One of the most popular quotes in chiropractic is “Nature needs no help, just no interference,” by Reggie Gold, DC.
This gem isn’t just applicable to the body’s innate ability to heal itself but also to marketing. Too many chiropractors are missing out on new patient leads because they don’t make it easy for prospects to go from someone who is engaging with their practice online to becoming someone walking through the front door.
The most common digital marketing mistakes are:
- Stuff that just doesn’t work.
- Omitting natural next steps.
- Ignoring future patients.
Each of these digital bottlenecks has a number of solutions. Here’s how to identify whether your practice is losing patients because of them and your options to get your digital pipeline flowing.
Digital marketing mistakes
“Stuff” might not be the most elegant word, but the list of things that can break—and often are broken—on the journey from prospect to patient online is long and varied:
1. Broken links and 404 pages.
2. Scheduling tools that have lapsed or were not implemented correctly.
3. HIPAA noncompliance.
4. Bad user experience on mobile and tablets.
5. Use of Flash or other outdated technologies.
6. Broken forms.
There are a number of tools that internet marketers use to uncover these problems, but most small to medium-sized practices can determine whether they’re affected by any of these by thoroughly testing their site and searching for their brand online to uncover stuff that just doesn’t work. Scour your page the way a patient would.
Many issues can be fixed in-house, such as broken links, but some might require technical expertise. One often overlooked step is to think about whether you really need a given feature. Do you need the Flash content or that online scheduling tool? Depending on your ideal buyer persona, your practice’s business processes, and the wherewithal you have to maintain these features, the best answer might be to remove it.
Omitting natural next steps
Chiropractors who invest their time and money in digital marketing are often focused on generating more traffic to their website, Facebook page, and so on, but don’t present the natural next step to that prospect once they get there.
You need a relevant call to action on all of your digital assets. Go through this checklist to increase your conversion rate for the people who visit your practice online:
- Include a call to action on all your web pages ideally related to the content on the page. “Make an appointment now,” “Order here,” etc.
- Add a description to your “Google my business” page.
- Add the “Book an appointment” feature to your Google my business page if applicable.
- Include a call to action on your web directory practice descriptions if allowed as well as social media profiles.
Other common calls to action include a button that links to a landing page offering a free consult or exam, an ebook explaining the benefits of chiropractic, or simply asking the visitor to pick up the phone and call.
Ignoring future patients
The most common call to action on a practice site asks visitors to schedule an appointment. While that’s your ultimate goal (and some people who encounter your practice online are ready to take that step), the majority of people who see your promoted Facebook post, read your latest blog post, and happen upon your Yelp listing aren’t quite there yet.
Most people will be at the beginning and middle stages of the buyer’s journey. They are on their way to becoming a chiropractic patient, but they need more information before making a buying decision. Most practices ignore them in their digital marketing efforts.
Those at the top of the funnel are just becoming aware of their current state of wellness, what their challenges are, and where they want to be. Farther along the buyer’s journey, they know what they want but aren’t quite sure how to get there. Do they need a chiropractor, a medical doctor, or to follow along to yoga videos on YouTube?
Chances are you don’t answer the questions that people have when they aren’t ready to call and schedule, and that friction can stop new leads in their tracks.
You can build a pipeline of new patients by capturing those at the top and middle of the funnel and interacting with them until they are ready to commit to the chiropractic care that you provide.
Conversion rate optimization
In marketing-speak, addressing these digital marketing bottlenecks is optimizing a practice’s web presence for conversions. Three core principles of conversion rate optimization are:
- Create a low-friction process of becoming a lead by fixing technical issues,
- Create a process or funnel to generate leads, and
- Understand and address the unique needs of your buyer personas no matter where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Taking the time to optimize your web presence for conversions will increase the number of new patient leads coming to your practice and build a build a pipeline, so that you can reliably and sustainably generate more patients online.
Ben Donahower is a marketer at No Bounds Digital, the agency that helps chiropractors generate more and better leads online. Request a custom video walkthrough of your practice’s lead generation bottlenecks by contacting him at email@example.com or through noboundsdigital.com.