7 Ways To Get More Patients Online

June 30, 2011

There are two chiropractic marketing questions that get answered more than all of the others combined - "how do I improve my search engine rank?" and "how to I turn website visitors into patients?"

These are naturally two of the hardest questions to answer because they involve lots of different answers, many of which are simultaneously true. Here are 7 effective strategies for driving more traffic to your website and converting more of those visitors into patients.

1. Create a Welcome Video

Research has shown that video can increase conversion rates (visitors who become patients) by more than 20%, especially if the videos are well produced and offer valuable information. This doesn't necessarily mean the best videos include flashing graphics or high production values, but rather the best videos succeed at resonating with their audience by conveying honest, beneficial information in a clear and concise way. They're especially successful when they feel human and genuine.

My advice: find a local video/film student and offer them a few hundred bucks to produce a series of short (under 60 second) videos for your website. Each video should focus on providing a brief overview of the content on that page and establishing a connection with the viewer. Avoid any flashy techniques, scrolling banners, or music and stick to conveying an honest message. Just make sure you're well lit, the video quality is decent, and the sound is high quality. Common mistakes include: poor lighting, bad sound, advertising language, and overly scripted acting. Send me an email if you want more video pointers.

2. Clean Up Your Website

When someone visits your website you only have a few second to grab their attention and keep them from leaving. Poorly designed and cluttered websites are the number one culprit when doctors aren't getting patients from the internet. Well designed websites should convey information clearly and in as few words as possible -- less is always more. Effective design should focus on telling patients that you're: intelligent and qualified, able to fix their problem, and friendly. If you fail to convey any of these three requirements, your conversion rates will plummet.

My advice: keep your homepage sparse and clear, write your bio in a friendly and professional tone, include at least one memorable photo of you in your bio (skydiving!), include a photo of your staff and, ideally, staff bios, and succinctly tell your visitors what makes you different from every other chiropractor in town. Avoid putting lots of gizmos on your website or links to other sites...why would you intentionally send qualified patients to someone else's website?

3. Claim Your Google Places

Recent changes to Google's algorithm have made claiming your Google Places listing more important than ever. One of the easiest ways to improve your search engine rank is to claim your Places listing. This only takes a few minutes but it can have a huge impact on your visibility, especially if you do a good job of optimizing the content on your listing.

My advice: upload pictures and a welcome video to your listing, tell people exactly what makes your clinic better than anyone else's, and outline the conditions you treat. Avoid using technical language, listing certifications, or talking about obscure technologies (e.g. cold laser). Remember that you're talking to regular Joe and Jane and that they care more about who is treating them than what tool they're using.

4. Interact On Facebook

If you run an extremely busy clinic and have to schedule your day in 5 minute intervals, you probably don't need to use Facebook. But it's a great tool for everyone else, especially those of us who can stop for 10 minutes at a time to invest in the future of our business. Social media tools like Facebook don't need to be time-sucks, it's all about consistency and you can achieve remarkable results by taking 5-10 minutes at a time to check in, interact with people in your community, and provide some general health related information. You should also take time to congratulate people when their children are born, say happy birthday/anniversary/Christmas, and remind them chiropractic is an effective treatment of *insert condition here* when they're complaining about pain. This kind of small-scale, long-term investment pays off.

My advice: commit to spending 15-30 minutes per day on Facebook in small chunks, focus on engaging people rather than advertising at them, and remember that Content is King in the social media sphere -- so produce good content!

5. Upload Staff Bios

Website visitors respond extremely well to personal that tell stories and include pictures of real people. People are inundated by impersonal websites with no real, human connection and they place a premium on sites that feel genuine and real. Adding staff bios and pictures to your website is a nice way to further humanize your website and to make you more memorable.  Staff bios are especially important for receptionists because people are more likely to call your clinic if they know who they'll be talking to, this is an easy way to overcome people's fear of the unknown and irrational resistance to calling.

My advice: have a decent photographer come in and take good quality photos of the staff. A good photo should be well lit, personal, and should convey each person's individual personality. Bonus points for playfulness, genuine laughter, and colors that generally match your website design. You should have the photographer take a picture of each individual employee and then a group shot of everyone in the office.

6. Improve Your Search Rank

Your search engine rank determines how much traffic your site will receive and is the single most important aspect of online marketing, at least for chiropractors. Ranking #1 for a search term means you'll receive over 40% of traffic for that search. It's good to be the king.

My advice: read my articles on search engine optimization or hire me.

7. Engage Website Visitors

Static websites don't generate revenue. To succeed online, you need to interact with and engage your prospective clients, which is easier than ever thanks to tools like YouTube, Facebook, and blogs.  These resources are easy to implement and very inexpensive (or free), but they can yield amazing results if you leverage them correctly. Using these tools effectively requires two things: an understanding that high-quality content rules the internet, and an ability to distinguish between high-quality content and all the junk. Bonus points go to the folks who can also produce that high-quality content.

There you have it, seven easy ways to dramatically increase the number of patients you get from the internet! Follow these seven strategies and you'll have everything you need to successfully attract and convert patients from the internet. Common mistakes: obsessing over one piece of the puzzle and neglecting other important pieces, losing patience and quitting before achieving results, and trying to automate too much of the process. You'll need to remember that every piece is important, success requires patience, and automated processes usually produce sub-par results (at least in this industry).

If you're need more out of your chiropractic marketing strategy, check out our VIP Chiropractic Marketing Service.