What’s Your PT Company’s Story?

“For a football fan, there might be nothing better than watching a playoff game at Lambeau Field – and seeing it decided, dramatically, in overtime. ”Cris Collinsworth - Sunday Night Football

One of the human brain’s most fascinating qualities is its ability to remember narratives…like a playoff game at Lambeau Field. You may not remember what time your mail carrier comes or recall your Netflix password instantly, but I bet you can talk about a sporting event, like Sunday Night Football, or a movie you love even if it happened weeks or even months ago.

Do You Recognize the Power of  Story Almost Every Monday Morning?

If your practice is anything like ours, you probably have no shortage of team members arriving on Monday mornings eager to discuss the previous night’s episode of “Sunday Night Football!” Even if you don’t know all of the players on each side of the ball, I’m sure you can share some of the exciting plays and names of superstars like Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson…that happened days or even weeks ago.  This simply demonstrates just how impactful stories, like an exciting football game, can be.

Make Sure You Tell a Memorable Story About Your PT Practice

Leveraging the power of narrative is a great way to make current and prospective patients remember you. Think about the brands you most admire. Odds are that in addition to having great products and excellent customer service, these brands convey their identity and their purpose in a lasting way.

Have You Thought About Your Story?

Despite this truism, many practice owners I speak to haven’t thought about the story of their practice. Maybe that’s because telling this story in a succinct way can be difficult. One tool I’ve found immensely helpful is the BrandScript model created by Donald Miller of Building A StoryBrand.

Miller, an accomplished fiction author turned marketing guru, created a formula that allows all types of business owners to quickly articulate their core principles and message in a way that compels readers to action.

He achieves this feat by making the customer — in your case, the patient — the main character of the story. Generating a BrandScript involves zeroing in on the core aspects of your story, so you can quickly define who you are and what you can do for a patient.

You’re Not the Hero…Your Patient is the Hero and You’re the Expert Guide

We’ll call that patient a character for the purposes of this exercise. The character, like all protagonists at the beginning of a tale, has a problem they need to solve. After meeting a guide (the PT at your clinic), the character now has an action plan to solve their problem.

Your plan needs to compel them to that action (treatment), help them avoid failure, and lead them down a successful path. If you can convince the character that you are the guide they need, you’ve just earned a new patient.

The details of your story will vary depending on the size and nature of your practice. Nobody is a better fit to tell that story than you, and you should be an integral part of the message you convey anytime somebody logs onto your website. After all, somebody on your site is already looking for a guide. You need to demonstrate to them you are the right one, and there’s no better way to do that than through a story.

Formula = Hero, Problem, Guide, Plan, Call to Action, Avoid Failures, Achieve Success

In closing, I ask you one simple question: What is your story? If you need a little help defining it, I recommend buying the book Building a StoryBrand and then visiting MyStoryBrand.com and giving the BrandScript tool a shot. You can create one for free, and it will help you control the story you’re telling.

If You Want Help Writing Your Story for Your Practice Website, Give Us a Call

Reference: Image is from Donald Miller’s Building a StoryBrand book.

Common Physical Therapy Branding Mistakes

If you are just starting your practice, here are some physical therapy branding mistakes that could torpedo your company’s image.

The value of a strong brand cannot be overstated when it comes to growing your business. We call adhesive bandages Band-Aids and cotton swabs Q-tips because those companies excel at creating memorable, trusted brands that consumers can rely on.

There’s no recipe for creating a brand so strong that the name of your practice becomes common vernacular, but developing a strong, consistent brand is within the reach of every clinic owner.

DO IT RIGHT – AVOID THESE MISTAKES

This is why it’s frustrating to see practices hurt their branding through easily avoidable mistakes. Practice owners often deprioritize branding in the early stages of their company, but that’s a dangerous mistake. If a potential patient interacts with your brand and it doesn’t resonate with them, it’s going to be hard to convert them into a patient or win them back as a repeat client.

By avoiding these common errors, you can create a brand that people will support and interact with.

AVOID BLAND PHYSICAL THERAPY PRACTICE BRANDING

Branding is deliberate differentiation…Debbie Millman

In other words, don’t create your brand by copying somebody else’s. The best brands stand out. Think about the iconic Nike swoosh, one of the greatest logos in business history. There was nothing like it at the time, and there’s little like it today.

A Quick Example
If you do a search for physical therapy logos, you’ll see so many of them have what we call a “stylized human” that is moving.  We just signed a new client recently who rebranded his company by creating a new logo.  His comment on logo design was, “The first thing we were NOT going to do is have a one of those moving people (i.e. a stylized human) in our logo.” Take-home message – search for the competition in your area. Look at their logos. How can you make yours different?

DON’T WRITE SLOPPY WEBSITE COPY

Branding is far more than just a cool logo and a flashy website. The words you use to convey your values — and the value you offer customers — are crucial. Bad grammar, weird word choice, and other linguistic faux pas can make you look silly. Make sure you have professional editors look over your copy to ensure it relays your intended message.

AVOID PLATFORM INCONSISTENCY

Have you ever logged onto a mobile version of a website and wondered if you were in the wrong place? When that happens, it’s because a company hasn’t made the effort to mirror their branding across all platforms. It’s one thing to have an irreverent online presence — look to MoonPie’s Twitter feed for an example — it’s another to have such disparate branding that you leave customers confused.

A great brand synergizes all aspects of their brand. Share your values, convey clear messages, and provide a professional image. Once you’ve done that, you’re on the road to building a brand that people want to support.

ONE LAST THOUGHT – TELL A GREAT STORY

Next month, I’ll review the power of telling a great story and give you a simple template that you can use to differentiate your physical therapy clinic from the droves of others in your community.

Thoughts on Physical Therapy Facebook Ads

Are you thinking about running Facebook ads for your PT clinic?

Here’s something that I really need to explain to practice owners:

Facebook ads are just the WORST marketing strategy to start with for physical therapy clinic owners. I’m not saying ads don’t work. But there’s just so much that goes into the success of Facebook advertising.  There are just so many components of a good ad campaign that require hours of education and lots of variables that are outside your control.

What You Have to Consider with Physical Therapy Facebook Ad Funnels:

You have time hire an agency or dive deep spending hours learning about this yourself?

  • Then there’s the writing of the ads (ad creative).
  • Then you need to go through the ad approval process.
  • You’ll have to master the Ads Manager.
  • The you have to test various audiences depending upon your ad creative.
  • Next, you’ll need to decide what kind of offer you make to this audience and you’ll have to test those too.
  • Will you have enough budget to learn and pay Facebook? It will cost you hundreds to thousands per month.
  • What about Apple, IOS 14, and their new privacy rules. How will that impact your campaign?
  • Split test has to be part of the process.
  • Then you have to wait like 15-30 days for ads to fully optimize.

So why would you ever start with Facebook Ads for Physical Therapy?

You should start with a marketing strategy that goes after the lowest hanging fruit first.

In other words take fastest path to generating new patients, revenue, and most importantly, profits.

For Clinics That Have Been in Business – Physical Therapy Patient Reactivation is First Priority

We recommend marketing to your past patients and reactivating those that are in need of your care. It’s called PDR or Patient Database Reactivation.

For clinics that have been in business for 3 years or more, it’s always the first place to start your marketing.

It’s one of the easiest ways to get new patients and generate a positive ROI.

With one simple campaign, you can fill your calendar, without Facebook (or Google for that matter) ad spend .

While I can appreciate the willingness to spend money to generate more business, many small practice owners (those with < 3 locations) spend thousands or even tens-of-thousands without any success.

Don’t Make the Same Mistake – Get Your PT Online Marketing Right

I’ve heard it over and over…and so many times they say, “Well, I learned a lot.”  While I can really appreciate the positive perspective, small practices simply can’t afford to waste money in a hyper competitive market like physical therapy.

In conclusion, if you are searching for an affordable marketing strategy that generates new business fast, make sure you incorporate Patient Database Reactivation into your marketing mix.

Click Here to Schedule a Free Assessment of Your Physical Therapy Marketing and Let Us Help You Get It Right!

3 Clinical Studies to Share with Physicians To Generate More Referrals

Physicians often overlook the value of physical therapy. But if you bring them clinical proof of the value it can provide to their patients, they’re more likely to refer to you than if you were to just ask them for a referral point-blank.

Here are three great clinical research articles you can download and drop off with your referring physicians next time you stop by their offices.

1. For a detailed study that found delayed physical therapy consultation is associated with increased costs and health care utilization for many patients, read “Timing of Physical Therapy Consultation on 1-year Healthcare Utilization and Costs in Patients Seeking Care for Neck Pain: A Retrospective Cohort” at L.PTClinic.com/36lHrNn.

2. For a conclusion that for those with acute low back pain, immediate referral to a physical therapist may lead to decreased health care utilization and costs, recommend “Immediate Physical Therapy Initiation in Patients With Acute Low Back Pain Is Associated With a Reduction in Downstream Health Care Utilization and Costs” at L.PTClinic.com/354hPV6.

3. For a compelling proposition that current literature indicates moderate support of using exercise therapy in the treatment of full thickness rotator cuff tears, try “Exercise Therapy in the Non-Operative Treatment of Full-Thickness Rotator Cuff Tears: A Systematic Review” at L.PTClinic.com/358BQJV.

These articles, as well as hundreds more available online, are great resources for selling your services.

Whether you’re communicating via the internet or in person, don’t start the conversation empty-handed. Print the articles in full and deliver them.

Have a conversation about your services, and let them know the proven value you can bring to their patients.

Need Help with Physician Referral Marketing?

We can help. Click here to schedule some time with David Straight, DPT & co-owner or call 760-585-9097

We provide physical therapy marketing that’s affordable and doing it right is a must. Contact us today!

Physical Therapy Google Ads Management – 4 Ways to Improve

We’re well into 2021 and the pandemic is waning.  If you’re still struggling to fill your clinic, so it may be time to think about advertising…in particular, Google

The first component (and usually the most expensive) of a marketing strategy is lead generation. John Jantsch calls this step getting people to “know” you.

Alan Dibb calls this the “before” stage of a marketing campaign. In other words, this is the process of making people aware that you exist and of what you do.

In terms of marketing funnels, this is called a “top-of-the-funnel” (TOF) strategy.

Advertising is a Necessary Component of PT Marketing in a Crowded Physical Therapy Market

Advertising is indeed a way to make your community aware of who you are and, specifically, one method of advertising online is Google Ads, formerly called Google AdWords.

Google Ads are the search results that usually show up first when you type in a search like “physical therapy in your town.”

You will be able to differentiate an ad from organic and local maps listings because ad results have a small box (with a border around it) right below the headline that says “Ad” along with the “display path,” URL, or web address in green next to it.

A good ad is going to capture the attention of the person searching for physical therapy and speak to what they may be looking for in a PT practice.

Headlines like “Physical Therapy Nearby,” “Same-Day Appointments,” and “Voted Best in the Community” often get a viewer’s attention. Adding the following extensions like a: SiteLink, Location, and Call extensions can also help.

In my 14 years of experience running Google Ads, I’ve found that most practices are missing huge opportunities to improve their Google Ads’ return on investment.

Many are just throwing money away using Google’s Smart Campaigns.

If you’re guilty of one or more of the following common flaws, change your strategy if possible. Here are five of the most common ad campaign mistakes I see with Google Ads.

1. Running the ad for people that show “interest” in your ad. Don’t do this. Change this in your campaign settings so that you are running your ad only for people inside your geo-targeted area. For example, look at the image of the Google Ads above. I’m in San Diego. Why are ads for Brampton, Ontario showing up in San Diego?
2. Running your ad at night or on the weekends. Doing this is only going to get more clicks from either competitors or people who would like to connect with you right now but can’t call you because you aren’t in your office. Run your adduring your hours of operation.
3. Practice owners under-budgeting for their ad campaign. If you don’t invest enough in your ad campaign,your ad will show less often and you will end up paying more than your competition.
4. Not managing your ads on a regular basis. Too many often he practice owners I talk with just set it and forget it. This is a great way to waste money.

Here’s an example of the metrics you should be measuring that we gathered from working with a client of ours.

Metrics You Should Be Measuring
  • Ad Impressions 8.16K;
  • Clicks 320;
  • CPC $5.54;
  • Leads 79;
  • Conversions/New Patients 63;
  • Conversion Rate 80%;
  • Money spent on ads $1.77K;
  • Cost per lead $22.40;
  • Cost per conversion $28.10;
  • Revenue generated from ads this month $31,500;
  • ROI 17.79x.

Part of a good marketing strategy involves lead generation or getting people to “know” that you exist and are a solution for their problems.

Google Ads for physical therapy clinics is one way to drive leads.

Try to avoid some of the mistakes as outlined above, and also make sure you are looking at the key metrics to confirm your advertising campaign is generating a positive return on investment.

Need help getting your PT Online Marketing Right?

We can help. Click here to schedule some time with David Straight, DPT & co-owner or call 760-585-9097

Physical therapy online marketing is affordable and doing it right is a must. Contact us today!

How to Turn a One-Time Patient Into a Repeat Customer

It’s no secret that it’s much easier to keep a customer than it is to obtain a new one. If that’s the case, what are the best ways to market specifically to previous customers? It doesn’t always involve direct marketing; much of it has to do with simple follow-up.

MESSAGES PATIENTS – GENERATE REPEAT BUSINESS BY STAYING IN TOUCH

People like it when you remember things about them. Mailing goodwill messages to your patients for events and milestones, like birthdays or anniversaries, can go a long way in keeping you top of mind. If they like you, they’re more likely to choose you again if they have a need for your PT services.

PHYSICAL THERAPY EMAIL NEWSLETTERS – THEY’RE AFFORDABLE, AUTOMATED, AND EASY

Creating an email list of your past patients is as simple as asking them to provide their email when they visit your office. Gather those emails, input them into your E-Rehab Control Panel, and we will send your patients a welcome, a thank-you, and monthly messages. Information about how to improve or maintain health, special offers, and reminders about follow-up services are all fair game.

NEW TREATMENTS – LET YOUR PATIENTS KNOW ABOUT NEW SERVICES

Some patients will no longer need your services because they’ve reached their goals, and that’s fantastic. But some patients may not be so lucky, and they will be looking for new ways to heal. So, when you have new treatments to offer, you should go back to this pool of patients and let them know. Even those who feel 80–90% normal might be interested in your new services.

TEXT MESSAGING – THE BEST WAY TO COMMUNICATE

Texting is becoming the easiest way to communicate with clients, both past and present. It’s fast, direct, and easy. Just as you would with email, keep a database of cellphone numbers and send text messages as necessary. Your previous patients will appreciate how quickly they’re getting useful information.

PRINT NEWSLETTERS – FOR THOSE WITH LARGER BUDGETS

If you’ve spent time reading this newsletter, you know it can be effective for staying top of mind. Newsletters put your business in your patients’ thoughts, provide information, advertise, and show personality. For some, a print newsletter is more effective than an email newsletter because there’s simply more impact when you hold something in your hand.

Need help getting your PT Online Marketing Right?

We can help. Click here to schedule some time with David Straight, DPT & co-owner or call 760-585-9097

Physical therapy online marketing is affordable and doing it right is a must. Contact us today!

Physical Therapy Marketing This Spring – Clean Out the Cobwebs

Spring is here, and that means you may be gearing up to do some hefty cleaning at home or in the office. But spring cleaning can be accomplished in other ways as well. This is a great opportunity to revamp your marketing strategies by cleaning out some of the “marketing cobwebs” you’ve been ignoring for too long.

The best way to start is by approaching your business from the position of a prospective patient.

It’s practically impossible to know the exact number of times your business is showing up online, but we can safely estimate it’s more than 300. There are so many online reference points for your physical therapy practice that if you aren’t optimized across a variety of different channels, you risk getting lost in the weeds. So how can you possibly know where to start? In order to get a handle on what potential patients are seeing and how best to cater to them, you should start with the most important web properties.

Begin with what I like to call the Big Five: Google, Yelp, Facebook, Apple Maps, and Bing. These are the essential online places that prospective clients use to help make decisions about who they want to see for PT care. If your business isn’t optimized on these sites, then it makes it that much harder for people to find you. They may go to the wrong location, or they may miss various services you offer.

Use these sites as though you’re a patient looking to find a new physical therapist. Each site has its own unique features that are slightly different than the others, but in general, they offer many of the same functions you should thoroughly explore.

First, do a simple search in their main database or search engine for your brand name (e.g., Acme Physical Therapy).

Type it into the search bar and take notes about what appears on the page. Where are you listed? What catches your eye? Are the images up to date? Is the information accurate? How difficult or easy is it to navigate to sites that are connected to your business?

Next, do a geographic search for physical therapy in your city. All of the Big Five sites I’ve mentioned have features that allow users to search for businesses based on location. When you navigate to these pages on each site and search for your business in your city, what do you see? Is the listing accurate? Is it displayed in a way that’s easy to understand?

How many reviews do you have compared to your competition? Are the small details (metadata and images) useful and representative of your practice?

Also do a general search for your physical therapy business and look at your maps listings. What comes up then?

The third step applies specifically to Google, Bing, and Apple Maps. These three sites have functionality that provides driving directions by way of Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and the Apple Maps app on iPhones. When you navigate to each of these sites and search for your business, how does it appear? Ask yourself the same questions you did for a normal search engine site, and remember that for businesses, these subsequent sites are just as important as Google and Bing natural/organic listings.

Understanding exactly what your potential patients are seeing when they look for you is critical to keeping business coming through your doors. Potential patients want a fast and friction free experience when they are searching for a PT practice. Optimizing your online presence is the key to doing that. But you don’t know what your potential patients will experience until you try it yourself.

Need help getting your PT Online Marketing Right?

We can help. Click here to schedule some time with David Straight, DPT & co-owner or call 760-585-9097

Physical therapy online marketing is affordable and doing it right is a must. Contact us today!

Physical Therapy Marketing Funnels – Understanding the Concepts First Can Increase Your ROI

The AIDA diagram pictured describes the path that a consumer will follow to become a patient.  In this conceptual funnel, the patient passes from one step to the next.  Those that do not move to the next step, are said to have “fallen or leaked out of the funnel”.

I particularly like this way of describing the patient’s buying journey because it’s easy to understand.  It’s one of the first buying models of advertising that I was introduced to quite some time ago.

There are 4 stages in the model:

  • Attention,
  • Interest,
  • Desire, and
  • Action.

The AIDA model is one class of collective models knows as the Hierarchy of Effects which is summarized here in this article. The hierarchy of effects theory describes how advertising affects consumers’ behavior and leads to the transition from not knowing a product or brand to liking it and finally making the action to purchase.

Physical Therapy Marketing and AIDA

AIDA model can be tailored to the physical therapy market of course. Each stage of this model helps practice owners and marketers conceptualize the thoughts patients move through and allows one to analyze key points to identify opportunities for improvement.

Attention – think about how you might be able to make people aware of your practice’s services.  This is commonly called an outreach strategy, outbound, or advertising strategy.  Examples might be direct mail, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, SEO, etc.

Interest – once you’ve captured the attention of a potential patient, you’re just getting started. Now, you must hold consumer’s interest long enough to relay your most pertinent information in order for them to take the next step in the AIDA process. You can accomplish this in any number of ways (and should take advantage of as many as possible).  A fast loading, beautiful looking, easy to read, and easy-to-use website, is a great way to maintain a potential patient’s interest. No matter how you choose to hold interest, it is crucial to continue to move your consumers to the next stage in the AIDA hierarchy.

Desire – think about how you arouse desire in a prospect’s mind to choose your physical therapy services.  One excellent way to position your practice as the clear choice is to have a custom designed, responsive website that tells a great story about how the patient can achieve his/her goals by choosing your practice.

We’ve Got You Covered!  This is exactly what E-rehab does to help clients position themselves as the best choice for their community…we help you tell a story about why you are the best choice to help the viewer achieve their treatment goals.  You can learn more about the modified StoryBrand model we follow by clicking here.

Action – not that a member of your community is aware of you, becomes interested in your physical therapy services as a solution to their problem, desires the benefits/results/outcomes they can achieve by working with you, you need to move them to take action. In other words, this is a final reminder to call the office or request a digital appointment.

NOTE
Note: Repeating your call to action throughout your homepage and your website is important as well.  You never know when the prospect (the website viewer) has consumed enough information to take the next step, i.e. connecting with your clinic.

If you’re interested in generating more new patients affordably and using the web to do it, we can help.

Click here to schedule a time with me now!

 

Physical Therapy Marketing in 2021 – Does Your Community Know About You?

In this post I want to share five brief interviews I did with members of my local North San Diego community.  The answers were a bit surprising.

TL;DR  We interviewed four men and one woman in our local community and as you will notice, physical therapy was never mentioned by any of them. So, the obvious question is: Are you marketing your practice enough to your community?

Here’s the recording:

Here’s the transcript of the interviews:

Interviewer:
“Thank you for participating. The first question I have is, uh, if you had neck or back pain, who would you go seek medical care?”

Participant #1 Answer:
“Well, it depends on the type, just stiffness or sciatica. I have chronic low stiffness, so I go to the chiropractor.”

Interviewer:
“Okay. And how about if you had shoulder knee problems? Who would you go see for that?” 

Participant #1 Answer:
“Um, probably an orthopedist.”

Interviewer:
“And have you ever had physical therapy before?

Participant #1 Answer:
Uh, yes I have.


Participant #2

Interviewer:
My first question for you is if you had neck or low back pain, who would you go see?

Participant #2 Answer
“Chiropractor”

Interviewer:
“If you had a shoulder or knee pain, who would you go?”

Participant #2 Answer
“Either a masseuse or an acupuncturists.”

Interviewer:
“My last question is, uh, have you ever been to physical therapy before?”

Participant #1 Answer:
“Uhhh, no.”


Participant #3

Interviewer:
“My first question is if you had neck or back pain, who would you go see?”

Participant #3 Answer:
“Neck or back pain? Uh, either a chiropractor I go to, or my local doctor.”

Interviewer:
“How about shoulder and knee pain?”

Participant #3 Answer:
“Shoulder and knee pain. Um, uh, it’s shoulder pain. I’ve had before I went to both, I got like treatment at a chiropractor and I also went to my local doctor for that electrical stuff.”

Interviewer:
“Have you ever been to a physical therapist before as therapists?”

Participant #3 Answer:
“No, my sister is actually going to school for that…”


Participant #4

Interviewer:
“My first question is if you had neck or back pain, who would you go see?”

Participant #4 Answer:
Uh, I would probably say a chiropractor.”

Interviewer:
“How about shoulder and knee pain?”

Participant #4 Answer:
“I would once again, probably say a chiropractor.”

Interviewer:
“Have you ever been to a physical therapist before as therapists?”

Participant #4 Answer:
“Yes”


Participant #5

Interviewer:
“My first question is if you had neck or back pain, who would you go see?”

Participant #5 Answer:
I would see my general practitioning physician.”

Interviewer:
“How about shoulder and knee pain?”

Participant #5 Answer:
Also my regular physician.”

Interviewer:
“Have you ever been to a physical therapist before as therapists?”

Participant #5 Answer:
“No, I have not.”

What did you think of their answers. Surprised at all?

If you need help getting your PT Online Marketing Right, give us a call at (760) 585-9097 or click here to request an appointment on my calendar.

Your About Us Page Could Be Suffering From These 6 Mistakes

Your About Us page probably has more website viewers land on it than you think. Too many companies treat this valuable real estate like an afterthought. They knock off a paragraph about why they started their practice or add in their mission and that’s about it.

Take advantage of this missed opportunity!

With so many eyes on this content, it needs to be some of the better work on your website. While a bad About Us page probably won’t destroy your practice, it could leave potential patients wanting more, before they choose you.

If you’re making these 6 frequent mistakes, it’s time for a rewrite.

1. It doesn’t show your personality

This is a common problem with website writing. People default to corporate-speak and start using phrases they’d never use in real life, like leverage, cutting-edge, etc. Cut out the jargon and just write like you talk!

Small practices shouldn’t hide their personalities behind the veil of boring corporate lingo. There’s nothing wrong with a fun or clever voice, on your About Us page, but do remember, you are a healthcare provider.

For a great example of this, check out PT Central.  https://ptcentral.org/about/ . Take a look at their commitments, values, and they even mention some of their partners in the community.

2. It focuses too much on you

Yes, it’s called an “About Us” page. So you will need to talk some about yourself and/or the company. But if you drone on for a full page about how great you are, your readers are going to zone out fast.

Dale Carnegie famously said, “…a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”  The quote speaks to a broader point — the most interesting thing in our lives is us. So while your reader may have some interest in you, what they really want to know is how you can benefit them.

You have to relate your story back to a benefit for the reader — aka, your potential customer. This doesn’t mean you should turn your About Us page into a sales page. But you should include what sets your company apart from the competition, and how that can solve the reader’s problem.

3. It doesn’t have a strong headline

If the headline of your About Us page says “About Us,” we might want to change it. Your headline needs to hook the reader right off the bat, above the fold. That doesn’t mean it needs to be flashy or clever. In fact, clever copy can sometimes be confusing. Aim for clarity instead.

A good example is on the About Us page for Copyhackers. Their headline reads, “Helping Great Businesses Build Audiences.” It’s short and to the point, and tells you exactly what the company is all about.

4. It doesn’t include social proof

You can talk about yourself until you’re blue in the face, and it still won’t have the same impact as someone else’s words. One study showed that 88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family.

Testimonials and reviews can be sprinkled throughout your website for a little dash of word-of-mouth. You can also include a list of other companies you’ve partnered with here as well.

Better yet, why not add in a patient video testimonial or two.

5. It doesn’t show your face

Small practices don’t have the marketing budgets and resources that the giant mega-corps have. But they do have the ability to forge genuine relationships with their customers.

It’s much easier to create a relationship when you put a face to the brand. Digital marketer Neil Patel knows this, and that’s why he puts his smiling face all over his website. Hire a photographer for a few hours and get some professional photos taken of yourself and your team.

6. It doesn’t tell the reader what to do next

With a higher traffic volume than most other pages on your website, the About Us page is a perfect opportunity to ask the reader to take action. You should add in a clear call to action and redirect them to your contact page as well.

You could also use this real estate to ask readers to sign up for your email list.

Make sure the Call to Action stands out. Instead of just adding a link, add a nice clickable button in a bright color. Studies show that buttons have a much higher click-through-rate than links.

Your turn…

Now it’s time for an audit. Is your About Us page making one (or more) of these six mistakes? If so, you’re actually in good company. Some major brands make these errors on their sites. But now that you know better, spend an hour or two brushing up your content.

Looking for a Physical Therapy Marketing Expert?

Need help with your physical therapy website? That’s our specialty. Give us a call or schedule an appointment to learn more about how we can help.

Optimize Your Outdated Content for Higher Search Rankings

Being a content creator can feel like the Indy 500. The gas pedal is on the floor, but it’s just left turn after left turn. And every time you lift your head and look around, you’re on the same oval track, unable to punch through the pack of cars keeping pace around you.

In the world of content creation, that unending oval track is the hunt for higher Google rankings. It’s maddening to feel like you’ve done everything right, but still find yourself unable to punch through to the top three spots on the search engine results.

Today, we’re going to talk about how you can optimize your old content to improve your SEO and get onto that racetrack’s podium.

What Physical Therapy Content Should You Update?

“All of it” is definitely not the answer. You don’t have time for that.

Instead, look for content that is already ranking for a good keyword on the first page of search results — but not in the top three positions.

It may seem counterintuitive to focus on content that is already doing well, rather than on a blog post on page two or three.

Here’s why it’s not…

The jump in clicks that you’ll see by moving from position five to position three is significantly higher than the jump you’d see by moving from page three to page two.

The average click-through-rate (CTR) for a result in position one in search results is 34.2%. In position four, it’s 8.1%. By time you get to the second page of results, CTR is under 2%.

By moving from position 4 to position 1, you can quadruple your CTR. That’s how we get the biggest bang for our optimization buck.

To figure out which posts fit this criteria, use the free Google SEO Ranking Checker from The HOTH. Type in your website’s URL, and enter your email address to get your results. (Yes, this tool is a lead magnet for The HOTH, but it’s worth handing over your email address.)

You’ll get a report of your top traffic-driving keywords, as well as where your content ranks on Google. Hover over the blue keyword to see which piece of content is driving the traffic.

We’re going to pick a keyword that meets three criteria.

First, it should be ranking in the top 10 on Google.

Second, it should have good search volume. If you’re ranked #5 for a keyword that only gets 20 monthly searches, it’s probably not worth your time to shoot for position 1.

Finally, make sure the keyword has high value to your business. This means it should be something your potential customers are searching for. If you’re on the first page for the search term “best chocolate cake recipe” but you sell 1-on-1 coaching services, that’s not a keyword we want to focus on.

Next…

Recon Time

Time to do a little digital snooping.

Do a Google search for your target keyword to see which articles are beating you in the rankings. Audit their content. What do they have that you’re missing?

The purpose is not to copy…never. The purpose is to figure out what informational gaps your piece is missing, so you can figure out how to fill them.

In the world of search engine rankings, the most in-depth, helpful content usually reigns supreme. So you have to provide a more complete piece of work than the competition.

Next, read through your copy carefully. What has changed since you first wrote it? In the field of SEO, for example, best practices are changing all the time. An article from 2018 could be woefully outdated, and Google will prioritize fresher content.

Is any of your information old? Are there new policies or laws that need to be addressed? New studies you could cite?

Update Your Content

Fill in the gaps and update your article for the current climate. By answering the query more accurately and more completely, you’ll improve your chances of overtaking the competition.

Adding images and graphics can also help with your rankings. An infographic or a few handy charts can make your content more useful to the reader, and that’s something Google looks for.

Before you hit publish, check for broken links. Use a free plugin like SEO Minion or Broken Link Checker to verify that every link is still active.

And before you go live, update the publish date. Google will crawl the new content either way, but an updated publish date will also show readers that your info is current and cutting edge.

After You Publish

When your shiny new article is updated and re-published, promote the heck out of it!

Post it on your Facebook pave, Tweet it. Share it in a newsletter.

Treat it just like a brand new piece of content and push it all over your social media channels. Give it the best chance you can to climb up to Google’s coveted top three.

In a few weeks, check your keyword again to measure your results.

Now find another piece of content, and repeat!

Google likes established websites, but new content. This method lets you build on old work to keep your website fresh. With a steady routine of new and updated blog posts, you’ll keep your pieces accurate, useful, and Google-friendly.

That’s it for this post.  If you have questions about physical therapy online marketing or PT blogging, don’t hesitate to contact us.  Thanks for reading.

Use Storytelling for a Better Physical Therapy Blog

In ancient times, a powerful king oppressed his people. The citizens of the land feared the king and begged the gods for help. So the gods created a wild man that could equal the king and stop his misdeeds.

The wild man and the king fought a great battle, but the king showed superior strength. After it was all over, the two men became friends and began a grand journey together that would see triumph, heartbreak, and the search for eternal life.

This is the Epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest surviving work of literature, written around 1800 BC.

Human beings are natural storytellers. We’ve been sharing tales around the campfire since the invention of the campfire! Even ancient cave paintings from 30,000 years ago tell stories of the hunt.

So what does the Epic of Gilgamesh have to do with blogging?

Turns out, a lot!

How Do Stories Draw in Readers?

Stories help your writing to stand out. In the unending ocean of blogs (over 500 million of them!), interesting stories share personality and entertain the readers. While viewers may be searching for answers to their problems, they also want to have a little fun!

Clever storytelling also helps the writer to connect with the reader. It shares your unique voice and displays your personality. Telling stories is how you can get people to look forward to your content eagerly, instead of reading a blog once and never coming back to your site.

One study showed that a blog post that opened with a story saw nearly 300% more readers scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. Since the call to action in a blog post is usually near the bottom, that’s 300% more people with a chance to convert!

One of the masters of blog storytelling is Laura Belgray of Talking Shrimp. She uses clever storytelling to draw in readers to her blogs and emails. She’s been featured in Business Insider, Fast Company, Money, and Forbes, and she uses the same storytelling techniques in these major publications.

Where Can You Find Physical Therapy Stories?

Everyday in your office!

Even simple, everyday events can be repurposed into interesting anecdotes that illustrate your point.

Laura Belgray once used a story of her search for basil for a recipe to demonstrate how important it is to build an online community. The story was funny and engaging. And while it wasn’t clear at first how it was going to relate to her final point, the eventual connection made perfect sense.

You may find that when you’re sitting down to write, you have a hard time coming up with a relevant anecdote. This is a common problem. That’s why it’s helpful to create a “story bank.”

Note the wins, failures, and funny events in your daily life. Then when you need a story for a new post, you can refer back to that bank to find an appropriate tale. These don’t have to be major, dramatic life events. A simple metaphor can be enough to draw in the reader.

Also — stories don’t have to be true!

Now, this doesn’t mean you should make up a case study or testimonial. Falsifying results is unethical marketing. But you could absolutely invent a story to illustrate a point.

For example, let’s say I wanted to write a post about a fictional patient that didn’t do their home exercises or modified their daily activities according to your recommendations.

This patient may end up back at the doctor having unnecessary tests, taking opioids, or even having unnecessary surgery.  You could certainly bolster this story with the plethora of research articles supporting the use of physical therapy first and how following through with PT care can save money, time, needless expenses, and risk.

Additionally, you might tell a story about a patient that chose physical therapy first over seeing their doctor. Elaborating on the fictional experience that one might have when making this choice.

Again, there’s good support for this story. A 2014 study suggests that patients who received physical therapy through direct accessi.e. directly from their PT (vs. physician referral) had a higher level of satisfaction and better outcomes at discharge.

Where Do Stories Fit In?

The best way to use storytelling in blogging is right at the top.

The purpose of your headline is to get people to start reading. And the purpose of your blog’s introduction is to get people to keep reading. So hook them with an introductory story.

The story should have a main character, a problem, an action, and a solution in order to be interesting for the reader. Remember that without a problem, there’s no story!

After you’ve told your story, you’ll need to transition into the rest of the blog post. A smooth transition will make it easier for the reader to flow from the introduction into the rest of the piece. Your transition should connect the two, making it clear why your story aligns with the article’s message.

You may want to use a transitional phrase like, “What does this have to do with ____?” or “Why does this matter? Because…”

You can also split your story between the introduction and the conclusion of the post. Introduce your main character and their problem at the top of the blog post. Then get into the “meat” of the article, explaining ways to resolve it.

In the conclusion, return to your story. Share the action the character took to solve their problem (using one of the methods you explained), and how that action led to a solution.

Practice the Craft and Share Your Passion for Treating Patients

Storytelling takes practice, and it will take some time before you have a robust story bank to pull from. But start putting one idea in the bank daily, and soon you’ll have a wide variety of options.

Try adding stories to some of your old blog posts to see if the reader’s time on page increases. You might be surprised by what you find!

Don’t Have Time to Write?

Need help with blogging?  We offer blogging services as part of our physical therapy marketing services.  Contact us for more information at 760-585-9097.

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