Websites, social media, Google AdWords, SEO…the list of online marketing buzzwords seems to keep growing. How can a practice owner stay on top of it all and manage a busy physical therapy clinic? Let’s tackle digital marketing for PT practices one step at a time and soon you will have a standout online presence that generates additional revenue for your business.
First, you need an accurate understanding of digital marketing and its many components.
(For applicable digital PT Marketing tips you can use regardless of marketing experience, download our free guides for using Facebook, Email, Google, Your Website, and more!)
A website is a grouping of web pages containing text, images, and data. These pages share the same primary URL (www.ABCphysicaltherapy.com).
A website is the most important digital marketing asset as it helps to promote your practice, provides contact information, and gives online credibility. But, there’s more to a website than just having one. A typical website can give patients basic information about your practice, but that’s only 50% of a website’s job.
With the right features, your website could be performing marketing tasks automatically including:
Social media is any online platform that supports the sharing of text, images, and media.
Popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. By creating an account or profile on these platforms, you can engage with potential clients and drive traffic (visitors, page views etc.) to your website.
“Organic” social media refers to posting, liking, commenting, and interacting with your business’s page. “Paid Social” is utilizing Facebook’s Advertising tools to get your content to more people whether they follow you or not.
Search Engine Optimization increases traffic to a website through a search engine or organic searching.
For example, web pages and websites contain page titles, keywords, and meta descriptions that help to increase searchability for that content – how well your site gets found.
When someone types “physical therapy in Richmond, VA,” the search results are populated based on the websites’ SEO rank which is assigned by Google.
Pro Tip: Don’t just focus on where you appear for “physical therapy.” Try typing “back pain” or “knee pain help” and see what comes up – if you rank here, people will find you who didn’t know they needed therapy.
While SEO can take time to get results, search engine marketing can be started instantly. SEM increases traffic to a website through paid campaigns that increase the site’s visibility to search engines.
For example, when searching in Google, you typically see the first 2-3 results with an “Ad” icon. These are paid campaigns that promote specific websites before those in the organic search listings.
And finally #5! Email marketing…
Email marketing is sending promotional, engagement-based emails to a list of active subscribers who have granted permission to receive promotional contact from you. (For this purpose, we aren’t talking about “transactional emails” which discuss your patients’ bills or appointment times.)
The goal of email marketing in a PT practice is to encourage people on your list to schedule an appointment. Most practices have some experience with this, in fact, it is where many first start with digital marketing. That’s because despite having decreased over the last decade, it still works and still keeps you at the top of your past patients’ minds.
Email lists naturally reduce over time as people unsubscribe or change their address – so it is important to focus on growing your list by offering ebooks and workshop signups on your website.
First, does your practice have a website? Many will answer, “Yes!” Next, is your website current? An updated website ensures that all the information is correct. Additionally, it should have a professional, modern design. Can the site be easily updated or does it take days or weeks for a simple change?
Also, are you utilizing SEO best practices? Lastly, how does your website look on a mobile device or smartphone? You might not know all the answers to these questions. But, that is OK!
Let’s learn about digital marketing best practices for these areas:
A website design is critical. The site needs to be visual cohesive and be the best possible representation of your practice to online audiences.
Your website needs to be informative, accurate, and compelling. If the design is the lettuce, tomato, and onion, the content is the burger—full of “meat” that gives the viewer something to “chew on”. Here are the features we always include for PT websites
If the design and content are the fillings, the technical aspects and function are the burger bun. By ensuring that your site has a solid foundation, you will continue to generate even more results for your practice.
2019 is projected to be the first year that global digital marketing spending beats out traditional advertising. If you don’t start now, you will risk being overshadowed by local competition.
The best place to start is your website. From there, begin using email or budgeting for paid ads on SEM or Facebook. And for more guides, checklists, & best practices check out our Free PT Marketing Downloads here.
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