There are Two Types of Physical Therapy Marketing: Inbound & Outbound Marketing. This is Part 1 of my 4-part series: The 3 Steps of Inbound to Boost Your Physical Therapy Reputation and Build Confidence in Your Community
Marketing strategies for your private physical therapy practice can be categorized in a number of different ways, but the two primary groups you’re likely to hear more about than any others are inbound vs. outbound. These terms relate to the main direction that your message is being sent, and can be defined as follows:
Inbound marketing: any tactic that attracts readers and draws them in to your practice; this includes social media posts, opt-in emails, search engine optimization (SEO), blogs, and other types of website content.
Outbound marketing: any tactic that is directly sent out to a wider audience, including referring physicians, current/past patients, and patient prospects; social media advertising, print advertising, newsletters for referring physicians, and other types of outreach all fall under this category.
Moz created a good graphic that contrasts inbound versus outbound marketing:
Inbound marketing, or “pull marketing,” is all about executing smart strategies that will lead individuals who may be in need of physical therapy to your practice’s website or social media page. Once they’ve found you, the goal is to keep them there long enough to show who you are, what you’re all about, and why you have the solutions to their problems—even if they aren’t necessarily looking for these solutions. How do you accomplish this? With brilliantly crafted content, of course.
One way to break down your content plan is by following three steps that were originally defined by Hubspot. Those are attract, engage, and delight.
Step 1 – Attract
Bringing web browsers to you is perhaps the most difficult step, simply due to massive number of pages on the web and sheer improbability that the right person will find your website. This is why it’s absolutely imperative that you utilize SEO strategies for all content hosted on your website. By utilizing smart and specific SEO terms that apply to your target audience—like “physical therapy in Smithville or Springfield physical therapists,” for example—you’ll significantly increase the chances of someone identifying your website when doing a search for those terms.
You should also aim to utilize SEO strategies (i.e. including keywords and links back to your website) in all of your social media posts to help with your search rankings.
Step 2 – Engage
Once someone has made their way to your website or social media page, you need to give them a good reason to stay there. For an individual who has an injury and is looking for a physical therapist specifically, this means showing them what you offer over your competitors and why you’re the best practice in the area for their needs. For a reader who isn’t even aware that physical therapy is right for them, this means highlighting the numerous benefits of therapy that will solve their problems.
Blog posts that describe the wide variety of conditions you treat are essential for engagement, but you should also need to have additional content that conveys your commitment to your community, your authority, and your expertise—like “About Us”, FAQ, and Mission/Vision/Values pages—that tell your story and boosts your reputation.
Step 3 – Delight
If you’ve executed the first two steps successfully and have fully engaged a reader, then he or she may go on to choose your practice and schedule their first appointment. This is great, but it’s not the end of the story. Assuming the patient does begin treatment, you’ll also need to delight them throughout their course of care to keep them engaged in their plan of care, progress, and outcomes.
Targeted emails/SMS messages that patients can opt into are effective at this stage to show patients that you care and want to ensure their experience with you is positive. You can send surveys and newsletters through email that keep the engagement level high and continue to direct your patients to your website and social media platforms, which will reinforce your message and show them they’ve made the right choice. Hosting large volumes of informative content on a variety of topics will also reinforce your position as a trusted authority on physical therapy and general health.
Inbound Marketing – Planting the Seed that You are There for Them, Even if They Aren’t Ready to Use Your PT Services Yet
Inbound marketing can be seen as planting a seed and then waiting for it to sprout, and the better your strategy, the higher the chances this will occur. It offers some advantages over outbound marketing, but we believe it’s most effective to utilize both approaches.
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:
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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:
Image ALT Text
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]
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.
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]
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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 Analytics & Insights
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):
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.