Physical Therapy Website Design: Creating a Brand That Stands Apart from Competitors

Physical therapy website design is a great opportunity for a private practice to differentiate themselves from the competition. If you run a physical therapy clinic, you know who your competitors are, and you know what makes you different from them. So, how do you convey what makes you different from the rest when crafting a physical therapy website design?

Astute branding choices, plus specific attention to SEO, so you’re found easier online, is the right strategic formula. Additionally, you need a site that is patient friendly, loads fast, offers the right information to your viewers (i.e. services and specialties), and has clear calls to action throughout.  Of course, you want your website to work well on not only desktop computers but tablets and smartphones too (this is called a responsive website and you can read more about what that means by clicking here).

Here at E-rehab.com, we’re an experienced team that gets your business there, step by step.

Branding in Your PT Practice Web Design

Your physical therapy practice needs to demonstrate how it stands apart from others. While it’s important to use quality images, graphics, and a consistent color palette to make a statement, branding should also be about the information you share with your prospective patients.  Here are some ways you can differentiate your practice:

  • Share innovative physical therapy techniques others don’t offer?
  • List special credentials and the benefits of seeing a PT that has them (perhaps you have and OCS and/or doctoral degree)
  • Do your outcomes set you apart? If so, list them.  FOTO has a widget for that.  Ask for the code and we can include it.
  • Do you have a unique physical location?
  • Do you treat/touch every patient every visit?  While it’s getting harder to do so with declining payment, this is a good differentiator and something the big box clinics don’t do much of anymore.

Include Your Own Physical Therapy Images & Video – Images and Video are Everywhere and You Should Leverage This Too

In the age of visuals, providing videos on your website that showcase what you offer, is a great method of branding.  Don’t just do a video about a treatment technique, create a series of videos on the conditions you treat, why physical therapy is a great choice, and then why someone should choose you.

Patient Video Testimonials and Social Proof

Also, patient testimonials are one of the best methods of branding for websites. Real results are everything when it comes to patients choosing physical therapy, and they’ll hear it directly from your best cases.  This is called social proof.  Here’s what social proof means:

…often in situations where we are uncertain about what to do (i.e. I don’t know which physical therapist I should choose), we would assume that the people around us (experts, celebrities, friends, patients.) have more knowledge about what’s going on and what should be done.  Reference: https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-proof

Effective SEO

Your website should be optimized not only for your brand name but also for the keywords “physical therapy + city your business is in”, so those in your local area find you easier on search engines.

It’s also important to include appropriate titles, include keywords, and alt tags for your images and videos, so the search engines have a better idea of who you are and where your business is located.

While keywords in text are still important, be careful in being too general. Developing unique long-tail keywords pertaining to specialized physical therapy procedures you provide, will help you get found easier too.

Easy Integration with Social Media

Integrating a website with social media is essential in order to provide content about the physical therapy services you offer. You can do this by creating social media buttons that link to your social properties as well as easy shares on your web pages, blog, and videos.

Creating educational information on your site for social media sharing is important to alert your followers about services and specials you offer. The more detail you include in your content, the more apt it is that visitors will share. Just be sure the content you create for social media is information not found anywhere else. You want to get all the “juice” you can which will help with your search engine rankings.

Customizing Your Site for Mobile

Responsive design for mobile devices is more essential than ever for your physical therapy site. As more and more people use mobile devices to look up information (statistics indicate that approximately 35% of PT website viewers are using mobile devices now), your site needs to be optimized for mobile platforms as well.  If you aren’t sure if your current website is mobile optimized, we recommend you check it out here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

15+ Years of Experience – We’ve Got You Covered

We’ll help make your site easy to use so those searching for you will find exactly what they need and fast. This means possibly restructuring the desktop version of your site, so the most essential information gets seen first.

Stand out and show prospective patients that you’re there to help. Contact us here at E-rehab.com, so we can create a unique website for your physical therapy practice.

What the Best Physical Therapy Websites Have to Offer

physical therapy websites

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

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

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

Valuable—and Free—Health Information

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

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

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

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

A Practice Run of the First Appointment

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

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

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

Online Scheduling

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

Mobile access

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

E-Rehab Creates and Improves Physical Therapy Websites

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

 

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]

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.

Stop the Lead Generation Madness

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

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

JESS3_BrianSolis_ConversationPrism4_WEB_1280x1024

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Invest in the Hub & Spokes

physical therapy online marketing hub and spokes

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

Practices Need Physical Therapy Mobile Websites

Google Warning Those without Mobile Optimized Websites

Physical Therapy Mobile Websites (also called Mobile-Optimized) are Now a Must for PT Practices

 

Are your prospects and patients having a bad online experience when they visit your website?  If you don’t have a mobile optimized website, about 30%-40% probably aren’t happy.  In raw numbers, that could be 100 or more visitors each month.  Have you looked at your web statistics lately?  I bet that at least 25% of your website visitors are on mobile devices.  Take a look at this graphic here that shows website traffic over a 90 day period…over 406 users have visited this 3-location practice in the last 90 days.mobile-website-visitors

This is What They Saw…Ouch.  The Viewer Has to Pinch, Zoom, Scroll, and Struggle to Find Your Phone Number, Map, Etc.

 

non-optimized-website

How to Make Patient Interaction with You Online, a Great Experience

When patients contact a practice to schedule a new evaluation or treatment session, they do it primarily by phone.

What you may not know is that those same prospects  and patients (406 of them as noted above) search for you on the web before they make a call.  This is a great opportunity for you to make it easier than your competition to connect with you.  How?  With a mobile optimized website.  A mobile website is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). 1.  We would argue that Wikipedia’s definition of a responsive website better fits that of three different types of mobile optimized websites which are described below:

1. Adaptive -Adaptive design is more like the modern definition of progressive enhancement. Instead of one flexible design, adaptive design detects the device and other features, and then provides the appropriate feature and layout based on a predefined set of viewport sizes and other characteristics. 2.

2. Responsive – Responsive design works on the principle of flexibility. The idea is that a single fluid design based upon media queries, flexible grids, and responsive images can be used to create a user experience that flexes and changes based on a multitude of factors. The primary benefit is that each user experiences a consistent design. 2.

3. A completely separate website – This development principle is primarily one based on ease of implementation.  The idea here is that there is a completely separate website that exists, in many cases, on a separate web server.  A user agent detection script senses that a request is made from a mobile device and then redirects the user to the separate mobile website.  The primary benefit is both ease of implementation and they are cheap.

Regardless of the type of mobile website you have, there are clear advantages to having one as I outlined here in this blog post.  However, now Google is stepping up the pressure on PT practice owners and telling them, “Hey, you better have a mobile optimized website, or else!”  It is well summarized in this article by Searchengineland.com:

[warning_box]Google is sending mass notifications to webmasters who manage websites that are not mobile-friendly. These notifications contain the subject “fix mobile usability issues found on…” It then goes on to explain that these sites have critical mobile usability errors on 100% of the pages on the site and thus the pages will be “displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.” These notifications are being sent via Google Webmaster Tools and via email. It is also being sent to sites that are simply not mobile friendly at all and typically, the webmasters know their sites are not mobile friendly. What we have here is Google reminding these webmasters their sites are not mobile-friendly and issuing a warning that the pages won’t rank well in mobile search.[/warning_box]

Here’s an example of the email message with the domain in question removed:

google-webmaster-tools-no-mobile-warning-email
This is the email that Google sends to webmasters telling them they need a mobile website.

Notice their language, “These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.”  In my opinion, this could be interpreted to read, “If you don’t have a mobile optimized website, you won’t rank as well when people search for you on their phones.”

It’s Not All Negative Though…

There are advantages to having a mobile website with respect to your Google search engine listings, as well. Assuming you have a mobile optimized website, one of them is what your patients and prospects will see when they view your listing on a Google search results page.

Take a look at this screen capture of Google search results for the search “Physical Therapy Encinitas”.  You have to do this on your smartphone of course, but what you can see is that there is a small notation that the landing page for the Google search result is “mobile friendly”.  In other words, if you are searching with Google on your phone and you click on one of these links, the resultant website you go to is optimized for your mobile device.

google-showing-mobile-website

Note: this Mobile-friendly tag only appears in the natural listings.  Nevertheless, it’s a simple and easy way to differentiate your practice’s listing on Google from others…at least in the short-term.

[info_box]Take Home Message:  As I have mentioned in previous posts here and here, there are big advantages to having a mobile optimized website.  Now it seems that Google is making it almost mandatory for businesses to have a mobile optimized website.  The good news is that a mobile optimized website is affordable, easy to implement, there are multiple options (responsive, adaptive, or a separate website), and as I will discuss in future posts, it’s a great way to promote your practice.  Make sure a mobile optimized website is part of your physical therapy website development strategy![/info_box]