For some reason, chiropractors seem to be bombarded with snake oil selling "marketing experts" who claim to know a mysterious secret that will boost your website to the top of Google rankings. If you're not running for the hills, you should be. These internet outlaws prey on folks who are relatively new to the web. They make promises of first page Google ranks, huge website traffic, hordes of new patients, and just about anything else you may want.
The truth is, there aren't any marketing shortcuts or SEO secrets. The only way to make it to the top of Google (without eventually getting banned) is to create high quality material, optimize your keywords, and create inbound links- all of which you're capable of doing on your own and for free!
These are some common scams to beware of:
"You can cheat Google by joining our website. We'll create fake reviews for your practice and cheat on Google Maps. This will put you on the top of Google overnight!"
Frankly, this is terrible advice. Because 1- it doesn't work and 2- when Google finds out you're cheating, they will stick you on the bottom of results or ban you permanently.
"We'll optimize your website keywords by inserting keyword rich content."
This is usually a nice way of saying, we'll cram your website with hidden keywords and temporarily boost your website's search rankings- at least long enough to make off with your hard earned cash. Of course, they're long gone by the time you start getting de-ranked or banned by Google.
"We'll automate your patient newsletters and bring in new patients by targeting people in your community."
Always be careful with newsletter services. You need to be 100% certain the newsletter service is legitimate, legal, and conforms to the CAN SPAM laws. If the newsletter service sends emails to people without their explicit permission, you can be held liable for violating the law. Additionally, I've spoken to several DC's who have paid $75-$150 per month for automated newsletter services, only to discover that newsletters were never being sent. Take time to verify that newsletters are being sent and are high quality!
"We can set-up an optimized Facebook profile for you with 500 friends for only $250."
First off, Facebook profiles are free and incredibly easy to set-up. Second, the 500 friends you receive will be largely fake accounts, which provide no real benefit. Third, these scam artists often charge a monthly fee to maintain the profile. Getting a professional to maintain and contribute to your profile isn't a bad idea, but you can't do it on the cheap without getting ripped-off. A qualified Facebook specialist will typically run $200-$300/month, this kind of person creates content specially for your Facebook profile and targets only potential patients- so don't expect to see explosive results and overnight sales increases.
Here's my advice: if you run across a service and aren't 100% sure if they're legitimate, give us a call or send us an email and we'll try to help you out. We're full of chiropractic marketing ideas and provide professionally written articles, search engine optimization advice, how-to videos, and social media tools for free. You might as well take advantage of them!