Physical Therapy Reputation Management Made Simple

physical therapy reputation management

For many private practices, physical therapy reputation management may seem like a vague process. Physical therapists specialize in knowing their patients, dealing with injuries and building back strength, but when it comes to creating a proactive plan for a healthy reputation, you may not know where to start. If this sounds familiar to you, the following short primer will show you how a reputation management firm like E-Rehab can help your physical therapy practice establish authority in a digital age.

Physical Therapy Reputation Management: What it is and is not

In the most basic sense, [highlight3 textColor=”#000000″]physical therapy reputation management is creating content that matches your goals and standards so that patients know what they are getting from you.[/highlight3] If your practice specializes in spinal rehab, but your marketing information makes it sound like you’re the best place to go for arm injuries, this can create a disconnect with visitors. In this case, patients expect one thing and get another. This can lead to your patients writing negative reviews about your practice on various review sites (Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.), which will in turn hurt your reputation, even though you’re an expert at spinal care.

Reputation management seeks to establish in people’s minds what you do and don’t do well, so they know what to expect. It does not seek to create false reviews, attempt to get poor reviews taken down (this doesn’t include patently false, libelous reviews), or otherwise take pushy actions to establish your reputation.

Walk the Talk

[highlight3 textColor=”#000000″]The most important part of physical therapy reputation management is that you have information out for people to access: newsletters to subscribers, blogs to the public, and targeted marketing to the right patients and referring physicians. [/highlight3] This information must match what people actually experience from your practice.

With proper information designed and marketed to the right audience, your business reputation will increase consistent with your desired goals and specialties. Walking the talk is the foundation for all other aspects of reputation management. With it, patients will give you great reviews and build your reputation with minimal effort on your part. Without it, your patients will feel confused and let down because they did not receive the service they expected.

Marketing Materials

In physical therapy reputation management, the next essential step after establishing a clear connection between your actions and your message is creating the right marketing materials. [highlight3]From your brand to your planned content, your marketing material needs to reflect your business in both quality and content.[/highlight3]

Much of physical therapy happens at a level people cannot see, so at first they will judge you less by the results of your actions and more by the materials they see. Your marketing material therefore needs to be designed in such a way that it catches the eye of potential patients and referring physicians and displays that you do what you advertise.

Promotional Design

Much of the marketing in physical therapy is specialized and therefore needs to be done by specialists. For example, if you offer therapy that helps address the symptoms of insomnia and narcolepsy, you do not want your advertising materials for it to be bright yellow, orange or green. When marketers want to communicate sleep-oriented products, they create a dark blue color scheme to communicate peaceful sleep. This is one of the many tricks-of-the trade which marketers use to communicate to the public beyond just word. Style matters, and it pays to have experts in style design your marketing materials.

[highlight2 textColor=”#000000″]Simply put, reputation management is producing the right materials to let patients know what your practice offers and the core values you hold as a physical therapist. This is accomplished by using modern marketing and networking materials and techniques with a goal to educate your audience and establish your authority in the physical therapy field.[/highlight2]

[squeeze_box4]If this all sounds overwhelming and you feel that you need some extra assistance with your physical therapy reputation management, have no fear: we can help. At E-Rehab, we specialize in all aspects of online marketing strategies that can help your reputation improve and your practice prosper. Contact us today to find out how we can help you develop an online reputation that reflects the quality of your business.[/squeeze_box4]

Why You Need a Blog to Improve Your Physical Therapy Reputation Marketing

physical therapy reputation marketing

Are you struggling to create a successful physical therapy reputation marketing approach? If so, you should strongly consider writing blogs if you’re not already doing so. Although blogs are often treated like an afterthought by many businesses, they can be a powerful tool for boosting the reputation of your physical therapy practice.

Why You Should Blog to Improve Your Physical Therapy Reputation Marketing

Business owners often neglect the importance of a blog when it comes to reputation marketing, but that is a huge mistake: [highlight4]blogs are actually one of the most effective ways to spread your brand and reach a potential audience.[/highlight4]

This is even true of a physical therapist like you: a well-written, fun, and informative blog can provide your patients with information about common physical problems, easy self-fixes, unique personal stories, and treatment angles they would have never considered otherwise.

Build Your Authority

By way of illustration, marketing expert Steve Olenski of Forbes magazine delved deeply into the world of blog-based marketing and found that it offered a unique approach to the following: content strategy; demographic marketing, and authority building.

The latter point is especially important: if you come across like a true expert on physical therapy (by offering well-researched and engaging blog content), your reputation will grow by leaps and bounds.[blockquote align=”center”]Blogging also offers a unique way for your patients to interact with you via the comment section found in most high-quality blogs. Here, they can praise your blog content and your services, which will create a positive feedback loop that will continually enhance your reputation for years to come.[/blockquote]

Even if they come to your blog to complain, you can still turn that into an advantage by directly addressing their concerns and soothe their fears by offering a free examination. You will come away looking humble and willing to fix your mistakes: a major reputation boost.

Researching Blog Topics

Consistently updating a worthwhile blog requires finding topics you want to write about. That’s actually much trickier than it seems, especially as a physical therapy expert, since you already have an extremely extensive understanding of the subject matter. On the other hand, the audience of your website doesn’t have this same understanding, and figuring out what they’d like to learn about can be a struggle.

In this circumstance, it’s best to step back and think about an industry or service which you know little about, such as auto repair, and consider what confuses you about it. Then, you should brainstorm similar topics for your blog, such as:

  • Common injuries or painful conditions
  • Relevant treatments used to address these issues
  • Other techniques and services you may use during treatment
  • How long each treatment session takes, and how many sessions may be needed for certain injuries

Next, try to center each of your blogs around these ideas, such as ACL tear rehabilitation, to create a plethora of possible blog topics. If you get stuck trying to find a good topic, use a tool like Google AdWords to pinpoint commonly searched keywords that are relevant to physical therapy.

For example, keywords and phrases like “torn ACL” and “did I break my ankle?” commonly show up in Google searches. Pitch your blog around these keywords, adding a unique twist, such as “home remedies for a broken toe,” and you have a potential blog topic.

Always Utilize a Reputable “Author” for All Content

Creating a blog without a reputable author is one of the biggest ways you can destroy the effectiveness of your physical therapy reputation marketing. Don’t farm it out to just anyone: either write the blog yourself, find a skilled intern willing to do it for some extra cash, or find reputable physical therapists willing to occasionally guest blog for you.

Focusing your blog on truly informative and knowledgeable writers creates a sense of “author authority” that will make your blog stand out in an over-saturated market. People will immediately trust what you have to say and, as a result, your blog—and your reputation—will grow exponentially.

[squeeze_box5]By now, it should be apparent that you simply can’t avoid setting up a blog for your physical therapy practice. The boost to your reputation will be too immense for you to ignore. However, if you’re still struggling to set up a good blog or come up with a great reputation marketing strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact us at E-Rehab right away. Our physical therapy reputation marketing experts will help fine-tune your marketing approach, help you design an eye-catching and memorable blog, and get you on the road to success. After that, the hard work of keeping up with your blog should be a heck of a lot easier.[/squeeze_box5]

Physical Therapy Mobile Marketing: Capturing First-Time Patients with a Compelling App

physical therapy mobile marketing

Physical therapy mobile marketing has grown to become an essential process that all private practices need to take advantage of. This is the result of more people spending more time on mobile devices, as well as the increasing competition of the medical industry.

In the world of physical therapy, evidence has shown that the industry is continually growing in demand as the population ages, especially baby boomers. With awareness of this reality, your own physical therapy practice may be starting to feel the pain of local competitors taking away your old patients and not know how to react.

Why Your Practice May be Struggling

If you’re beginning to feel like your practice is struggling or slowing down, there may be good reason for this. You possibly have dozens if not hundreds of competing physical therapy clinics within your city or state. With that in mind, you may be realizing how much more marketing you need to do in order to stand out above the rest of the herd.

Marketing physical therapy can sometimes turn into an uphill challenge because some believe that marketing content can only be general. If you think you don’t offer anything different from all of your competitors, try analyzing your practice a little more thoroughly.

Rather than focusing completely on you and your physical therapy practice, it’s worth remembering that paying more attention to the patient is now more relevant than ever.

[pullquote2 textColor=”#000000″]Rather than focusing completely on you and your physical therapy practice, it’s worth remembering that paying more attention to the patient is now more relevant than ever.[/pullquote2]

This is where physical therapy mobile marketing can work well in capturing a prospective patient. Much of this comes in integrating technology with marketing so they coalesce into something different and informative. At the same time, you want more direct communication with future patients to make your marketing a more personalized experience.

Integrating Apps into Your Physical Therapy Mobile Marketing

There isn’t any denying that using apps in the medical community has the potential for exponential growth. Apps are used in a variety of ways, some of which involve usage directly in the medical facility itself. However, they’re just as useful as a form of marketing on mobile devices.

A perfect way to provide both information and personal connections with your future patients is to provide a free app on your website. When people search for physical therapy on their mobile devices, they want information immediately. A free app is one way for those people to find that information and to refer to later for details.

[highlight3 textColor=”#000000″]The key here is to make your app as simple to use as possible. Simplicity in app design is peaking now for good reason. [/highlight3]
A case in point: mobile users want info in seconds before moving on. Here are some other tips to keep in mind when creating your app:

  • In your app, provide the most essential information users need, including content about your practice and what services you offer
  • Analyze all of your procedures and find something different from what your competitors are doing
  • Incorporate some educational content into your app so users get a sense of worth after downloading it
  • Another advantage of an app is that you can even integrate contact methods, including some in real-time; if possible, provide this through your staff so you can answer questions in real-time if a patient needs an answer to something they didn’t find on the app

Having a portal to social media through your app also allows conversations with users in a more personal way. Natural conversations that don’t use hard-sell tactics are the best way to prove your expertise without looking like a spammer.

Providing Directions on How to Find Your Facility

Another huge benefit of physical therapy mobile marketing is the ability to have GPS-like maps available so that patients know exactly where they are in relation to your clinic. By incorporating this into mobile ads on your website or app, patients who need to find a place in a hurry can do so in seconds.

More localized marketing is worth doing on the mobile platform to help you move to the top after possibly losing business to a physical therapy practice in your local area.

[note_box]For additional guidance on physical therapy mobile marketing, contact us here at E-rehab.com, where we can help you find new marketing strategies for growing or recharging your practice and attracting new patients.[/note_box]

Tips for Writing SEO Friendly Blog Posts to Boost Web Traffic

SEO friendly blog posts

Are you keeping your search engine optimization (SEO) in mind with each post on your website and making sure that all of your content is “SEO friendly?” If not, it’s time to make some changes: SEO friendly blog posts increase the chances of your posts being indexed and ranked by the search engines, which is essential for attracting new visitors.

To do this, you need to first focus on writing helpful and informative blog posts. However, it’s also important to write for the web crawlers used by the search engines. In order for readers to find your blog posts, your posts need to rank well in the search engine results. Even if you’re not an expert in SEO, there are some things you can do right away to optimize your blog.

Here are some useful tips on how to optimize your physical therapy blog for the search engines:

Include Keywords in Your Title

The title of your post is one of the first things that search engines will crawl on a page. It is also the first [pullquote1 align=”right” textColor=”#000000″]It’s important to include keywords that are commonly searched for in your blog titles. When coming up with your titles, consider what a user may type into the search engine. [/pullquote1] thing web users will read after typing in their search terms in a browser and receiving their search results. Therefore, it’s important to include keywords that are commonly searched for in your blog titles. When coming up with your titles, consider what a user may type into the search engine. A good example for physical therapy blogging would be a topic like chronic neck pain. Someone with chronic neck pain may search for information related to whiplash. A title such as “How to Treat Chronic Neck Pain From Whiplash” is an effective blog title in this case.

The key is to include the keywords without it reading awkward to human readers. Also avoid keyword-stuffing your titles. Stay on topic with one search term and try to make it sound natural.

Write Compelling Meta Descriptions

Another major component of creating SEO friendly blog posts is to focus on your meta descriptions. A meta description is an brief snippet that describes a web page’s content. When you read the search results page from a search engine, the preview text located underneath the titles are meta descriptions. Although it’s important to include keywords in your meta descriptions, their main purpose is to get the web user to click-through to your page. They serve as advertising copy to promote your page. By writing compelling descriptions, you can help improve the click-through rate to your page.

Optimize Your Post Content

It is also essential to include the keywords you wish to rank for within your post’s content. Search engines use keywords within each page of content as a ranking signal. However, it’s important to be cautious about how often you include them within the text. It’s better to write naturally for your blog audience and to avoid writing strictly for the search engines. Over-optimizing your content with multiple occurrences of keywords is known as keyword-stuffing. If a search engine detects keyword-stuffing, your page will likely be penalized and drop in ranking.

Optimize Post Images

Optimizing the images of your blog posts is something that’s often overlooked in making SEO friendly blog posts. It’s a good idea to include titles and descriptions in your images that feature keywords and are SEO-friendly. The use of image search has also increased in recent times, so it is yet another way for users to land on your website if they see something relevant to what they’re looking for.

URL Structure

Check that your blog’s URL structure is set-up to use your blog post titles. Avoid URL extensions that use the date of the post or the post’s ID number. Web users are more likely to click through to your page if they see that the URL extension is the same as the blog title.

[highlight2 bgColor=”#000000″ textColor=”#000000″]Optimizing your website so that you have SEO friendly blog posts takes some extra effort. But it’s well worth it in the long term for improving your search engine rankings. By writing regularly updated content that helps to inform the readers of your website, you increase the chances of gaining new patients for your practice. Remember to write for people first and search engines second.[/highlight2]

[squeeze_box2]If you need more assistance with the process of optimizing your practice’s website and don’t know where to go, contact E-Rehab today. We specialize in physical therapy website development and online marketing, and we can help guide you every step of the way when it comes to mastering SEO and reaping the rewards of more new patients.[/squeeze_box2]

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.

The Importance of Reputation Marketing for Physical Therapists

reputation marketing for physical therapists

Running a successful physical therapy practice is about more than just knowing how to help patients rehabilitate from their injuries. As the owner of a private practice, you’re not only marketing your expertise as a physical therapist. You are also marketing yourself.

This is why reputation marketing for physical therapists is such an important component of running a successful business. The reputation you create in your community will be the biggest reason why your practice thrives or fails. You need to make sure that your patients are happy, and that they’re telling people about their positive experience at your practice.

If you’re not sure how to go about marketing your reputation, here are a few tips you can use to keep the word-of-mouth regarding your practice positive:

Be Proactive

You might think that your reputation is something that just “happens,” without requiring any effort on your part. And in a sense, this is partly true: you will develop a reputation eventually, one way or another.

But if you don’t stay committed to shaping and guiding that reputation, then you may lose control over it. This can mean that your side of the story won’t be heard, and your satisfied patients might never get a chance to tell their stories and attract other patients.

This is why it’s so important to take a proactive role in shaping your reputation. Here’s how:

  1. Before doing anything else, it’s essential that you ensure all patients coming to your practice are in fact satisfied with the treatment they’re receiving. If they’re not, then this should be your first priority, and you should make any necessary changes to address this problem right away.
  2. Once you are certain that all your patients are pleased with their treatment, give them an incentive to tell other people about it. Offer a discount or bonus for referring a new patient, or ask them to leave you a review online. Most patients will be glad to help if they are happy with their outcomes.
  3. Also be sure to stay up-to-date on what’s being said about your practice, both good and bad. If a patient is not satisfied, don’t take it personally. Instead, use it as an opportunity to show others how you respond to criticism, and professionally address any issues that patient may have with a comment. This is the true heart of reputation marketing for physical therapists: knowing how and when to engage in order to polish your reputation.

Give Them a Reason to Brag

Your patients come to you to overcome injuries and pain. You might think that if you help them do that, you’ve done your job and that’s it.

However, that’s exactly what’s expected of you. It won’t necessarily knock anyone’s socks off, and it won’t necessarily build your brand.

It doesn’t take much to set yourself apart. All it takes is something unexpected that shows you have each of your patient’s best interests at heart. For example, a study was performed that showed that waiters could improve tips by 23%, simply by providing extra peppermints after the meal.

A few extra peppermints is nothing – but it’s truly the thought and effort that counts. Try to brainstorm on how you can make the rehabilitation process a 5-star experience for patients. It could be something as simple as warm towels, a glass of lemonade, or just taking a few extra minutes to get to know your patients.

[pullquote1 align=”center” textColor=”#000000″]Give your patients more than the minimum that they would expect, and they won’t be able to stop telling their friends about you. [/pullquote1]

Make Sure Your Online Presence Captures Your In-Person Experience

After you’ve taken the time to make sure everything is perfect in your office, make sure this all translates to your online presence. Here are a few ways to make this happen:

  • Go through your website and see if there’s anything clunky or frustrating. If you’ve found any negative reviews, this is a great time to learn from them.
  • Make everything as painless as possible, from setting an appointment online to getting in contact with you, so that visitors don’t have to hunt around.
  • You can also use your website to provide service outside of regular hours. Consider hosting a few videos showing simple exercises for pain relief, or blog about sports injuries and other topics that will interest your patients.

Many physical therapists view their online presence as a hassle that they have to deal with. That’s why so many have ugly, plain websites that do nothing for them.

If instead you view it as an opportunity to set yourself apart, your reputation will improve and spread in no time.
[titled_box title=”Start Focusing on Reputation Marketing for Physical Therapists Today” variation=”red” bgColor=”#000000″ textColor=”#000000″]If you’d like to learn more about powerful reputation marketing for physical therapists, contact us today. We can help you harness the power of the Internet to make you the go-to authority in your area – guaranteed.[/titled_box]

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.

Video Marketing for Physical Therapists: Targeting the Right Patients and Bringing Transparency

The process of video marketing for physical therapists is one that requires showcasing exactly what makes you different from your competition. No doubt you have many other physical therapy clinics competing with you in your town or city. You might have even lost many of your patients to your competition because your competitors offered something different or innovative.

While this might sound like pure business logic, the real problem is your competitors either do a better job of marketing, have stronger relationships with referring physicians, or have some sort of financial relationship with doctors/hospitals.

One way to “even the playing field” is to use video to share your high quality care.

In a visual culture, video marketing is one of the best methods of bringing differentiating yourself and what better way to do it than with patient testimonials on camera.

Patients who seek physical therapy want more transparency about how your clinic operates. They also want educational information about what you provide and what sets you apart from others. Even if you don’t feel like you are a leader with your treatment techniques or outcomes, patients still want to learn more about you.  Video is a great way to create a long-term competitive advantage.

Many who seek physical therapy do so out of necessity or due to physical pain. So the video marketing you do needs a serious approach. How do you properly convey who you are, though, in a marketing video?

Some Topics for Your Videos

  • Most companies have a mission statement.  Creating a video about your mission statement and your goals for patients is important.
  • Telling stories about what led you to pursue a career in physical therapy is a great lead-in for patients as a way toward more trust.
  • Telling stories about patients you’ve worked with in the past can help demonstrate your empathy.
  • Even better is when you equate your founding to perhaps your own physical ailments. If a specific physical therapy experience helped you overcome a past medical issue or injury, this enhances your sense of understanding about how other patients feel when they seek physical therapy.
  • Expert interviews are great ways to establish authority and differentiate your self from the competition. Pick topics that you specialize in and share your knowledge with your community (see the example below).

Transparency About How Your Clinic is Run

Secrecy in any company, especially a medical clinic, frequently turns off prospective patients. They want to see what you do.  With consent of your medical staff (and even patients), footage of actual physical therapy techniques taking place is a great way to share your clinical expertise, culture, and to improve transparency.

Social Proof

As we have mentioned before, and as stated in the Neilson’s Trust in Advertising study, ratings and reviews come in second or third when it comes to consumer action and advertising trust.  If ratings and reviews are trusted, certainly patient video testimonials are also going to be a great trust builder for your practice.

Targeting the Right Patient Demographic

In Dan Kennedy’s book, No B.S. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate, No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-direct Marketing Businesses , he provides readers with some simple yet crucial advice when creating your marketing message.  Match your message to your market and use the right medium.  You should absolutely apply these simple principles to your video marketing efforts.  If you are trying to reach the senior demographic, use senior testimonials, and have them discuss their success with their “senior” diagnoses (e.g. stenosis, osteoarthritis, balance disorders, etc.).  If you are targeting younger athletes, then consider using video but delivering it via 15 second snippets on Instagram.

Use Keywords in Your Videos

We recommend that you also use specialized keywords (both short and longtail) to increase the likelihood that your videos will rank better in YouTube and in some cases, even on Google. You can increase the chance that your videos will rank by posting them on your social networking platforms and encouraging likes, comments, and shares.

Video is a great online marketing tool, no question about it.  It’s well within the financial reach of any physical therapy private practice.  When you create your videos, consider your demographics, use video to share transparency about your clinic, and use them for social proof or patient testimonials.  Good video can create a competitive advantage for you so have fun with it.

Improving Your Physical Therapy Newsletters Open Rate

physical therapy newsletters

As a small practice, physical therapy newsletters are a great way to share news, explain your expertise, and provide offers to your patients, but what happens if your analytics are telling you that no one reads them? Here are our top strategies to increase the open rates for your physical therapy newsletters.

1. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize.

There are many things that you can personalize in order to encourage click-through rates.

First, personalize the “From” field by including your real name. People are more inclined to click an email coming from a real person (you), not just the name of your practice. In addition, having your name in the “From” field dissuades spam filters from blocking your email. This also helps build your office as a people-friendly one, when people can recognize you as the sender.

Second, personalize emails by addressing your subscribers or patients personally. If you have the data to apply your subscriber’s name to the subject line or preview to the body of an email, use it. According to research by Hubspot with Market Domination Media, open rates increased by 1.2 percent when the first name of a subscriber was included in the subject line. By addressing a recipient personally, you‘ll draw their attention more so than not using their name.

If you don’t have the data to address your recipients with their names–maybe due to online sign-up forms versus patients who have already visited youyou can still market to them personally by using “you.” In the same study, addressing the receiver as “you” and telling them what they will receive increased open rates. Thank yous are also effective in increasing the click-through rate.

Overall, personalization is a helpful strategy in improving your email open rates. If you aren’t doing it, it’s time to start incorporating it into your emails. Just remember to do it sparingly; overuse can decrease curiosity, so rotate this strategy with other tools.

2. Pay attention to the subject line.

Getting someone to open an email is largely dependent on how the subject line grabs the reader’s attention.

The same tricks to writing a headline for an article applies to an email’s subject line. Keep your subject lines short (around 6 words), use eye-catching adjectives and phrases (such as “strange,” “essential,” “against all odds” etc.), and avoid spammykeywords (such as “cash” or “save”). By spending time on crafting an interesting headline, you‘ll have a better time convincing readers to click on your email, before they decide to avoid or trash it. You can find the research that backs up these tips over at Entrepreneur.

3. Make sure your emails are mobile responsive.

As statistics have shown, checking and opening email on mobile devices have grown. About 74 percent of mobile users check their email, and while open rates vary from one industry to the next, everyone can benefit from responsive email design. Simply making sure your campaigns are visible on a smartphone or tablet can increase your open rates drastically, especially if your email newsletters don’t currently support responsive design.

4. Use segmentation.

Segmenting your email list is a great way to improve your email open rates, since it allows you to get the right content to the right people. Basically, after studying your lists and finding out what people want, you can send emails with differing content, based on the receiver’s personal interests or challenges. In a study by Marketing Sherpa, using segmentation strategies increased their open rates from 20% to 40%, and clickthrough rates from 2% to 6%. For your office, a segmented list can look like one group who wants special information and tips for physical therapy after work-related problems or injuries, and another segmented list could be for sports or active bodies that could see you for sports-related pains.

5. Share Something of Value

Offering diverse content that is worth reading is the holly grail of email marketing. When your emails don’t apply to your patients are are simply about musculoskeletal conditions that your patients don’t have, you‘re likely to see a drop in open rates. You can spice them up by adding videos, photos,infographics, and links to valuable, useful content on your blog or website. In addition, changing your email’s layout might do some good as well.

E-rehab’s Newsletter Strategy

[info_box]Since 2003, E-rehab.com has provided its PT customers with patient and physician newsletters.   Originally, we would send out information about conditions that PTs treat.  After a small patient focus group, we switched our message.  We now send out information about wellness topics that are more interesting, patients report they are more valuable, and we’ve repeatedly heard positive feedback from our customers.   You can check out some newsletter examples here. If you need help developing your physical therapy newsletters, contact us. We’d love to help you with your newsletter marketing.[/info_box]

Local Physical Therapy Social Media Marketing 101

physical therapy social media marketing

You’re already a talented and invested physical therapist. You’ve probably got a steady stream of patients who trust you and are seeing results. What’s next? How can you grow your client base and keep your patients healthy, even after their sessions are wrapped up?  We suggest physical therapy social media marketing.

You don’t need to be a trained marketing professional to develop your online community. In fact, sometimes that authentic novice approach can help your business stand out among all the cookie cutter stick-to-the-book traditional tactics. So, in between sessions, give a few of these channels a try.

Pinterest

If you’re not on Pinterest already and think it’s just for crafters and bakers, it’s time to get reacquainted. Pinterest was the fastest growing social network over the past year, and it has qualities that you won’t quite find on Facebook. “At their core, the difference between Pinterest and other social networks is why people use it,” Kevin Roose explains, “— to plan for the future, rather than exhuming the past or analyzing the present.” On Pinterest, health-and-recovery-minded users, like your patients, plan for the future by pinning wellness tips, healthy recipes, and inspirational quotes. “Pinning says ‘I want this.’ It’s aspirational.”

Your physical therapy practice can be a hub for such holistic aspirations. Of course you’ll have boards dedicated to PT-specific topics (i.e. Knee Pain, Spine Rehab, Shoulder Problems, etc.) and other subjects that would be a perfect fit for Pinterest‘s “Health & Fitness” category, but you should also tap into the most popular categories like “Food & Drink.” For example, you could pin anti-inflammatory foods, therapeutic teas, protein-rich smoothies, and so on. Latch on to another popular category, “Women’s Fashion,” by pinning workout gear that your active or working-to-become active clients would be interested in. Think beyond the walls of your practice and consider the entire lifestyle of a person on the road to wellness. The topic“Physical Therapy” has 1.78 thousand followers; start showing a few of them why your PT brand is worth following.

Blog

Don’t freak out just yet—you don’t need to write a novel or post every day to have a quality blog for your practice. You also don’t need to be a tech wiz. With platforms like WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr (the second fastest growing social network over the past year), it takes minutes to set up a blog and begin participating in one of the biggest trends in marketing: content marketing. Content marketing is an approach which focuses on creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract and engage with an audience. Blog posts are an excellent vehicle for such content, whose keyword-rich format can also help your business by improving your search engine optimization.

Okay, enough jargon. Think about what your client base would find compelling, informative, and shareable. You could write a 300-word piece about five ways to improve shoulder mobility. You could invite a guest blogger (i.e. a patient) to share how PT has changed her life. You could ask your chef neighbor to type up her favorite smoothie recipe and share a few tips on healthy eating. Compile a list of your top ten favorite outdoor activities in your city. Host a giveaway, like a free resistance band, for a randomly selected commenter. Are your own ideas flowing yet?

Facebook & Twitter

You have a Facebook Page, right? Maybe a Twitter profile, too (if not, we can set these up for you)?  These platforms are easy to get started on and are an effective way to build and engage with your online community. Like with other digital tools, it comes down to sharing high-quality, relevant content and interacting with your audience in a meaningful, authentic way. Since Facebook and Twitter are typically more well-known than the other channels we’ve mentioned, we won’t go too in-depth on the mechanics, but do know that having an active presence on these sites is becoming more of an expectation than a bonus for businesses. If a patient is in a work meeting and has a quick question (“Is the office cancelled today because of the snow?”), they’re probably going to pop on over to your (hopefully existent and active) Facebook Page or Twitter profile for real-time, up-to-date info. Trying to build up a collection of testimonials? Encouraging people to review you on Facebook is a great way to do so. You can then take these positive reviews and highlight them on your other channels, perhaps after turning the quotes into mini works of art with some free, easy design programs (i.e. Canva).

Practice patience

Be patient with yourself as you experiment with what works for your audience. You may be surprised by what resonates (or doesn’t), and just as your practice was built brick by brick, it will take time to develop your online community. Trust that the new growth you’re cultivating online will circle back to a more enriching experience at your clinic, for you and your clients.

How We Can Help

[note_box]E-rehab.com publishes regular, fresh, and engaging content for its members.  From videos to memes, we provide a variety of content to compliment your social media marketing strategy.  Contact us us to learn more about how we can help you with your social media marketing.[/note_box]