The list of things you can do to improve your clinic’s website is virtually endless, but there’s one addition that is super easy to craft and provides significant benefit to you, your current patients, and your prospective ones: an FAQ section. If your current website is missing a patient FAQ—and corresponding answers to those frequently asked questions—then check out these five reasons why you should publish one today. (Bonus: We’ve crafted an example FAQ for physical therapists to customize and use on their clinic websites.)
1. It alleviates anxiety and improves patient buy-in.
Seeking out a new provider can be nerve-wracking for patients, especially ones who are PT newbies. An FAQ section—complete with detailed answers—can alleviate patients’ uncertainty and help them feel more prepared for, and invested in, their care before they arrive for their first appointment (or even reach out to make an appointment, for that matter). In fact, your FAQ may provide valuable answers to questions that patients aren’t quite comfortable asking you over the phone—questions like, “What should I wear to my session?”
2. It helps ensure provider-patient alignment.
This is a great opportunity to share your practice’s philosophy and allow your prospective patients to get to know you better. Keep in mind that the way you respond to common questions can be just as important as the answers themselves. If your empathy, warmness, and approachability shine through in your language, patients may feel more comfortable seeking out your care. In fact, a well-written, comprehensive FAQ can actually help convert prospective patients who are on the fence as to whether you’re the right provider for them.
3. It helps streamline the new patient onboarding process.
By letting patients know what they need to do prior to their first appointment—and what, if anything, they need to bring with them to the clinic—you’ll be able to minimize confusion at the front desk. For example, if you require patients to bring an insurance card to their first visit, that’s great information to include in your FAQ, as it may reduce instances of patients showing up empty-handed. This is also a good place to include information about the forms of payment your practice accepts.
4. It helps boost your SEO ranking.
A patient FAQ adds indexed content to your website, thus improving your SEO and making it easier for prospective patients to find you online. FAQs are especially effective at capturing long-tail keyword traffic. Long-tail keywords are multi-word phrases or questions that online searchers use to find specific information. For example, a prospective PT patient may search, “Is physical therapy covered by insurance?” If this question—or a close variation of this question—appears in your FAQ, you have a much better shot of showing up on the first page of that prospective patient’s search results (especially if the patient is located near you). Long-tail keywords tend to drive fairly high-quality traffic (i.e., site visitors who fit the parameters of your target audience).
They also naturally keep you away from keyword stuffing, because you’re focusing on providing real answers to real patient questions—not simply inserting keywords into your website copy wherever you can. Plus, because FAQs are relatively straightforward and easy to add to, every time you identify a new relevant keyword, you can jot a quick Q&A and hit publish instead of drafting an entire blog post (although, in some cases, you may want to double-dip and create a more in-depth standalone article as well).
5. It helps reduce repetitive questions.
Your FAQ allows you to publish (and answer) the questions you receive most from actual patients—and you can assume other patients will benefit from those answers as well. Over time, your front office staff will spend less time answering the same question time and time again. It’s also a good resource to provide new staff members, so everyone is on the same page about everything from parking procedures to typical appointment lengths.
How to Write a Good FAQ
So, how do you go about writing an FAQ? It’s simple:
- Collect all the questions your patients ask most. You can survey your front office staff as well as your billers and therapists to put together this list.
- Then, set about answering them as clearly as possible. You’ll likely want to have someone else review your answers for clarity and grammar prior to publishing them.
Need a little assistance? Here’s an example FAQ to get you started:
Example FAQ for Physical Therapy Clinic Websites
What does a physical therapist do?
Physical therapists are doctorate-level musculoskeletal experts who specialize in helping people improve their physical function and quality of life. In other words, we work with our patients to help them achieve their goals, whether that’s recovering from an injury or surgery, reaching a new athletic level, or minimizing pain.
How long will I need PT?
That depends on the reason you’re seeking care. We’ll work together to develop a personalized treatment plan that takes into account your specific needs.
What will happen during my first physical therapy appointment?
At your first appointment, your physical therapist will discuss your health history, reasons for seeking care, and goals. The PT will then complete a thorough initial evaluation, assessing things like your balance, range of motion, and pain levels. Together, you’ll create a plan of care to assist you in meeting your goals.
Does physical therapy hurt?
Physical therapy shouldn’t be painful, but you may experience some temporary soreness and discomfort as you work and stretch new muscles. If you ever feel pain during a session, immediately let your therapist know.
How long does a physical therapy appointment last?
Initial appointments are typically 60 to 90 minutes; subsequent appointments are 30 to 60 minutes.
Do I need a physician referral before making a PT appointment?
No. Every state now has some form of direct access to physical therapy, which means you can visit us first.
Which insurances do you accept?
We are in-network with most major insurance companies, including Cigna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Medicare. If you have specific questions about your particular plan, please give us a call. We’d be happy to verify your benefits.
Which payment types do you accept?
We accept cash and all major credit cards. We do not accept personal checks. Please note that copayments and coinsurance will be collected at the time of service.
What should I wear to my sessions?
Wear loose, comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement in any way. Aim for athletic attire over jeans.
What should I bring to my first PT appointment?
Be sure to bring your completed intake form and insurance card. We’ll need to take a copy of the front and back of your card to keep on file.
How early should I arrive for my first appointment?
We ask that all new patients arrive 15 minutes before their appointment to complete any remaining paperwork.
Still have Qs about FAQs? Post ’em in the comment section below, and we’ll do our best to supply answers.