Market Your Chiropractic Website
BY: MIKE HAMILTON
INCEPTION CHIROPRACTIC WEBSITES, OWNER
Ok so you have a website, and you know what keywords you need to rank for, but how do you market your chiropractic website. In other words how do you get your new website to produce new patients for you? How are you going to get people to find your great new site? Let’s walk through the important steps.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of helping your website to be noticed by Google. You see, your website is in competition with all the other chiropractic websites around you. Google has to decide who they think the best choice is to show the people that use their search engine service. They want to make sure that the people using their service are happy with the top results that they click on.
Over the years, Google has become very good at looking for quality. Today there are hundreds of factors that are used to decide the quality of a website, and it has become a full-time job understanding what they want to see. There is no blueprint, and there never will be one. The day that someone like myself can completely game the system is the day that Google will no longer be in business. With that said, there are a number of things that I can tell you about what they are probably looking for from the results we see with our clients.
On-page optimization - or SEO - deals with all the optimization factors that are contained within your website itself. Today I would say that this area of optimization is probably the most important. If you get this wrong, everything else is a waste of time. I’ll walk you through the most important on-page factors.
The Meta Data
Do a Google search for anything and you will get a list of results. This list of results has a bunch of blue titles that you can click on followed by a couple of lines of text. You’re looking at part of what is called the meta data. Meta data is composed of title tags, meta descriptions, and meta keywords. In the world of optimization, meta data is critical. It’s probably the first thing Google looks at when then are considering your chiropractic website for any given search.
The majority of chiropractic websites fail at this first step. They either don’t have any meta data or the meta data being used does not match up with the proper keywords. The title tags of your website are the most important ranking factor. Mess them up and everything else you do for optimization can fail.
After looking at the meta data Google will probably look at header tags. Header tags are incorporated into your page content and they should be matched up with your meta titles and descriptions. A properly designed website should also have at least one H1 header tag, and usually one or two H2 tags. The content of those pages must also match up with what the header tags are talking about.
We have already covered the topic of finding keywords, but those keywords are used in these areas of the website. Your important keywords need to be a part of your meta data, your header tags, and the content of your page. Be careful not to keyword stuff. You need to use the words naturally in the text of the page and in many random variations.
In recent years Google has also added structured data. Structured data allows Google bots to find important information quickly. Things like your office location, the author of the website, and patient reviews are something that you can put inside of a structured data markup. The majority of websites today do not have this working for them, and it can give you a great advantage in the search engines.
Now that we’ve covered on page optimization we need to talk about external optimization of your chiropractic site. External optimization is composed of building links on other websites that point back to your website. The links show Google that you have a popular website, but as with everything there are some important guidelines to follow.
For years SEO’s were able to build links with automated programs. Google was not sophisticated enough to catch them, and you could get a top rank pretty easily with a small amount of knowledge. Today Google has caught up, and they have changed the game. It’s no longer about how many links you have, it’s about how good the links are that you have. Quality is much more important than quantity.
Instead of thinking about how you can beat the system by building links, spend some time thinking about how you can produce videos or written content that people actually want. Why did I spend the time to write this huge article? I knew that this was valuable information for you, and that it would probably lead to more business for me. You have to be willing to give something of value before you can expect to get something of value.
The best links that you can build today are:
- Links from High Quality Articles You Wrote
- Links from Videos of You or Testimonials
- Links from Blog Posts
- Links from Guest Blogging
- Links from Citations
Once you build a link it’s a great idea to build more links to your links. As an example you could write a great blog post for your website blog. Then you could make a YouTube video about it and link the video to your blog post in the description box. You could even take it a step further and make a Pinterest pin for the video you created. That would create three levels to your link structure. Now you just have to find the time to do all of that.
Watch Out For SEO Companies
The worst thing I have to do in my business is tell a chiropractor that he or she needs to start their website over from scratch. About once a month I encounter a doctor that wants help from us, but there’s nothing I can do. They had an SEO company do work for them that destroyed their credibility with Google. In many cases there is not a good solution to fix this, and they have to abandon their website URL. Starting a new URL means you will be waiting for months to hopefully get back to the first page of a Google search. Be very careful who you choose to do SEO work for you.
CLICK HERE to read a good blog post about SEO and what to watch out for.
Paid Advertising for Chiropractic Marketing
Have you noticed when you do a Google search that the top few listings have an Ad mark next to them? The results you see there are Google Adwords ads. The offices in those positions have paid Google to achieve a top rank. Does that type of advertising really work? In some cities it can be very profitable to do and in other cities in can be a total flop.
There are a number of different forms of paid advertising including:
• Google AdWords
• Facebook Paid Ads
• YouTube Promoted Ads
• Google Re-Marketing Ads
Each of these paid opportunities can work, but you must do your homework. Using general settings will waste a lot of your money. At Inception we help our clients fine-tune their campaigns to save money and target qualified customers.
Chiropractic Video Marketing
Very few doctors take advantage of the power of chiropractic video marketing. Patients that come to your chiropractic website are generally not going to take time to read the content on your pages. They will however take the time to watch videos that you have there. Video is a way for you to tell people your message, and show them who you are at the same time.
All you need to start making videos for your practice is a $75 web cam, and a few ideas of what to talk about. You can very easily create great videos every week in your office, and then use the power of YouTube to promote them.
Chiropractic Reputation Marketing
I believe that chiropractic reputation marketing is going to be something that every chiropractor will understand over the next few years. Your reputation can be destroyed very quickly by a few unhappy patients that decide to vent their frustrations. Imagine what would happen to your office if every time someone searched for your business they saw a one star listing and a bad review right next to your website? Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for the doctors that currently have this problem it can cost you your office.
One or two bad reviews on a website like Yelp can be very destructive to the future of your business, and good luck fixing it once it happens. Trying to pull down a bad Yelp review is nearly impossible. You must be proactive before the damage hits. Encouraging your current patients to write good reviews for you online is a must. If you can build a solid reputation online you can shake off the inevitable bad reviews that will come.
Google Plus Local
Are you confused by Google Maps, Google Places, and Google Plus Local? If you are, you’re not alone. The bad thing is that the rank of your website is very much based on your understanding of each of these entities. Your listing must be filled out completely, and your accounts must be confirmed. Any local website that has reasonable competition will struggle without a neat and clean Google presence. Our team at Inception can handle this work for you, but if you decide to go it alone make sure you do your homework.
Tracking the Health of Your Website
Google has done a great job helping web masters keep an eye on their websites. Tools such as Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics can help to show you how much traffic you are getting as well as any problems your site might be having. Learning how to use all the functions that Google has to offer is about as difficult as getting through chiropractic school, but the information is there if you have the time to learn it.
There are people that would tell you that you should never connect your website to a Google property. They say this because they think you can hide things from Google by keeping your website on the outside. The reality is that Google can see everything in your website anyway. If you don’t connect your website, and Google does have a problem with your chiropractic site, they don’t have any way to tell you. You could be getting penalized by them without them having any way to tell you it’s happening.
Our team at Inception Chiropractic Websites is happy to help you with any questions that you might have. Online marketing is a great way to find new patients, but there’s a lot to it. Simply throwing up an average website will not get the job done. Work with an expert and you’ll see the best results.