There are many fads that have come by in the past five years related to internet marketing. As a chiropractor, how do you focus on the right internet marketing activities to best utilize your marketing resources? For your convenience I compiled a list of the top 10 best practices in internet marketing for chiropractors.
1. Beware of “Bad SEO”.
Around ten years ago there was an explosion in the growth of all things SEO: SEO Books, SEO Consultants, SEO software, etc. If you hired a consultant you might not know what they did to your website. There’s a chance that they could have done some changes that helped in the short term but have since been targeted by Google as “Bad SEO” practices. If your website is affected you might have seen a decline in traffic and patients over time. About.com compiled a list of Top 10 ways to get banned by Google so you know what to ask your SEO guy.
2. Leverage more than one social media platform.
So you are on Facebook, that’s great! But you need to have a Facebook business page for your practice. Not only that, but in order to maximize your reach and leverage content to bring in patients you should be publishing content to multiple social media channels including YouTube, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. Luckily there are innovative marketing software platforms available (like HubSpot, and HootSuite, and TweetDeck) that help you manage the social aspect of your business by auto-publishing to multiple feeds at once, monitoring social channels, and measuring results.
3. Update your website at least once every five years.
I have been noticing many websites are outdated if they haven’t been created or updated in the last five years or more. The reason is that there have been many advances in technology (like HTML 5 just a few years ago) that allow new user friendly and SEO friendly features. Things like mobile responsive pages, secure forms, and SEO optimized content are all required in today’s internet marketing game.
4. Blog. Blog. Blog.
Many chiropractors do not blog or think blogging is not for them. The reality is that blogging is the #1 way to improve your organic ranking in internet marketing! Beware of chiropractic marketing agencies that sell you a blog that is the same content that other chiropractors are using. Having unique content is critical to be ranked by search engines. This brings me to the next internet marketing best practice below…
5. Publish unique content.
I’m not talking about unique colors or design! There are two areas of uniqueness you should strive for; text and images. First of all, text that is copied from other chiropractic websites or written by chiropractic marketing agencies is often seen as duplicate by search engines. You should write unique, entertaining, and informative content in your blog and website pages. Don’t worry, if you are not a writer you can hire a writer for relatively low cost and have them transcribe your thoughts. Also, don’t exclude video. Not everyone is a writer, so a video blog can be just as effective if not more! Secondly, unique images add VALUE to your website. Lose the stock images and have a professional photographer visit your office for an hour to take some great photos. Actual photos go a long way to lend credibility to your practice.
6. Leverage off-the shelf technology.
Don’t reinvent the wheel just to save a few dollars! We know your cousin or other family member might like web development but the reality is that today’s off the shelf website creation (Content Management Systems) like WordPress are very easy to use even for non-technical people and are already optimized for mobile responsiveness and SEO optimization. There are also many off the shelf email tools like Constant Contact and Mail Chimp.
7. Include email in your marketing communication plan.
When it comes to email communications the newsletters are great, but what’s better is sending personalized emails based off of patient or potential patient interaction. For example, you can send an email to a patient on their birthday, or send them a reminder that they haven’t visited in 30 days (or whatever time frame you choose). Remember to always get permission to send email to someone and don’t spam purchased mail lists.
8. Shift from “outbound” to “inbound marketing”.
Inbound marketing is marketing activities that attract visitors (potential patients) to your website using interesting and unique content. Examples of inbound marketing are YouTube, blogging, and social media. This differs from outbound marketing that requires paying for people’s attention in order to force them to see your message/advertisement. Examples of outbound marketing are magazine ads, commercials, and billboards.
9. Hire an inbound marketing expert.
Sometimes you just don’t have to time to tackle all of this new technology and inbound marketing/social media. In this case, don’t just sit there! Hire a consultant to get you started. Good inbound marketing consultants will help you learn inbound marketing so you can take over some of the responsibility yourself as time passes. If you can’t afford an inbound marketing consultant, then you might consider re-allocating money you are spending on traditional outbound channels to invest in inbound.
10. Beware of traditional advertising channels.
Traditional advertising agencies and internet marketing channels are seeing the change in inbound coming like a tidal wave. As a result, many are switching up their tactics to try to retain your business and their revenue. Traditional advertising channels like Yellow Pages have branched into internet marketing to attempt to survive. However, these companies at their heart are outbound marketing focused. After all, who searches in the Yellow Pages any more, or even yellowpages.com for that matter? Just remember to always measure the results (# New Patients or Revisits) you get from whatever media channel you use. If it can’t be measured you have to be suspect.
In conclusion, as a chiropractor internet marketing is critical if you are going to maximize your time and money while staying focused on your business. Hopefully this list has helped you focus your marketing time and money and make some changes to spend less advertising money and get more patients!
If you want to implement some of these then a good place to start is with your website, which is a hub of all internet marketing for your practice. Download my FREE eBook (Top 25 Chiropractic Website Must Haves) below to learn more about how to make sure your website is optimized.
What other chiropractic internet marketing practices work for you? Let me know if you agree or disagree with this list. Please feel free to share your comments below.