Posted January 24, 2012 by Dave Lauretti.
I can’t give you everything, but I can give you some physical therapy marketing secrets – especially if you ask me. For years I’ve been helping different businesses throughout Canada and the U.S.A. get their websites ranked in the search engines, and their content found on the vast array of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to name a few.
And that’s what I’m going to do today. I’m going to give you some tidbits on how to market your practice. Of course you’re going to have to continue your research, try and test on your own but at least you’ll have a foundation to go by – a marketing foundation that’s not hard to go by nor implement and will definitely help your physical therapy practice take off.
Physical therapists provide a valuable service in local communities. They treat a range of painful conditions, and are instrumental in restoring mobility after patients have been involved in accidents. It is often the case, however, that the important services which they provide go unnoticed due to a lack of effective marketing.
It is imperative that a physical therapist has a properly planned marketing campaign for their practice. To be most effective such a campaign will have many individual facets. For example, it has traditionally been the case that the majority of physical therapists’ referrals come from doctors in their local area. For this reason it is important to foster good working relationships with local healthcare professionals.
However, physical therapists should not be dependent upon this as a source of income or new patients. They should also be seeking to raise their practice’s profile in the local community by networking with a wide variety of different professionals. while handing out business cards can be a useful way of attaining referrals it is typically much more effective to employ targeted marketing techniques with specific groups. For example, a physical therapist could enter into agreements with local sports clubs for any injured players to be referred to them.
A physical therapist can entice new patients with a range of special offers, but this is only effective if their customer is retained. A practice must be able to make patients feel welcomed and properly looked after. Relationships should be cultivated between therapists and patients to ensure that the latter make use of the practice again.
It can be a very useful marketing strategy to have patients fill out questionnaires to gauge the standard of service being offered. This can also be a good way to discover patients’ ideas for any improvements that they would like to see being made. Questionnaires also give you the opportunity to make changes to your company assets like your website or email marketing campaigns. Either way, patient feedback – whether positive or negative – can be used to make your services much better and more inclined towards fulfilling your patients’ needs.
Patients must be made to feel valued. Not only will this ensure that they keep coming back and spending money whenever they require therapeutic treatments, but it also increases the likelihood of them sending new referrals to your practice. Positive word of mouth recommendations are among the most powerful of all marketing methods and very few people know or harness this method. People who receive a recommendation for a particular practice from a friend or family member will be very likely to become newly referred and long term patients.
It is vitally important from a marketing perspective that you’re practice has it’s own website – for so many reasons. I’ll list a few of them below. You can take these tidbits with you and can rest assured that you’ll see a difference within a matter of weeks – especially if your site already has a regular user base. Here are some of the elements your website should have:
With respect to testimonials, a collection of positive experiences from previous patients will build confidence and trust in your practice. There’s nothing more true than this. When you’re searching for products or services on the Internet, do you not enjoy reading testimonials and reviews by previous buyers? I do and doing so allows me to make a much more informed decision as to whether I’d like to purchase a product or service.
But what about leaving a testimonial? I cannot count how many times I’ve looked through websites to find a place to leave a comment or review but was unable to do so. Those particular websites not only lost my business but they also lost what could have been a great review. Make sure your visitors can find reviews but most importantly leave them too!
The terms and conditions of a website is also very important element of a successful website. Why? Well think about it from this perspective; if you don’t list your terms and conditions on your website, you may be turning away thousands of potential customers. Why? Well personally I don’t like doing business with a website of which I know not what will take place if something goes wrong with the product or service I purchased. As an informed consumer I need to know exactly what I’m getting into and what to expect if something goes awry.
The contact form is another very important element on a website for obvious reasons. All I really have to ask you is would you purchase a product or service from a website in which you can’t contact the owner? What about refunds? Who do you call? It’s clear, a contact form is essential to your online success and in building your conversion rates.
The Call to Action is one of the oldest Internet Marketing strategies to take advantage of. I cannot tell you how many websites I have visited where I know not at all what to do when I get there. What is a call-to-action? Well click the link in the last sentence and it will give you a clear idea of what a call-to-action is – and remember, that link is now a ‘call-to-action’ too.
Well, there’s quite a bit to take home but don’t worry. I’ll be back in the next few weeks with more detailed information as to how to market your physical therapy practice effectively. The Internet has millions of users and there’s no reason a physical therapist shouldn’t harness the Internet to attract these users and turn them into gold.