One of the most important duties in every chiropractic practice is building a client base.
You must create a host of activities that bring new patients into your practice. This process is known as integrated marketing, and it aims at creating awareness and helping to build your brand.
In today’s wired world, traditional approaches to advertising such as listing in the Yellow Pages are not efficient at bringing patients to your door.
On the other hand, one of the most efficient methods for building your brand is to have a purposeful website. Most patients are now using the power of their keyboards to find healthcare professionals.
With over one billion searches conducted daily, the internet is delivering more information to patients today than they have ever had before.
This is one of the most cost-efficient ways to promote your brand. And unlike your practice, a website is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But while websites are efficient for marketing, there are many mistakes chiropractors make with them. Some typical mistakes are:
- Many DCs, thinking they can create their website themselves, make basic design errors.
- Many DCs don’t know how to ensure patients can find them on the internet.
- Many DCs tend to make their sites too wordy, thinking that will attract more patients.
- Some DCs don’t believe in the power of the internet and opt to ignore it as a marketing tool.
Realize that, statistically speaking, you only have about five seconds to make an impression on a patient visiting your online portal. Therefore, it is imperative to sidestep the four largest pitfalls in developing your website.
The name game
One of the biggest issues when developing your website is choosing a name. It is ironic how so many chiropractors choose names such as Holistic Health, Comprehensive Chiropractic, Healing Arts, or Beyond the Back. While these kinds of names sound interesting, remember what the patient is looking for: a doctor.
For this reason, having your name be part of the page address (URL) is a recommended strategy. Patients won’t be looking for the name of the practice but rather the doctor of chiropractic and the healing modalities he or she offers. Why choose a sexy title for your page only to be lost among the others on the web?
According to the website tracking firm Royal Pingdom, there are more than 1 billion web pages and more than 250 million domain name registrations. Given that amount of traffic, you need to set yourself apart from the competition.
Being on the internet is about brand building and being available. You must make it easy for patients to find you. DoctorAnneConnor.com or BillSmithDC.com are more likely to stand out.
Use the right lure
If you want to hook the best fish, you need the proper bait. Your website can use myriad techniques to capture attention, and one of the best is using keywords that patients are likely to use when searching. For example: Your potential patients are likely searching for terms such as back pain, stress management, knee stiffness, and neck pain.
In a recent review of over 150 chiropractic websites, it was noted that many chiropractors fail to mention the patient issues they address. The sites speak of subluxation, the doctor’s years in practice, and laser and decompression machines. But because they lack wording identical to that being sought by patients, they are likely being passed over.
To find the right search terms, use keyword tool finders such as those offered by Google. These free web resources can help you understand regional and global search terms so there is a match between what patients want and what you provide.
In addition, these words must be placed organically (in the descriptive site text) and technologically (hidden in the source code) so your site rises to the top of the search chain.
Words create emotion, and the right words can generate magnetism that attract your perfect patient. To that end, be less prescriptive and start thinking like a patient yourself.
Patients are seeking outcomes, they seek results, and they seek value.
But unless they’ve been to a chiropractor before, they’re likely to be unfamiliar with terms such as subluxation, adjustment, and decompression. What they are usually looking for is an explanation of their health concerns and how you can address them.
Therefore, the wording on your site not only has to match the keywords patients search for but also align with their desired outcomes.
Also, don’t overestimate the power of testimonials. You can get almost anyone to say nice things about you. Instead, consider case studies that demonstrate how you solve patients’ problems in your practice.
White space is the place
When it comes to the amount of text on your website, less is more. Think about the brevity of social media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest. The constant flood of emails and social media updates pounds the average person with over 7,000 messages a day. Patients are likely to be just as busy as you are, so keep your messaging short and to the point.
Use the white space on your website to your advantage. Limit the text in paragraphs to 50 to 60 words. The most important information should be above the fold, i.e., on the screen before a patient needs to scroll.
And every page on your site must have a purpose, a mission that provides value to the patient. Try to have a call to action on every page too. Tell patients what you want them to do and tell them how to do it.
The money magnet
Another way to make your website more powerful is to have a “money magnet.” This is a free giveaway to encourage patients to give you their email addresses. Psychologist Robert Cialdini defined the “law of reciprocity” in his book The Power of Persuasion. The idea is that if you provide your prospective patients with something, they are more likely to give you something in return.
Use a web form to offer something like a free posture analysis or a booklet, so prospective patients give you their name and email address before they can download it. This way you develop trust and a relationship.
Building an effective website will attract prospective patients, decrease your marketing labor, and increase patient volume. If you take the time to build it right, they will come.
Drew Stevens, PhD, is a renowned marketing mentor for chiropractors. Stevens transforms struggling chiropractors into wealthy champions. He is a frequent contributor to Chiropractic Economics and can be contacted through stevensconsultinggroup.com.