How Do Patients Choose Their Chiropractor?

October 10, 2011

When you've provided internet and marketing services to over 2000 chiropractors, the trends become obvious. This is especially true when it comes to online marketing because the analytic data is so readily accessible, making it easy to see what works and what fails. After looking back at this treasure trove of data, some of our discoveries were obvious and others were surprising.

Discovery: AdWords Works
Search engine advertising is imperative if you want to consistently attract qualified patients to your website. This is especially important if you have a new website that doesn't yet rank well in organic search results, but I recommend search advertising to everyone. Just make sure you're targeting the correct keywords and geographic area, otherwise you can end up wasting a lot of time and money. You should also take advantage of $100-200 trial certificates whenever you can find them -- we usually have a few laying around, so just ask.

Discovery: Good Search Rank = More Patients
If you rank in the top three positions on Google  you're going to get steady traffic to your website.  Whether or not those visitors convert into actual patients depends entirely on the quality of your website. That said, even the best website in the world won't convert patients if you don't get any visitors. The benefit to investing in your search engine rank is that you'll usually maintain that rank for several months (or even years) without having to reinvest again. If you do a fantastic job initially, you can maintain the #1 position on search engines with a minimal amount of maintenance. Either learn about search engine optimization or bring in an expert to help.

Discovery: Most Social Media Campaigns Fail
This is a polarized issue because social media campaigns either fail miserably or they kick ass. The success of failure of these campaigns depends on a few key factors: quality of content, consistency, and offline integration. Most chiropractic clinics neglect these requirements and fail to achieve the critical mass necessary  to sustain a social media campaign. Clinics with the innovation and perseverance to leverage social media reap the rewards of steady traffic, better retention rates, and higher quality patients. I recommend having a youthful staff member trained in social media outreach or working with a qualified marketing firm.

Discovery: Obscure Search Terms are Important
After reviewing chiropractic traffic sources across nearly 500 websites, we were surprised at how much traffic came from relatively obscure search terms like "natural sciatica treatment in ______" or "non-surgical whiplash treatment". These "long-tail" keywords don't attract a ton of traffic on their own, but collectively they can be extremely powerful. Search terms like these usually aren't very competitive and can be snatched up by writing only a handful of blog articles. They also tend to attract higher quality patients than the more generic search terms.

These are just a few of our insights and we hope you found them interesting. We'll continue to post new discoveries and information as we study more information, so check back regularly for new advice!