Tips to stand-out online and support your thriving practice
Read Time: 6-7 mins
We’re researching, shopping and buying more things online than ever before. When we want something, we simply go to Google – whether clothes, restaurants or a health care practitioner. Today, even your word-of-mouth referrals will visit your website to “check you out” before booking an appointment. Therefore, an effective chiropractic website is key to building a thriving practice.
But what is an “effective” website?
It’s a website that …
- Is findable online when a prospective new patient in your jurisdiction searches for a phrase like “pediatric chiropractor”
- converts a high percentage of visitors into new patients.
How to Be Findable Online
Simply having a website used to be all it took to get new patients from the Internet. But now that nearly every chiropractor has a website, that’s just the first step.
The growing importance of the Internet coupled with increased competition, has resulted in an entire industry of SEO consultants promising to get your chiropractic website onto page one of Google search results.
Google and other search engines are much better these days at spotting attempts to fool the system. Many chiropractors are finding that their websites are actually being penalized because of the black hat tactics these SEO consultants used years ago.
The requirements for ranking highly are well known now and fall into two categories:
- On-page components: the content that visitors interact with on your site and the underlying code that search engines see
- Off-page components: the way other websites on the Internet perceive your importance
On-Page Authority – AKA Things You Can Control
The headlines, text, photos, captions, and navigational structure are all ways that visitors engage with your chiropractic website. Setting these up correctly so that visitors to your website can easily find what they’re looking for is essential.
Beyond the content and navigational structure of your website, over 50% of all online searches are performed on mobile devices. The mobile experience is critical and if your website isn’t mobile-optimized, Google is unlikely to even display it in mobile searches (especially if it takes too long to load on mobile devices).
This brings to light an important factor in your website’s search engine ranking: can Google trust you with the traffic they send your way?
Ask yourself these questions to know for sure:
- Are visitors likely to find what they’re looking for?
- Will they linger a while?
- Will they visit other pages?
- Will they have a good experience?
In other words, can Google risk their reputation on yours?
Another factor affecting your ranking is how many other websites acknowledge your value by linking to your website. If only a few sites link to yours, Google may be reluctant to rank your website higher. Here are some potential sources for links to boost your off-page authority:
- Your local Chamber of Commerce
- Chiropractic or healthcare provider directories
- Acupuncturists and massage therapists
- Local fitness centers or health food stores
- Charities or other local organizations
- Local or national chiropractic associations
- Technique directories Local radiographic consultants
- Midwives and other birthing specialists
Keep in mind that links from overseas or non-health care websites are going to be seen as less valuable by Google, as are reciprocal links (in which you link to them and they to you).
Another factor in your off-page authority is online reviews. This form of social proof is being increasingly trusted when consumers are choosing coffee shops, vacation spots, and yes, even doctors. And there is growing evidence that Google’s algorithm favors businesses with the best (and most) reviews.
High Rankings Are Not the Be-All End-All
These and other on- and off-page elements are just scratching the surface of chiropractic marketing. High ranking for the keywords prospective new patients use to find a chiropractor is helpful, but it’s not the entire picture. Perfect Patients actually overlooked this for years.
We got our wakeup call several years ago when one of our seemingly happy clients discontinued our service. But they were on page one, position one, for the top performing new patient keywords. In other words, we had gotten them to the Promised Land. But they still left our service.
“Why?” we asked.
“We haven’t gotten any new patients,” they replied.
That’s when we learned that there’s more to getting new patients than high search engine ranking.
We had, like many others, fallen for the incorrect belief that higher ranking on Google search results automatically means more new patients.
High ranking is not the ultimate goal. It’s merely the admission ticket into the ring. Whether a website visitor becomes a new patient is about how well you reduce the fear of the unknown to the parents researching your practice. It’s about whether or not your chiropractic website communicates trust to the families considering putting their children under your care. How you inspire hope.
This is the art and science of conversion.
The Top 3 Chiropractic Website Conversion Elements
Perfect Patients has studied the new patient journey on thousands of chiropractic websites around the world. There are three important factors that influence a new patient’s buying decision:
#1 – Modern Website Design
We know it’s not fair to judge a book by its cover, but we all do it anyways. And it’s not fair to judge your clinical skills by the look and feel of your website, but new patients do.
Because the Internet is evolving so quickly, many believe that a website’s design shows its age in as quickly as three years. If it’s been that long or longer since your last chiropractic website redesign, then it may be negatively affecting the number of new patients you’re getting from your website.
#2 – Professional Photography
The most effective (i.e. highest converting) websites feature professional photography of the chiropractor and facility. Stock photography may be more convenient but the smiling faces of “patients” with perfect teeth and posed expressions aren’t convincing.
Make sure you show actual photos of happy children and families in your office (after getting signed model releases) and avoid empty rooms that do little to inspire new patients.
#3 – Authenticity
It’s tempting to “go beige” by showing up neutral online in the hopes of appealing to as many prospective patients as possible. This actually works against you, though. Instead, show up as you genuinely are in person to stand out to prospective patients on the Internet. Posing and posturing make it difficult for prospective new patients to answer the one question they always have when they arrive at your website: “Is this the chiropractor for me and my family?”
Establishing trust, inspiring hope and prompting a new patient to choose you are much harder when you’re acting. It’s much easier to show up as yourself and stand out amongst the online competition.
A high converting chiropractic website is a prerequisite to building a successful practice with a constant flow of new patients. It’s the hub of all your marketing efforts, whether they involve traditional advertising, social media or community involvement. By implementing these practices to create an effective website, then you will be well on your way to not only ranking high on Google but also converting website visitors into patients.
Mr. William Esteb is the co-founder of Perfect Patients and has been a trusted chiropractic advocate since 1981. His legendary communication skills, creative problem solving and dry sense of humor bring digital marketing to life. Sign up for a free website evaluation from the Perfect Patients team of digital marketing experts here. Sign up for a free website evaluation from the Perfect Patients team of digital marketing experts here.