A Chiropractor’s Guide to Good Exposure
Chiropractors face a competitive market right now. Even though patients are flooding the industry and seeking out chiropractic care more than ever before, those patients also have greater choice. They face fewer restrictions covered treatments, and there are new practices opening on almost a daily basis. This is why it is essential that you develop and use effective medical marketing strategies to make your practice stand out from your competition. Marketing may not be your strongest skill, but this vital component of running a business is worth paying for professional support. A good agency will not only help to fine tune your medical marketing strategies but also develop the digital and traditional marketing collateral necessary to get you and your practice noticed.
Your website is the cornerstone of your marketing initiatives. Most adults research medical providers online, and if you don’t have a well thought out, attractive, informative and easy to use website, you will miss out on clients. Chiropractic website design should first be easy for potential patients to find, then they will need to understand your content and get an idea of what your philosophy of care is. Finally, it should be easy for a client to book an appointment with you, either through a function that allows them to request an appointment online or a click to call button. Speaking of click to call, it is important that your website functions on mobile devices as more and more people are searching the internet on their mobile phones or tablets. The first step is making sure that your website performs well in search engine rankings. To do this, your site must follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practice guidelines.
SEO is sometimes described as a dark art, but it’s not that complicated. Without going into too much of the science, Google (because who uses a different search engine) creates algorithms that sift through the internet to provide a user with a list of websites that best meet their search criteria. Previously, keywords were essential to achieving high rankings, but as more and more people and businesses engaged in a practice called key-word stuffing, Google got wise and changed their algorithms. Keywords are still important, but your website must also be readable, and there are other contributing factors such as your metadata, functionality, and the perceived authority of your website. Authority stems from having unique content a supportive online presence with blogs and social media profiles.
Blogging is a great way to increase the unique content on your website, (if your blog is embedded in your website.) A blog is also a fantastic way to share information about you and your chiropractic practice with potential clients. A general rule of thumb is to keep your web content short, to the point, informative and interesting. If you blog, it gives you an opportunity to talk about your practice, special interests, and reveal more about yourself in longer form. If someone is reading your blog, it’s because they’re interested in what you have to say. Whereas with website content, you can lose a visitor’s attention if you include too much or the wrong kinds of detail.
Adwords are a controversial part of medical marketing strategies. Adwords are online advertising campaigns booked through Google that result in your page appearing at the top of a search engine results page. This is your goal, but it is marked as an advertisement, and some might argue that this creates a sense of inauthenticity. However, if your chiropractic practice is in a market that is saturated with chiropractors, using Adwords while your website develops its organic search results position can help you to get the attention of people in your city or town who are looking for your services.
As mentioned above, robust social media profiles provide a supportive online presence which lends authority to your website. However, social media is an extraordinarily useful tool for engaging with patients. You can share information about you and your practice, promote any special offers your practice might be using, and importantly, respond to reviews and comments. The millennial generation uses social media much more heavily than any other generation. They want to believe that the businesses they interact with have an interest in them as people and consumers, or to feel a real connection. Social media allows you to respond to questions and reviews, both positive and negative, to create a relationship with a patient or potential patient. For example, when a patient leaves you a good review on your Yelp page or Facebook, you can thank them and ask if you can reproduce their review on your website. Or if you happen to get a poor review, you can reach out to the patient to get more information about what could have been better and offered to rectify their situation. Social media does take time and attention to do well, and again, you shouldn’t be afraid or reluctant to ask for professional help with managing your profiles.
Good old fashioned public relations can supplement your digital medical marketing strategies. If you are engaged in your community, it’s a good idea to foster relationships with your local media channels so that when you have news to share, either about charitable work, a new service or technique you are offering as part of your practice.
Depending on your community and the kinds of clients you are trying to attract, traditional marketing techniques like fliers, brochures, and other mailers can be a useful supplement to your digital marketing efforts. More and more people of all ages are getting their information and referrals for chiropractors and medical service providers online, but there are some people out there who are not comfortable with the online world. The important thing to note here is that you need to know your market and know who you are trying to entice into your practice.
Medical marketing has many moving parts. As a chiropractor, you may be focusing on delivering top-notch services to your patients and not have the time or expertise to truly make the most of your marketing capability. Engaging a marketing agency, especially one that focuses on your industry and knows exactly what you need to get the exposure and attention your practice needs to thrive, can help you to grow your practice and thrive.