Physical therapy as a profession is expected to expand by 21% over the next ten years. Are you confident that your location and services stand out from the competition? With the growth in this field projected to be dramatically faster than in other occupations, you may be wondering how physical therapists can increase website traffic and create a more robust online presence. You can’t implement all of these recommendations overnight, so it’s time to start thinking about how you can boost your SEO and digital marketing know-how and start driving new traffic to your site!
These eight recommendations are geared towards a focused approach to digital marketing that combines active and passive methods. Whether you decide to implement these ideas on your own or with a business partner, you can be confident that focusing on simple marketing tactics will help your business grow.
1. Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Before you can start optimizing your Google Business profile, you’ll need to claim your free listing. This allows you to post blogs and images that are tied to your business location. When you have a Google profile for your business, it becomes much easier to tie maps to your business and adds to the discoverability on the world’s largest search platform.
There are many ways you can optimize your profile. One simple option is to update your business hours on a regular basis. This is particularly important around holidays, when clients may question whether your location is open. You can also post special offers that will be visible alongside your business search results page. The biggest bang for your buck is to acquire reviews regularly on your Google Business Profile.
2. Claim Your Local Business Directories
According to Search Engine Journal, there are still 21 local directories that are worth the time and effort required to create a profile and “claim” your business. Other top locations to claim your business include Facebook and Yelp — also great options for creating engagement with visitors and clients from all around the world.
3. Gather Customer Feedback in a Visible Way — And Stay Involved!
Yelp, Facebook and Google are ideal locations for soliciting feedback from customers and encouraging visitors to rate your business. This helps create more interesting content for future shoppers to find, especially when you take the time to respond to reviews (either positive or negative!). It is important to remember that you can’t make everyone happy, so you are going to get some not-so-great reviews at some point. The impact of any negative reviews can be reduced when you are proactive and respond quickly to any complaints and offer resolution – even if you don’t agree that your business was at fault.
4. Get (and Stay!) Active On Social Media
Social media marketing is a hotly-debated topic. Which platforms should you post on? How often should you post to keep your audience engaged? How can you be sure your audience is seeing those posts you worked so hard on? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest? The options are truly mind-boggling but you can start simple and grow your impact as you see engagement start to happen. Try selecting a single platform (Facebook), and determine how often you can reliably post. Creating new content can be time-consuming, so avoid over-committing and getting burned out. Posting 2-3 times per week is a great start and can be sustained by most businesses.
5. Publish High-Value Content Your Audience Will Love to Read
What will you post on social media and your website? Great content! A good rule is to create 80% of content that is educational or adds value in some way for your audience. Only a mere 20% of your posts on blogs or on social media should be self-serving, although all posts should be themed to promote your brand. Avoid posting multiple times per day about an upcoming sale on visits and hard pushes for signing up. Instead, help your readers see the value of the services you offer. Look for creative ways to address common questions and don’t be afraid to incorporate video responses or other interactive content in blogs and on social media.
If you aren’t sure how to find topics for your content, think about some of the key questions your new clients ask. Everything from “How do I pay for physical therapy?” and “Is physical therapy covered by insurance?” to “Will physical therapy help reduce my pain level?”. If your clients are asking these questions, chances are that prospects are looking for answers on search engines, too! Proactively answering these questions with in-depth articles or videos helps to position your clinic as a thought leader in your industry and in the community. These articles also serve as entry points to your website (and a chance to sign up new clients, too!).
6. Leverage Email Marketing Tactics to Drive Engagement and Inform Your Audience
One way to make the most of valuable content you’ve created is to also build your email newsletter list. You can do this in a variety of ways, including creating a sign-up form on your website or opting in new clients during their onboarding process. Active use of an email list allows your brand to remain top of mind with your clients. It’s also a prime option for introducing new therapy methods or special offers for current customers or strong prospects. Having a robust email marketing strategy helps boost your website visits, too – simply integrate links back to your site in the emails!
You can also encourage your current email list customers to help expand your business. Utilize “send to a friend” features to help clients share the good news about your business with their friends. This allows your current clients to present your business in a positive light to friends and family members, quickly spreading your influence throughout the local community.
7. Target Local to Avoid Overspending on Search & Social Ads
Ever wondered how small businesses are able to afford expensive search, display, and social media advertising? They narrow their focus significantly, allowing their brands to take advantage of the benefits of ads without the heavy overhead. Advertising can be extremely expensive, quickly running up thousands of dollars in ad costs with limited results if your brand isn’t cautious with how you’re targeting your audience.
When this happens, it’s easy to give up on search and social ads – assuming that you simply don’t have the budget to compete with other or larger brands. On the contrary! Small, local businesses can win with hyper-local targeting, even down to the zip code level. Taking the time to fine-tune your targeting and messaging does take some extra time but pays off in new leads and cost savings over time.
8. Establish Hyper-Local Signals Across Your Online Presence Through Check-Ins
Want to give your business a big local boost? Consider using check-ins across various platforms. When real clients indicate they are coming to your business, they are silently encouraging others to try the business, too. Each activity is recorded as a “signal” – a digital record of actions that are publicly recorded for search engines to notice. GeoJuice is an engine that creates opportunities for these triggers, actively engaging your audience and defining your practice as a leader in your space.
Leveraging software like GeoJuice by Surefire Local creates a unified location for hyperlocal content such as reviews, photos, and client engagement. Content is geotagged to help drive local clients to your practice, providing first-person interaction that feels personal and immediate. This highly relevant and recent engagement is rewarded by Google in the form of improved local search results and continues to grow in importance over time as your influence grows in the community.
Create a Robust Local Presence with Surefire Local
The good news is that you aren’t on this journey alone! The Surefire Local team is here to help you make the most of your company’s digital marketing dollars. By building a robust online presence that balances client engagement, great content, and local interactions, you can be confident that your business will continue to grow. Learn more about our software by attending a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo! Our business intelligence marketing software allows you to manage local advertising, local directories, and the ability to drive your review acquisition strategies and so much more all from one platform.