Boost your online marketing presence with these six tips.
Given the vast majority of consumers searching online for local services, it’s critical for chiropractors to establish a comprehensive desktop, mobile, Web, and social media presence to attract and keep patients.1 You may think that having a website is enough, but it is merely one aspect of using the Internet as an effective tool. Beyond this, incorporating communication strategies to interact with your current patient base can encourage repeat appointments and improve your bottom line.
Creating and maintaining an effective online marketing campaign with a diverse mix can seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re busy with the day-to-day duties of running a practice and working with your current patients. To save you some time and effort, focus on these top six marketing tips for improving patient acquisition and retention to successfully market your practice.
Create an effective and searchable website
Your website should convince visitors to pick up the phone and call you. Some points to consider:
- Provide a call to action, i.e., make it clear what you want the visitor to do (call, make an appointment, or stop by your practice).
- Include your contact information clearly and make it visible on each page.
- Be concise and specific. Clearly state the services you offer and how you can help your target customer.
- Optimize your website so that it renders effectively on mobile devices, as mobile search is expected to bypass desktop search for local businesses this year.2
- Include content that shows credibility and success, e.g., patient testimonials, awards, and your qualifications.
You also need to create a website with organic search placement in mind so potential patients find you when searching for local chiropractors. Search engines like Google use something called a “bot”—short for robot—to read through the backend coding of sites on the Internet and determine which ones are most relevant. These bots look at the content on a given site, including both the visible text and also parts of the code referred to as “tags.” For example, all things being equal, a chiropractor in Denver who uses the words “chiropractor,” “Denver,” and “CO” in webpage tags has a greater probability of high placement than one who doesn’t.
Invest in paid search
Paid search advertising is the quickest way to get your practice on the first page of key search-engine results, which is important considering that the majority of searchers never go beyond the first page.3 Use compelling and persuasive ad copy to get potential clients to click on your ad instead of your competitors’. An effective paid search ad should include:
- a compelling headline
- a call to action
- relevant keywords
- a unique value proposition
- contact information
It’s important to show up in map listings because they are prominent on major search engines, and consumers typically compare different practices on simple criteria such as distance, services, and business hours. Claim a map page with Google+ Local, Bing, and Yahoo Local, and make sure to create relevant keyword content and add appropriate photos to your listing. This helps search engines deem your page credible, and therefore more worthy of incorporating into its map section.
Another criterion for ranking high on maps is consistent information across a variety of credible Internet directories. Examples include ZocDoc, Yelp, and Internet Yellow Pages, which also allow you to be found in more key places online.
Ask for reviews
Online reviews and testimonials are extremely important for most businesses today. A study found that 78 percent of U.S. consumers’ purchasing decisions are impacted by online reviews.4 As more people turn to the Internet to select healthcare providers, it’s important to get your practice listed on review sites and establish a positive presence. Ask a patient if they’d be willing to post a positive review, and make it as easy as possible for them by emailing a direct link to where they should go.
Having a presence on social media is great for building your brand and retaining the patients you already have. According to a survey conducted by customer intelligence company Market Force, nearly 80 percent of U.S. consumers’ purchasing decisions are impacted by the posts made by the businesses they follow on social media.5
You can share information about your practice or useful insights on maintaining good health in real time on social media pages that your potential or existing patients could find helpful. For chiropractors, Facebook is an important social site to be on so that you remain top of mind for patients. Creating fresh content on social media can also help with your organic search ranking.
Implement automated communications
An automated and customized appointment confirmation and reminder system can help you increase the percentage of patients who show up for their appointments. You can send appointment reminders via email, text message, or postcard depending on each patient’s preferences. Beyond that, incorporating your colors, logo, and office images into this communication will reinforce your brand.
It takes time to get started, maintain, and measure the success of an online marketing program, but you will see the benefits if you stick with it. If you don’t have the time or resources to manage it on your own, consider partnering with a vendor who specializes in this area.
Court Cunningham is the CEO of Yodle, a leader in local online marketing that empowers 45,000-plus local businesses, including 750-plus chiropractors, to find and keep their customers simply and profitably. You can find out more about Yodle at yodle.com or by contacting the company at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-276-5104.
1 BIA/Kelsey. “Nearly All Consumers (97%) Now Use Online Media to Shop Locally.” http://www.biakelsey.com/company/press-releases/100310-nearly-all-consumers-now-use-online-media-to-shop-locally.asp. Published March 10, 2010. Accessed January 2015.
2 BIA/Kelsey. “Mobile Local Search Volume Will Surpass Desktop Local Search in 2015.” http://www.biakelsey.com/Company/Press-Releases/120418-Mobile-Local-Search-Volume-Will-Surpass-Desktop-Local-Search-in-2015.asp. Published April 18, 2012. Accessed January 2015.
3 Chitika. “The Value of Google Result Positioning.” http://chitika.com/google-positioning-value. Published June 7, 2013. Accessed January 2015.
4 MarketingCharts. “8 in 10 Americans Agree That Online Reviews Influence Their Purchases.” http://www.marketingcharts.com/online/8-in-10-americans-agree-that-online-reviews-influence-their-purchases-25761/. Published December 27, 2012. Accessed January 2015.
5 Market Force Information. “Market Force Study Shows Companies Wield Comparable Social Media Influence to Friends.” http://www.marketforce.com/press-releases/item/research-social-media-influence/. Published May 1, 2012. Accessed January 2015.