In 2009, a chiropractor can not rely on simply having a website to bring him new patients from the internet. It’s simply not enough anymore (and likely hasn’t been for a few years.)
Now if it was still 1999, and you were the first to get a website up in your town, then you could expect to get new patients from it over the next few years.
But by 2004-2005, just about everyone had a website in your area. This brought up a new problem, since there was now quite a bit more competition online.
So what happened?
Overpriced SEO services happened. Web designers came to you and offered to “search engine optimize” your site for around 2,000 dollars or more! For this amount, they would go in and “tweak your code”, essentially stuffing keywords and meta tags on your site, somewhat optimizing it so you would come up high on Google and Yahoo’s free listings. (Turns out it’s not so “Free” if you have to pay someone $2,000 to do it!)
This worked for a short while, until search engines like Google figured this out and developed a program to detect all the fake “stuffing” that was going on. (Believe it or not, there are still SEO companies out there today spending 10 minutes doing this and charging chiros a ton of money.)
So now it’s 2009. What’s changed? Well, quite a lot has changed on the internet. Many industries have implemented new technologies and moved on into the whole Web 2.0 phase. Even many small businesses have realized they can get new customers online at a less expensive cost, thereby cutting ineffective offline marketing.
But where are most chiropractors?
Still stuck in 1999, simply thinking a website alone will work? Or in 2004, thinking if they have a website all they need is some quick optimization to help it out a little?
If you’ve been thinking these things too, it’s really not your fault. No one has really stood up and said…
“No, it doesn’t work like that anymore!”
Instead, website companies just update their graphics and make their site look prettier, knowing they can sell you on looks instead of effectiveness.
But no matter how good you dress it up, a website is not enough (unless you practice in a very small town and you’re the only chiropractor there.)
Let’s look at the offline world. You have a sign on your door or on the front of your building, correct? This sign is important, because it tells people where your office is and if they are driving by they know how to find you. But does this sign magically go out and tell people to come into your office? Does it go 5 miles down the road and find qualified new patients?
Of course not! You have to do other types of marketing first to get people over to your office and come in as a new patient.
Your sign is part of your offline marketing system, but it does not make up 100% of it (unless you are in a really small town). Well the same goes for your website. Your website is not going to go out there and grab qualified prospects for you. Sure, a few people may pass by your site and come in as a new patient, like a walk in would when driving by your office. But do you just want to live off of walk-in traffic?
Look, here’s how internet marketing works. You must have 3 steps running all the time.
#1. Source of qualified traffic. (Pay per click, articles, organic listings, blog, incoming links, press releases, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Some of these work better than others.)
#2. Conversion of that traffic to scheduled new patients. (This is where your website comes in. But just ‘any ole website’ won’t do. You have to have good copy and layout to make it work.)
#3. Automatic follow-up with the traffic that doesn’t call and schedule. (Here you use email autoresponders to do the work for you.)
If all you have is a website, you only have #2 covered above. And judging by most chiropractic websites out there, they struggle with even doing #2 right.
I know, we are chiropractors. We’re not trained to know all the ins and outs of internet marketing. Nor do we have time to keep up with all this “new fangled” stuff. That is why sometimes I hear the following statement…
“Dr. Beck, I don’t understand all that internet marketing stuff out there.
But I get that you need a website. Can’t I just get by with that for now?”
My answer: sure, you can “get by”, but don’t be upset when you don’t get many new patients from your website.
And not understanding how internet marketing works is no excuse not to learn it or pay someone else to do it for you. Most patients don’t understand chiropractic when they first come in to see you. But it doesn’t take them long to appreciate the benefits of your care.
The same goes for all the components of internet marketing. You don’t have to understand it all the mechanics of it to reap the benefits of having tons of new patients come in to your office from it.
We know people are searching everyday in your area for a chiropractor, or solutions to problems that you can help (they are because we can see that with Google’s keyword tool), then why aren’t they finding your website and causing the phone to ring off the hook?
Do patients find your website when someone types in “fibromyalgia treatment” on Google? What about “neuropathy”? Sciatica?
You can make that happen with the Chiropractic Marketing Web system. Don’t delay, check out this complete online marketing system today.