Don’t Make This Mistake – It Will Cost You New Evals

For over 19 years we’ve been helping PT private practices market their services online.  We’ve seen a lot of silver bullet, online marketing, promise you riches marketing companies come and go because:

  1. They extract all they can out of the PT private practice and move on,
  2. They don’t adapt to the changing market,
  3. Most Important – they don’t have any idea how patients buy physical therapy services.

Here I want to review some information to help you, the practice owner, better understand how your patients buy and better yet, help you avoid paying for a marketing service that doesn’t work…but costs you a lot of money.

Physical Therapy Marketing – Is it a Bad Word to You?

Many clinicians underestimate the effort, time, and money that is required to succeed in their local market.

When things don’t go as planned, they follow this predictable pattern:

  1. I don’t know enough – I have to learn.
  2. I have learned but I never executed what I have learned.
  3. I need an outside company to save me.
  4. I bought the silver bullet solution – the one that promised me riches, and nothing happened.
  5. Marketing sucks and I can’t trust marketing companies.

We see this regularly.  In fact, I just had two conversations with clients yesterday – one tried Facebook ad funnels and it cost him five figures.  Another was told by their marketing company that they had over 100 new leads. When I asked how many converted into patients, they had no idea.  They received a lot of data, but had no idea if it had any impact on their bottom line (i.e. generated more revenue).

Neither one of them made a profit with these fly-by-night marketing companies.

80% of PT Marketing Strategies Sit on the Shelf and Nothing Happens

You’ve probably heard this before – if you want to succeed, know your market.

Define your ideal target market, your ideal clients, etc., etc.

These exercises often leave small practice owners with a piece of paper, the start of a strategy, but no action, and no results…no new patients. I’d invite you to step back, just ask a few of your patients, and look at some of the basic numbers that you most likely already have right in front of you.

Good Marketing Starts with Knowing How Patients Buy Your PT Services

Ask yourself these questions:

A. What is the age of the patient population I want to serve?  Usually it’s 40+ years of age…this is when orthopedic injuries become more common.

B. How do 40+ year olds buy?  They use Google, they look at clinics’ reputation, some visit the PT website, and then they call or request an appointment from the website.

C. What percentage of patients do a search before they visit a physical therapy practice?  The answer is astounding – 84% as reported by LSA (which is localogy.com).

D. It gets better. The research results also noted that that percentage of healthcare consumers of physical therapy, contacted a physical therapist 100% of the time after they did a search!  Of course this behavior doesn’t happen 100% of the time across all communities, but most follow this pattern.

E. Finally, take a look at your website visitors – how many do you get each month?

Quit Missing Out on Easy Opportunities – Focus on the Low-Hanging Fruit First!

I just shared with you how a large percentage of consumers buy PT services – Google first, some visit your website, then they call.  So, you simply want to optimize/focus your time and energy on this.  The good news is this is what E-rehab has known this for some time and it’s what we do everyday for our PT private practice clients.

The bad news is that newer PT business owners, don’t know this yet.  They focus on media channels that often times don’t matter much – Instagram and social media for example.  If you don’t believe me then consider these survey results.

When PT Practice Owners Don’t Consider Their Market’s Buying Process, They Lose

We looked at 100 PT private practice websites in the greater Los Angeles county area, and here’s what we found:

  • 48% of PT websites have basic mistakes with their addresses.
  • 45% of PT websites don’t even have a phone number that’s easy to find or above the fold.
  • 67% of PT websites don’t even have an address above the fold

The Take Home Messages – Focus on GMB, Your Reputation, and Your Website (design, imagery, and the copywriting [copywriting is the words that persuade website viewers to take action])

  1. Focus on Fast, Easy, Friction-Free Mobile and Desktop Website Experience
  2. Make It Painfully Easy for New Patients (and existing ones too) to Contact You
  3. Put Your Energy Into Your Google Business Profile – that means get those reviews too!
  4. Put Your Time, Money, and Energy Into Your Website!!!

There’s no need to struggle.  There’s no need to get lost in pages of irrelevant data. There are no silver bullets – successful practices will master the basics and knowing how your target audience buys from you is one of those basics.

You Can Avoid All of These Problems, Execute Your Marketing Strategy, and We Can Help.

Contact us and we’ll provide you with all of the online marketing services you need at a price that any practice can afford.

We Guarantee It!

You can reach David Straight, DPT, co-owner by setting up an appointment – just click here.

 

New for 2022 – This May Be the Best Way (and By Far the Cheapest) to Generate More New Initial Evaluations

Have you heard of conversion rate optimization? It is the practice of increasing the percentage of users who perform a desired action – hotjar.com

“How does this apply to a physical therapy practice, and does it really matter?” The answer is a resounding “yes”.

To clarify the above definition as it applies to you, the practice owner, conversion rate optimization is the practice of converting more patients that are considering you to initial evaluations.

Three Ways to Improve Your New Patient Conversion Rates

Again, to give you some context, we are talking about converting more prospects (warm leads that are one or two steps away from booking an appointment) into patients. Here are three fast and easy ways to improve this, with one of them, in my experience, being the very best.

  1. Tell a better story that is consumer centric, not company centric. Take a look at the copy (the words on your website home page that are meant to funnel viewers to your call to action), on your website home page. Is it about the patient, their pain, their desires? Or, is it mostly about you, how good you are, & details about services that may never matter to the reader?
  2. Take a look at your mobile website experience. Does it follow Google’s golden rules of being fast loading, super easy to read, and friction-free? Too many PT websites have long paragraphs that prospective patients don’t want to read. Moreover, it isn’t easy to scan, which just so happens to be the way many read websites, i.e. they scan them.
  3. Finally, the Best Way to Increase Conversions – Add a tracking phone number, record your calls, and improve communication. This is by far the best thing that you can do. Do you know what your receptionist (who gave the first impression of your practice to a caller) is saying to patients?
Quick, True Story
I recorded calls for a practice once, and a prospect called with a TMJ problem wanting to know if PT was right for them. After they finished the call, the prospect undoubtedly hung up and was wondering if they had cancer. The caller went from pain in the TMJ to I might have a problem that could kill me. The receptionist had so badly mismanaged the communication that it undoubtedly hurt the practice’s reputation.

Quit Wasting Money on Expensive Marketing and Examine How Well Your Existing Marketing is Doing

Therefore, Take a look at your conversion rates.

Action Items:

  • Look at the text on your homepage – is it telling a memorable story that funnels people to a call to action (do you even have a call to action)?
  • Check out your website on your smartphone. Is it fast loading, easy to scan, and there are easy ways to take the next step in the buying process?
  • Get a tracking number and put it on your website and Google Business Profile (add it as an alternate number). Record some calls and use them as teaching moments.

If you need help with your conversion rates, and your online marketing, let’s connect.

Click here to request an appointment or if my calendar doesn’t have something available just call (800) 468-5161.

Thanks for reading – David Straight, DPT

Four of the Most Important Physical Therapy Website Content Tips  Most  Don’t Even Know

Having worked with over 2000 practices, generated over 100,000 appointment requests and over 600,000 phone calls, we’ve continued to evolve our physical therapy marketing services based on data, feedback, patients case studies, and client wants and needs.

Below you’ll find four tips, based on considerable experience, that will help you develop a better PT private practice website and convert more prospects that are considering you, into paying patients.  Here are some of our recommendations. 

I. Put Some Time Into It – Provide Content that Prospective Patients Want

story

In a service business like physical therapy, people judge what they can’t see (e.g. the quality of your service) based on what they can see (i.e. a great looking, fast, easy to use, website with clear communication, is extrapolated by viewers, as a representation of the quality of your PT services). 

I am just floored at the number of mistakes I see on so may physical therapy websites.  Younger PT owners, that spend more of their time on social media than searching for services, often make these mistakes. They’re more interested in funnels and Instagram than the marketing opportunities that are right in front of them.

Here are some examples to name a few:

  1. No attention to detail – misspelled words and inconsistent/inaccurate information,
  2. Large paragraphs that never get read,
  3. A practice website that make viewers hunt for and/or work very hard just to find their address & phone number,
  4. Little to no use of quality media like service photos, video, or interactive educational tools,
  5. Websites that were down in-house with little to no experience or strategic forethought. 

Do you know how many people visit your website each month? Is it 100, 300, 500 or more?  With those kinds of numbers, why would you do something fast, cheap, or get a website from a company that has no idea how the physical therapy market works? 

Here are some basic things you need to do to address problems right away. 

Think Like a Patient When Analyzing Your Physiotherapy Website
When someone visits your home page, the most visited page on your website, you need to tell a memorable story. Don’t make it all about yourself, understand who the real hero is…it’s the patient.

  • Have you ever thought about what’s on a patient’s mind when they are visiting your website?
  • What questions are they pondering?
  • Are they comparing you to someone else?
  • Are they simply wanting to know how to contact you?
  • Are they questioning whether the services they’ve been referred for are worth their time and money?

Try This Simple Exercise

Here’s a simple exercise you can do to answer these questions.  Ask 4-5 of your patients if they visited your website and if they did, ask them open questions like:

  • What were they looking for and did they find it?
  • When did they visit during their buying process?
  • Why did they visit?
  • How could you done things better?
  • What did they like and what can you improve with physical therapy website design?

By simply putting yourself in the mindset of your website users and asking them a few questions, you’ll get some good insight about how it’s used.

A Word of Caution Don’t let the tail wag the dog.  Feedback from 4-5 patients is just that, feedback from an n=5. It’s a small sample and may not bet representative of the 200+ visitors that are viewing and using your PT website every month.  

Make sure their feedback makes sense. For example, I once heard from a PT that they included summaries of social posts on their home page and patients loved them.  Maybe this is true for some patients, but you might want to ask, “How many times did you visit our website?” to better clarify the first question.   

Most won’t visit anymore than once or twice.  They aren’t likely to re-read your home page content unless they are returning months or years later.  

So, is it really that important to have a social media post feed on your home page? Maybe, but not likely.  Will potential patients choose you still without it?  

There isn’t a right or wrong answer.  I’m simply suggesting that you consider the bigger picture when making tactical, online content decisions for your home page, beyond the feedback of a few patients.

II. Use Your Own Physical Rehab Website Photos (including PT, OT, Speech photos)

I want to share a quick story here, about a PT owner that spent $17,000 on her PT website.  $17,000 – that’s a lot of money and a long time to recover your ROI.  When I compared her website to ours, fundamentally & technically (I.e. speed, on -page SEO, etc.), they were very similar to what we here at E-rehab create for a fraction of the cost. 

There was one main difference though – the photos.  On the home page there were nice images of patients and staff, and each internal page had a service photo, and the staff images were well done too.  Certainly, it wasn’t worth $16,000 more than what E-rehab charges though.

Here’s my point.  It’s 2021.  With modern iPhones, and Android phones, you can shoot phenomenal photos. Some movie directors have shot independent films only with iPhones. 

Another reason to use your own photos is that prospective patients want to see you.  Moreover, they want to see the smiling faces of patients like them.  Remember, your patients are the heroes in your story and you are the expert, empathetic guide. Click here to read more about our StoryBran-based methodology recommendations for your home page.

Donald Miller mentions in his book Marketing Made Simple, that people that see themselves in they story and photos you are telling on your website, are more likely to buy.  It’s called narrative transformation, and a big step toward accomplishing this transformation is including your own photos.

NOTE: there are times when a stock photo can do the job almost as well. Images from product vendors about your aquatic equipment or how a high intensity lasers works are a couple of examples.  However, it’s always best to use your own photos.  

Take an extra few minutes to take your own photos. It will be a simple way to gain a competitive advantage over many of your physical therapy private practice website competitors….and you certainly don’t need to spend $17,000 to get it done.

III. Mobile Optimize Your Website to Help Execute Other Online Marketing Strategies

When we look at the analytics across hundreds of PT websites, we see that about 50 percent of your visitors are on smartphones.  Check your web analytics (we provide those to all of our customers at no additional cost), and you’re likely do see the same.

As I mentioned above, I’m just floored at the lack of quality and the mobile user experience on so many PT websites.  Often they look poor without any attention to design detail. Often the content is long, run-on paragraphs that are really hard to read. 

I’ve seen the converse as well.  Wix or Squarespace websites that have little to no content at all.  When I question the current owner about this, I’ve heard more than once, no one wants to read stuff on our website.  My counter question is, “Tell me the average age of your patients?”  

It’s almost always people in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, or older. They indeed want to read a memorable story about you to find out if you are an expert, do you have a caring staff, do you treat their problem, have others had with their diagnosis had success?  The take-home message here is you need to match the right type of media (i.e. a good website) with your market (your average users).

Other common problems on mobile sites:

  • I’ve seen videos that run off the page,
  • No click-to-call functionality or mapping functions,
  • No facilitation of reviews or social following

…all important functions that your mobile optimized website should offer its users.

So, take a look at your website on iPhone and Android devices.  Does it represent the quality of the physical therapy services that you deliver or does it fall short? 

You can’t afford to make this mistake, especially if you are competing agains the large corporations that have spent 5-figures on their website and have full-time staff members that oversee their design, form, and function.

IV. Have More Than an Online Brochure – Differentiate Your Practice

Here’s the stereotypical physical therapy website. On the home page is one of two kinds of content.  

1. The “Our Mission” Content – it’s all about the practice, doesn’t tell a story, is often brief with trite statements like “we are the best…” 

2. The “Misaligned Sales” Message Content – On this type of home page, you find workshops, some typical copywriting like the “treat yourself for free” ebooks (that suggest the practice would rather teach you how to care for yourself and spam you in exchange for your email address, rather than have you come into the clinic for care,) and then some mixed message videos.

Rather than sharing platitudes or dissuading your viewers from connecting with you, follow a specific formula – tell a memorable story, that funnels viewers to a call to action.

Realize that by the time a potential patient gets to your home page, they generally aren’t asking:

“Is physical therapy is right for me?”

They are probably asking themself:

“Is your physical therapy practice the better choice compared to the clinic right down the street?”

Take the opportunity to differentiate and educate with tools like:

physical therapy expert interview

A. A Nice Introductory Video.  Shoot an expert interview confirming they are at the right website; or answer the question why you are the right choice and share what makes you better.


B. Social Proof. Make sure you have testimonials.  You don’t need long paragraphs or 60+ of them on your home page. On the contrary, post short testimonials that answer the most common objections your view might have.  Objections to using your practice might include the amount of time it takes for care, the cost, travel time, insurance coverage, appointment availability, and expertise.


C. A Differentiation Table. You’ve seen these when shopping for products like software.  Create a table and by comparison, feature your strengths and expose your competition’s weaknesses.


D. Include a Chat Bot that Educates Rather than Misleads.  I’ve seen chat bots that portray themselves as being a live service. Not only is this illegal in some states, they often push the viewer toward an appointment rather than educating them on the value of your physical therapy services.  Half of consumers that visit your website don’t trust you. Rather thank trying to sell them on your PT services, educate them and motivate them choose you with good patient education.


E. Describe the Recovery Process.  If a website viewer of yours has never experienced physical therapy before (and that might be 50-70% of new initial evaluations), show them what the recovery process is like. Share what they will be experiencing that will take them from pain and dysfunction to recovery and wellness.

In closing, I am shocked that even in 2021, so many small PT private practices completely miss the mark when it comes to online marketing.  Only after wasting lots of time and money looking for the marketing “silver bullet”, do some circle back to tried and tested strategies to convert more physical therapy web viewers into patients.


Give the above tips a try and let us know what you think. 

If you’d like help designing and developing your physical therapy website, give us a call. 

Let us help you get more PT online marketing right. Contact us today at 760-585-9097 or click here to schedule an appointment.

A 15-Point Checklist to Make Sure Your Physical Therapy Website is Converting Visitors to Patients

There’s a saying in marketing: “People judge what they can’t see based on what they can see.”

With new patient acquisition becoming more difficult, it’s critical that your physical therapy website be a reflection of the high-quality service you provide.

Moreover, it’s a lot easier to convert viewers that are visiting your website right now into patients than trying to drive new traffic (which is expensive and time consuming).

Here’s a 15-point checklist that will help you make sure your website isn’t turning visitors off and causing them to choose the competition.

1. Check Your Images & Staff Page – the staff page is one that often needs updating. Are the headshots consistent and high quality? What about the images on the home page? Do they entice people to choose your practice?

2. Check Your Spelling and Grammar – You can utilize a web-based service like W3C Spell checker at https://www.w3.org/2002/01/spellchecker

"

to scan pages. If you have questions about grammar, then grammarly.com is your best resource.

3. Cross-Browser Testing – your physical therapy site might look great in Google Chrome but does it look great in other browsers and devices? Make sure your site looks great in Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge. Rather than paying for a service to test this, I’d recommend just downloading the browsers and scanning through your website.

4. Test Your Website on Smartphones – with about half of your traffic coming from smartphone users, it has to look great on mobile devices. I recommend blisk.com for this. If you are serious about it, Sizzy is my favorite tool for testing. Try the 14-day trial, install it, and make sure your site looks awesome on lots of devices…both mobile and desktop.

5. Check for Broken Links – Screaming Frog is a tool that visits all the webpages on your site and reports back to you if there are any broken links.

physical therapy web design

6. Page Titles and Descriptions – As mentioned above, Screaming Frog is again a good tool for this. You should keep your page titles about 50-60 characters long.

7. Check Image Alt Descriptions – the alt tag helps tell Google and other spiders what an image is about. Use Screaming Frog spider to check and ensure you have images optimized.

8. Check Your Webforms – Manually check each form by inputting test data and make sure that you receive the data/the data is being used correctly. Of course, appointment requests are super important.

9. Check Your Brand Favicon – look at the browser tab at the top of the computer screen. In the tab of a web page you should see an image then a title. This is your favicon. Make sure that it is your logo.

10. Codes and Scripts – Make sure your web analytics and any other tracking codes for things like the Facebook pixel are set up properly and functioning.

physical therapy online marketing

11. Check NAP with Schema – verify that your name, address and other contact data is proper and properly formatted with Schema code. Google has a free tool for this: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/structured-data

12. Check Your 404 Pages – Type in a web address that doesn’t exist on your website. This will display a 404 error. For best results, utilize a customized page for this that has an error message that’s better than the default page error.

13. Check Your Site Map – your site map should be up-to-date and have all of the pages listed on it. A WordPress plugin like Yoast SEO is a good tool for this.

14. Test Social Links – Click on all of the social media icons on your website. Make sure they go to the appropriate social media page. Also, make sure that your content on your social property is up-to-date. If it isn’t, consider updating it or closing down that social property.

15. Check Your Addresses & Hours of Operation – go through the various pages and your footer to make sure that your name, address, phone number, and hours of operation are consistent. Consistency not only communicates the proper information to viewers but helps give the Google algorithm confidence and can help with SEO.

Go through this list with your website developer. Any fixes should be fast and easy. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

David Straight, DPT is the co-owner of E-rehab.com, a physical therapy private practice website design, development, and online marketing company that has been helping PT private practices get their online marketing right since 2003.

For more information about how we can help you out, click the button above to request an appointment.

 

What’s Your PT Company’s Story?

“For a football fan, there might be nothing better than watching a playoff game at Lambeau Field – and seeing it decided, dramatically, in overtime. ”Cris Collinsworth - Sunday Night Football

One of the human brain’s most fascinating qualities is its ability to remember narratives…like a playoff game at Lambeau Field. You may not remember what time your mail carrier comes or recall your Netflix password instantly, but I bet you can talk about a sporting event, like Sunday Night Football, or a movie you love even if it happened weeks or even months ago.

Do You Recognize the Power of  Story Almost Every Monday Morning?

If your practice is anything like ours, you probably have no shortage of team members arriving on Monday mornings eager to discuss the previous night’s episode of “Sunday Night Football!” Even if you don’t know all of the players on each side of the ball, I’m sure you can share some of the exciting plays and names of superstars like Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson…that happened days or even weeks ago.  This simply demonstrates just how impactful stories, like an exciting football game, can be.

Make Sure You Tell a Memorable Story About Your PT Practice

Leveraging the power of narrative is a great way to make current and prospective patients remember you. Think about the brands you most admire. Odds are that in addition to having great products and excellent customer service, these brands convey their identity and their purpose in a lasting way.

Have You Thought About Your Story?

Despite this truism, many practice owners I speak to haven’t thought about the story of their practice. Maybe that’s because telling this story in a succinct way can be difficult. One tool I’ve found immensely helpful is the BrandScript model created by Donald Miller of Building A StoryBrand.

Miller, an accomplished fiction author turned marketing guru, created a formula that allows all types of business owners to quickly articulate their core principles and message in a way that compels readers to action.

He achieves this feat by making the customer — in your case, the patient — the main character of the story. Generating a BrandScript involves zeroing in on the core aspects of your story, so you can quickly define who you are and what you can do for a patient.

You’re Not the Hero…Your Patient is the Hero and You’re the Expert Guide

We’ll call that patient a character for the purposes of this exercise. The character, like all protagonists at the beginning of a tale, has a problem they need to solve. After meeting a guide (the PT at your clinic), the character now has an action plan to solve their problem.

Your plan needs to compel them to that action (treatment), help them avoid failure, and lead them down a successful path. If you can convince the character that you are the guide they need, you’ve just earned a new patient.

The details of your story will vary depending on the size and nature of your practice. Nobody is a better fit to tell that story than you, and you should be an integral part of the message you convey anytime somebody logs onto your website. After all, somebody on your site is already looking for a guide. You need to demonstrate to them you are the right one, and there’s no better way to do that than through a story.

Formula = Hero, Problem, Guide, Plan, Call to Action, Avoid Failures, Achieve Success

In closing, I ask you one simple question: What is your story? If you need a little help defining it, I recommend buying the book Building a StoryBrand and then visiting MyStoryBrand.com and giving the BrandScript tool a shot. You can create one for free, and it will help you control the story you’re telling.

If You Want Help Writing Your Story for Your Practice Website, Give Us a Call

Reference: Image is from Donald Miller’s Building a StoryBrand book.

Your About Us Page Could Be Suffering From These 6 Mistakes

Your About Us page probably has more website viewers land on it than you think. Too many companies treat this valuable real estate like an afterthought. They knock off a paragraph about why they started their practice or add in their mission and that’s about it.

Take advantage of this missed opportunity!

With so many eyes on this content, it needs to be some of the better work on your website. While a bad About Us page probably won’t destroy your practice, it could leave potential patients wanting more, before they choose you.

If you’re making these 6 frequent mistakes, it’s time for a rewrite.

1. It doesn’t show your personality

This is a common problem with website writing. People default to corporate-speak and start using phrases they’d never use in real life, like leverage, cutting-edge, etc. Cut out the jargon and just write like you talk!

Small practices shouldn’t hide their personalities behind the veil of boring corporate lingo. There’s nothing wrong with a fun or clever voice, on your About Us page, but do remember, you are a healthcare provider.

For a great example of this, check out PT Central.  https://ptcentral.org/about/ . Take a look at their commitments, values, and they even mention some of their partners in the community.

2. It focuses too much on you

Yes, it’s called an “About Us” page. So you will need to talk some about yourself and/or the company. But if you drone on for a full page about how great you are, your readers are going to zone out fast.

Dale Carnegie famously said, “…a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”  The quote speaks to a broader point — the most interesting thing in our lives is us. So while your reader may have some interest in you, what they really want to know is how you can benefit them.

You have to relate your story back to a benefit for the reader — aka, your potential customer. This doesn’t mean you should turn your About Us page into a sales page. But you should include what sets your company apart from the competition, and how that can solve the reader’s problem.

3. It doesn’t have a strong headline

If the headline of your About Us page says “About Us,” we might want to change it. Your headline needs to hook the reader right off the bat, above the fold. That doesn’t mean it needs to be flashy or clever. In fact, clever copy can sometimes be confusing. Aim for clarity instead.

A good example is on the About Us page for Copyhackers. Their headline reads, “Helping Great Businesses Build Audiences.” It’s short and to the point, and tells you exactly what the company is all about.

4. It doesn’t include social proof

You can talk about yourself until you’re blue in the face, and it still won’t have the same impact as someone else’s words. One study showed that 88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family.

Testimonials and reviews can be sprinkled throughout your website for a little dash of word-of-mouth. You can also include a list of other companies you’ve partnered with here as well.

Better yet, why not add in a patient video testimonial or two.

5. It doesn’t show your face

Small practices don’t have the marketing budgets and resources that the giant mega-corps have. But they do have the ability to forge genuine relationships with their customers.

It’s much easier to create a relationship when you put a face to the brand. Digital marketer Neil Patel knows this, and that’s why he puts his smiling face all over his website. Hire a photographer for a few hours and get some professional photos taken of yourself and your team.

6. It doesn’t tell the reader what to do next

With a higher traffic volume than most other pages on your website, the About Us page is a perfect opportunity to ask the reader to take action. You should add in a clear call to action and redirect them to your contact page as well.

You could also use this real estate to ask readers to sign up for your email list.

Make sure the Call to Action stands out. Instead of just adding a link, add a nice clickable button in a bright color. Studies show that buttons have a much higher click-through-rate than links.

Your turn…

Now it’s time for an audit. Is your About Us page making one (or more) of these six mistakes? If so, you’re actually in good company. Some major brands make these errors on their sites. But now that you know better, spend an hour or two brushing up your content.

Looking for a Physical Therapy Marketing Expert?

Need help with your physical therapy website? That’s our specialty. Give us a call or schedule an appointment to learn more about how we can help.

Some of the Physical Therapy Web Design Details Described in an Infographic

Nothing like an occasional visual graphic to help describe many of the things we consider when creating a physical therapy website design and what is included with physical therapy website development.

We like to describe what we do as a bicycle wheel.

E-rehab.com is a physical therapy website design and development company first and foremost. This is the hub of most online marketing strategies is the website. Practices should start with great website development first!

After you build the hub (i.e. a custom, responsive physical therapy website), practices can ad spokes – additional marketing strategies and tactics to reach their marketing goals…but the website is always first.

If you have more questions about how we can help, please contact us or request an appointment on our calendar.

 

A Guide to Writing Your Physical Therapy Website Home Page

Learn to create an appealing physical therapy website  that will turn to visitors into patients by building a story

Just having a website is one thing. It’s extremely easy to create a website these days (that’s not much more than a basic online brochure), and most physical therapy practices have at least taken this initial step; but, creating a website that:

  • Communicates a promise,
  • Conveys a “picture” of how the clinicians can help,
  • Provides proof, and
  • Ultimately results in visitors becoming patients?

This is something else altogether, and a marketing strategy that many private practices really fall short of achieving.

It’s Not About You…A Physical Therapy Website Home Page is About the Patient

The primary issue most private physical therapy practices face when creating website content is simple: they spend too much time explaining who they are and what they offer, and not enough describing how it will actually help those reading it. As a result, a prospective patient may not become engaged, may not find what they’re looking for, and is likely to leave your website before they even understand what you can do for them.

Start with a Brandscript

physical therapy brandscript

There are many ways to address this common failing of websites, but one avenue way to think about how to communicate your brand message is to first create a BrandScript, which is a concept created by Donald Miller in his book Building a StoryBrand™ *.

We recommend reading this insightful book to anyone looking to build a new website or redesign a current one, but if you don’t have the time to do so, we’d like to offer a breakdown of its core principles and explain how you can utilize them for your practice.

The StoryBrand Framework: You’re the Guide, the Patient is the Hero

In order to understand how to create a BrandScript and develop a StoryBrand, we’ll first need to walk you through some of the key elements of the book. As we mentioned, one of the biggest mistakes that private practices make when building a website or creating any other content is making the focus about you instead of about them. This could be the case if a website is loaded with pages like “About Us,” “Mission Statement,” and “Values,” but doesn’t tell a prospective patient front and center how you will make their lives better.

While many physical therapists may consider themselves heroes (and in a way they are, after all, they provide great care, relieve pain, and restore function), Miller would describe the patient as the hero instead of the physical therapist. The guide (the PT) is meant to elevate the hero (the patient) and help them succeed in any good story.

In essence, to truly appeal to website visitors (potential new patients) and make them care about what you have to say, all of your marketing content should follow the same formula as a captivating story.

The Players and Elements of a Good Story

Miller breaks down the key ingredients of every good story as follows:

  • A character
  • Has a problem
  • And meets a guide
  • Who gives them a plan
  • And calls them to action
  • That ends in a success
  • That helps them avoid failure

If you think about the majority of your favorite novels, films, TV shows, and any other stories you’ve come across, chances are that they generally follow this formula. It’s also likely that the reason these stories are intriguing is because of the above ingredients, since it’s a winning outline that usually keeps audiences interested when executed properly.

Building a StoryBrand™ advises that all practice owners like yourself also need to craft an engaging story about their business that clearly shows why the patient is the hero and why you, the physical therapist, is the guide that helps them reach their goals.

The StoryBrand (SB7) Framework

Each of these components is part of the StoryBrand 7 (or SB7) Framework and is described in more detail in the sections below.

  1. A character: the patient is the hero, not you or your practice

Before moving forward, the first set of questions you need to ask yourself when going through the process of creating your story are these:

  1. What do you offer?
  2. How will it make people’s lives better?
  3. What does someone need to do next to use your services?

For your practice, the answers may seem obvious at first, but spend some time thinking these questions through before providing answers, because how you respond will play a major role in each of the other steps of this framework.

The first part of the SB7 Framework is identifying the character in the story and positioning them as the hero. As we mentioned above, the character (i.e. the patient) is clearly someone who’s being held back in their life by an injury or painful condition. And what does each of these individuals want? This of course varies from person to person, but in most cases it’s likely along the lines of:

  • Getting rid of the pain,
  • Living a life with less pain,
  • Improving mobility, and
  • Recovering strength.

We encourage you to take plenty of time when trying to figure out what your character wants, because it should be at the heart of what you do as a private physical therapy practice.

Once you have identified the character in your story and landed on a clear understanding of exactly what that character wants, you can visit mystorybrand.com to start working on your StoryBrand BrandScript and continue to fill it out as you refine your story.


  1. Has a problem: show that you solve internal instead of external problems

This step delves a bit deeper into what problem the character (your average patient) has and how that will guide your message. To more closely hone in on your patients’ problem, it’s also important to identify a “villain” in the story. The villain in the your patients’ stories, in most cases, isn’t a person.

Villains should be relatable, singular, and real, and should be the reason people will seek out your services in the first place. For a typical patient in need of physical therapy, the villain might be:

  • A torn rotator cuff
  • Sciatica
  • Ankle Sprain
  • Vertigo
  • Balance problems
  • Post-surgical deconditioning
  • Immobility,” or
  • Some combination of these elements.

It’s also important to know the difference between internal, external, and philosophical problems:

  • External problems: the obvious obstacle in the way of success (eg, back pain, knee pain, balance issues)
  • Internal problems: how does the external problem affect the character’s internal feelings and emotions? Using the above example, external problems:
    • Back pain is preventing me lifting boxes,
    • Knee pain is preventing me from running, and
    • Balance problems prevent me from walking on uneven surfaces.
  • Philosophical problems: why it all matters. Each of the external and internal problems really add up to why it a medical problem really matters so much to the patient.  Following through with the above examples (the bold text describes the philosophical problems):
    • My back pain keeps me from lifting boxes which prevents me from working and providing for my family.
    • My knee pain prevents me from running which keeps me from running the marathon I’ve been training for over the past 3 months.
    • My balance problems keep me from walking on uneven surfaces which means I can’t go to Disneyland with my grandkids.

By considering your patients’ perspective and identifying the “villain” in each of their stories, we can better understand their external, internal, and philosophical problems.

Then you’ll be able to more clearly see why it’s so crucial to show that they can overcome these obstacles, and that you are the guide that will help them do it.


  1. And meets a guide: to be clear, you are the hero’s guide

The next step of the framework is all about positioning you and your practice as the guide responsible for leading each patient towards success and positive outcomes. The two things you need to communicate to make it apparent that you are this guide are empathy and authority.

Empathy is showing your patients that you understand where they’re coming from, and that you truly care about improving their health and wellbeing. It means expressing common frustrations that they are likely dealing with and telling them that they are not the only ones experiencing these issues.

Demonstrating authority means presenting your clinic as a place that they can trust to provide the best possible treatments to help them improve. This is where you have the opportunity to promote all of your accolades and the nice things others have to say about you, but in a manner that’s humble and not pompous.

Some of the ways this can be accomplished are through:

  • Ratings and reviews,
  • Videos expressing positive outcomes,
  • Awards that your practice has won over the years, and/or
  • Statistics on how many patients continue to come back to you for therapy.

Balancing empathy and authority will help your patients feel confident in their decision to choose you to address their problem.


  1. Who gives them a plan: to be a good guide, you need to have a good plan

If you want your patients to trust you as the guide that will help them succeed, you must show them that you also have a clear plan that will get them there. A good plan should walk visitors on your website through what you offer and how this process will work if they decide to come to you for treatment. When done effectively, it should also eliminate any fears or concerns that might be holding them back from initiating therapy.

According to Building a StoryBrand™, there are two plans you can use to effectively encourage visitors to choose you:

  • The process plan
    • This type of plan is recommended and it describes the steps a prospective patient will take if they decide to visit you for treatment; for your practice, it might look something like this: 1) Schedule an appointment, 2) Prepare for your first visit, 3) Undergo a detailed evaluation, 4) Get started on your personalized treatment program
  • The agreement plan
    • This type of plan is essentially a list of agreements you make with your patients to help them overcome fears of going through with treatment; these plans generally work in the background and are there to give you visitors a deeper understanding of your practice; to create an agreement plan, think about all potential fears an individual might have about physical therapy and then counter that list with agreements that will alleviate these fears

  1. And calls them to action: make the next steps clear and easy

If you’ve effectively shown a visitor that they are the hero and you are the guide with a plan to solve their problems, it’s imperative that you make it obvious what they should do next. This is accomplished with a “call to action” that gets them to the next phase. There are generally two kinds of calls to action:

  • Direct: these include requests like “schedule an appointment” or “call our clinic today” that will directly lead the visitor to take the action needed to initiate their path of care
  • Transitional: this type of call to action involves less risk and usually offers something for free; they are there for website visitors that aren’t quite ready to set up an appointment, but are still interested in your practice and who are considering your services; a good transitional call to action should help position you as the most trusted physical therapy practice in your area, and some examples include:
    • A video or PDF of testimonials from patients with similar problems as the viewer
    • A downloadable list of reasons why a patient should choose you over competitors
    • An infographic that lists all the benefits of physical therapy at your practice

By using calls to action, you will give your visitors what they need to move forward with you or enough information to transition them from uncertainty to certainty.


  1. That helps them avoid failure: what do your visitors stand to lose without treatment?

This step of the framework builds off of #2 (identifying the problem) and is designed to remind your visitors what could happen if they do not choose to undergo physical therapy with you. The goal here should not be fear mongering, which can do more harm than good. Instead, find a way to effectively show your prospective patients what could potentially happen and what they stand to lose if they fail to have treatment for their condition with a subtle approach. Some examples might include the following:

  • Progressive functional loss
  • The need for opioid drugs, injections, or surgery
  • Increase financial costs for more expensive procedures

Once you have identified these, try to lightly sprinkle them into your story and message to make it clear why it’s a wise decision to move forward with therapy.


  1. And ends in success: tell your audience how you will change their lives for the better

The final step is to create a vision for your prospective patients of what things will look like on the other side, after they have completed their treatment program with you. A good exercise to guide you through this final part is to make a grid of “before” and “after” completing treatment that looks like this:

Before completing treatment After completing treatment
What do they have?
What are they feeling?
What’s an average day like
What is their status?

It will also help to once again think about the structure of a good story and what the hero gets in the end. In most cases, a good story ends by allowing the hero to:

  1. Win some sort of power or position
  2. Be unified with somebody or something that makes them whole
  3. Experience some kind of self-realization that also makes them whole

With this in mind, try to vividly describe to your audience how a successful course of treatment with you will enhance their lives and accomplish one or more of these goals. There are many possibilities here, but some ideas would be “getting your life back on track,” “moving better to feel better,” or “overcoming your pain to become whole again.” Making this clear to prospective patients will allow them to visualize the success that you can bring about and lead them to realize that your clinic is the best way to help them get there.

Bringing it all together: how to apply this framework to your physical therapy website development

Now that you have a general understanding of the StoryBrand BrandScript—and hopefully some ideas to get you started—the next step is to zero in your own practice’s story, and then put it into action. This applies to many aspects of your online presence and marketing plan, but most directly to your website.

As a quick reminder of what we learned above, we have the following StoryBrand elements:

  1. A character (the patient)
  2. Has a problem (pain, functional limitations, life limitations)
  3. And meets a guide (the PT)
  4. Who gives them a plan (follow these steps to come see me for treatment)
  5. And calls them to action (contact me to set up and initial eval)
  6. That helps them avoid failure (use of drugs, imaging, injections, surgery)
  7. That ends in a success (patient goals achieved and discharge)

If you don’t have a website or you don’t feel your current website effectively tells a story in which your patients are the heroes and you are the guide that will help them achieve success, it’s probably time to make some changes.

For many prospective patients, your website is likely the first detailed impression they will have of your practice, which means it should be designed to convey that you can be trusted to deliver whatever they are seeking. These prospective patients should leave your website with all of their hopes confirmed and be convinced that you can offer the solution to their problem.

Building a StoryBrand™ lists five basic things that your website should include to help get you started thinking about what changes you need to make:

  1. An offer above the fold

This is a short line or sentence combined with appropriate images that clearly explain what your practice does and how it will help your patients’ lives. In most cases it should include a tagline or headline that is aspirational and specific, and a sub-headline that goes into a bit more detail of exactly what you offer.  Here we are offering ourselves as the guide,  addressing what success looks like for the patient, and helping them avoid failure. In most cases, this is text that is over-the-top of the hero image discussed below.

  1. Obvious call to action (in the upper right and overlaying the hero photo)

Calls to action are the fifth part of the SB7 Framework. Your number one call to action should be to have the viewer call your office.  A secondary call to action is to have the viewer click on an Appointment Request button.  You’ll need to make sure that both of these are easy to locate. The two main places direct calls to action should be placed are at the top right of the website—which should appear on every page of your site—and in the center of the screen. They should also be of a different color, font, or size than the rest of the copy on your website to increase their visibility and make them more distinct.

  1. Outcomes Oriented Imagery (the Hero image)

Writing good copy is the first step to creating an appealing website, but this also needs to be accompanied by images that clearly illustrate your message. For a physical therapy website, the best approach is usually to display smiling images of happy people engaging in recreation, sports, and other physical activities. We call these types of images, “outcomes-oriented imagery.” Using these types of photos will essentially show your prospective patients what’s possible if they complete treatment with you.  This addresses point number 6 in the SB7 Framework.

  1. A list of services (your Value Stack)

This tip demonstrates authority and shows your website viewers that you can specifically solve their external, internal, and philosophical problems.

  1. A clear outline of what they can expect and success stories/ratings & reviews

The simple steps the website viewer needs to take to start the recovery process as well as ratings and reviews demonstrating social proof of positive outcomes with patients.

  1. A limited number of words 

While it may be tempting to be as thorough as possible when communicating your message, you can lose readers’ interest if you’re overly verbose. Most people only scan websites, so focus on trimming the fat and condensing your key talking points down to the minimal amount needed to convey the core of your practice. This is easier said than done, but will go a long way when executed correctly.

Most decisions you make for your website should also be closely based on your StoryBrand BrandScript by reinforcing the key elements of the story you’ve crafted. Words, images, and ideas shared on your website should be informed by your script. This means that everything should show your patients that you are the guide they need to be the hero in their story and achieve a successful outcome that will improve their lives.

We can help you build your Physical Therapy Website Including Your StoryBrand BrandScript

If you’d like to redesign your website or overhaul your practice’s marketing plan, E-Rehab can help. Our team is well-versed in the fundamental concepts of Building a StoryBrand™, and we can guide you through the process of creating a BrandScript and executing it in your website content.

Need Some Help?

Contact me, David Straight, at 800-468-5161 or Click Here to schedule some time on my calendar.  I look forward to learning more about you and sharing with you how we might be able to help.

*This website is NOT affiliated with, funded, or in any way associated with the StoryBrand™

 

 

Physical Therapy Website Accessibility – ADA Compliance in the Digital World

Physical therapists understand the importance of creating an accessible environment better than most professionals. Working with people who are injured or struggling with pain often involves meeting them on their level, and the same is true for creating a space that’s welcoming for people with physical disabilities.

When it comes to creating accessible spaces, we usually think first about entryways, bathrooms, and other concrete obstacles that may present challenges for those with limited function or mobility. Tackling these areas is essential, but it’s also important to ask yourself whether or not your website is as welcoming as it could be.

Does the Americans with Disabilities Act Apply to PT Website Design & Development?

ADA compliance and physical therapy websites

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990, the idea that being able to use a business’s website would be essential to engaging with their business didn’t exist. As such, the bill has few guidelines for accessible website design. In the 30 years since, though, online commerce and interaction has become a much more integral part of our lives.

This year, the idea that a website is an essential part of a business was debated on the floor of the Supreme Court. Early in October, 2019, the Supreme Court upheld the right of blind people to sue Domino’s for failing to make their website and app accessible.

According to the LA Times, the court’s decision was based on the idea that the ADA “protects access not just to restaurants and stores but also to the websites and apps of those businesses.” The ruling doesn’t mean the plaintiffs will win their suit; it simply means they have a right to bring it. Legal precedence on the matter is still far from established, but that won’t stop lawyers from finding as many businesses as possible to bring suits against.

E-rehab has accessibility tools for your website that might help you to avoid the hassle of a lawsuit.

Contact Us today at (760) 585-9097 or request a free consultation by clicking here.

To learn more about accessible digital design, visit W3.org/standards/webdesign/accessibility.

Physical Therapy Online Marketing – Focus on the Fundamentals

Most practices owners would agree, that in today’s competitive PT market, you need a great physical therapy online marketing to win.  With the myriad of online marketing options, get-rich-quick, “be a 7-figure practice” schemes, misinformation, and time constraints, practice owners are often left very confused.

While every practice has different needs, we’ve found that there are seven fundamental strategies that practices should invest in to win online today. Focus on these, and you can beat the POPTS, HOPTS, and corporations…and in most cases generate some significant new business.

1. A Physical Therapy Responsive Website

Your website is hub of your of your physical therapy online marketing strategy, but if it’s not mobile-optimized, you’re simply missing out on patients that would like to easily connect with you on their smartphones.

According to our research mobile visitors account for over 40% of visitors to physical therapy websites.  This is slightly less than the research site Statista, which indicates that mobile website visitors account for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. In the first quarter of 2019, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 48.71 percent of global website traffic, consistently hovering around the 50 percent mark since the beginning of 2017.

In addition, Google has made it clear that it evaluates your website for a mobile optimized version, and if the site isn’t optimized for the mobile user, it’s likely to impact your search rankings.  Google states:

“Mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google Search with a mobile device, Googlebot primarily crawls and indexes pages with the smartphone agent going forward.”

If your site isn’t optimized for smartphone users, your search rankings are very likely to suffer.

NOTE: one tool that can be extremely useful on physical therapy websites, is chat. 79% of customers prefer live chat over email or social media for customer support due to its immediacy.

The problem with live on small PT practice websites is staffing the live chat. If you do have a request from a website viewer to chat and no one in your office is available or knows how to use a chat service, it can negatively impact your reputation.

A good solution is a chatbot.  Physical therapy chatbots can proactively answer common questions and provide immediate answers to common questions and can help nurture users to the end goal of requesting an appointment.  Interestingly, E-rehab.com chatbot data suggests that 1 in 10 chatbot users actually request an appointment.  A chatbot should be included in your website and is an affordable way to convert more website viewers to new patients.

2. A Fast & Secure Website for Physical Therapy SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the marketing practice of engineering your online brand and website content to increase your website’s chances of appearing at or near the top of search results.

According to a recent study, the number one search ranking position earns around twice as many clicks as the number two. Once you reach position six, you start receiving clicks from less than 3% of the people who see your search result listing.

More specifically, “People will have a really hard time finding your practice if you aren’t ranked near the top of search results, and you’ll miss out on the lifeblood of your practice – new patients!”

It’s been reported by many SEO authority websites that Google’s algorithm contains over 200 factors that impact a practice’s physical therapy search rankings.  Some of them are out of your control and others can be addressed to improve your search rankings.  Two such factors are a. having a secure website and b. the speed at which your website loads.

Here’s what Moz.com has to say on the topic:

“Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. And research has shown that Google might be specifically measuring time to first byte as when it considers page speed. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.”

“Page speed is also important to patients that are visiting your website on their smartphones. If your web pages take a long time to load some of your website visitors will leave and search for your competition. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions.”

Simply put, a faster-loading site will rank higher and when people click on your Google listing, they will have a better experience and are more likely to become a patient.

If page speed isn’t something you’ve considered in the past, we do recommend you consider it now.

3. Physical Therapy Reputation Management

physical therapy reputation management ratings and reviews

Physical therapy reputation management has a negative connotation.  Many think of reputation management as the process of limiting negative reviews, responding to negative reviews, and getting them removed from your online directory profiles (Google, Yelp, Facebook, Healthgrades, etc.).

Here at E-rehab.com, we use the term Reputation Marketing for physical therapy private practices.  It’s the process of not only making sure you deal with negative reviews but also the systematic approach of capturing ratings and reviews and marketing those reviews to generate more new patients.

First, a quick reminder about why you should be building your online reputation.

  • People will drive past your competition if you use this form of marketing
  • It’s the second most trusted form of advertising
  • 86% of consumers read this type of marketing
  • 50% of consumers visit a local business after reading this type of marketing
  • 79% trust this form of marketing as much as a personal referral
  • 65% of patients say this marketing is moderately or very important
  • 48% are willing to go out-of-network if you use this strategy
  • 72% of consumers use this as the first step to choosing a doctor

Implementing a process this like this can have a profound impact on your bottom line.  Making the active choice to be number one in your market, as evidenced by a large number of ratings and reviews, can generate 5, 10, even 20 or more new patients per month.

Unfortunately, many practice owners don’t understand or are unwilling to do the work to capture ratings and reviews.  The good news is we’ve made the process very simple.  Some of our clients are generating over 50 new patients per quarter.  It’s one of the most affordable marketing opportunities for small practices and one of the only ways to compete with the large corporations and hospitals ( that will always have a bigger marketing budget than almost all small practices ).

Reputation marketing is also a marketing multiplier.  

Not only does having a large quantity of ratings and reviews increase the likelihood that someone will choose your practice, they can also impact or enhance other areas of your marketing efforts.  For example, if you are looking to hire a PT.  We’ve heard a number of anecdotal stories from practice owners stating that they had PT employment applicants mention the practices “large number of reviews” as a factor as to why they considered applying for a job at the given practice.

Another example is the importance of Google ratings and reviews and your search rankings.  As noted here in this 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors article, SEO experts agree that ratings and reviews account or approximately 15.44% of the “influence” on search rankings.

While some say it is “the way” to rank number one, this is simply not the case.  Take a look at this search for “physical therapy costa mesa”.

physical therapy seo

As you can see here, the company with the most Google ratings and reviews (i.e. Ann Steinfeld Physical Therapy) does not rank number 1.  Nevertheless, accumulating ratings and reviews is a positive factor that can help with your Google Maps/Three Pack ranking.  It’s just not the only factor.

Nevertheless, Google ratings and reviews are indeed a marketing multiplier and physical therapy reputation marketing should be one of the top fundamentals you implement in your marketing mix.

4. Physical Therapy Content Marketing

As the saying goes, “content is king”. This means that good physical therapy content will have a positive influence on new business generation.  Good physical therapy content can:

  • Help capture the attention of potential new patients,
  • Help define you as an authority,
  • Help you rank in the search engines for various keywords, and
  • Your physical therapy content can be used across a variety of online marketing channels.

Whether it’s a blog, videos, podcasts, or all of the above, your physical therapy content should be a great resource about the conditions you treat, the services you offer, and above all, make it clear that for most diagnoses, physical therapist directed care is a great first choice.

But content is also the way prospects find and evaluate your clinical expertise. Content that educates, answers questions, puts a patient/reader’s mind at ease and is generally helpful can then be followed by a call to action that can generate more initial evaluations.

Content is an important part of your search engine optimization efforts. Google loves to index new content, meaning that more frequent quality content is produced, the more likely your content is to rank for a given keyword search.

As marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuck famously said, “ We are all media companies now.”

Commit to producing high quality content on a regular basis.  It’s a fundamental marketing strategy.

5. Physical Therapy Email Marketing – A System for Keeping in Touch

physical therapy email newsletter example

Once you’ve done all of the hard work of generating new patients, you also need a system to educate patients about the additional services you offer.  Retention marketing or patient reactivation are the terms commonly used to market to past patients and get them back in your clinic.

Email marketing has long been a reliable channel to stay in touch with your past patients.  Offering “good will” by providing quality educational information is an easy way to stay top-of-mind with your past patients.

It’s also a good idea to use other options like SMS if you have special offers like a free screening offer for past patients. Younger generations are rarely in their email inbox, preferring the speed of text messages and the social connection of messaging apps instead.

Regardless of the choice of technology, build your list and keep in touch to maximize the value of your marketing activities and the relationships you develop.

6. Really Want to Stand Out? Use Physical Therapy Videos

Video has officially taken over the Internet! According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, online video will account for 80 percent of all web traffic by 2019, up from 67 percent in 2014.

Ninety-five percent of people say they have watched an explainer video to learn more about a business, product, or service.

Why is video specifically a great choice for physical therapy practice owners:

  1. It helps build trust. People like to see the providers that will be treating them and the clinic where treatment is provided.
  2. You can deliver your specific message. Fact is that most scan web pages these days.  With a good video, patients will watch the entire piece and will hear your entire message.
  3. It’s a great educational tool. Using video to in the following ways can be extremely beneficial:
    1. Help potential patients understand their condition,
    2. Share the services you offer,
    3. Share success stories and the experiences of other patients,
    4. Help patients understand what will happen during their first visit,
    5. Help patients understand why physical therapy should be their 1st choice

You don’t need a degree in film to produce great videos. Creating quality video is very simple with a newer smartphone and any number of apps to assist you.

If you really want to set yourself apart, physical therapy video marketing is a great opportunity.  Most do nothing more than share exercises.  There aren’t many (or enough) videos to describe why patients should be choosing physical therapy in the first place.

7. A Physical Therapy Social Media Presence

physical therapy facebook marketing

According to Verto Analytics, as of July 2017, we spent more than 41% of our online time on social media apps, which equates to an average of more than 25 hours per month per user. This number has stayed pretty consistent so far through 2019 as well.

Social media has its place in physical therapy marketing.  The problem is that most potential new patients DO NOT look for a physical therapist on social networks.  Let me illustrate this with a simple question.  “If you are in need of a locksmith, an emergency dentist, a plumber, an orthopedic surgeon, or a physical therapist, would you search for someone on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?”  Most answer this question with a resounding “NO”!  First this reason, social media marketing shouldn’t be your top priority.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do it or it isn’t important.  When practice owners think of marketing, they think about generating new patients.  Your social media presence might help with the retention of past patients when they follow you on Facebook, but if you want to generate new patients, posting content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or YouTube isn’t going to generate many calls or appointment requests.

That said, advertising, or paying to get your social media posts/content in front of your local audience can be an effective way to generate more new business.  This type of marketing is an advanced advertising strategy though, and requires considerable time, money, and ongoing effort.  It’s not a fundamental marketing strategy for most new and small PT practice owners.

I absolutely believe that practices must have an active social media presence. However, measuring ROI can be a challenge.

Conclusion: Focus on Physical Therapy Marketing Fundamentals

There are a number of online and offline marketing options.  It’s easy for practice owners to get confused, waste money on bright and shiny objects…marketing tactics that promise riches, and lose focus on the basics.  Don’t make this mistake.

E-rehab.com has been helping private practice with their physical therapy online marketing and physical therapy offline marketing for over 15 years and chances are, we can help you too.

Click here to request an appointment with me or call (800) 468-5161 to learn more about how we can help.

Thanks for reading!

David Straight

 

 

Are You Website Converting Visitors to Patients? 7 Thoughts on Physical Therapy Website Development

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?

SUMMARY

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.

Need Help? Visit our contact us page and simply request a free, no-obligation consultation or contact us at (760) 585-9097.

Chances are we can help.

Design & Development of Your Physical Therapy Home Page

We get a lot of questions from our clients about what should be on a physical therapy website home page.

Your physical therapy website first and foremost should be responsive – a website that adapts to or changes its shape and presentation in response to the screen that the viewer is looking for at your website on. A physical therapy website that’s responsive looks different on the smartphone versus a tablet versus a desktop.

Starting from the Top of the Home Page and Working Down

At the top of a physical therapy web site you can include what is called a “hello bar”. It’s a thin row across the top and is typically a different color from the rest of the website. It usually has an appointment request link and a link to your payment page where patients can pay their bills online.

Next is the main banner. In the banner on the left-hand side is where your logo is located and on the right-hand side you usually have your address with your phone number.

Moving down the home page, there is commonly a slider or a “hero photo”. A slider is a series of images that are slide across the home page and are very popular in a modern web design. It’s a graphic feature that is very pleasing and makes a great first impression…especially if you use photos of you, the practice owner. I recommend you have a picture of your team as one of the slider images. Then a photo you or your staff performing special neuromuscular reeducation exercises with your patients. Don’t put a picture of a clinician stretching someone’s hamstrings. Personal trainers do that.

Next consider having a picture of you educating a patient a about a condition. You can be holding a model like a spine or the shoulder, or the knee and talking to a patient about that body part. Another good photo to include is a picture of you performing hands on treatment. People like to go to physical therapy and receive hands on treatment and frankly, manual therapy is one of the things a physical therapist do best. Why not include it on the homepage slider?

It’s important when you have these slider slighter images moving across the page that you also have key messages or text overlying the pictures. You first of all want to get their attention. Include phrases about where you are located, your reputation, your clinical expertise. These should be short 3-4-word phrases on top of the slide images, that encourage people to choose you.

Next, moving down the page, I would suggest you have a row of patient reviews. Today, patient ratings or reviews, in the form of star ratings and testimonial reviews are very common. I recommend you have a row of these across your page. Use slider controls to enable viewers horizontally scroll through a number of these; have perhaps ten, twelve, or fifteen of them.

Below your ratings and review is where you want to have your primary message.

Your “welcome to the practice message” and additional content text goes here. I recommend you have a video that perhaps floats in the right portion of your text. This video should share information about who you are, your expertise, why people should use you, and should be presented by the owner or one of the partners. Make sure you have a call the action at the end of the video. Use YouTube to host this video for you, and of course this video should be on your YouTube channel as well. Use lightbox plugin to allow physical therapy website viewers to click on the thumbnail picture of the video and have it “pop up” over the top of your website’s home page.

Then, I recommend including your location(s) information. Make the photos or city names clickable links that go to the specific location(s) page(s) on your website.

Moving down the page, have a list include a graphic list of your services. Have web cards (squares or circle images) that people can click on to go to individual service pages where they’re described in detail.
Then you might consider including a row of blog excerpts. A blog excerpt is the title of a blog post and then the first two or three sentences.

In the next row on your website you might consider having a link to your store so people can easily clic over to it and buy physical therapy products.

Below the link to the store, you might have the badges of any awards that you’ve received from companies like the BBB, ZocDoc, local top ten awards, etc.

Next, you might have links to your lead magnet pages. Lead magnets are pages that require people to enter their name and email address and in turn you give them a white paper or some information about why they should come to your physical therapy practice.

Then, have a link(s) to your workshop landing pages where people can sign up to attend one of your presentations.

Finally, have a mega footer built for you at the bottom of your home page. Include your PT practice name, your address, and your phone number exactly as it appears on Google (this is called your NAP [name, address, phone number]). If you have just one location, then include your office hours, an embedded Google map, and then links to your social media business pages.  If you have multiple locations, then consider linking the locations in the footer over to specific locations like we have done in this example.

A Word on the Text or Copy on Your Home Page

Before I end this post, I want to go into some detail about the text or the words that you should have on your home page. Since the words are present to inspire the viewer to take the action of calling you, we will call this your home page web “copy”.

As people are scanning down your website and most other websites these days, it’s very visual. Therea are lots of graphics and image. But, we ultimately need to have some good text or copy on the home page.

What you want to do first is get their attention. Use text that stops them from scanning down the page. A common question I like to use is, “Did you know that not all physical therapy practices are the same?” That’s going to get their attention.

Then the next thing you want to do is arouse some desire in the viewer to choose you. Talk about the fact that your expert physical therapy services

1. Saves them money,
2. It’s fast and easy to get an appointment with you right now,
3. that your treatment is conservative, natural, hands-on, personalized, and customized treatment for them.

Tell Patients Exactly What They Want to Hear

The next section of the copy should pique the reader’s interest by addressing four important factors that patients are looking for when choosing a PT practice.
These four factors are:

A. Clinical excellence – your board certifications, your doctoral degree, fellowships, and areas of specialization.

B. Empathy – write about your caring staff and the fact that you’re a family-oriented practice and that exceptional customer services is one of your corporate values.

C. No Long Waits – mention that patients are not going to have long waits to get into your practice for their first visit or long waits when they come into your practice for treatment. Patients are busy and they don’t want to wait around for treatment.

D. Shared Decision Making & Treatment – share some information on the page about your treatment approach. Patients want to be involved in the treatment and decision process. they want to know what their problem is, how you are going to help them, how long it is going to take, an estimate of how much it is going to cost, and what their role is going to be in the recovery process.

Money always matters. Have a brief section on your website that might say something like, “We accept a variety of insurance plans, click here for details.” Then link over to a comprehensive list.

End Your Page Content with a Clear Call to Action

Finally, make sure you have a clear call action and don’t just put your phone number at the bottom of the page. Side note, for goodness sakes, don’t ask them to sign up for an e-book. The call the action on your home page should be clear and should be in a large heading, known to web coders as H1 or H2 tags. Consider using some language before the phone number to inspire a viewer to call you now.

Use were phrases like, “Don’t wait, call now.” Talk about a delay in starting physical therapy care may cost them more money. Perhaps indicate that getting into your clinic fast will allow them to alleviate the pain sooner. You might want to create a sense of scarcity by saying something like, “We are now accepting new patients.”

Make sure you give anyone that is browsing your website multiple ways to contact you. What I mean by this is don’t just put your phone on the bottom of the page, but also include an online appointment request form too.

There’s a lot to Consider on Your Physical Therapy Website Home Page

Above we discussed some ideas about layout, graphics, and copy that you might be included on your physical therapy practice home page. It’s important to have a good designer that can create a clean design and layout with responsive technology. Following the above concepts can go a long way to converting patients that are visiting your website.

If you want more information want about how E-rehab.com can help you with your physical therapy give us a call. We’ve been helping PT practices market their business online longer than Facebook or Yelp have been around.

We have the experience, the passion, and great customer care to serve you. Just check out our ratings and reviews and give us a call if you have any questions. You can reach us at (760) 585-9097.