A Welcome Change of Plan
Physical therapists have been marketing to doctors for years. But with the expansion of direct access in the last decade, we now need a 2-pronged approach to our practice marketing plan –first to new patients, second for referrals.
Marketing to New Patients
As for attracting direct-access patients, we give our clients a simple, 4-step plan to increase patient volume from your website then keep patients retained, returning, and referring.
Yes, you want to get them in the door, but keeping them is just as important to your profitability!
Here are our 4 key steps to attracting & retaining patients:
Step 1) Hook Attention with Your Website Design
Your website is the spine of your practice’s marketing plan. It’s #1 goal should be to convert visitors into appointments.
To do this, patients should be able to easily request their appointment right on your site, allowing your office to book faster and reduce time spent on the phone.
It also needs to cover some basic principles of web design:
- Mobile-friendly design
- One primary call-to-action (button)
- Easy-to-use menu
- Large enough fonts, but not everything large
- And there are more.
Step 2) Create a Massive Online Presence
An online presence is how easily you get found online.
Unfortunately, just starting a website doesn’t mean Google and other important search engines can instantly find and display your content. Thankfully, there a few tools you can use to reach 1000’s more people locally:
First, Google MyBusiness is a must-have for every local business. It creates a profile for your locations that enhance how you appear in Google maps & searches all without any SEO work.
Second, an Automated Listing Tool can help you get found across hundreds of websites from one easy dashboard! Watch a quick video on that here: Listing Builder Tool
Lastly, having an SEO plan is vital. It takes some time to build up but combined with these other tools can take your practice to the next level. It’s so important – we have several dedicated SEO Specialists constantly working to increase our clients’ Google rank and have regular consultations to analyze results and implement improvements.
Step 3) Develop Patient Super-Fans
The best patients catch your passion for PT and how much it helps! They complete their care plan, tell their story willingly, and avidly refer friends & family. But, patient super-fans don’t just happen.
Once a patient starts physical therapy marketing doesn’t end. During their care and after they finish, it is important to continue communicating with them. You want to continue to provide value, show your variety of expertise, and make sure they know it’s ok to come back for pain.
The best ways to retain and reactivate patients based on our 20 years of experience are:
- Direct-Mail Patient Newsletters
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Mobile Marketing (Home exercise apps are a hot new trend with great results – get one that allows you to also market blogs, request reviews, etc.)
Step 4) Track Your Results
Analytics allow you to see what’s working, what’s not, and most importantly what is worth investing more budget into. Make sure you have an easy place to track and evaluate appointments booked, ad results, demographic info, SEO rank, and other key data.
Practices that follow this plan consistently see their marketing not only pay for itself but bring in a huge ROI!
Best Practices for Attracting Doctors
While your site should primarily attract direct-access, you can leverage it for doctor referrals at the same time.
For doctors, mobile-friendly websites are critical as they often use a smartphone or tablet device when moving between appointments.
You should also include a list of your services with links to the corresponding pages, and a referral web form to allow offices to submit a referral request online. Lastly, include a list of insurances as patients are likely to ask.
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