After consulting and speaking with hundreds of chiropractors about marketing, by far the biggest “lost” marketing opportunities are on the internet. In fact, I strongly encourage new coaching clients to work hard on making their marketing on the internet more successful.
There are three very big reasons you should be using the internet to market your practice…
Reason #1. Everyone is using it. Why wouldn’t you want to spend time and money for chiropractic advertising at the place everyone is going?
Reason #2. It’s relatively inexpensive compared to offline marketing. (With today’s economy, who doesn’t want this?)
Reason #3. It can be 95% automated. Which means you do the work once (or pay someone else to) and with only slight tweaks it runs itself.
But there’s one big misconception chiropractors have about marketing their practice on the internet. Many believe that chiropractic internet marketing equals having a pretty, static website. (No worries, I thought this same thing just a few years ago.) You know the pitch all those website companies make..”Hey Doc, we can do a website for you and it will bring you tons of new patients.”
Putting up a static website and expecting new patients just doesn’t work anymore. Let’s look at a similar comparison offline. Would you put up a sign on the front of your office, not do any other marketing, and expect a continual rush of new patients for the next 10 years?
So how do you really use the internet to bring in more quality new patients. Here are my top 3 proven ways to do it…
#1. Improve your organic search ranking. Getting a higher ranking of your website in Google and Yahoo is critical to bringing in more new patients from the internet. When someone types in “Chiropractor” + your town’s name, you want to be at or near the top of the listings. The nice part about organic search results is that they are free, which means you don’t have to pay every time someone clicks on the listing and goes to your site. The bad part about organic search rankings is that they are difficult to improve with a “Traditional” type website.
But there is a new type of website that search engines love (especially Google). This is called a “wordpress site” and can be downloaded for free at http://www.wordpress.org. It’s a software that once installed, makes your site nice and orderly for Google to index all the pages in their system. (Many people use this software to create a blog, but it also allows you to create a more traditional looking website.) I’ve seen clients put these sites up and rank #1 in their competitive areas within 2 weeks. Consider most of these doctors have had an old website up for years and never reached the top 10 on Google with it.
#2. Pay per click marketing. If you go to google.com or yahoo.com and search for a term, you’ll notice ads at the top and right side. These are called pay-per-click ads (PPC for short). You write an ad, bid on it’s location, and if someone clicks on it you pay a small fee. If no one clicks on it and goes to your webpage, you don’t pay. (Wouldn’t it be nice if newspapers and yellow pages were like this — you only pay if new patients show up at your door 🙂
Google’s PPC is called Adwords, and it’s vastly superior to yahoo or MSN.com’s PPC systems. A very nice component of Adwords is the wide range of testing and tracking you can do with your ads. For example, I’ve run tests in the spinal decompression market where one single character in the headline of the ad can have 4 times the results than if that character wasn’t there.
#3. Email marketing. Almost no one is using email in chiropractic today. This makes you really ‘stand out from the crowd’ if you can put email messages to work for your practice. The first place to use email messages is to your new patient prospects that have found you on the internet. In exchange for a free gift (an ebook, enewsletter, report, etc) the prospect leaves their name and email. You can then send out a series of messages building rapport and giving them an offer to come in as a new patient. (How much does it cost to send out all these emails? Nothing really. Maybe $20 per month if you use a service like http://www.easyemailsystem.com)
The second place you should use email marketing in your practice is with your current patients. Send out an email reminders when you’re having your patient appreciation day. Send out emails when your doing a special promotion. You can even send out a newsletter by email to your patients educating them on different health topics each month.
Are you using these 3 internet marketing strategies in practice? If not, what are you waiting on. The internet is the new yellow pages, encyclopedia, and library rolled into one. Don’t be the last chiropractor in your town to be using these strategies to get more new patients.