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.

Physical Therapy Local SEO – The Keys to Ranking Well

physical therapy seo
For small businesses, showing up on the first page of Google is a must – showing up in the Google 3-pack, local stack, or snack pack can be the difference between significant new business and merely surviving.

For example, one client of mine Metro Physical Therapy, used to show up for the search physical therapy Garden City .  They reported that during some months a significant percentage of their business came from patients finding their listing on Google, seeing the great reviews, and then calling them.  Unfortunately, with recent changes to the Google algorithm, their rankings in the local stack have slipped.

SEO is a Fluid Process – Google is Always Changing

All Google services change as Google finds ways to make search better and, yes, to make more money.

As such, they are always updating their search algorithm that determines which position your website ranks at for a given search phrase.  Over the years, there have been names given to their algorithm updates – Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, and Opossum (hence the animals in the graphic above 🙂

There are a handful of factors that Google uses to decide which physical therapy websites to show when a person searches for “physical therapy town name” (e.g. physical therapy in Garden City).

While we have previously shared our thoughts on reviews, today I want to talk about the keystone of local search engine listings – a Google My Business Page (GMB page).

There’s a lot of recent news about the GMB page and its disassociation with Google+, but for now GMB page data is still vital information that feeds to Google Maps and even in some of the experimental versions of the results that people see in the on a live search results page.  Components of a GMB page, such as ratings and reviews, will continue to be important and a ranking factor.

The presence of the Google Maps data, also in mobile searches, makes GMB page data increasingly important for most local physical therapy practices. I have a client in 60% of their current traffic on mobile devices such as iPhones and Android phones.

Make no mistake about it.  The combination of Google My Business data and the number of patients that do mobile search can have a significant impact on your practice.  Survey companies like ComScore recently reported that 78 percent of local-mobile searches resulted in an immediate offline purchase.

There’s little chance of showing up for local searches unless you claim and optimize your GMB page first.

A little Google My Business housekeeping

There’s a pretty good chance that you have a Google My Business page that already exists in the Google My Business database of local businesses.

  • Last but not least, believe it or not, we’ve found that one way (sometimes only) way to interact with Google My Business is via Twitter – that’s right – put your questions and requests in here: https://twitter.com/GoogleSmallBiz

Now that we’ve discussed a few housekeeping points (some people do have a number of duplicates), let’s get to the optimization process.

Optimizing Your Physical Therapy Google My Business Page

So, you found your page and now you are ready to make it as good as possible to improve your chances of ranking as well as provide appropriate data for Google Maps and most important, for prospective patients that are looking for you.

Here are some things you should consider:

  • Are Name, Address, and Phone the same (exactly) as you have on your website?
  • Is the category precise – i.e., Physical Therapy Clinic, Physical Therapist, etc.
  • Have you written a keyword rich description?
  • Is your website listed in the profile?
  • Have you added relevant images of the outside of your business, inside, and some action photos?

Here are some cool ideas to set up your Google My Business page up the way they suggest.

Some more advanced options

Beyond the points stated above, there are some other specific ways that you can optimize your GMB page.  Before you dive into these, make sure that you have the basics in place as noted above.

  • Consider adding a Google Street View Tour of your business. Google is pushing this as it adds an incredible verification and trust element for them. Here’s an example of one we did for a local vet clinic – it’s on their home page.
  • Update images with fresh, hi-resolution images. Google will compress them as needed, but they will look much better. You can and should feature hi-res logo, exterior shots, interior shots, staff and behind the scenes work. Here’s a detailed guide to images from Google.

Are you too busy to take the time to figure all of this out yourself?

Do you have questions about your specific practice? If need some help fixing your online GMB page, you might consider one of our packages here.  For an extra fee, we can sort everything out for you.

The basics of SEO often aren’t that complex, but sometimes it makes sense to get a pro involved. After all, optimizing directory profiles over treating patients usually isn’t the best use of a PT’s time.

Either way, if you keep up your local SEO efforts and implement our tips along the way, pretty soon when someone searches for physical therapy in your neighborhood, they’ll find your practice.

 

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

social media marketing for physical therapists

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

The Aura of Authenticity About Facebook “Likes”

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

Celebrity Endorsements vs. Reviews from Friends

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

Coming up with a Social Media Marketing Plan

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

Interacting with Prospects via Social Media

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

Staying Alert to Figure Out The Tipping Point

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

Using Social Media for Market Research of “Niche” Services

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

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

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

Complete Beginner’s Guide to Physical Therapy Search Marketing

physical therapy search marketing

As a private practice owner, physical therapy search marketing is a channel that you cannot afford to neglect. Search engines account for an enormous percentage of all online traffic. They are constantly directing traffic to one website or another and the search giants of today have held strong percentages of market share since their origin. Google, Bing and Yahoo are unlikely to disappear for a while so long as the Internet relies on search engines to be navigated.

This also applies when it comes to potential patients looking for information on physical therapy or searching for a nearby practice online. In just about all cases, they’re using a search engine to accomplish this task. This is why businesses like yours need to capitalize on physical therapy search marketing and use it to your full advantage, as it remains the dominant source of traffic for all businesses, including physical therapy facilities. Below, we offer some relevant keywords and search marketing opportunities that your practice can start taking advantage of right away.

Use the Google Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner can help you find relevant physical therapy search marketing keywords. Once found, you can begin targeting them with your search marketing campaigns.

To begin driving traffic to your website immediately, you can use Google AdWords, also known as a PPC ad campaign. PPC stands for “pay-per-click” and it implies that every time your ad is clicked, there is a fee. Although it’s a modest one, these fees can add up to quickly consume a several hundreds dollar search marketing budget. Many businesses in other niches spend thousands to tens-of-thousands of dollars per month on PPC campaigns.

PPC ads are featured at the top of Google and the Keyword Planner is a very important tool for PPC campaigns. When creating your ads you enter targeted keywords that your ads will be displayed for. To get you started, below is a collection of some of the most effective keywords that you should be using on your website. By simply adding the city name in which your facility is located somewhere in the phrase, you’ll have a complete list of targeted keyword phrases to begin creating profitable PPC ads with:

  • physical therapy
  • neck physical therapy
  • back physical therapy
  • arm physical therapy
  • leg physical therapy
  • foot physical therapy
  • knee physical therapy
  • hip physical therapy
  • shoulder physical therapy
  • physical therapy programs
  • physical therapy association
  • physical therapy clinics
  • sports physical therapy
  • physical therapy clinic
  • pediatric physical therapy
  • outpatient physical therapy
  • doctor of physical therapy
  • physical therapy services
  • advanced physical therapy
  • orthopedic physical therapy
  • physical therapy offices
  • performance physical therapy
  • physical therapy rehabilitation
  • professional physical therapy
  • physical therapy program
  • physical therapy treatments
  • geriatric physical therapy
  • physical therapy centers
  • physical therapy center
  • dynamic physical therapy
  • hand physical therapy
  • physical therapy locations

Google’s Keyword Planner provides a competition rating and suggested bid amount for each keyword that you intend to target. These metrics are very important. The higher the suggested bid and competition rating, the more that keyword will cost to target with your PPC campaign. Costs can add up quickly when targeting keywords that are highly competitive.

Search Engine Optimization

Just as you can pay to be at the top of search engines, you can also rank there naturally. Using the same keywords that you are targeting through PPC with Google Adwords, you can begin to optimize your website to naturally overtake your competitors and be a top contender for Google’s top 10 search results for a given keyword.

[pullquote1 align=”right” textColor=”#000000″]Search engine optimization (SEO) is relatively straightforward and revolves around one simple concept: content is king[/pullquote1]
Search engine optimization (SEO) is relatively straightforward and revolves around one simple concept: content is king. Google has been telling webmasters this for years and while some listen, many have not.

What this means is that the content of your website dictates your results through SEO. When you produce valuable content that your audience and readers will benefit from, you will see more promising results. One way to do this is to utilize your website’s blog and integrate targeted keywords into insightful and knowledgeable blog posts. You can write content such as “how-to” guides, tutorials for physical therapy, suggestions, and home-based treatments for patients, to name a few. Always keep in mind that quality content is better than high quantities of content and that your readers are much more likely to share an article that is worth reading.

To optimize your content for search engines, insert your targeted keywords into the following as possible:

  • Page Title
  • Meta Description
  • Meta Keywords
  • Tags
  • Categories
  • H1 Heading
  • H2 Heading
  • H3 Heading
  • Image ALT Text
  • URL Structure
  • Body of the Content

By following this basic structure, your content will be well optimized and ready for sharing. The more your content is shared, the more it will link back to your site, which will increase its search engine rankings. Remember to keep the content readable and not overuse the keywords. Your audience wants an article that flows well and doesn’t sound robotic.

Contact Us for Additional Physical Therapy Search Marketing Tips

[squeeze_box]If you still feel like you can use some help with your physical therapy search marketing, contact us at E-Rehab today. We can work together to establish a strategy that’s feasible for you, and soon enough, you’ll see as your website starts ascending in the search rankings.[/squeeze_box]

Make Your Physical Therapy Website Local SEO Friendly

physical therapy website

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

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

Make Your Location a Prominent SEO Keyword

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

Make Separate Local Pages for Each Location

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

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

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

Attempt Address Accuracy Across All Map Listings

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

Collect Reviews

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

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

Improving Your Local SEO Can Better Establish Your Physical Therapy Website

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

 

How to Improve Physical Therapy Search Marketing

physical therapy search marketing

It’s 2016, and just about everything imaginable can be found on the Internet. As this expansion inevitably continues, you may start to grow concerned that the larger the Internet gets, the smaller your physical therapy practice’s website becomes, especially when all your competitors also have a sites of their own. The reality of the age we live in may cause a stir, but you’re not powerless against it: create a strategy to improve your physical therapy search marketing and you’ll establish your practice as a visible name that stands out above the rest.

More than Just ‘Having a Website’

If you own a physical therapy practice and already have a website, it’s a good start but only the first step. Being available on the Internet makes it much easier for potential patients to find you, because it’s the first place most people turn when they are looking for any business. When it comes to searching for businesses, some people will use a “yellow pages” type website, but most prefer a traditional search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo. If your website can’t be found by these, or any other smaller, search engine, people are going to have a hard time finding it, and, again, you might as well not exist. It’s important to ensure that your business has high rankings on search engines, because people will tend to look at the first few search results and ignore anything else.

Physical therapy websites are unique in the way they are set up and how they need to be marketed on the Internet. If you have a physical therapy website, or are in need of the creation of one, it is best to turn to a professional company to help you. There are plenty of companies on the Internet that will help you with setting up your website, and many will help with optimizing your search. But with physical therapy companies, it is best to look to a company that knows something about physical therapy and how to market that particular type of business.

So how do you improve your physical therapy search marketing? The first thing is to have a good website that is search engine optimized (SEO). But really, turning to a professional to help you with improving your search engine ranking is the ray to go. E-rehab.com is an ideal solution for physical therapy websites to improve their search rankings. They are set up specifically for helping physical therapy and rehabilitation companies get up and running on the Internet, and that includes improving search marketing for your website.

If you have a physical therapy website, or are in need of setting up physical therapy website, turn to the experts at E-rehab.com. We know what it takes to make sure that a physical therapy company that is looking to get established on the Internet is found in the search results of the major search engines. We know what goes on “behind the scenes” at the search engines, and how to optimize a website to be found by the search engines and let people find your business on the Internet.

The Internet is a big place with millions of websites vying for people’s attention. How do you get your physical therapy website out there for people to see and access? You turn to the professionals so that your physical therapy search marketing is successful. E-rehab.com has the necessary capabilities to make your marketing strategy successful, and make your business found on the Internet.

If you are interested in seeing how much more successful your physical therapy business can be, contact us, we would be happy to help you get started.

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.

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.

Grow Your Practice Using Physical Therapy SEO

seo for physical therapy clinics

What is search engine optimization (SEO) for your PT Practice?

We define physical therapy SEO as search engine optimization for your physical therapy practice website (learn more about how to do your own on-page optimization here).

You want to grow your practice by having a website to draw more people who will use your physical therapy services. What is the point of having a website if nobody can find it? Let’s face it; what you really need is a website that is ranked number one or at least within the top 3-4 of the search results, on all the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Having a high ranking on these search engines increases the number of people who will find your website when looking for a physical therapist in your city.

How To Drive More Website Visitors

Implementing a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy will help increase the amount of traffic to your website, and it is something every physical therapy practice should do to maximize their Internet presence. Using SEO ensures that a potential patient finds your website in a prime spot on the results page when searching for a keyword related to physical therapy. SEO creates long-lasting results; as long as you rank well on the search engines, people will continue to click through to your website, which will generate more and more business. In the end, it all leads to more patients and referrals to your practice.

Start with Keyword Research

SEO is all about knowing your audience and applying your expertise to determine the keywords your potential patients are most likely to use in the search engines. Your keywords should cover areas such as your target market (i.e. physical therapy & physical therapist), your primary services (e.g. vestibular rehabilitation, women’s health, ART, etc.), your specific location, and what it is about your practice that differentiates it from the competition. After compiling your list of priority keywords, it helps to follow it up with another list, this time one that has alternative keywords. For example, your primary keywords may be “physical therapy NYC.” Your alternative keywords may be “physical therapy midtown Manhattan,” “midtown,” or “38th street.” These alternative keywords will broaden your reach and number of page 1 listings on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.com .

Develop Your Content Strategy

After you have the list of keywords you want to use, begin developing strategic content for your website built around those keywords. Providing this high-quality content is important because offering useful and pertinent information will attract people to your website. In general, include your keyword in the heading, page URL, and the first paragraph.  Overall, we recommend that your articles be at least 500-600 words in length.

Quality Content will Attract Back Links, Resulting in Better Search Rankings

Providing high-quality contact, for example, The Definitive Guide to Ankle Sprain Rehab, will also prompt other complementary businesses, such as a massage therapists, running clubs, etc. to link to your high-quality website content.  The term to describe this is “link baiting.”  If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site. Your content must be recognized by all of the search engines. By authoring website content, rich with your primary and alternative keywords, you are more likely to earn a top spot on the search results page.

E-rehab can help you maximize your physical therapy practice’s web presence and provide first-page visibility on all of the major search engines. Contact us to develop a customized approach to take your practice to the next level by increasing your online presence and growing your business.

[info_box]Take Home Message: Consumers use search engines all of the time to find physical therapy practices in their respective geographic area. In fact, we surveyed 30 doctors in the Phoenix area and 2/3 said that if they didn’t have a practice to refer to in the area the patient lived in, they would search Google.

Moreover, the practice referenced above in the image, increased their online business by over 500% using search engine optimization best practices.

Therefore, it’s worthwhile to optimize your physical therapy practice website and business listing and increase the likelihood you will rank on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.com . Have questions about physical therapy SEO? Give us a call.[/info_box]

Why Every Private Practice Should Use Google My Business

Google-My-Business-for-Physical-Therapists

Google has made life much easier for physical therapy practice owners with the launch of its exciting new tool, Google My Business. It combines:

  • Google Places,
  • Google Maps,
  • Google Analytics & Insights
  • Google+

They are all under one easy-to-use dashboard and now, managing multiple Google accounts has never been simpler and the marketing advantages are endless.

What’s more, it’s free with no hidden costs. Here’s a quick summary of some of the services included in Google My Business:

Google+ (Google Plus):

Google Plus Page for Physical Therapy Marketing
Here’s a Google + Page that’s great for your physical therapy online marketing

G+ (Google Plus or Google+) This is Google’s answer to Facebook. It’s a social networking platform that allows you to share messages, photos, videos and links to your followers, directly from the My Business page.

Reviews: Google is the number 1 business review platform online. Google My Business has an entire review platform that gives practices a place to manage ratings and reviews in one location.

Google Analytics: You can very quickly and easily see all of your websites stats right on your business dashboard.

Insights: Insights gives you vital information on your visibility, engagement and trends in the market.

Maps: Manage your businesses location and information available on Google Maps.

YouTube & Hangouts: Video chats with key members of your physical therapy practice (think expert interview, patient testimonials, doctor interviews, etc.).

As mentioned earlier, this is all a free service. If you currently use Google Places for business or Google+ Pages to manage your online presence, you will already have been upgraded.

Not only that, but they are fine-tuning the My Business platform for mobile use too, and it is available in both iOS and Android.

6.5 Ways That You Can Take Advantage of Google My Business
Right Now and Quickly Overtake Your Competition

1. Be easily found on Google
Brand awareness is vital for any practice. How can you gain patients if people don’t know who you are or what types of services you offer? As a small private practice, you know how hard it can be to get high rankings on Google, especially if you’re in a big market with corporate and hospital brands.

So in order to create better brand awareness your first step would be to create an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to make your site more searchable on Google. Research has proven (and you probably know from your own personal experience) that 75% of Google users never scroll past the first page. This highlights how without good Google rankings, you are simply missing new patients.

This is where Google My Business comes into play. When you create a My Business account, fill out all of the information Google requests, as it will increase the odds that your practice will show up on a Google Search, Maps and Google+.

You’ll need precise information about your location, your office hours, contact information, website address, email and fax numbers, and at least 10 pictures of your practice.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that the information you put on Google is the exact information NAP (business Name, Address, Phone number) that you have on your website and any other places where your practice is listed online. Consistency is very important in SEO and it can affect your search engine rankings if there are any inconsistencies.

The more information you add, the more Google’s search algorithms will work to help your search ranking.

Together, all of these features will give your patients an inside look at your practice. As a result, when potential patients are comparison shopping or simply doing a broad search for “physical therapy and a location”, they will be more likely to find your Google My Business listing and visit your website.

2. Connect with existing and potential patients
Not only can you manage your practice listing (AKA Google online phonebook listing), you can also manage your Google+ page from your My Business dashboard. It has taken a while for people to get used to the Google+ social network, and most people still prefer and use Facebook and other social media sites, but bear in mind that your Google+ business page increases the trust in your practice name and gives you significant boost to with respect to your Google Local SEO listings.

Google is always trying to provide its users with the best, most relevant experience. As such Google takes note of those who comment, shares or +1 your G+ page posts, captures this information, and identifies your audiences identity, activity and interests. From there, they can even deliver your Google+ page content to your followers in the organic search results. It’s truly amazing how Google provides users such a customized experience.

The other advantage of using Google+ is this; while other social media sites place a “no follow” tag on any link you post, Google+ doesn’t. So if you posted a link on Facebook for example, any links that you put in your posts (to your website in attempts to improve search engine optimization) will not influence your practice’s Google search results. Google, on the other hand, treats them G+ posts as web pages, which then helps increase your sites visibility and page rank.

But even without the SEO benefits, Google+ is also a terrific way to engage with past patients and build a long term relationship with them, which will increase the trust in your company.

Just as on any other social network, if you expect any kind of results on Google+, you need to be consistent and post regularly. If you have a practice blog, post the links on your page and ask your audience to read and share them. Post fun pictures of you and your employees so that your followers can get to know you better and have a clearer picture of who you are. It will encourage brand loyalty.

It is worth reminding you that any content you share should be relevant and interesting to your audience. You don’t want to keep posting promotional offers like Free Screenings or Discount Massages. The point of Google+ is not to push your physical therapy services on people, but to create a close-knit community, which will inspire trust and loyalty in your practice.

3. Hang out with your clinicians
If you are not already familiar with it, Google Hangouts are another great way to demonstrate your clinical expertise. You can hang out with up to 15 people at a time.

It’s the perfect way to build an online video marketing strategy for free. Use it to answer questions, share information about your new services or even give online demos of treatment.

4. Check the Performance of your activity
It’s helpful to post on Google+ and host Hangouts with your patients, but it could all be a waste of time and effort if they are not producing the desired results.

This is where the Insights tool comes in for your Google+ page and Analytics for your presence across all Google platforms. Both of these tools make it very easy for you to see how many views you’re getting, and you can even see how many people are reading your specific Google+ posts. It even gives you information on how many people have checked out your practice on Google Map searches.

5. Encourage and Respond to Patients’ Reviews
Whether you love them or you hate them, some patients want to leave a review about your practice. It’s part of online culture and people will either want to rave or complain about any experiences that they’ve had.

Side Note: the most common “bad reviews” are about patient billing and payment. It’s worth knowing this and making a little extra effort to make sure patients understand your physical therapy billing practices and policies.

Since online reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising, it’s worthwhile to make it easy for patients to post ratings (0-5 stars) and reviews (text comments about your practice). Chances are positive reviews will generate more business for you too, as many patients decide to make decisions based solely on what their peers have to say about your practice. Google My Business makes it easy by allowing you to claim your practice listing so that patients can add their rating and review by simply by Googling your name and clicking on the blue Google+ page link under your business listing.

The dashboard even makes it easy for you to promote the reviews on your Google+ page and monitor reviews on other platforms like Yelp. This will help you to easily respond to positive reviews, while professionally and politely dealing with any negative reviews. You will have a great pulse on the online reputation of your practice…certainly an asset for any physical therapy practice these days.

6. Create an AdWords Express Account
It probably won’t surprise you that at the bottom of the My Business dashboard, there is a button that will bring you to an AdWords account. After all, advertising is where Google makes 95%+ of its money.

The “express version” if AdWords, in my experience is very easy to use for private practice owners, but your ads will often show up for keywords that aren’t related to your business. This will result in unnecessary clicks and expense. Nevertheless, it still super easy to quickly create ad campaigns. It’s very similar to the right-side and inline Facebook ads, where you simply write your ad and set your budget and then Google AdWords will do the rest the work.

6.5 Stay Informed on Your Mobile Device
Just as 30-40% of your patients are likely to visit your physical therapy practice website while browsing on their smartphones, Google My Business will allow you to do manage My Business with either both iOS and Android apps. The mobile streamlined dashboard makes it easy for you to simply swipe through all of your tools and data, allowing you change dates, manage ads and modify your online presence from wherever you are.

Claim Your Page Today

With Google My Business, you will find all of the best Google tools are right in front of you by simply by logging into your dashboard. It makes management of your online presence easy.

[info_box]As you can see, Google My Business is a robust practice brand management platform; but, as with all aspects of online marketing, your web performance is only as good as you can make it. It’s very important that you include as much relevant information about your practice as you can. If it’s done right, it really can make a difference between your online success or failure.[/info_box]

If you are in any doubt or would like more helpful tips and advice on how to make the most from this great tool, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Physical Therapy Marketing – A How To Guide to Search Engines Optimization

physical therapy search marketing

“Why is no one using my physical therapy website? I haven’t seen a single new patient!” Every time I hear those words, it makes me chuckle because it reminds me of my first physical therapy website over 10 years ago.

I was so excited when it was done! I had completed a major objective of my physical therapy marketing plan. I had spent hours putting together the code adding great images, writing and rewriting and uploading my service information, the ‘About’ page, my phone number and address, testing the forms and making sure everything anyone could ever ask about was there on my website, ready and waiting for anyone that visited.

After a several days of no one contacting me, my excitement started to fade but I was still sure someone would use the contact form or call me on the phone.

I typed my practice name and physical therapy into Google, only to see lots of other listings but no mention of me on any of the first 10 pages. “It’s still early,” I thought to myself.

After 3 months, the digital tumble weeds were blowing through my PT site’s pages and still no one had been in contact. I couldn’t understand what was wrong. Did no one care about the fact that I could help back pain patients heal without drugs or surgery? Did anyone really care about a physical therapist website?

I Had No Idea SEO Should be Part of My Physical Therapy Marketing

When my frustration was at an all-time low, I contacted a good friend of mine, who was also an internet marketing guy, and lamented to him about my lack of website viewers. When he asked what had I done to optimize my site and what keywords had I used, my face went blank.

He was kind enough to run through a few basic things with me and over the next few months, he worked with me to put into place some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) elements to help me get found on the search engines.

From that day forward I soaked up every bit of SEO information I could. I invested in courses, books and coaching so I became an expert in SEO and could help other physical therapists.

What my friend had initially showed me gave me an understanding of why I needed help with SEO in the first place, and so now I’m going to pass some of that on to you…

Just Build It And They Will Come?

physical-therapy-website-design

If you are anything like I was, a physical therapist with an interest in web technology, you may have assumed that just creating your website is enough; Everyone who needs you and your services will find your site without a problem. Right? Not exactly.

All you have done is to take your site and drop it like a boat to float about in the ocean of the internet, and as such your site is drifting aimlessly in wave after wave after wave of other sites.

You and your site need more than luck for potential patients to come across your website. You have to make your practice stand out from other websites, and you need to start putting up some “I’m Here” signs to your site.

SEO is the way to direct attention to your physical therapy website. It’s a fancy technical-sounding name that scares many practice owners off trying it at all, but it just describes the process in which you help search engines notice your site.

Make Sure You Consider Your Keywords

physical-therapy-keywords

One aspect of SEO is how you carefully manage the placement of certain buzz words (known as KEYWORDS) into your site’s page titles, content, headings, image alt tags and other key places within your site.

When done correctly, it means search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, will read these keywords, which results in them giving your site a good ranking. In other words, your site appears higher up, or nearer the front, in the search results. Since most people don’t look past the first three pages of search results, it is vital to your practice that you appear as near to the top of the first page as possible.

UNLISTED = INVISIBLE?

Ok, you have probably done this quite a few times, but type the name of your practice into Google. Where do you appear in the results? Page1? Possibly, but you could be further down the search results than you would like, perhaps page 2 or even 3. If this is the case, you need to improve your search engine ranking. Why? When we look at web statistics, over and over we see that a “name search” is by far the most common why prospective patients search for you.

Now try a second search, but this time use the kind of general terms a patient might use – so just use physical therapy together with the name of your local town or area. Now where do you appear in the results? Are you in the first 5 pages? NO? How about the first 10 pages?

Take Some Action Before You Hire A Professional

As worrying as it may seem that you can’t find your site, there’s no need to panic just yet. It’s time to take positive action to improve things.

The first thing you really need to know is why your site isn’t getting any attention. Does Google really not see your site at all? Or is it just a case that you are getting so little traffic to your site that there isn’t enough for the Search Engines to give you any ranking worth a bean? Knowing which it is will change the way you approach your SEO.

How do Google, Yahoo, and Bing find a PT Website?

web-spider-robot

As you can imagine, there are millions of websites, pages and bits of information out on the web. To make sense of it all, it has to be put in some type of ordered format so that is can be scanned quickly to gather the relative information needed for each search enquiry.

Search engines have software programs called ‘robots’ or ‘spiders’ that are sent out to read the massive volume of information people have published on their websites. They ‘index’ this information, noting which pages they have come across and all the words contained on each page. So when a search enquiry is made in one of the Search engines, this index helps sort the relevant sites for the results.

Entry in this index isn’t a foregone conclusion. Websites that are new or have little traffic to them won’t necessarily be brought to the attention of these spider programs. You can check the status of your site by going to Google’s search and typing in site:www.(followed by your domain name). If your site is indexed, you should see a list pages from your site that Google has found and indexed, and ideally every page of your site should have its own index entry.

[note_box]

Let me show you an example. Take Marathon Physical Therapy www.marathonptny.com for example…

To see Marathon’s indexed pages, you would type site: www.marathonptny.com into Google search. Has Marathon PT done their SEO homework?

They most certainly have.

[/note_box]

If you have done your homework, you should certainly expect to see some pages appear in the index results. If some or all of your pages are missing, don’t worry. It’s better that you find out now and take steps to correct it, than sit around for 6 months wondering why no one has come calling to your website.

GET SPIDERED AND GET LISTED

Thanks to Google, you can take steps to start your site being indexed. Google has provided website owners the opportunity to take advantage of their free Webmaster Tools which helps practices and individuals alike to make the most of SEO on their site.

All you need is a Google account, which you can sign up for when you visit the page at https://www.google.com/webmasters/ BUT before you start, make sure your website is ready. Check there are no broken links, you have enough unique content on your pages, you have keywords in all the right places (don’t worry, we’ll look at keywords shortly).

Once logged in, you can get your website verified, add your site and a site map, check for any site issues using Google’s helpful Support Tools, even ask for your site to be ‘crawled’ by the spider programs. Then check your site index listings again after 3 or 4 days to see if you have been added to the Google index. If any of this sounds daunting, you can contact us for assistance. We can put of your SEO requirements in place for you.

Time For Your Practice To Stand Out In The Community

Now that you have taken care of the technical aspects of your site, it’s time for your site to start gaining some recognition and yelling, ‘I’m here!’

[pullquote4 quotes=”false” align=”right” variation=”steelblue”]

Whether you have a fairly new site, or one that has been up and running for a while, you need to look at ways your site can start to draw attention, and ultimately attract both Search engine rankings and traffic. This is a multi-part operation using:

  • Keywords
  • Title Tags and Page Metadata
  • Unique Content
  • Constantly Changing Content
  • Links to Other Sites

[/pullquote4]

It may look like a lot of work, but you don’t need to tackle everything at once. That’s the beauty of SEO. It can be done one-step at a time, and as the content of your site should always be changing, you should be tweaking and adding to your SEO efforts often.

KEYWORDS

Keywords are the life blood of your site’s SEO. They are a key factor in customizing your site so that Search engines can deliver the right type of visitor to your site – someone who is looking for your physical therapy services and is ready to call and schedule an evaluation.

You need to find keywords that describe your services the way your patients and referring physicians think about them, not the way you see your practice. Put yourself in their place and try to imagine what terms someone who didn’t know about your specific practice would use.

If you have access to some analytical tools, see if you can identify popular terms people are typing in when making searches relevant to your practice. Once you have considered all the information, try to spot some key core wording or related topics people seem to be using in their searches and incorporate these terms into your site’s content.

Remember your intermediate objective is to move your site up the search results (your business goal is more new patients in the door), so avoid keywords that have excessive competition by being to general (e.g. low back pain).

For example: A McKenzie provider wouldn’t use ‘back treatment’ as a main keyword. There is simply too much competition from millions upon millions of sites – everything from education and medical products to associations, chiropractors and medical super sites.

By choosing to concentrate on a smaller aspect of that broad topic of low back pain, using terms like ‘McKenzie treatment Carlsbad’ or ‘McKenzie provider Carlsbad’ will produce much better results.

Where Do I Put My Keywords?

There are certain prime locations that are searched by spider programs within sites. When a search inquiry is made, these spiders look through site pages to see how many times that keyword is used on the page, how near the top of the page it is used and whether it is used in any other key location.

You need to incorporate these keywords naturally and organically into your text, so that your content flows smoothly and keywords don’t make sentences read in a clumsy or awkward way, while still getting your message over clearly.

There is no alternative to spending time adding keywords into your site, but it is worth the effort and you can add them a few key words at a time. If you don’t feel like you have the time to spend doing this, why not give us a call and we can talk you through how we could do this work for you.

In order for the keywords to be searchable, they do need to be in text form. Text within an image is not readable by the Search engines. Here are some of the really key places to add Keywords into:

Headlines & Section Title

Both of these are likely to be in a larger, bolder text and appear much more prominently on the page. This draws more attention from the spiders and so keywords that are included in these have a greater influence than the same keyword in the body text.

Page Text

Keywords scattered, (not stuffed), throughout the page, but especially within the first sentence/paragraph. Keywords higher on the page have more effect, so use strong keywords here.

Link Text

Wording that is used in links to your site, such as Social network profiles, your blog, external links that go to your site, are given priority status when search engines are looking at that page.

Page URLs (web addresses)

By adding keywords into the URL address of each page, you can make each page highly significant to Search engines.

Over time you will build up a strong keyword presence within your site. As you refine the terms you are seeding your site with, keep in mind any phrases, tag lines or mission statements specific to your company and make sure to include them on a page or two.

Make sure you regularly use analytical Tools such as Google Analytics to watch how effective your keywording is, and to see what new terms people are using to find you on the internet. There are many free resources on the web which can help you to do this.

A word of caution – It can be tempting to run riot with keywords and stuff them into every nook and cranny of your site. It might seem like a good thing to do, but it is anything but. Known as Keyword Stuffing, there are severe penalties for doing just that.

Search engines are constantly analysing the information being collected and if they suspect a site has been overfilled with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a higher ranking in the search results, that site will either be penalized with a LOWER ranking or, worse-case scenario, your site will be BANNED from appearing in any search results, and that would be devastating for your practice.

TITLE TAGS and PAGE METADATA

Each time you create a new page on your site, or add an image to the content, you are given the option to add text, including keywords, into several significant fields which are read by the Search engines:

Page Title Metadata:This field is the text that appears in the header bar or the browser tab area of your browser window. When you click on an entry in the search results, it appears right at the top of your page on the header bar and is often shown in the search results as the “blue link”, that when clicked on, takes the viewer to your website.

There are a few ways to change this field, including using the HTML page code, but don’t waste this field by just adding in your company name. By making each page’s title unique, you can add several different keywords into the overall list of keywords for your site.

Page Description: When you create your pages, you will see this field as an optional text box. Here, you can give a longer description about the content of the page itself, and keywords entered here are also searchable by the spiders. The page description can also often appear beneath the Page title within search results. Limit the number of characters (including spaces) to 160. Consider also adding a call to action at the end of this description (hint – use your phone number).

Image Metadata: Every time you add an image onto your pages, make sure to give your image a short punchy title that relates to your site and/or practice, and don’t forget to fill out the alt title and image description fields.

These fields are all optional, and so some practices overlook them as unimportant. However, why pass up another SEO search opportunity? You shouldn’t stuff keywords into these fields, but make sure you add in at least one!

UNIQUE CONTENT

There are many sources for adding content to your website.

While there is nothing wrong with adding these straight into your site, it is the UNIQUE content of your site that ranks well with the search engines. So when you find a piece that relates to your practice, why not try to wordsmith it a bit.

You could focus question answers or problems you think your potential patients may want answered.

For example, one of the best techniques is to create a list of FAQs and SAQs. “frequently asked questions” and “should have asked questions”. Proactively answering these questions can set you apart or confirm that you are the physical therapy specialist in your community.

CONSTANTLY CHANGING CONTENT

Once you have enough content on your pages, it’s not enough to kick back and leave it there, untouched for months.

Think about it – Would YOU repeatedly visit a website that had nothing new to say? You would come back once or twice, but after that you would be looking for new places to find information that is fresher and more current. While patients may not come back to your website without a physical therapy need, more importantly, search engines also lose interest. Because they want to deliver the best and most relevant information to each search inquiry, they look at how regularly your site is being updated.

Sites that have new content added frequently are more frequently indexed, helping them rank higher in search results.

If you are not adding brand new content in the form of news, updates, new services, products or images, you will lose the attention of the search spiders. Once that happens, it could take months before anything you do add is discovered.

So how can you keep adding content quickly and easily?

A blog is one of the best ways. Not only can you add a new blog entry in less than 15 minutes, but you can use it to encourage others to share it and to link to the contents, increasing the traffic volume all the time. This leads us to another important component of improving your SEO…

BACKLINKS – LINKS FROM EXTERNAL SITES TO YOUR SITE

backlinks-for-your-physical-therapy-website

Have you ever been walking through a craft fair or rummage sale and seen a crowd of people around one particular booth? What is your natural, almost subconscious, desire? Is it not to go over to see what the fuss is all about?

Well believe it or not, this is exactly what happens when Search engines notice other sites have links coming in to (not going out from) your site, especially if the sites that have linked up to you are from authority sites which rank well themselves.

The more sites that are linked to you his way, the more it tells the search spiders: “This site is a good resource and has key information on certain subjects” and so the higher up the search results you will rank. You can see which sites may have already linked to you by going to Google search and typing in:

link:www.YourDomain.com (or .org, .net – whatever domain suffix your site uses)

How Can I Get Others To Link To Me?

If you find you have no links at the moment, don’t panic. There are many ways to encourage others to link to your site.

Check on site directories that are relevant to your practice field to see if you are listed there. If not, apply to get your site included in this and other directories, including larger, more general directories.

If you have partner organizations (e.g. PTPN, PTP, APTA, PPS, etc.), make sure they have links coming into your site.

Is there some content you could add to your site that others would see as a useful resource and so encourage them to link to you? It could be an article that relates to solving specific problems, reports, toolkits or resources.

Another option is to see which sites rank highly when searching for keywords relating to your practice, and then look for ways you could encourage them to link to your site.

An inbound link is worth much more to your SEO than hundreds of outbound links from your site to others.

Effective SEO Takes Time, and Effort.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It can take a little time to build up the momentum of your SEO, so don’t get discouraged if it takes a few months to start to see results, but once you get the ball rolling, you must keep it going.

SEO is like a muscle – you have to use it or you lose it – but doing a little SEO work often is the key to building up an effective SEO campaign.

Keep your finger on the pulse of your site on a monthly basis, checking your keywords and links and making sure to add fresh information is important.

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REMEMBER YOUR END GOAL…IT’S “NOT” RANKING NUMBER 1 ON GOOGLE!

Search Engine Optimization is all about trying to do the right things on your website (keywords, title tags, meta data, etc.) and off your website (link building) so that the search engines will rank you one page one of a search results pages. While this is important, your ultimate goal is to generate new patients in the door. Ranking number 1 on Google for “physical therapy in your community” can make a difference but remember, ranking number 1 for a business name/reputation search is far more important. You can read more about that here.

Unlike me, you might not have the huge amount of time and resources to learn more about, test and invest in trying to be an SEO expert.

The good news is that you don’t have to embark on a huge learning curve. We can do it all for you.

That means that you can concentrate on treating patients and running your practice while you let us put into action our expertise and experience and make sure your website is easily found by the search engines and your patients.

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