:dropcap_open:T:dropcap_close:hese days it seems like every business wants to be #1 on Google! Being at the top of Google, along with other search engines like Bing or Yahoo is definitely an important part of competing with other businesses and directing people to your website and ultimately your practice; however, there are more and more creative ways of doing this outside of just focusing on your ranking for “chiropractor in your city” or a basic phrase like that.
SEO (search engine optimization) used to be the “golden ticket” for getting more traffic to your website. Placing high in search engines was the most popular way to drive more business online. This is still an important part of web marketing, but smart business owners are starting to expand into other aspects of the web and are finding that they can generate higher numbers of patients when they spread their marketing among several types of sites, not just focusing on that Google ranking! There are additional ways to build an online audience that should not be overlooked. You will gain even more new patients by being seen on a variety of websites.
People are spending a large majority of their time online on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You may be surprised how many people are looking to these sources for health information. They trust people they know, and therefore look to their friends or colleagues to make recommendations when seeking a practitioner. Any time a patient comments about you through social networking, it’s like a silent recommendation for your services to everyone your patient is connected to. This is the best way to get referrals without putting pressure on your patients!
Find More New Patients (and Help Them Find You!) on Facebook
Facebook has quickly become one of the fastest growing online marketing tools for businesses. There are over 750 million active users on facebook. On average, each user connects to 130 friends. Facebook is a great resource for keeping up your small business brand. It’s important to stay in character and to stay in business mode while spreading information about your practice.
Even on facebook, it is important to make sure to continue to brand your business. Send a clear message with every status update, photo upload, and conversation piece about your practice. For example, a client of ChiroMatrix happens to be in the field of treating auto injury patients, and a lot of patients are living with chronic pain resulting from auto injuries. This doctor should seek to join conversations around these topics, spreading their overall brand message by suggesting information from their website and blog to join conversations on chiropractic care for pain management.
Spend time seeking out relevant conversations that are already happening. Look for conversations relating to chiropractic care and symptoms you treat by doing searches with keywords. For example, for our auto injury doctor mentioned above we searched keywords ‘auto injury,’ ‘pain management,’ (and more) to listen to and join conversations that people are already having about these conditions.
Be consistent! Facebook, as with any other social media platform, is all about consistency. So you only have an hour a week to spend on Facebook? Spread that hour out throughout the entire week. Just 10 minutes every day will help more than one hour in one day. You have to be available to your Facebook fans and you have to be able to monitor your brand. If someone leaves a comment or asks a question, you need to be able to answer those or respond. Even 10 minutes, at the end of your day, every day, will make a small but crucial difference over time.
Tweet Your Way to More New Patients
As a business, you can use Twitter to quickly share information, gather market intelligence and insights, and build relationships with existing and potential patients who care about your industry and practice. When using Twitter to promote your practice, it’s important to use twitter strategically so that you’re not wasting your time.
If you’re following a lot of people, it can be hard to keep track of who’s who and to make sure you see updates from the people that count. Organizing people into lists (both public and private) can help you keep tabs on what’s important to you. Examples of strategically useful lists could be: clients, prospects, people you’ve met in real life at networking events, bloggers you want to connect with, etc. This will make it easier for you to manage and develop your relationships with these people.
On Twitter, anyone can read, write and share brief messages limited to 140 characters. These messages, or “tweets,” are public and available to anyone interested in them. Twitter users subscribe to your messages by following your account. Followers receive every one of your messages in their timeline, a feed of all the accounts they have subscribed to.
When you combine messages that are quick to write, easy to read, public, opt-in, and accessible anywhere, you have a powerful, real-time way of communicating with potential and existing clients. Twitter will help you build relationships, promote your office events and services, and educate your patients. Often, there is already a conversation about your industry happening on Twitter.
Promote Your Practice with YouTube Videos
Using YouTube to promote your practice is a great way to make a personal connection with potential new patients. YouTube isn’t just a video sharing site; it’s a social networking site as well. You can create a “channel” on YouTube to broadcast a profile of your practice, show patients delivering testimonials or promote a special rate or service you offer. Whether you run a large or small practice, you can use YouTube to promote your service. Any business can upload videos on YouTube for others to view. The trick is determining the right kind of video to upload, and then finding a way to profit from YouTube viewership.
A lot of doctors make the mistake of just uploading their videos without proper optimization. To ensure that your video is found through search engines, or searches on YouTube, you will want to create keyword rich titles and descriptions of your video that can link directly to your website.
Office introduction videos are also becoming very popular to give your site a more welcoming and personal feel. If you do not want to create a video on your own, many web marketing companies offer an on-site video service that can work with you from concept to completion. Once the video is created they will set up processes to promote the video by uploading it to your website, YouTube, review sites and directory sites. The websites that show and house your video will have a direct link to your website where interested viewers can learn more about you and your practice.
Generate More Positive Reviews
Consumer reviews are accessible to a huge number of readers online, and thus this electronic word of mouth can have a profound effect on your practice. The key to managing your reputation through review sites is to proactively take control of what is being written about you. Ask your patients to review your practice and leave positive comments. By creating an online environment that makes it simple for your patients to review your service, you can increase the number of positive reviews. When one of your patients has expressed to you their appreciation for your service, you can direct them to a page on your website that makes it easy for them to link to popular review sites and write a positive review.
A website that combines cutting edge technology with chiropractic and wellness resources is a very smart investment. If you follow the tips in this article, you will find that people will be able to find you from many different pathways on the web. Now is the time to take advantage of all the avenues available online to market your practice today and well into the future.
Chris Plueger is Director of Sales for ChiroMatrix.
ChiroMatrix is a full-service Web Marketing company specializing in online strategies for Chiropractors. Service includes: Website design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Networking, Optimized Press Releases, Directory Listings and morel. For more information visit www.ChiroMatrix.com or call 1-800-462-8749.