Attracting a potential patients to your website is hard enough, but grabbing their interest and persuading them to come to your practice for treatment is even more difficult. That is why it’s so important to good web design so you don’t frustrate or irritate your visitors by making them jump through hoops to find the information that they need.
Here are some examples of common website mistakes that make visitors leave a website within the first few minutes:
Putting up Barriers that Prevent Them Viewing the Information
Avoid putting up barriers between you and potential patients by forcing visitors to register before them can view content of your site. In most cases, the visitor will leave and try to find the information that they are looking for elsewhere.
Stale Old Content
It is no use having a glossy, professional looking site if your content is old and stale. You need to keep your site constantly updated with fresh new content. Not only will this make your site more relevant and interesting, but it will also contribute to higher rankings on the search engines.
Too Many Ads
If your site bombards visitors with too many ads that pop up, flash at them or fill the entire screen, then you are really going to infuriate them. If it’s bad enough, they may leave the site, which is one less patient that will come to your practice for treatment. Running ads on your site makes good business sense but in order to maximize your retention rate and not chase away visitors, your ads need to be discreet and fit in with the theme of your site.
Nothing frustrates a website visitor more than a site that is hard to navigate. If it is too complicated or too hard for your visitors to find their way around, it will make them feel confused, angry and irritated. These are definitely not the emotions you want your potential patients to feel when they visit your website.
Hiding Your Website Content
It’s a big mistake to make your visitors have to search your entire website just to find the relevant information that they need. Try to group similar content in a clear, concise manner. Don’t complicate things by distributing your content and information across multiple pages that could easily have been put on one page. Bad content structure can literally destroy your conversion and retention rates. Make all of your content, especially your contact information, easy to find. It’s estimated that as many as 50% of sales are lost because potential customers can’t find what they are looking for.
Invasive Use of Audio and Video
Most of your visitors will prefer to choose what content they want to absorb. Having voice or audio content that loads up and starts playing automatically can potentially drive a lot of patients away. Give users the choice of viewing videos or listening to audio content. Don’t force them.
[colored_box variation=”steelblue”]Call us today for your free website health check. We will make your site more customer-friendly and in turn help you improve business.[/colored_box]
Before the Internet, life was so much easier with good old-fashioned phone books. Back in those days businesses were listed in alphabetical order so AadvarkA1 Services was always going to be listed above every other business in their category.
Yes, to be listed above every other business in your niche all you had to do was name your business with as many A’s in the title as you could and there you would be, at the top of the page.
How things have changed. Nowadays search engines like Google have taken over and achieving a top ranking website takes much more effort. However, the results are worth it.
For many companies, Google is their lifeblood. They recognize that Google provides their customers with trusted information from trusted websites and it is every website owner’s goal to be on the first page of Google’s search engine results, preferably sitting right at the top of the page.
The danger for many small practices is that they are too focused on getting their websites featured at the top of Google’s first page that they forget about their patients. In total contrast, Google thinks mainly about your visitors and it wants to deliver the very best information to them relating to whatever search term they use.
Why it is important that Google loves your website
Many small practices make the mistake and think that just because they have a website, that sales will automatically follow. It doesn’t work like that. Your success depends heavily on the search engines. They decide how relevant your website is and whether or not they would recommend it to other users.
It really doesn’t matter how expensive or amazing your website is; without the search engines sending you much needed traffic, you won’t be making any money. That is why pleasing search engines, and in particular Google, should be the aim of all websites. Building a good relationship with Google is not always easy, but as in real life, every good relationship takes time to grow and evolve.
The ingredients to a good relationship with Google
Here is a list of SEO tactics that will not only please Google but keep your patients happy too. This is what you need to do to gain the love and respect of the world’s biggest search engine:
Keep Your Website Fresh
Google hates stale, neglected and unloved websites. Instead, it loves to see a website that contains fresh content and up-to-the-minute news and updates.
[note_box]You need to give Google a reason to promote your website instead of your competition. The best way to do this is by providing high-quality content and updated information about your services.[/note_box]
As a private physical therapy practice, you don’t necessarily have to add new content every day, but you do need to show Google that you have not abandoned your site and you are keeping patients up to date with what’s happening at your practice.
Show That You Are An Authority In Your Niche
Whenever somebody types a search command in the search engine Google wants to make sure that they deliver the most relevant and informative results. If they didn’t, then people would use other search engines instead.
Google is searching for and will only deliver trusted sources, so if you are an expert in the field of physical therapy and have many years experience and a wealth of knowledge about the services you offer, then your site needs to reflect that information.
It’s also important to remember that the Internet is no longer anonymous. You need to show who you are, what you can do and why your customers and followers can trust you. It’s no good trying to hide behind a corporate or faceless style website. If you can convince people to trust you, Google and all of the other search engines will trust you too.
That means that you get so many more visitors resulting in increased sales.
Score 100% when it comes to ‘On Page SEO’
What on earth does that mean? “On Page SEO” is a term that essentially describes everything that needs to be done on your website itself so that it’s optimized and ready for the search engines.
Think of “On Page SEO” as laying the foundations to your online empire. You need to have solid, firm foundations and then build your business on those. Google will love you for it while other sites will be heavily penalized and will lose rankings (and customers).
[note_box]Here at E-Rehab, we can help ensure steps are taken so that your SEO (search engine optimization) is done correctly in order to give you higher rankings.[/note_box]
Never violate Google webmaster guidelines
This is another area where a business like E-Rehab protects you, but if you’re doing all of the SEO yourself you need to make sure that you don’t violate Google webmaster guidelines, as they will drop your site from the rankings in an instant.
In most cases when webmasters do violate the guidelines it isn’t intentional but simply because they were not familiar with the guidelines and did so without even realizing it.
To make sure that you stay on the right side of Google, it’s worth taking the time to read the Google Webmaster Guidelines (enter that phrase into Google and it will direct you to the right place).
As a general rule, don’t try to beat the system. If you read about some supposed fast-track trick to get extra visitors to your site or if the claim sounds too good to be true, then it probably is and it should be avoided. In the long term, you will do a lot of damage to your search engine ranking and your practice might never recover from it.
Be patient. Follow the Google guidelines, which are there to help you. The good results will come.
Although there are no specific figures to prove the case, Google has suggested that one of the best ways to promote a website is through social media platforms.
In fact, in their Google webmaster videos, you may have noticed that they frequently mention social media as one of the most appropriate ways to promote a website.
In addition to having a positive effect with your search engine rankings, social media will have other beneficial knock-on effects as using social media will increase customer engagement as you share content that interests your customers. Social media promotes brand awareness and is a perfect way to encourage customers and other website owners alike to know about your content and spread the word by creating relevant links back to your site.
Google wants to help you to stay updated
As we mentioned before, Google wants to deliver the most relevant and helpful results to their visitors. To ensure that they do that, they provide lots of advice and help to webmasters to help keep them abreast with all of the latest trends and developments.
For example, their quality team makes more than 500 changes per year in their algorithm so you need to keep up to date or you will fall behind and your rankings could plummet literally overnight.
Currently, you should be giving special attention to making sure that your website is mobile- and tablet-friendly and looking at being active on the Google+ social media network.
This is something that we can also do as part of our service.
Have Good Titles and Descriptions
Whenever Google writes about SEO, one topic that they keep repeating is the importance of having good titles and descriptions in your website pages. These are the titles and descriptions that you see on the results page when you type in a phrase in Google.
Follow these basic guidelines:
Titles should be less than 70 characters (not words) in length.
Descriptions should be less than 160 characters.
Titles and descriptions should be absolutely unique for every page in your website.
Don’t stuff titles and descriptions with keywords (Keyword stuffing occurs when an article or webpage is chock-full of keywords in an attempt to increase a website’s search engine rank.). Here is an example of keyword stuffing, which will only annoy Google: Are you looking for cheap skinny jeans? If you’re looking for cheap skinny jeans, look no further. Our cheap skinny jeans website is the best place to order your new cheap skinny jeans. Feel free to check out our selection of cheap skinny jeans from our cheap skinny jeans selection.
You can see why Google would hate that but it’s amazing how many websites do it anyways, and then wonder why they don’t get ranked.
If you want to attract local patients then optimize your title and descriptions for local SEO with the name of the towns or cities you provide physical therapy services to.
The most important point to take away from this article is this: if you want to keep Google on your side so they continue to send your website lots of visitors and potential patients every month, you have to play by their rules.
If you don’t have the knowledge, skills or time to keep up-to-date with Google, don’t risk things by trying to do it yourself or by taking shortcuts.
The fact is, without Google it will be very difficult for your practice to succeed and draw in new patients with your online presence.
[colored_box bgColor=”#788794″ textColor=”#ffffff”]We know that SEO can be a confusing subject and it’s both annoying and frustrating when the goalposts are continually being moved. Don’t forget that you don’t need to tackle this alone. At E-Rehab, we’re here to help you and will be happy to explain the benefits and pitfalls as well managing your online marketing for you.
The investment will be worth it because the amount of traffic and patients that Google sends to your site will give you and your practice significant profits and stop your competitors from stealing business that should be yours.[/colored_box]
Some of the private practice clients we speak to have spent huge amounts of money on their websites, but are still unhappy with the results. The majority don’t do anything about it, as they think it is going to incur more huge expenses and make the assumption that having a better website actually means having to start creating a brand new website from scratch.
In some cases that might be true, but from our experience, just a couple of tweaks here and there are enough to make the difference between a site being successful or not. If your concerned that your physical therapy practice’s website isn’t attracting enough visitors and new patients, here’s a list of our top 13 quick fixes that have converted non-performing websites into 24-hour sales machines:
1) Have a Call to Action on Every Page
Every single page on your website needs to be working for you by making every visitor take some sort of action. For example, you might want them to give you a call, leave a testimonial about successful therapy, watch a video or leave a comment.
Whatever it is, make sure you tell them what it is you want them to do. Make it easy for them. The last thing you want is for them to be wondering what to do. Don’t assume that they know what to do, even if you think it’s perfectly obvious. Tell them instead.
2) Put Your Phone Number on Every Page
Although this might seem like common sense, it is surprising to see how many companies bury their phone number deep within a site, making it hard for potential customers to contact them.
[note_box]In a lot of cases, visitors have actually come to the site to look for your phone number, so don’t make them hunt for it. Putting it at the top right hand corner is best, but you can also put it in the footer of your site. Remember, patients are visiting your website to find you, contact you, and get directions to your office. Make your contact information easy to find. [/note_box]
3) Add an ‘About Us’ Page
“About Us” pages often help customers better decide who you are and whether or not they want to take their business to your practice.
Whether they are a businessperson or a consumer, when a person selects a company to do business with, they like to know a bit about their background, so don’t be afraid to give your visitors a brief history that will help them better understand what your practice is all about.
NOTE: The Staff page and About Us page serve different functions. On the staff page, adding photographs of you and your team with short bios about them, helps you and your clinicians become real people, not just a faceless practice.
Listing your experience and credentials is important, but also engage your visitors, tell them a bit about your hobbies, your family life and things you like to do for fun. Letting the visitor see the real you builds their confidence and trust when doing business with you.
4) Add Your Opening-Closing Hours
There is no such thing as typical opening hours these days, so you need to tell your visitors when you are available.
Making your business hours known is very helpful to patients and can solve their frustration if they visit or ring you when you are not open.
5) Don’t be Afraid to Use Big Bold Images
Images speak louder than words. The Internet is very visual and people respond well to images, so include images on your site that a potential patient will engage with.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy graphics. Simply take pictures of your team in action performing therapy on other patients, shots of your local area, your premises, recent community or team events you all have participated in.
All of these things help to engage your patients and lets them know more about you and your practice.
6) Make Your Site Mobile-friendly
Mobile is huge. Thirty percent of your visitors are using smart phones and with over 200 million in use in the States today, more and more people will be visiting your site via their smart phone or tablet.
You need to make sure visiting your site on a mobile device is an outstanding experience. Sites that are not optimized to be seen on tiny screens can be frustratingly difficult to navigate around for your potential patients. They won’t persevere, they will simply move to another site.
There are a number of ways to make your site mobile-friendly and we will be happy to give you advice on that.
7) Add Success Stories
Your existing patients are a huge asset to your practice. They can provide real-life case studies and testimonials that will inform potential new patients of how successful their treatment was, how you saved them time and money or how knowledgeable and efficient your staff is.
How do you get testimonials? Just ask right after you receive a compliment. Most patients will be more than happy to oblige if you ask them.
8) Match Your Company Branding Always!
For continuity and to help create instant brand awareness ensure your online presence matches your bricks and mortar business. It helps patients to both recognize your practice and to remember you.
9) Take Off the Music
Do you enjoy listening to elevator music? Probably not. Neither do your patients. Never put music on your website. It isn’t relaxing or funny. It’s just annoying. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean that you should.
Remove anything that might appear annoying to your customers (music, flashing images, etc.) or anything that might distract them from doing what you want them to do: navigate your website, get a good impression of your practice, and hopefully commit their business to you.
10) It’s Time to Get Social
Have you embraced social media yet? Your patients sure have. They interact with thousands of people on the Internet all the time and are very influenced by it. People listen to other people’s recommendations and are interested in their like and dislikes.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time your business went social. Get started with a Facebook page or a Twitter account. Focus marketing on that platform, and then move on to another network.
We know it can be quite daunting, but we have some great tips for you, so please contact us at E-Rehab or read other blog posts on the subject if you want to know how and where to get started.
11) Be an Authority Website – Add a Physical Therapy Library and More
If you want to be known as an authority site in physical therapy, add some resources to your site that show potential patients how well-versed you are in the field.
These resources could be reports, research papers, infographics, helpful physical therapy website links, videos and more. They all add credibility and will encourage visitors to buy from you rather than from a competitor.
12) Know Your Site’s Main Purpose
So many businesses forget about this. All they know is they need a website, so they just slap one up without thinking about who the target audience is, how they will use the site, and what their objectives are when visiting your website.
Ask yourself: Who will visit your website? Why do you have/want a website? What do you want visitors on your site to do?
Spend some time thinking about your answers, then make it your top priority to see that your website accomplishes that goal.
NOTE: Avoid putting your mission on your home page. Put some additional thought into it.
13) Start Again from Scratch
While starting again is not ideal because it takes a lot of time, money and resources, sometimes a site is so badly designed that you have no other choice.
For example, if you have an old site that was set up in the 90’s, it probably looks old and dated by now. Starting again with brand new technology and a new fresh design, instead of trying to patch up the old site, could be a smart move and pay for itself many times over.
Even if you have zero tech skills, you can still determine your site’s purpose and what you want it to do. Sketch out a quick design, along with a plan of what you would like the site to accomplish, then hire a team of professionals who can make it happen.
Take Home Message: Hire a Professional
The Internet has changed so much in recent years. What worked well five or 10 years ago doesn’t work now.
If you have been looking after your site yourself, or used an unprofessional friend or relative to create your site, it may well be worth calling on our professional services at E-Rehab to come in on the project. Not only will we bring in fresh new designs, but we’ll also share our experiences, expertise and creativity to improve your website. That is what we do. Not only can we give your site a fresh new look, more importantly, we share our marketing skills to make sure your site converts customers 24 hours a day.
Even just applying one or more of the tips here will have a significant effect on your site and increase your business profits. Simply pick a couple that you can identify with and make the changes to your site.
Don’t forget that at E-Rehab we are always here if you want any website or marketing advice, and we help take physical therapy websites and physical therapy private practice to the next level.[/colored_box]
Most practices could do with more patients. That’s where physical therapy marketing comes in and physical therapy websites are an important part of the plan and process. Here are 6 simple tips, that if put in place, could help your clinic’s bottom line.
1. Show Off Your Testimonials When choosing a new practice, reading testimonials from other patients will confirm to users that they are making a good decision by choosing your clinic.
Place your testimonials on their own page. Consider placing one testimonial on each page as well. Also, highlight them not only on your home page but also give them their own place in your navigation. Photo testimonials are great.
2. The “One Benefit Focus” Technique What is the ONE super thing about your Clinic that you are offering?
If you offer too much choice then people find it hard to make a decision. So concentrate on just one amazing service or program that shows potential patients why they should choose your practice.
3. Behind the curtain Some potential patients get nervous about what will happen if they see you for care. If they have never had physical therapy before, they don’t know if it will hurt, what you are going to do to them, and they will draw on past experiences with other healthcare providers that might have been less than satisfactory.
Why not make “first-visit video” showing exactly what will happen once they come in for their initial evaluation, guiding them through the process from the reception desk to scheduling their follow-up visits.
This will be reassuring to them and provides a higher level of customer service which is definitely a great way to separate yourself from the competition. 4. Demo – let them see the “hands-on experience” Why not create a video giving a demonstration showing how awesome your clinic is? For example, if you have a staff member with an exceptional skill, or a program with unique results, then demonstrate how great they are!
When a potential patient can see end results, then will likely be more inclined to choose your clinic.
5. No Risk Offer free screenings, next-day appointments or educational events to educate the public. This can offer peace of mind to potential patients before their first regularly scheduled appointment.
6. Positive Passion Of course, and most importantly: You will always be more successful when the audience can feel your excitement for your practice. Your passion and enthusiasm will shine through and help generate new and retain current patients. [info_box]Action Items 1. Go back and look at your website. 2. Really try hard to view it from the perspective of a new patient shopping for a PT practice. 3. Then review the items above and update your content to differentiate yourself from the competition.[/info_box]
How many visitors do you have see your website each month…100, 200, 300+? In a service business people judge what they can’t see based on what they can see. Ask yourself this question, “Have you chosen a business because of the look, quality of information, or usability of a website?” If you are like most, the answer is “yes”.
Do you spend hours at community events, visiting doctors, volunteering hoping to get in front of patient or referral source? The fact is that lots of people are visiting your website right now and many are potential patients. Let your website do the work for you. With this in mind, here are 5 ½ solutions to common mistakes many make why you should fix them fast.
[info_box]1. Fresh Content – updated content gives you credibility. It gives viewers the perception that you use the most popular communications tools (i.e. the Internet) to keep your patients and prospects informed. It’s not easy to repeatedly create fresh content but E-rehab.com can help.
2. Interactive Content – too many websites are just online brochures…and poor ones at that. Make sure your website provides viewers with interactive driving directions, videos, contact forms, FAQ, social sharing functions and ratings and reviews capabilities.
3. Appointment Requests – anyone with a smartphone has it within 3 feet of their body 90+% of the day. Take advantage of this and fast-paced world we live in by giving patients the option to request an appointment right from their smartphone…and your desktop website too.
4. Optimized for Google – the 900-pound gorilla of search, Google, is how 50% or more of your website traffic will come from. Make sure that your website is designed and optimized to show up on Google. If you are having trouble with this, we can help.
5. Analytics Enabled – what pages are patients visiting, how long are they staying, what search engines and key phrases are they using to find you? All of this business intelligence is necessary to help you make decisions about what is and what isn’t working with your online marketing efforts. Make sure you have an analytics program easily available to you; moreover, make sure you understand how to use it.
1/2. Mobile Optimized – What does mobile optimized mean? It means that your website is built with the mobile user (someone that is viewing your website on their smartphone) in mind. It means that the mobile user won’t be waiting 10-20 seconds for your big graphics to download to their phone. It means that the viewer will be able to:
1. click one button and call you, 2. click one button and map your location on their phone, 3. click one button and fill out an appointment request form, 4. click one button and “Like” you on Facebook, 5. click one button and save your mobile optimized website right on their home screen like the Doodle Jump, Angry Birds, or Bejeweled apps, 6. click one button and write a draft review of your practice on Yelp, 7. click one button and send you an email.
These are some of the outstanding opportunities that are available with a mobile optimized website.