If you’ve set your sights on growing your chiropractic practice this year, you’ll know that this isn’t necessarily as straightforward as you’d like it to be. Not only are you working to position your practice ahead of other local chiropractors, but you’re competing against other alternative medicine practitioners who also offer pain relief treatments.
Setting up a growth trajectory takes a blend of short-term and long-term planning. There are a number of marketing strategies that you can put in place right now that will have immediate results. But it’s also important to be thinking long-term and developing a chiropractic marketing strategy that will bring in new customers on autopilot going forward.
Here’s where you should be focusing your efforts to get the best results:
1. Build a Great Chiropractic Website
A great website offers both short-term and long-term payoffs, and in today’s online environment, it’s a non-negotiable. While it can be tempting to take a short-cut and build a website yourself using free website building software unless you have previous web experience, this is likely to be a time-consuming and frustrating experience, and the site that you have at the end will still look amateur.
Think about it like this – your time is valuable, so spending it on building your website means that you’re not able to see clients or focus on other marketing efforts that only you can do. Rather leave the job to a professional web design team and get it done right the first time. Don’t cut corners on something as important as your website. Instead, have a professional do it, but make it so that you can easily log in and make small changes.
Before you start though, you still need to do your homework. You’ll need to have an idea of what elements are essential, and these are some of the basics that you don’t want to forget:
- Make the site mobile-friendly
- Set up a blog for future SEO optimisation
- Include your contact details
- Share details of the services you offer
- Include an engaging “About Us” page
- Have a clear call-to-action that encourages the user to give you their contact details
- Allow clients to schedule appointments through your website
Why is your website so important?
More and more, people turn to the web when they’re looking for answers (80% of clients use search engines to find local information). It’s also a reflection of your brand and a chance to get ahead of your competitors.
Here are four benefits:
- Prospective patients will want to have a look at your site before booking, and will quickly form an impression of your practice based on your website.
- After you hand out business cards at a networking event, people will check your website, and you need to create a good impression.
- In the long-term it can generate SEO leads for your practice, it forms the foundation of your SEO strategy.
- It’s an easy way for clients and partners to get in touch.
Pro tip: Find examples of websites that you like so that when you’re doing a project spec, you can give the designer an idea of what you’re looking for. This will save you time and money as they’ll be able to provide a site with the right look and feel, and there will be fewer iterations needed.
2. Check All Your Online Listings Are Up-to-Date
Most people who are looking for a chiropractor will go online and search for ‘chiropractor near me’ or ‘chiropractor + [suburb name]’. In fact, 46% of all searches on Google are for local information, and searches including variations such as ‘near me’ and ‘close by’ have grown by over 900% in 2 years.
This means that it needs to be easy to find your business online. In addition to an SEO-optimised website, your chiropractic practice needs to be listed in the online directories, as well as having a Google My Business page and a Facebook page. These listings should link to your website and have the latest contact information.
Why are online listings a valuable source of potential customers?
It’s all about local SEO. If someone is searching for a chiropractor in your geographic area, up-to-date listings in local directories, as well as bigger platforms such as Google, Facebook, Bing, and others, will pass on relevancy, and will mean that your practice will appear higher in the rankings. You might also be able to snag a top position in the local map pack.
The local map pack refers to the feature at the top of the page when you do a search. For example, if a user were to search “Chiropractor in [Suburb Name], Google will show the top 3 GMB results for businesses related to the enquiry, with their name, address, and phone numbers – and you want to make sure that your business is one of them!
3. Request Reviews and Respond to Any Online Reviews (Good or Bad)
This strategy requires action on two fronts. First, you’ll need to start asking your loyal clients to leave reviews of your practice. Make it easy for them by sending them an email with a link to your Google My Business page and instructions on how to do it. If you’ve built a good relationship with your clients, there’s a good chance that they’ll be happy to leave glowing feedback (let them know that it really helps other people feel comfortable choosing you as a chiropractor).
Secondly, you need to respond to all reviews, whether good or bad. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, even a bad review can work to your benefit as it lends legitimacy to the positive reviews, and gives you an opportunity to improve. A study by Reevoo found that negative reviews can actually increase conversion and that over 66% of users trust reviews more when there is a mix of positive and negative reviews.
A response to a good review can be a simple ‘thank you’, but responses to bad reviews require a bit more thought. Respond with sincerity, acknowledge the issue, apologise if needed, and invite the reviewer to take the conversation offline. (Sometimes you might need a day to cool down so that you can respond in a level-headed and empathetic way.) In many cases, the reviewer will be happy to remove the review once their grievances have been addressed.
How can online reviews help your business?
If you had a look at either of the links in the previous point, you’d have noticed that getting online reviews for your practice is important. But it’s not just about improving your local rankings; it’s also about building trust with potential clients who have never heard of your practice before.
Think about it like this; you’re much more likely to trust the opinion of a friend or acquaintance who recommends a service, rather than responding to an advert posted by the service provider themselves. Online reviews are similar in that they give potential clients an unbiased review of your practice.
So, the benefits are two-fold:
- Reviews on your GMB boost your rankings in the map pack (so more people will see your practice when they’re searching for a chiropractor in your area).
- Reviews, whether on your site, your Facebook page, your GMB listing, or anywhere else, help to build trust with potential clients who aren’t familiar with what you offer.
Pro tip: As part of your client communications, send a follow-up email after their appointment to check if they have any comments or concerns and politely request a review if they were happy with the treatment they received. Then make checking your reviews online part of your daily to-do list so you can quickly respond to any negative feedback.
4. Post Regular Blog Updates
If it’s just you running a small chiropractic practice, don’t feel pressure to be constantly putting out blog posts. Quality and consistency in posting are more important than quantity. Blog posts are an excellent way to position yourself as an expert and to grow your organic traffic.
How will blogging boost your chiropractic marketing strategy?
Both Google and users love great content.
Google loves fresh, high-quality content. And if Google likes something, the reward is better rankings in search results. So, in effect, blogging has the potential to improve your site’s rankings, as well as ensuring that you rank for long-tail keywords that will drive additional traffic to your website.
You’re also building trust with visitors to your website, this builds an awareness of what your practice offers and, if the quality of the content is good and the articles are helpful, you can attract new clients.
Pro Tip: Get the most from your blog posts by:
- Writing about topics that you are an authority on and are relevant to your practice;
- Sharing them on your social media channels and including them in your client newsletters;
- Linking internally to relevant services that are referenced in the post;
- Following basic SEO best practices (such as the guidelines here);
- Including a call-to-action that incentivises readers to sign-up.
5. Use Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most powerful chiropractic marketing strategies for two reasons: firstly, it’s a great way to build trust and, secondly, repeat clients are much better than new ones.
You’re building trust with current and potential clients
Clients that visit your clinic for a while have a lot going on in their lives and left alone, they’re quite likely to forget all about you when they have another need for your services. But if your emails are regularly appearing in their inbox, clients are more likely to book with you when they need a chiropractic appointment. For new or potential clients, your emails will help build trust even if they’ve never met you.
Repeat clients are better than new ones
Most of the people on your email list will be current or past clients, and repeat clients are better than new ones. Regular clients spend more, are more likely to book an appointment again if they had a good experience, are less expensive than acquiring new clients and are more likely to refer new clients. A great chiropractic marketing strategy to stay top-of-mind is a regular newsletter.
How do chiropractic practices leverage email marketing?
Email marketing is a long-term strategy that can be broken into two simple steps:
Step 1 – Build Your Email List
At the very least, this means ensuring that you have up-to-date email addresses for all of your clients so remember to check their details before every appointment. Taking it one step further, you can also collect email addresses of potential clients. This could be anything from having a downloadable guide on your website to offering a discount on a client’s first appointment in exchange for their email address.
Step 2 – Send Regular Emails to Your Subscribers
Send out your blog articles and any other information that you want to share with your clients. It’s a great way to keep clients engaged so that, even if they don’t use your services for a year or more, your chiropractic practice will still be top of mind when they do need you.
Pro tip: Schedule a regular slot in your calendar, maybe once or twice a month to send out a newsletter to your clients. Set up a template to make it easier and include any relevant news, interesting articles from around the web, and a link to your latest blog posts.
6. Try Online Paid-For Advertising
The good thing about paid-for marketing is that the major platforms (Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ads) have made it simple to set up yourself, and you don’t need a big budget to test the water.
Facebook ads are a good place to start as the cost of advertising is a lot lower, and you can target your ideal customers using segmentation such as age, location, gender, and interests, then focus your adverts to match each identified segment.
Why is online advertising so effective for chiropractic practices?
It all boils down to targeting and control. With online advertising, you can:
- Set the budget – you don’t have to spend a cent more than you allocate (this is set at the campaign level, as well as having a daily limit).
- Segment your audience – if you know who your ideal customer is, audience segmentation is a game-changer. You can target a specific geographic location so only people close to your practice will see the ads, then you can drill down by age, gender and more so that only the people who are most likely to be interested in your chiropractic services will see the ad.
- Get fast results – most other marketing efforts take time, but once your ads go live, you can start receiving leads.
- Measure everything – you can track your campaigns in real-time and adjust accordingly. You’ll know which ads are working and which aren’t, and track exactly where your leads are coming from.
- Be flexible – if you have appointment slots available, you can quickly increase your budget to try and fill them then, when your calendar is full, you can scale back your ad spend.
- Meet your clients where they are – many people go online if they want to find a local practice, and you can make sure your practice is at the top of the results.
Pro Tip: If you are serious about online advertising to grow your business, you might want to engage a digital marketing consultant to help you get results. You’re a specialist chiropractor, not an online marketer, so why not hire a specialist in online advertising rather than trying to do it all yourself. If they’re good at what they do, they’ll be more than worth their fees because they’ll be able to identify inefficiencies in your advertising campaigns (which saves your money). And they’ll suggest different target markets or keywords that might convert better (which will bring in more leads).
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Phew, that’s six different, researched-backed chiropractic marketing strategies that you can focus on to successfully grow your practice. But (and this is very important), if this list seems overwhelming, don’t panic! Why not pick just one chiropractic marketing strategy and make a start. It makes sense to begin with your website because, once you feel confident about your site, you’ll want to spread the word, and everything else can follow from there.
Do you know a chiropractor that needs some help with their marketing? Why not pass this on and make their day!