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It Only Takes 3 Simple Steps: The Physical Therapist’s Guide to SEO Strategy

Let’s face it: As the owner of a physical therapy practice, you probably have a shortage of hours in your day. You’re not interested in learning the finer points of Facebook advertising. You don’t care about the ins and the outs of crafting the perfect email drip campaign. And you’re not even slightly amused by the cute black-and-white animal names in Google’s zoo of algorithm changes (lookin’ at you Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon). And unless you’ve got a black belt in nerdery, why should you care?

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: You probably don’t need to care about these things. I’m an avid follower of the Pareto Principle, so in the spirit of that, here are three things you can work on today that will cover 80% of your local search engine optimization (SEO) needs. And because local SEO for physical therapy is not yet super competitive in most markets, 80% is often all you need.

1. Get Your NAP Straight

NAP refers your Name, Address, and Phone number, and it’s the digital foundation of any local business’s online presence. If you’ve got a website, add that to your foundation (NAP+W). Google’s recognition of you as a local business hinges on this information. Unfortunately, Google is a finicky beast. It only wants to display information that it perceives as 100% accurate. So, the Goog needs plenty of proof that you—and your business—are who you say you are. The key to pulling that off? Consistency.

Every time Google finds your NAP listed somewhere online, it needs to see it presented the exact same way it has found it previously. Got an apostrophe in your business name? Make sure it’s there every time. Have two office phone numbers? Pick one and stick with it.

NAP Audit

There are a two ways to audit your NAP listings for accuracy:

  1. Google your business name, address, or phone number; this should pull up most results. You’ll have to do some digging, but if you’ve got inaccurate listing data, the time investment is well worth it.
  2. Use Yext, which has a free listing scan that will search across most major business directories and data aggregators to identify inconsistent information. Yext also has a service to help correct your listings without any manual effort on your end. It’s not free, but for small business owners with limited time, the cost is money well spent.

NAP Distribution

Don’t have your NAP listed anywhere yet? Here’s a list of the top 50 business directories. Make it your mission to get listed in a handful of these; doing so will send all sorts of positive Google vibes your way.

2. Determine Whether Your Website is a Necessity or a Nice-to-Have

I’m going to say something that’s basically akin to committing murder in the world of digital marketing: You don’t need a website for your business. Of course, you should build one at some point, but we’re focused on three simple steps that’ll generate 80% of your results, and a website doesn’t make that list.

The one thing that’s more important than a website is a fully completed Google My Business Listing. Google’s done a good job of cleaning up the mess that was Google Local/Places/Plus, and there’s now one central place where you should concentrate your efforts: Google My Business. If you aren’t listed there yet, make it your first priority. Second priority is making sure your profile is as complete and accurate as it can be. Google has learned from its past mistakes and built a lot of helpful hints into the process, so it’s fairly painless now.

With that said, if you’ve done the basics and are ready to level-up your online game, you really should have a website.

3. Obtain Reviews

We all know that obtaining online reviews is crucial, but just to be clear: It is incredibly crucial. I’m talkin’ somewhere along the lines of beg, borrow, or steal—as in, do whatever’s necessary to get them (except, of course, planting fake reviews; Google can see right through those, so don’t even think about it). If you haven’t yet put together a plan to start ramping up your reviews, now’s the time. I recommend these resources:

Also, self-plug: Check out the WebPT Blog tomorrow, where we’ll show you how to solicit reviews. Need advice on responding to the reviews you’ve already received? We’ll tackle that on Wednesday.

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Coming Soon: The New WebPT Website

Here at WebPT, we like to keep things fresh (see “Be Minty” in this blog post). As such, we decided our website could use a little sprucing up—to make it simpler, cleaner, faster, and more representative of the WebPT brand. When you visit WebPT.com next week, you’ll definitely notice the new design, but don’t let it throw you for a loop. Even though we’ve enhanced the visual appeal of our website, nothing about the WebPT application is changing. The login and contact us buttons still appear in the exact same spot—the top-right corner of the site. Once you log in to WebPT, you’ll see that the application in itself looks exactly the same.

Now, we know that many of you simply visit WebPT.com, click the login button, and get right down to business within the app. However, once we launch the new site, we encourage you to take a few minutes to explore it. We think it’s pretty darn cool—and we have a feeling you’ll think so, too. We’re particularly stoked about our revamped, easier-to-access blog. Of course, as the blog writers, we might be a teensy bit biased.

As always, please share any and all feedback or questions you have. Simply post them in the comments below or click the contact us icon.

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5 Tips and Tricks for Better Website Design

website design tipsDuring this month’s marketing-themed month, in addition to covering overall marketing strategies, we’ve focused pretty heavily on the importance of developing an online presence when it comes to reaching potential patients. There’s a reason for that: it’s 2013—and in a blink of an eye, it’ll be 2014…and 2015…and, well, you get the idea. Time is moving forward, not backward, and in our ever-progressing technology-centric world, it’s going to become more and more crucial to present yourself and your practice well both offline and on.

 Today, we’re going to talk about another way—quite possibly the most important way—that you can improve your online presence: improving your website. After all, that’s where future patients—and even current ones—will go to learn more about your practice, your services, and you. It’s often the first impression you’ll make—even before you get to make one in person. It’s where—and how—your patients will first decide whether or not you’re legitimate and worthy of their trust and hard-earned dollars. In other words, it can be a business maker or breaker. With this in mind, it’s time to design—or redesign—your website with these five helpful tips and tricks (modified from Advia Internet, an Ohio-based digital marketing and strategy firm):  

 1. Clean Layout

 Before you select a layout for your website, make sure you know who you are as a business—your brand identity, essentially—and make sure you have a marketing plan. Then, choose accordingly. And while you might be tempted to start experimenting with some crazy, flashy layouts, remember, you are first and foremost a medical professional—and your website should represent that. Aim for a clean layout—not boring or stodgy—that’s simple, classy, and, as Advia points out, compelling. “An attractive layout design catches the attention of visitors and maintains it. It’s what keeps visitors exploring further into the website,” the article reads.

 

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Death to Yellow Pages and Four Ways To Help Your Customers Find You Online

Today’s blog post come from WebPT Digital Marketing Specialist and SEO wizard Andy Rysdam. Thanks, Andy!

I couldn’t believe what I had just heard.

“$1,200 a month? Are you getting anything out of it?” I replied.

“Well, not that I know of, but all my competitors are there, so I need to be, too.”

Replace yellow page ads with digitalThis was my first big moment of surprise in helping private practice clinics. I was still new to consulting (this was 2007), and I was on a mission to help small practices bring more business through their doors. But I clearly remember the first time I heard a practice owner tell me they still advertised in the physical, paper-bound Yellow Pages without it bringing them new business. And it was just as shocking the fourth, seventh, and twelfth times.

Does this sound like your practice? Are you throwing marketing dollars around because it seems like the right thing to do? Before you spend another cent on Yellow Page ads, newspaper ads, or any other kind of traditional advertising, I urge you to give online a shot. Not only is there no cost (free as in beer, baby!) to what I’m about to suggest, but there’s also no risk, and this will actually get you new customers (no offense, Yellow Pages)―if you follow through.

Where we’re going, we need two things:

1. Keywords

First things first: let’s talk about keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that people might type into a search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc.) to find what they’re looking for. So if somebody is looking for a physical therapist in Miami, they might use keywords like “Miami physical therapy” or “physical therapist in Miami.” If you’re a PT, you can pretty much swap out your location and use those two as your main keywords.

2. A NAP

Time to get our NAP on. NAP stands for “Name. Address. Phone Number.” Every business has a NAP, and for reasons I won’t bore you with, this needs to be 100% consistent every time you use it. That means every time you sign up for a new social network or business directory, you want to use the exact same NAP. Every. Single. Time. There should never be inconsistency here—from the Suite or PO Box number to the phone number extension, every instance of your NAP needs to be identical. I said I wouldn’t bore you with the details, but what it boils down to is that the more Google sees your consistent NAP across the Internet, the more it will trust that your business is actually real.

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Seven Tips for a Successful Physical Therapy Website

Today’s blog post comes from David Straight, PT, DPT, OCS, and President of E-rehab 

7 Tips to Make Your Physical Therapy Website a Success

Millions of Americans search for solutions to their movement disorders every year—and most don’t even consider physical therapy an option. Physical therapy, in most states, is still a referral-based business. In fact, a recent article in Spine stated that less than ten percent of the 32,000 back patients studied actually saw a physical therapist. However, physical therapy websites have seen a steady increase in traffic over the last few years.  As healthcare costs increase, it only makes sense that consumers will continue to look for more affordable treatment options, and high quality physical therapy, in many cases, is a more affordable treatment than surgery or injections.

With this in mind, it’s imperative that your website not only stands out, but also drives online traffic into your clinic. Here are seven tips you can implement to make your website a success.

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Flex Your Media Buying Muscle!

Today’s blog post comes from WebPT Media Buyer Lyndzie Phillips, Marketing Manager Mike Manheimer, and Copywriters Charlotte Bohnett and Erica Cohen. Woot! Team effort!

5 Ad and Media Buying Tips for Rehab TherapistsIn honor of this month’s marketing the PT profession theme, we thought we’d share with you our tips for flexing your media buying muscle—everyone has one, after all. Think of media as any channel you can use to get your message in front of your audience. So, when buying media, traditional will consist of print, tv, and radio slots as well as direct mail, whereas digital media will consists of online ad space as well as sponsored content. 

Whether you are an established clinic or brand spanking new, these tips can help you better understand the basics of advertising and how you can make it work for your clinic.

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