When a potential new patient visits your website (we’ll call them a visitor) there are seven questions you need to be answering for them. Good physical therapy website development should address all of these and your physical therapy web designer/developer should have experience in and the ability to help you answer all of these questions.
1. Can “You” Solve Their Problem?
Patients are looking for a clinician that can put an end to their pain and dysfunction. Does your website communicate clinical excellence to your visitors?
2. How will Physical Therapy Help Them Out?
Why should visitors use physical therapy versus a pill or an orthopedist? Do you let visitors know they will have better outcomes if they start PT sooner than later?
3. How will Patients Benefit from Going to “Your Practice”?
What makes your practice unique and different? What is your USP? Is it your location, specialties, certifications, education, insurance plans you accept? Can you get them in fast? Boutique/family oriented versus big-box corporate?
4. Do You Convey Social Proof?
Why should a website visitor expect to have a great experience and outcome with your practice? Do you have case studies? Do you have video of other patients with similar diagnoses as visitors that might be considering your services?
5. Are You Trustworthy?
Over 90 percent of consumers consider ratings and reviews when making buying decisions. Do you have a high aggregate rating? Do you have a high volume of reviews? What’s the overall sentiment of the reviews? Are your reviews recent? Do you offer quality, educational, and cutting-edge information to build trust?
6. Is Your Online 1st Impression Credible?
Visitors judge what they can’t see based on what they can see. Do you have a website that accurately reflects the quality of care you provide or is it simply a poorly designed online brochure without any interactivity? Does it load fast? Is it secure? Is it responsive for smartphones and tablets? Is it easy to navigate?
7. Do You Offer Clear Calls to Action?
Once a visitor decides to use your clinical services, what do they do next? Is your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) at the top of each page? Do you tell them how to contact you/a particular location? Is your location information clear? Do you have Click to Call, Click to Map, Click to Review Us options easily accessible? Can visitors request an appointment?
A physical therapy private practice website serves many functions. Get it right and you can educate, build trust & credibility, and drive more business. Get it wrong and you are certainly losing business.
No doubt you have already set up a Facebook Page for your practice and hopefully you have a number of fans that have joined your page since then.
Your goal now is to build a relationship with these fans and interact with them. You want to let your fans know that you value them and they are special. By doing so, you will encourage them to continue to read and interact with your posts. You need to consistently give your fans a reason to care about what you have to say.
Here are six ways to make your fans feel special and encourage them to stay loyal to your practice:
Fan of The Month
This is a great way you can make your fans feel special. There are so many variations of this theme. For example, it could be a fan of the month or a birthday of the month. Or if you want to take it a step further, crown a patient of the month for someone who has improved significantly over the past month. You get the idea, but whatever theme you use, your fans will love it.
To make it fair, you could make a random drawing where you pick a name out of a hat. Some people even video it and upload the video to YouTube and then post the link on their Facebook page.
Or it could be a reward for a fan that you think has made the most valuable contribution to your page. Or you could come up with a short-list and encourage other fans to vote and base it on how many “likes” a particular nominee has received.
This type of promotion is very simple but works well by highlighting individual fans on your page and putting them in the spotlight.
Here are some examples from companies who do this well:
The beauty with this kind of promotion is that you don’t have to give any prizes out other than the recognition they get from being featured as a “fan of the month.”
It is a good way to interact with your customers and fans. It shows that you appreciate and value them. It also encourages them to stay loyal to you and your patients as well as interact on your Facebook page.
Ask The Physical Therapy Expert
This can be excellent way to drive traffic to your site and to provide valuable information for your fans.
Choose a day where you or another physical therapist from your practice shares their expertise about a certain topic. Have another employee (or even a patient, if possible) interview the expert with some general questions about physical therapy treatment, general health or exercise tips. Change the topic a couple times per month and use it as a platform to open a conversation about something you feel patients can benefit from.
This is a win-win situation for everybody involved. Your fans will be happy because they can learn more about physical therapy and have some important questions answered. You win because your fans are happy and more educated, and you may have also managed to draw in new patients.
For this to work effectively of course you will need to have a decent amount of active fans or you will not get enough participation.
All About the Fans Day
This is a similar theme to the fan of the month as it is yet another way to make your fans feel very special and appreciated.
A great way to do this is to allow your fans to promote themselves on your page. So if your fans have a website or a blog, let them post a link.
Create a special day each week or month where your fans can post anything they like about themselves. It can be their site, a picture of their kids, pet, car or whatever they want to post.
Obviously, you will be around to moderate the posts and make sure that they don’t violate any rules or directly compete with what you are offering, but it is a great way to encourage interaction.
Three More Ways to Turn Your Fans into Ambassadors:
Run a Live Event & Feature a Fan
Promote a Local Cause & Increase Their Reach
Use Facebook Live Video to Share a Topic of Interest
Make Sure Your Message is Seen – Boosting Posts
You may have read that Facebook has essentially eliminated organic reach of Facebook Business Page posts (Reference) . At the time of this post, that’s exactly what we are seeing. For example, if you have 100 Facebook Page fans (Likes), and you posted something this time last year, 20-30 of your fans may have seen that post in their news feed. Today, that number has been reduced to single digits.
Side Note: if you do get your fans (hint, hint your staff members for example) to share your page posts, you will still get some organic reach.
To combat your loss of organic reach, you will want to boost your Facebook posts. It’s fast, easy and for a few dollars (i.e. $10 – $20) you can still reach a significant number of people. Therefore, when you do post something of value as described above, make sure you use the boost function to get the message out.
Most people realize that online marketing is the future, but in many cases, they may not be entirely sure how to actually use it to their advantage. This can be particularly true for physical therapists, as the whole physical therapy online marketing world can seem a bit confusing. Going to a digital marketing expert may help by giving you lots of ideas, but it may also complicate matters and make you feel overwhelmed with all the options they present to you.
To help simplify things, here are few explanations of 5 physical therapy online marketing terms that will help you to understand what will help increase your business.
Of course everyone knows what a website is, so the term doesn’t need much of an explanation. A website is the main vehicle through which you’re going to start your digital marketing efforts. It’s used to tell patients who you are, what types of physical therapy services you provide, what your weekly hours are, your phone number, location and how they can make an appointment, as well as any other essential details.
Most people also know what a blog is but they may not understand what purpose they serve. Some practice owners may struggle with figuring out an effective approach to take on blogging, and they may question whether or not they should actually have a blog in the first place. The truth is that you have to find something new and interesting to write about every week. Doing this will enable you to use a number of keywords and be found in many searches, which improves your visibility and gets your name out there. In addition, it convinces patients that you know what you’re doing and what’s happening in your field.
Though the term “keywords” is tossed around often, many people still may not understand why they are important. It is true that keywords don’t hold the same power as they once did in the past, but search engines still look through all the words on your website for keywords that people might have searched for. For example, “physical therapy,” “physical therapist” and “physiotherapy” are some of the primary keywords used in the physical therapy field. So you should try to use keywords like these on a regular basis throughout your website in order to be found by more patients looking for treatment.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is another term that a number of individuals struggle with. Even people who work in the SEO field might not be able to define exactly what it means. In basic terms, a search engine is a system like Google or Bing that looks through a large number of websites to find the ones that are most relevant to a person’s search. SEO refers to the creation of websites in such a way that they’ll show up among the first few results when people search for certain keywords. This can be accomplished by using keywords, introducing keyword variety, providing quality content or using lists and bullet points, to name a few possible approaches.
5. Call to Action
Keep in mind that you can spend lots of time setting up your website and providing information to your patients, but it’s not going to do you much good unless you also ask them to participate in the process. This is called a “call to action.” It refers to the point where you say, “contact us for more information.” You can say this in nearly every section of your website, whether it’s your “about us” page, your “services” page or even your blog. Essentially, you should make sure that each page of your website contains this call to action and links back to your “contact us” page, so that patients can easily get in touch with you.
We Can Improve Your Physical Therapy Online Marketing
[squeeze_box5]This is just a brief overview of some of the most commonly used physical therapy online marketing terms, but you may need some helping actually putting them into action. Contact us at E-Rehab for more information on any of these terms or for specific guidance with improving your website and online strategy.[/squeeze_box5]
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]
When it comes to building a website for your business, there are a few basic practices that are standard in any industry. The following are often considered essentials:
An eye-catching display
A clear sense of what your business is and what it has to offer
But when it comes to physical therapy websites, there are a few additional factors to keep in mind that will make your website stand out from your competitors. You want to convince new patients to come to your clinic, while also offering your current patients the information they need without getting bogged down in a marketing campaign. With that in mind, here are some features that the best physical therapy websites offer their visitors:
Valuable—and Free—Health Information
Because so many physical therapy patients are referred by their doctors, your website needs to do more than just attract business. It should stand out as a leader in the field of physical therapy by providing valuable information that patients and other site visitors may be searching for. [blockquote align=”left”]According to Pew Research, up to 80% of e-patients turn to the Internet to find out about an illness or injury. [/blockquote]
Based on this, your website should offer e-patients a credible resources with credible and useful information. There are several possible ways to accomplish this:
Host a blog where you write about a different physical therapy topic every week
Ask site visitors to sign up for a weekly email newsletter that will contain more in-depth research and columns from various physical therapists; make sure your sources are current, reliable and credible
Provide links to articles, and make sure to check facts before posting them
The time you invest in making your website informative will pay off when you are seen as a thoughtful and experienced leader in the field.
A Practice Run of the First Appointment
Keep in mind that physical therapy is new for many patients, and as a result, it can be a little intimidating. Give site visitors a feel for what they should expect during their first appointment. Offer a video or picture tour of the facility and include photos and bios of all the physical therapists. Give new patients a rundown of what to expect from the moment they walk in the door and answer some of these questions:
How long is the typical wait time?
What should I wear to the first appointment?
How long will it last?
What types of insurance do you accept?
Your visitors should leave your website with the confidence of knowing exactly what is waiting for them when they step through the door for their first appointment.
The ease and convenience of the Internet means that many patients are online at most hours, including hours your clinic isn’t open. Allowing patients to schedule, reschedule or cancel appointments online gives them freedom to consider their appointments during off-business hours.
This one goes hand-in-hand with online scheduling. More and more consumers are conducting business on-the-go through cell phones and tablets, so make sure your website is mobile-compatible. [pullquote4 align=”right” textColor=”#2aec3f”]People are using mobile devices 60% of the time compared with only 40% of time being spent on computers[/pullquote4]A recent report from comScore shows that people are using mobile devices 60% of the time compared with only 40% of time being spent on computers. Most of that mobile time is being used on apps, so it’s worth considering whether or not you can make an app for your physical therapy clinic that allows patients to track their progress, their payments and their appointments.
E-Rehab Creates and Improves Physical Therapy Websites
[highlight2]There are clearly many elements that go into building physical therapy websites that will attract new patients and still be a useful tool for returning patients. Fortunately, you don’t need to build your website on your own. Contact us to see how E-Rehab can create the perfect website for your physical therapy clinic.[/highlight2]
A crucial part of physical therapy website design is providing information patients really want to know about rather than reading mere sales tactics. When prospective patients seek out physical therapy, they want to know what sets you apart from everyone else. Ultimately, most of those people likely have serious physical problems and don’t want to spend hours of time deciding between physical therapy clinics that look too much alike.
One way to set yourself apart is providing a library of educational information on your site that’s easily organized under categories. Under each category, you can bring a comprehensive list of what you do, what your mission statement is, plus answering pertinent questions most patients ask.
Here at E-rehab.com we’ll help you put this all together utilizing the best in multimedia so a first-time visitor gets a complete picture of who you are within minutes.
Creating a Q&A Section
One of the most essential elements in a menu providing information is a basic Q&A section answering the most pertinent questions about you. However, if you’ve ever been in the shoes of a patient, you know not every question is easily answerable in a Q&A. Try to think more thoroughly about what you’d want to ask and place the question and answer there. The more obscure the question, the better since someone will inevitably ask it eventually.
When creating the Q&A, organize it alphabetically or by subject for faster reference. In a mobile culture, especially, many patients are probably reading this on their mobile devices. If they can’t find information in minutes (or even seconds), they’ll likely give up and go somewhere else.
Also, when providing answers in your Q&A, be thorough in the answers. Provide information you can’t find on a Google search so patients know you went to more work for their benefit. One thing patients won’t warm to is overly simple, pat answers.
Providing Information on Individual Procedures
Most people searching for info about physical therapy want to know what type of techniques you provide for various physical ailments. Again, creating categories for each condition is a smart way to organize this information so someone doesn’t have to search on your site to find something.
Under each category, mention any innovative techniques you bring to physical therapy that few others are doing. Be thorough with the information like you were with the Q&A, especially under categories that are the most typical. Physical therapy for back problems are quite common, as are techniques to help those recovering after accidents or surgeries.
Indicate exactly how long each procedure takes and what the best results are. It’s here where you can provide a separate library of videos that showcase exactly what you do.
Creating a Library of Short Videos
When creating videos about your procedures, being as transparent as possible is essential in an era where we want facts about everything. Creating a video series is also a good idea so you break down a particular physical therapy technique into multiple, short segments.
With patient approval, try creating short videos showcasing the physical therapy taking place. By showing one session in real-time through a series of videos, you give a sense of actually being there, how patients react, and what the immediate results are.
End your video series with testimonials from those patients and how they felt after one or several physical therapy sessions. This is the best information your first-time videos can have and tells so much in a mere minute. Nevertheless, your textual information is there to complement the videos. Add detailed images of inside the body showing how physical therapy helps muscle tissue.
Your Website can be More than a Sales Tool
Patients check you and your practice out online before they come in for care.
Use your website as a digital tool to reinforce the information/education you have provided them verbally. A good physical therapy design should consider educational opportunities. E-rehab.com provides patient education, patient handouts, exercise videos, and more.[/note_box]
Contact us here at E-rehab.com and we’ll help you put together a library of information on your site that encapsulates everything for both mobile and desktop users.
You’re already a talented and invested physical therapist. You’ve probably got a steady stream of patients who trust you and are seeing results. What’s next? How can you grow your client base and keep your patients healthy, even after their sessions are wrapped up? We suggest physical therapy social media marketing.
You don’t need to be a trained marketing professional to develop your online community. In fact, sometimes that authentic novice approach can help your business stand out among all the cookie cutter stick-to-the-book traditional tactics. So, in between sessions, give a few of these channels a try.
If you’re not on Pinterest already and think it’s just for crafters and bakers, it’s time to get reacquainted. Pinterest was the fastest growing social network over the past year, and it has qualities that you won’t quite find on Facebook. “At their core, the difference between Pinterest and other social networks is why people use it,” Kevin Roose explains, “— to plan for the future, rather than exhuming the past or analyzing the present.” On Pinterest, health-and-recovery-minded users, like your patients, plan for the future by pinning wellness tips, healthy recipes, and inspirational quotes. “Pinning says ‘I want this.’ It’s aspirational.”
Your physical therapy practice can be a hub for such holistic aspirations. Of course you’ll have boards dedicated to PT-specific topics (i.e. Knee Pain, Spine Rehab, Shoulder Problems, etc.) and other subjects that would be a perfect fit for Pinterest‘s “Health & Fitness” category, but you should also tap into the most popular categories like “Food & Drink.” For example, you could pin anti-inflammatory foods, therapeutic teas, protein-rich smoothies, and so on. Latch on to another popular category, “Women’s Fashion,” by pinning workout gear that your active or working-to-become active clients would be interested in. Think beyond the walls of your practice and consider the entire lifestyle of a person on the road to wellness. The topic“Physical Therapy” has 1.78 thousand followers; start showing a few of them why your PT brand is worth following.
Don’t freak out just yet—you don’t need to write a novel or post every day to have a quality blog for your practice. You also don’t need to be a tech wiz. With platforms like WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr (the second fastest growing social network over the past year), it takes minutes to set up a blog and begin participating in one of the biggest trends in marketing: content marketing. Content marketing is an approach which focuses on creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract and engage with an audience. Blog posts are an excellent vehicle for such content, whose keyword-rich format can also help your business by improving your search engine optimization.
Okay, enough jargon. Think about what your client base would find compelling, informative, and shareable. You could write a 300-word piece about five ways to improve shoulder mobility. You could invite a guest blogger (i.e. a patient) to share how PT has changed her life. You could ask your chef neighbor to type up her favorite smoothie recipe and share a few tips on healthy eating. Compile a list of your top ten favorite outdoor activities in your city. Host a giveaway, like a free resistance band, for a randomly selected commenter. Are your own ideas flowing yet?
Facebook & Twitter
You have a Facebook Page, right? Maybe a Twitter profile, too (if not, we can set these up for you)? These platforms are easy to get started on and are an effective way to build and engage with your online community. Like with other digital tools, it comes down to sharing high-quality, relevant content and interacting with your audience in a meaningful, authentic way. Since Facebook and Twitter are typically more well-known than the other channels we’ve mentioned, we won’t go too in-depth on the mechanics, but do know that having an active presence on these sites is becoming more of an expectation than a bonus for businesses. If a patient is in a work meeting and has a quick question (“Is the office cancelled today because of the snow?”), they’re probably going to pop on over to your (hopefully existent and active) Facebook Page or Twitter profile for real-time, up-to-date info. Trying to build up a collection of testimonials? Encouraging people to review you on Facebook is a great way to do so. You can then take these positive reviews and highlight them on your other channels, perhaps after turning the quotes into mini works of art with some free, easy design programs (i.e. Canva).
Be patient with yourself as you experiment with what works for your audience. You may be surprised by what resonates (or doesn’t), and just as your practice was built brick by brick, it will take time to develop your online community. Trust that the new growth you’re cultivating online will circle back to a more enriching experience at your clinic, for you and your clients.
How We Can Help
[note_box]E-rehab.com publishes regular, fresh, and engaging content for its members. From videos to memes, we provide a variety of content to compliment your social media marketing strategy. Contact us us to learn more about how we can help you with your social media marketing.[/note_box]
You want a functional website that’s going to generate more traffic for your business.
You want your website to be a patient education tool.
You want your website to help with operational efficiency.
You want your website to communicate your expertise, etc., etc.
The tone of your website is generally considered to be important. Given that most of your traffic to your website will be prospects (potential patients), you want your website so be easy to navigate and to clearly represent the quality of service you provide. What I often state is, “In a service business, people judge what they can’t see based on what they can see.” Make sure your website is very attractive.
These are all important things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a physical therapy web developer. However, it’s also important to communicate exactly what you’re hoping to achieve. You’ll have to work hand-in-hand with them to get the types of results you want.
What Are You Trying to Achieve?
It’s always a good idea to be really clear about what you’re trying to achieve with your website. Do you want to attract new patients? This is often what many physical therapists want to do with their online presence. But for some, new patients may not matter that much. Instead, they may want to improve their online image. Maybe they want to become thought leaders in their field. For them, the quality of viewers attracted may be more important than the quantity. It’s important to convey your aims to your web developer so that you can see the types of results you want.
Design Secret: Look at a Lot of Websites but Only Spend 5 Seconds on Each PT Website
It’s a great idea to look at websites of companies within the physical therapy profession. Once you know what your competitors are going for, you can compete with them more easily. Forbes magazine agrees with this idea, adding, “Most designers are not experts in your field of business. Having a list of competitor websites and doing your own research about those competitors and similar businesses can help you articulate ideas for the new website.” Here’s a tip though. You could waste hours of time looking at other physical therapy websites. Don’t! Do a search for physical therapy in various cities. Click on links the to each PT website but only look at it for 5 seconds. You will know within that timeframe if you like the look and feel of the website or not. If you do, write it down and communicate it to your developer.
What Does Your Web Developer Specialize In?
Before you start working with a web developer, you might want to check out their previous work and see what they specialize in. If you’re a physical therapist working with E-rehab, you don’t need to worry because we specialize in building websites for physical therapy private practices. You can feel free to point to our previous work and tell us what you liked and what you didn’t.
We bring a certain type of expertise to the task while you bring another. We’re experts in web development while you know the services you provide. It’s important for you to stay involved in the process, overseeing the content and design to make sure that it portrays your practice accurately. At E-Rehab, we’ll be happy to keep you as involved in the process as you’d like to be.
An article from Huffington Post also suggests that you should check out the “back-end” of websites your web developer has built. This will give you an idea of what it will be like to later edit your website on your own. Is it going to be a simple, easy process or will it be too complicated for you? We build our websites on the most popular website development platform on the web-WordPress. This means it is easy to update your website on your own. We even provide personalized training, videos, and phone and email support 5 days a week for you.
[note_box]Take home message: Your website should generate business, communicate your brand image and expertise, improve efficiency, and should be a patient education tool. It can also be a place where you sell product, appointment requests are taken, paperwork is filled out, where a video story about your practice is communicated, where outcomes are presented, and more. Take the time to invest in a good physical therapy website. It will certainly pay dividends on a daily basis.[/note_box]
Contact us for more great tips on working hand-in-hand with your physical therapy web developer.
It’s a little ironic: you’re a physical therapist who improves the health of others, but when tasked with the overwhelming flood of information involved in online marketing, you become stressed, tense, and exhausted.
But there’s a quick relief valve to this stress: step back and look at the big picture — at the panorama that sits behind all of the little online chores of physical therapy marketing.
And, thankfully, this big picture is not complicated — yet so many businesses overlook a simple truth: marketing, in the end, marketing for small businesses, i.e. physical therapy practices, is about getting your market (doctors, current & past patients, and your community) to know, like and trust you. But obtaining that prized marketing goal requires an essential skill.
Being a Good Listener
Yes, online marketing involves plenty of techno-babble at times — terms like “scalable,” “metrics,” “big-data,” “viral,” or “growth hacking.”
But the heart of online marketing, or any marketing, thrives on something everyone can relate to: being a good listener.
In the ancient days of sales before the Internet, door-to-door salespeople — the really good ones who ran their numbers through the roof — all did one thing really well.
They listened carefully and sincerely. They were comfortable with silence. They weren’t eager to steamroll their customers with non-stop pitching and strong-arm talking tactics. They asked good questions and then really listened to their customers until they pin-pointed that one red-hot need, that one cry for help that perfectly matched what their product offered.
Nothing has changed. Although you do not travel door-to-door conducting surveys on paper or pitching services, you are still listening. In the digital age, we now do much of our listening through screens. All of the online spheres — social media, data analytics, web design, e-newsletters — have become digital ears.
Superb Web Design: Making That Crucial First Impression
[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”right” variation=”steelblue” textColor=”#4c7c81″]In fact, over the last 6 weeks, across all of the mobile websites E-rehab.com manages, we’ve logged over 5,000 calls. [/pullquote1] If you fail to make a stellar first impression with someone you meet, they’re less likely to enter into a meaningful conversation with you. Your website — its visual appeal, navigational ease, functionality — has to be top-notch to earn the trust of visitors and create those conversations.
Physical therapy practice owners need a complete, state-of-the art online marketing system, and that’s exactly what we offer in our proven web design model. By combining Google, Yahoo!, and Bing-friendly content, an intuitive management Control Panel, an integrated blog, powerful visual appeal, and multiple calls-to-action, your site will create valuable conversations with visitors.
But desktop websites are only half of the equation. According to recent studies by Pew Internet, 34% of Internet users “go online mostly using their phones.” In fact, over the last 6 weeks, across all of the mobile websites E-rehab.com manages, we’ve logged over 5,000 calls. Mobile marketing grows every year in its dominance, and a powerful mobile website is a must. We design fast-loading, visually attractive mobile sites that will increase user engagement and attract both new and repeat visitors — in addition to many other features of mobile marketing, including QR code creation.
Search Engine Optimization
Part of being a good listener in the Screen Age means creating more conversations. We learn to listen well by doing it often. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) creates more opportunities for you to listen by bringing more traffic to your site.
But it’s more than just opening the floodgates and letting faceless IP addresses stampede through your web traffic stats. As search engines have evolved, it’s become more about search experience optimization. We make sure your website optimizes the experience for human beings, not the robot crawlers that scour the Internet. When a website creates helpful search experiences for prospects, search engines notice and this improves your ranking.
E-rehab helps you find that balance between excellent user experience in your site design and SEO guidelines that help your website stand out to search engines.
We can also determine your local SEO effectiveness and look for ways to position you more effectively among local prospects.
Effective local SEO helps you create more conversations with prospective patients in your community.
And, of course, the direct approach is the best approach. E-rehab excels in creating attractive, easy-to-use, interactive patient surveys that can be delivered via email. We can post ratings, reviews, and survey results on your website and create dynamic charts. But most importantly, our services help you ask the right questions and listen to what your patients need.
Relief from Marketing Brain Freeze
When you reduce a complex system to its essentials, it’s a little easier to relax. When you know that the goal is attainable — that, when boiled down, marketing is simply about getting your community to know, like, and trust you– it makes the process less intimidating.
The bottom-line? Digital marketing doesn’t have to be a splitting headache. Contact us to see how we can alleviate your stress and help you listen well in our digital world.
These stories can be from your own experience or you can research them. You can use stories of popular celebrities if you are trying to reach a certain demographic, then you can pick the celebrity accordingly. If you want to reach people interested in sports you could choose a popular athlete.
Stories that come from the public will work, as well. People can easily place themselves inside the stories and learn about the numerous benefits of physical therapy.
Training and Education
Another blog idea is to blog about the training and educational process that it takes to become a physical therapist. You can cover the guidelines of the American Physical Therapy Association. These can help assure potential clients of the legitimacy of your business and its staff.
Another idea related to education is to simply educate people about physical therapy. You can get into the specifics of treatment with them. If people know more about the topic of physical therapy they can become more comfortable with it.
You can do simple interviews with people in the physical therapy sector to achieve more prestige for your blog. An interview with a professor of physical therapy can help add an educational spin to your blog. A practicing physical therapist can be interviewed to humanize themselves and their profession.
Explain Who Needs Physical Therapy
This can be done in a variety of ways. It can combine the success stories and interviews above, so that you can let people know how they can benefit from seeking physical therapy themselves. Statistics and charts could also be used explaining all of the different benefits of physical therapy.
Interact with Readers
Some blog posts can simply exist to interact with your own reader segment. If your readers see that you care enough to respond to their comments or questions they will definitely feel valued enough to keep coming back to your blog.
Establish Your Audience
There are many audiences you can target in your physical therapy blog. You can target physical therapists themselves. You could write blogs about how to best run your practice and tips on interacting with and retaining clients. You can also target people who are simply interested in physical therapy. They could be interested in becoming a physical therapist or seeking treatment themselves.
There are many audiences out there. Once you establish which audience you are seeking; you will be able to write your blogs around this particular audience.
Establish Your Tone
The tone for your blog depends on who you are writing it for. If you are writing a blog for a physical therapy office you should likely keep it professional. However, if it is for physical therapists themselves you could let loose a bit and use some work humor. Tone really depends on your audience and the purpose of your blog.
What do you want your blog to accomplish?
The final consideration and perhaps the most important is to have a goal for your blog. Whether you want more traffic to your website, to inform people, or simply to discuss topics in physical therapy: there are many ways to do each of these things.
Feel free to contact us at E-Rehab for more technical tips and tricks.
Some business owners, especially those with a bricks and mortar business, might like to pretend the Internet isn’t happening. This can be particularly true for private physical therapy practices that have been around for a while and have never needed to make any real drastic changes to adapt with the times. They think if they ignore what’s happening around them and put their heads in the proverbial sand, it will all go away.
Sorry, but for those of you stuck in denial and the past, it’s time to take your heads out of the sand and face reality. The Internet isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay. It’s like a juggernaut that’s thundering along, gaining more and more momentum, and all your potential patients are moving with it.
Get Mobile-friendly Now
Right now, just having a website is not enough. It is vital that your practice has strong web presence with a mobile-friendly version. [note_box] Your patients are not going to wait until you have one created. If they can’t see your site properly (if at all) on their smart phones, they will likely take their business somewhere else…your competition.[/note_box]
This is not scaremongering. The statistics all around are warning us what is happening right now: 49% of mobile subscribers in the United States own a smart phone, and they are eager to find information about your practice and possibly come to you with their business. These numbers are growing: 9 out 10 phones now sold today are smart phones. In the first quarter of 2012 alone, almost 145 million smart phones were sold. By the end of 2012, it was estimated that more smart phones would be sold than PCs, with estimated sales of 657 million smart phones sold to consumers. As an experiment, ask your friends and family what kind of phone they have. If they don’t have a smart phone at the moment, no doubt they will tell you that they will be getting one soon.
A Vital Component of Everyday Life for Some
Smart phones are an important part of your patients’ lives. Some people may even get addicted to them, constantly using them for Twitter posts, updating their Facebook status and shopping online.
If you provide treatment services that they want, they will expect to be able to see your website on their phone. If your website content is not easy to read on a mobile phone, you are in trouble, because most mobile users will simply leave your site and take their business elsewhere.
So even if you don’t think you need a mobile version of your website, you will actually be doing your practice a lot of harm by ignoring the statistics and your customer’s needs. Every day you don’t have a mobile website you may be losing potential patients interested in your practice who decide to go elsewhere.
Future-proofing Your Practice
Having a mobile website will future-proof your practice by opening the doors to literally hundreds of new and creative ways to drive traffic to your site. For example QR (quick response) codes will allow you to create unlimited marketing campaigns that will drive potential patients to specific mobile friendly landing pages with calls to action that work.
Recent figures show that 50% of Smartphone uses have scanned a QR code and 18% of them made a purchase afterwards as a result. That’s an easy increase in business you wouldn’t have gotten without your mobile marketing platform. The opportunity to improve your practice’s web presence and boost business with something as simple as a QR code should be clear.
Another important point to focus on is you need get your name out there to constantly remind your potential patient-base of who you are and how you’re interested in helping them improve their condition. Using the right tools and resources is vital. Some business owners attempt to draw attention to their business by throwing away good money on large newspaper ads, the Yellow Pages and flyers.
Newspapers and the Yellow Pages are part of a dying business model, and in most cases, it’s a waste of time putting a one-time advertisement in them. Flyers are expensive and only reach a limited demographic.
Mobile marketing is the most effective way of keeping in contact with your current and potential patients that may have forgotten you or not known that you were there.
Consult Us for Additional Expert Guidance
We would advise any private practice considering using mobile marketing to reach potentially millions more customers to contact us at E-Rehab to discuss how you can employ traffic generating marketing strategies and turbo-charge your practice.
Having a mobile-friendly site will not only impress your patients, but will set you well apart from your competition, who still have their heads in the sand and are refusing to acknowledge that times are moving at such a terrific pace.
[colored_box bgColor=”#788794 ” textColor=”#ffffff “]Keep up with the times and bring your practice up-to-date with a web-based marketing strategy and you’ll notice a change in the way you’re perceived.[/colored_box]
Do you need more customers? Are you sick of people visiting your website but not calling to schedule an appointment?
Much worse than having no visitors to your website is actually getting visitors, but no new patients. That can be quite frustrating.
If that has happened to you, don’t despair. We are familiar with marketing for small physical therapy practices and know a few tricks to help you attract not only new patients to your website, but expand your patient base with ones who will eventually decide to come to your practice for treatment.
Identify your target audience – don’t try to reach out to everybody
The first and most important step for any business is to identify your target audience. Do it right, and you will have a much easier time converting visitors into patients. Do it wrong, and you risk creating a product/service that nobody (or not enough people) wants.
It is well known customers want to interact with brands they can connect with.
To do this, you need to know what kind of image you want to portray and then adapt your marketing to directly appeal to the ideal brand of patient you want to attract to your practice. This is done by creating ideal buyer persona (an image or profile of your ideal patient) based on their buying habits and lifestyle.
So instead of searching for patients, help them find you. Go to the sites and places they go to; put yourself in the places they want to be and invite them to come and see you. If you have a clear image of who you want to serve, you are going to be in a better position to give them what they want.
A lot of companies make the mistake of thinking that everybody is a potential customer. They are not! You need to focus on the dreams and desires of the people most likely to become patients, and then pay them special attention by treating them well.
Don’t try to rent your audience, build your own instead
Some businesses try to take a short cut by renting eyeballs or clicks. They buy and rent email mailing lists in order to get extra customers. Sometimes the gamble can pay off, but if you want patients who are looking for the physical therapy services you offer, it is much more profitable to grow your own list instead.
This is not hard to do. For example, on your Facebook page you could provide shareable, inspirational and humorous content like images and quotes to encourage visitors to engage with you.
The people who enjoy the content on your site are generally the ones who will be more likely to come to you for treatment or refer others, and you can quickly attract a lot of eager new fans and patients.
Word of mouth marketing
The best way to attract new customers to your site is by word of mouth, and social media marketing, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., makes this easier to do than ever before. It is fast, free and easy.
We are experts in social media marketing and have lots of great ideas for you, so don’t be afraid to give us a call to see what we can do to help you.
Ditch the large-scale marketing campaigns
In the old days, marketing used to be large-scale isolated advertising and media events, but things have changed. Your patients don’t live on a campaign schedule. They are always on the move and are constantly being bombarded with new information and offers wherever they go. As a result, they have become more discerning and advert aware.
Social media makes it easy to follow a person from their first visit to your site, to the point that they become a lead and eventually, if all goes well, a new patient.
The relationship doesn’t end there, as your constant engagement and relationship building with them should continue long after their first treatment session with you. You can easily get them to come back in the future or give referrals if you handle it right.
[note_box]Use social media to establish and build relationships with potential patients, but don’t forget to continue to build relationships and engage people once they become patients. This makes it easier to get them to come back in the future or refer their friend, family and other people they know.[/note_box]
Copy your competition
Do a bit of research. Find out how your competition is attracting new patients. Do they advertise on the Internet or is it mainly offline? Do they buy advertisements in local media like newspapers and radio, or do they have a large social media following online?
If they are doing something that clearly works for them and are getting new patients, you need to try and adopt similar measures so that you don’t continue losing patients to them.
Attend physical therapy conferences and exhibitions
We are big fans of attending conferences, exhibitions and networking events. It is a great way to make new connections and spread the word about your practice to new potential patients.
This type of event is also perfect for showing potential patients how caring you are and that you strive to make all patients happy. Exceptional customer service plus excellent service will always ensure that you have a thriving business.
[note_box]People buy from people they have met. So, if you are seen and are active at events, people will be more inclined to come to you for treatment. Use these events to get people to visit your website and join your mailing list, so you can stay in constant contact with them.[/note_box]
By using some or all of these methods you will be able to attract more visitors to your website and practice, who will hopefully turn into new patients.
[colored_box variation=”steelblue”]It is an exciting time for small businesses and you don’t want to miss out on the revolution that is happening at the moment. Old marketing methods no longer work. The way that consumers buy is changing and you need to change with them, knowing who they are, where they are and why they make business decisions.
If you are interested in any of these marketing strategies or want to talk to us about other ways that we can help your practice, we would love to hear from you.[/colored_box]