Effectively marketing your practice may be one of the biggest challenges you face during your career as a chiropractor. Even if you are the most knowledgeable and skilled chiropractor with the friendliest and most efficient staff, your office will be empty if no one knows about you or your practice. Marketing is one of the most vital elements in building a successful practice.
There are many options available to help you get the word out about your practice. Television and radio advertisements, newspaper ads, and word-of-mouth referrals are all methods you can use. In addition, with technology advancing at the speed of light and computers becoming an integral part of our day-to-day communications, it now makes perfect sense to incorporate the power of the Internet into your practice’s marketing plan.
Advantages of Having a Website
64% of Americans 12 and over have used the Internet in the past year, according to www.cyberatlas.com. With a website, the opportunity to reach potential new patients increases each day, as more and more people get connected to the Internet. In addition to increasing referrals, a website can serve as an excellent information source for the patients you already have.
Compared with the cost of advertising on the radio or on television, the cost of starting and maintaining a website is fairly inexpensive. There are companies that will design your site for a one-time price and maintain it for a monthly fee. To save even more money, you could design and maintain the site yourself, or designate a member of your staff to take on the duties. There are many programs currently on the market to help you develop and update your site.
As opposed to other, more traditional forms of advertising, the information included on your website can be much more in-depth than the information used in other ads. You can include basic information on your website, such as your educational and professional background, directions to your office, and your business hours. You can also include more detailed information, which could include answers to frequently asked questions, a list of the services and products your practice offers, and a summary of what patients can expect during their first visit to your office.
If you have received any letters from your patients highlighting how you’ve helped them, put these on your site (with the patients’ permission, of course). Testimonials from patients can be a very helpful resource for those considering chiropractic care. Pictures and graphics are another addition that can make your site more attractive to web surfers.
The information you have on your website can be changed and updated as often as you wish. In addition, your patients and potential patients will be able to access the information on your site at their convenience, 24/7. If they have a question, they may be able to find the answer on your website, instead of waiting to call your office during regular business hours.
Your site can also serve as an educational resource. You could devote a portion of your site to the history of the profession and other areas of interest, such as how chiropractic works, what educational requirements are needed to become a chiropractor, and information about common conditions that can be helped by chiropractic. You can refer your current patients to your site to educate them about chiropractic, which will make your site a helpful resource to accompany their treatment.
Marketing Your Site
It’s important to market your site once you establish a presence on the World Wide Web. Other forms of advertising are normally very visible to the audience they are targeted for. This is not always the case with websites, however. Since there is so much information available over the Internet, your site may get lost in the shuffle with all the others in cyberspace. There are several steps you can take to make sure people know about your site and how they can get to it.
One good way to get started is by registering your website with some of the popular search engines on the Internet. Simply including some key words when you register your site can increase the chances that people looking for a chiropractor in your area will be directed to your site. There are also less technical ways to increase traffic to your site. As soon as you get your site up and running, be sure to tell your patients about it. Also, put your website and e-mail addresses on your business cards, letterhead, hand-outs, appointment cards, signs, and all your advertisements.
Online communication is rapidly becoming an essential part of all our lives. People can now access all kinds of information with the click of a mouse, and they are relying on the Internet more and more as a crucial part of their decision-making process when it comes to determining what products and services they are going to use.
Because of this, the Internet is beginning to directly affect the way people make decisions about their health-care needs. Don’t ignore the countless number of opportunities the Internet has to offer your practice. Find your practice a home on the World Wide Web, and let this amazing technology increase your referrals and serve as an educational resource for your patients.