways to improve your search results through your blog is to report on your relationships with the community. By being able to situate yourself among other local businesses, your webpages will receive a better ranking, as it validates your local influence.

Building those connections not only adds value in your community, but also virtually among SEO results. In order to build a successful reputation online, you also have to build it among your community physically. If your office is brand new, consider working with businesses or organizations that could use your expertise or services. That relationship helps build your reputation among the community, as well as online, when other businesses, organizations, or new patients, can vouch for your local validity.

With these three different strategies, you can continue to build a successful blog for your business.

[note_box]Looking for a blogger for your physical therapy practice?  We can help.  Not only do we write on topics relevant for your practice, we can also SEO optimize the posts to greatly increase the likelihood your practice will rank for keywords that are important to you.  For help with finding the right keywords and improving your online marketing strategy, contact us.[/note_box]

How to Choose Physical Therapy Website Developer

physical therapy website developer

There are certain things that everyone is looking for in a physical therapy website developer. Some of these are pretty basic things.

  • You want a functional website that’s going to generate more traffic for your business.
  • You want your website to be a patient education tool.
  • You want your website to help with operational efficiency.
  • You want your website to communicate your expertise, etc., etc.

The tone of your website is generally considered to be important. Given that most of your traffic to your website will be prospects (potential patients), you want your website so be easy to navigate and to clearly represent the quality of service you provide.  What I often state is, “In a service business, people judge what they can’t see based on what they can see.”  Make sure your website is very attractive.

These are all important things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a physical therapy web developer. However, it’s also important to communicate exactly what you’re hoping to achieve. You’ll have to work hand-in-hand with them to get the types of results you want.

What Are You Trying to Achieve?

It’s always a good idea to be really clear about what you’re trying to achieve with your website. Do you want to attract new patients? This is often what many physical therapists want to do with their online presence. But for some, new patients may not matter that much. Instead, they may want to improve their online image. Maybe they want to become thought leaders in their field. For them, the quality of viewers attracted may be more important than the quantity. It’s important to convey your aims to your web developer so that you can see the types of results you want.

Design Secret: Look at a Lot of Websites but Only Spend 5 Seconds on Each PT Website

It’s a great idea to look at websites of companies within the physical therapy profession. Once you know what your competitors are going for, you can compete with them more easily. Forbes magazine agrees with this idea, adding, “Most designers are not experts in your field of business. Having a list of competitor websites and doing your own research about those competitors and similar businesses can help you articulate ideas for the new website.”  Here’s a tip though.  You could waste hours of time looking at other physical therapy websites.  Don’t!  Do a search for physical therapy in various cities.  Click on links the to each PT website but only look at it for 5 seconds.  You will know within that timeframe if you like the look and feel of the website or not.  If you do, write it down and communicate it to your developer.

What Does Your Web Developer Specialize In?

Before you start working with a web developer, you might want to check out their previous work and see what they specialize in. If you’re a physical therapist working with E-rehab, you don’t need to worry because we specialize in building websites for physical therapy private practices. You can feel free to point to our previous work and tell us what you liked and what you didn’t.

We bring a certain type of expertise to the task while you bring another. We’re experts in web development while you know the services you provide. It’s important for you to stay involved in the process, overseeing the content and design to make sure that it portrays your practice accurately. At E-Rehab, we’ll be happy to keep you as involved in the process as you’d like to be.

An article from Huffington Post also suggests that you should check out the “back-end” of websites your web developer has built.  This will give you an idea of what it will be like to later edit your website on your own. Is it going to be a simple, easy process or will it be too complicated for you?  We build our websites on the most popular website development platform on the web-WordPress.  This means it is easy to update your website on your own.  We even provide personalized training, videos, and phone and email support 5 days a week for you.

[note_box]Take home message: Your website should generate business, communicate your brand image and expertise, improve efficiency, and should be a patient education tool. It can also be a place where you sell product, appointment requests are taken, paperwork is filled out, where a video story about your practice is communicated, where outcomes are presented, and more. Take the time to invest in a good physical therapy website. It will certainly pay dividends on a daily basis.[/note_box]

Contact us for more great tips on working hand-in-hand with your physical therapy web developer.

Stop the Lead Generation Madness

Each day I speak with a client or prospect that wants to generate more business from the web.  They are overwhelmed, confused, have been burned and simply don’t know what to do.

It’s not surprising when you consider all of the possible forms of advertising communication as diagrammed here in The Conversation Prism:

JESS3_BrianSolis_ConversationPrism4_WEB_1280x1024

 

Your head really starts to spin when you think of social media:

By Brian Solis and JESS3 (http://www.theconversationprism.com/) [CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Here are E-rehab’s Physical Therapy Online Marketing Recommendations

1. Make sure you have a great website – it’s one of the most trusted forms of advertising according to Nielson.

2. Make sure you have a mobile optimized website.  30% plus of your physical therapy website viewers are going to visit you on a smartphone.

3. Send out an email newsletter (examples here).  It is the cheapest, fastest, and easiest way to welcome, communicate, and stay in touch with past patients.

4. Ratings and Reviews – online reviews are the second most trusted and actionable form of advertising according to Nielson.

5. Create videos about your practice, your expertise, about patient reviews, and patient testimonials. Here are examples of reputation videos at Terrapin Physical Therapy’s YouTube channel.

6. Use Facebook and Twitter to communicate social signals to the search engines and to demonstrate your expertise and credibility.

7. Create a blog and optimize the posts to rank for common conditions you treat like MBF Rehab has done.

Invest in the Hub & Spokes

physical therapy online marketing hub and spokes

[info_box]You can spend hours every week chasing after the latest tech that might generate new patients. Our advice is to stop the madness and create a solid online marketing platform that includes the seven components above. We call it the Hub & Spoke Model. Your website is your hub of online marketing and the other components are the spokes. Invest in these and you will build your brand and develop more business from community members that have a need for PT.[/info_box]

Why Video Marketing for Physical Therapists Is A Good Idea

Video marketing is one of the most popular marketing tools because it is a great way to promote your business. But it’s not just for retail businesses. Video marketing for physical therapists is also an affordable marketing channel to reach your local community.  Consider these stats when it comes to video, consumers, health care information, and the Internet:

  • 87% of adults use the Internet. Pew Internet
  • 72% of internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year. Pew Internet
  • 52 percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. Invodo
  • 75% of smartphone owners watch videos on their phones; 26% at least once per day. B2Community

Want a couple more reasons why you should use video marketing? How about these: not only are videos inexpensive to make, but once you post them on the Internet, they are there forever. Just think, a video you post today could still send traffic to your Website and growth to your business years from now. Also, we all know that social media is obviously here to stay; so make it work for you. Video has quickly become a must-have on social media networks. How many viral videos have you seen this week?

Here are three tips to make it easier for you to add videos to your marketing plan.

Define your goals and metrics.

You have to make sure everyone expects the same things from the video you are producing. For example, let’s say that the practice owner wants a straight-forward advertisement that the value of seeing a physical therapist first, but the video developer doesn’t have any idea what physical therapy is like (e.g. PT is like massage, or chiropractic, or personal training). Now you have a problem. Make sure everyone has the same expectations by asking questions like:

  • Should you make several short videos on a specific topic?
  • Will the tone of the videos be funny and entertaining or more formal?
  • Is the goal to promote your company and services or to include other things like industry news or interviews with recognized experts?

Your team has to define the metrics that will tell you whether or not the video is a success. These metrics are things such as the number of views, number of shares, number of likes, whether it goes viral, how much traffic increases on your company Website, or any increase in sales.

Include a call to action.

It is easy to have a call to action (CTA) in print. In most cases, with a service business like physical therapy, the CTA is your phone number. With a video, you need a clearly defined CTA that people can see (such as putting a phone number or URL on the bottom of the screen) and hear (such as saying, “Call 888-555-1234 now to schedule.”). Add an end-screen or outro to your video that shows your company name, logo, phone number, Website, and any other necessary information.

Here’s an Example of a Video with a Call to Action

Share your video across social media.

According to Entrepreneur, “In 2014, YouTube officially became the second-largest search engine, with over 300 hours of content uploaded every minute, and those billion unique visitors watch more than six billion hours of video every month.” Now that’s the power of social media in action!

There are so many ways to use social media to your advantage. Post your video to YouTube and to your company Website. Then tweet and retweet the URLs again and again on Twitter. Upload the video to your company LinkedIn page, and invite people to comment on it. Ask your employees to promote the video to their social media network. That one video has made its way across four platforms in no time at all.

If you are going to be on the Web and use social media, then you also have to think about how people might search for your video (Video Search Engine Optimization or VSEO). Make a list of the keywords to use to get your video at the top of every major search engine’s results page. Plan the content of your video around these keywords.  You might be surprised to see your video rank like this one.

video seo or vseo picture of google search results page with youtube video on it

If you have questions about how video can help your practice, give us a call at 760-585-9097 .  We look forward to speaking with you to see how we can help.

Why Seeing the Big Picture of Digital Marketing Is Therapeutic

physical therapy marketing the big picture of digital

It’s a little ironic: you’re a physical therapist who improves the health of others, but when tasked with the overwhelming flood of information involved in online marketing, you become stressed, tense, and exhausted.

But there’s a quick relief valve to this stress: step back and look at the big picture — at the panorama that sits behind all of the little online chores of physical therapy marketing.

And, thankfully, this big picture is not complicated — yet so many businesses overlook a simple truth: marketing, in the end, marketing for small businesses, i.e. physical therapy practices, is about getting your market (doctors, current & past patients, and your community) to know, like and trust you. But obtaining that prized marketing goal requires an essential skill.

Being a Good Listener

Yes, online marketing involves plenty of techno-babble at times — terms like “scalable,” “metrics,” “big-data,” “viral,” or “growth hacking.”

But the heart of online marketing, or any marketing, thrives on something everyone can relate to: being a good listener.

In the ancient days of sales before the Internet, door-to-door salespeople — the really good ones who ran their numbers through the roof — all did one thing really well.

They listened.

They listened carefully and sincerely. They were comfortable with silence. They weren’t eager to steamroll their customers with non-stop pitching and strong-arm talking tactics. They asked good questions and then really listened to their customers until they pin-pointed that one red-hot need, that one cry for help that perfectly matched what their product offered.

Nothing has changed. Although you do not travel door-to-door conducting surveys on paper or pitching services, you are still listening. In the digital age, we now do much of our listening through screens. All of the online spheres — social media, data analytics, web design, e-newsletters — have become digital ears.

Superb Web Design: Making That Crucial First Impression

[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”right” variation=”steelblue” textColor=”#4c7c81″]In fact, over the last 6 weeks, across all of the mobile websites
E-rehab.com manages, we’ve logged over 5,000 calls. [/pullquote1]
If you fail to make a stellar first impression with someone you meet, they’re less likely to enter into a meaningful conversation with you. Your website — its visual appeal, navigational ease, functionality — has to be top-notch to earn the trust of visitors and create those conversations.

Physical therapy practice owners need a complete, state-of-the art online marketing system, and that’s exactly what we offer in our proven web design model. By combining Google, Yahoo!, and Bing-friendly content, an intuitive management Control Panel, an integrated blog, powerful visual appeal, and multiple calls-to-action, your site will create valuable conversations with visitors.

But desktop websites are only half of the equation. According to recent studies by Pew Internet, 34% of Internet users “go online mostly using their phones.” In fact, over the last 6 weeks, across all of the mobile websites E-rehab.com manages, we’ve logged over 5,000 calls. Mobile marketing grows every year in its dominance, and a powerful mobile website is a must. We design fast-loading, visually attractive mobile sites that will increase user engagement and attract both new and repeat visitors — in addition to many other features of mobile marketing, including QR code creation.

Search Engine Optimization

Part of being a good listener in the Screen Age means creating more conversations. We learn to listen well by doing it often. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) creates more opportunities for you to listen by bringing more traffic to your site.

But it’s more than just opening the floodgates and letting faceless IP addresses stampede through your web traffic stats. As search engines have evolved, it’s become more about search experience optimization. We make sure your website optimizes the experience for human beings, not the robot crawlers that scour the Internet. When a website creates helpful search experiences for prospects, search engines notice and this improves your ranking.

E-rehab helps you find that balance between excellent user experience in your site design and SEO guidelines that help your website stand out to search engines.

We can also determine your local SEO effectiveness and look for ways to position you more effectively among local prospects.

Remember, according to Pew Internet, 72% of internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year. When asked to think about the last time they did so, 77% of online health seekers say they began at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

Effective local SEO helps you create more conversations with prospective patients in your community.

Patient Survey

And, of course, the direct approach is the best approach. E-rehab excels in creating attractive, easy-to-use, interactive patient surveys that can be delivered via email. We can post ratings, reviews, and survey results on your website and create dynamic charts. But most importantly, our services help you ask the right questions and listen to what your patients need.

Relief from Marketing Brain Freeze

When you reduce a complex system to its essentials, it’s a little easier to relax. When you know that the goal is attainable — that, when boiled down, marketing is simply about getting your community to know, like, and trust you– it makes the process less intimidating.

The bottom-line? Digital marketing doesn’t have to be a splitting headache. Contact us to see how we can alleviate your stress and help you listen well in our digital world.