An increasing number of chiropractors are turning to shady forms of marketing in order to turn a quick buck. These strategies include: writing fake positive reviews, slandering fellow chiropractors, attempting to cheat search engine results, making empty promises to patients, using annoying pop-up boxes on websites, and aggressively up-selling chiropractic services.
The root of this problem is simple: there are literally thousands of chiropractors out there who care more about making money than helping patients.
It's important to step back for a moment and point out that the vast majority of chiropractors are amazing people who work their butts off helping people live healthy lives.
My gripe is that these good doctors often bear the brunt of the "Dark Docs", who will do just about anything to oust their competitors.
Black Hat practitioners (to borrow an internet phrase) are often a combination of these three archetypes:
- A strong dose of seedy backlinks
- Fake Google reviews
- Low quality website content
- Sneaky search engine techniques
- A desire to cheat the system
These Dark Doctors focus on manipulating search engine results in order to rank #1 on websites like Google. This is valuable because it accounts for the majority of website traffic -- in fact, the website that ranks #1 for any given keyword will typically receive over 40% of all traffic for that keyword. The Manipulators are well aware of this statistic and will stop at nothing to dominate keywords in their area...even if it means paying for backlinks, writing shoddy website content, creating fake reviews, and harming the competition. They'll step on anyone and they're often willing to spend big chunks of money in their quest for dominance.
You can counter these baddies by producing high quality content, generating legitimate backlinks, and collecting real reviews from your patients. It takes some time and energy to beat a Manipulator, but the game is weighted in your favor thanks to regular search engine updates that penalize cheating. Just focus on producing good content and you'll be fine!
- An ability to copy and paste
- Prefers robots and automation
- Extremely lazy
- Wants to get rich quick
- Has no common sense
These little guys are more annoying than any other Dark Doc. Their modus operandi is to use automated spam services that repost low quality articles and sales pitches all over the internet, on social media, and through email. The most common strategy is to write up a "Free First Visit" message and then repeatedly post it on websites like Facebook and Twitter. These Spammers end up filling the internet with junk, irritating prospective patients, and harming the chiropractic profession's reputation as a whole. The Spammers make chiropractors look like used car salesmen.
The best way to counteract Spammers is by reaching out to your community, engaging people in meaningful ways, and spreading valuable information about chiropractic. We're big advocates of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter because allow you to meaningfully connect with literally thousands of people, just remember that it takes time to build up your network and community trust. We can help you create a successful social media strategy -- just call us!
- Desire to attack other doctors
- Disregard for ethics or honesty
- Hungry for cash
- Believes the ends justify the means
Cannibals are the worst because they actively steal patients, spread disinformation, and harm other doctors' reputations. These Docs are often relatively well informed and usually follow the advice of a "marketing guru" who teaches them how to cheat, lie, and steal. The really horrifying part is that these doctors are often relatively successful! Ultimately, most Cannibals end up biting their own foot and burning out (or losing a lawsuit), but they can wreak havoc in the meantime.
The only way to overthrow these tyrants is to beat them outright. You can't play nice with them -- which doesn't mean you need to sink to their level, it just means you'll need to work harder and smarter. There are three ways to consistently beat a Cannibal: 1. Learn more about honest marketing than them and produce better campaigns, 2. Hire someone to produce better campaigns for you, 3. Spend more money than them on advertising. My sincere condolences if you're up against a Cannibal. They can be beaten, but it's hard!
There you have it! If you're having trouble with one of these archetypes, we can help you gain the competitive edge without sacrificing your ethics. Give us a call and we can discuss honest ways to rank better on search engines, run social media media campaigns, and attract new patients!